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We suspect this is a 'staged' photograph because Ivy understood the value of publicity to help with her love of motor racing - she is of course Ivy Cummings. The picture shows her with a 1925 Singer but a 1916 copy of Lightcar & Cyclecar magazine printed a story about her entitled 'A plucky young lady driver. Her first drive round Brooklands age 11½.' where we learn the first Light Car she drove was a 'Cummikar'. "... I have had the speedometer round to 50 mph many times on the track..." You are forgiven if you have never heard of it - neither had we. It was a French Ronteix sold in UK as Cummikar.
In 1916, when Ivy was 15, her father gave her a Baby Peugeot and she writes, " I drive it all over the place. Sometimes I take out a wounded soldier, my mother or my grandmother. They all tell me they feel safe with me" . Her talent for driving is impressive and you can read here how she raced such cars as a 1912 Coupe de L'Auto Vauxhall, a 3 litre Sunbeam (see video), an Akala-engined GN/Frazer Nash and the famous 5 litre chain drive Bugatti 'Black Bess'. She married in 1925, insisting she drove the Frazer Nash from the wedding.
(Text and pictures Robin Batchelor)
Ross Nerdal from Canberra (Australia) writes: "The capital of Australia is Canberra, being only one hundred years old it is not renowned for its barns but there are some to be found. Jack Palmer bought a 1927 Austin 12hp tourer in 1965. He was going to restore it. It was low mileage and running well. Into the shed it went and stayed. 50 years later it has been sold to me and we dragged it out for a second life. It needed four spare wheels and a lot of manpower to extract it from its tomb, it was surrounded by decades of collecting. Thick with dust and spider webs and rat nests, it is a time capsule of its own beauty. It is totally complete and solid and all original. We can still read the last rego number, N34-975. Recognize or know anything of its history? Now what should be its future.. oily rag recommissioning, or full restoration. What do pre-war readers think?"
Most of us remember the days before computers, texts and instant communication where we wrote letters and post cards to each other, so it was very pleasing when the post man dropped such a post card on the mat recently sent from a friend on holiday. The tradition of holiday post cards goes back a long way, certainly before cars, but inevitably the motor car started to feature on them around 1900 or before.
In 1925, the Bullnose Morris accounted for 40% of cars owned in Britain so it's no surprise to see it chosen by the artist. A popular comic seaside post card theme was the interreaction between men and women in all shapes and sizes - mostly saucy and sometimes "X-rated" .
(Text Robin Batchelor, pictures author's collection)
It's that time of year when schools have broken up for the summer holiday and everyone heads for the seaside. But beware the temptation to get your car nearer the water than your neighbours, because cars are heavy and the shingle will not give any grip - so you sink as these girls found out in 1924 when their Bullnose Morris refused to budge.
Don't think sand is any safer. It's one thing to drive onto Pendine Sands with your Hot Rod and drive fast , but woe betide anyone who does not get back on the road before high tide! Our friend and photographer Stefan Marjoram had the right idea when he visited Pendine Sands recently with his camera, he left the car in the car park and built a sand car instead of a sand castle.
(Text Robin Batchelor, pictures courtesy Stefan Marjoram and author's collection)
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