College – Issue 36

Perhaps the vehicle which attracted the most attention was an Austin. Before you recoil in disbelief, this was no ordinary Austin. In fact, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the popular marque from Longbridge Birmingham which became so well known in the 1920s and 30s. This great beast was a V12 open tourer built in 1917 and is believed to be the only one in existence in the world. It was built in Grand Rapids Michigan, and however many others were made, this is the sole survivor. Apparently, its ease of export from the USA can be accounted for by some possible confusion on the part of customs officials, believing it must be a mass-produced item from Great Britain and not worth further scrutiny. After spending time in Kelvin’s workshop – where a Minerva chassis stood on stands awaiting the refitting of the sleeve cylinder engine and the mating up with new aluminium body which Kelvin has beaten out, then reupholstering and repainting, all to be done by Kelvin – the group were treated to a wander round the beautiful grounds complete with a large lily pond and masses of specimen trees and shrubs, before taking afternoon tea under the trees in the orchard. All in all, a wonderful, fascinating day and a great joy to be part of. The Joe Studholme Memorial Vintage Car Day goes from strength to strength! Many thanks Martin Vincent (7240) and the team for all the research and organisation.

Mike Norris (6924)

Christ’s College Canterbury


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