WEEKLY CAR DIARY & ENIGMATIC CLASSICS

Back to work this week after our hols in Cornwall. All decent vehicles but nothing out of the ordinary and no particularly interesting destinations, although the new town of Telford is just a few miles north of Ironbridge Gorge which only happens to be the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution (and an interesting place to visit if you have the chance).

Tuesday: Audi A3 1.8T Sport (2014) & Audi A6 S-Line 2.0TD manual (2013), both Rugby to Telford, Shropshire

Wednesday: Volvo XC60 SE Lux Nav D5 (2.4D) auto (2016), London Heathrow to Leicester

Friday: Ford Transit Custom, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire to Reading, Berkshire

Now I did go somewhere interesting last Sunday – one that played a small but important rôle in World War II. Beaumanor Hall in the Charnwood Forest area of Leicestershire is a stately home built in the 1840s, although manor houses have been present on the site since the first was built in 1330. Beaumanor Hall was requisitioned by the military in 1939 and it became a “Y station”, intercepting enemy radio traffic and passing the signals to the more well-known Station X at Bletchley Park for decrypting.

If memory serves me, Beaumanor Hall also featured in Robert Harris’s novel, Enigma, a fictional thriller set against the backdrop of Bletchley Park’s efforts to break the Germany’s Enigma code. It is widely rumoured (in real life) that the Beaumanor Hall listening post had intercepted intelligence about the Katyn massacre very early on in the war (in April and May 1940, the Soviets massacred about 22,000 captured Polish officers and other citizens in the Katyn Forest in Russia). The information allegedly received by Beaumanor Hall and the need to hush it up in deference to Britain’s Soviet allies provided a sinister sub-plot in Enigma and the subsequent film of the same name. Incidentally, the producer of the film was Mick Jagger who happened to own an Enigma machine which was used as a prop in the film.

The reason for visiting Beaumanor Hall was (surprise!) a classic car show. The hall is not normally open to the public but it does hold various events throughout the year. Here are a few photos:-

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Beaumanor Hall. During WWII these walls had ears.
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A Tribute 250 kit car based on a 3-litre BMW Z3. A fake Ferrari but looked good.
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I was quite taken with this little car. Isn’t it beautiful? A 1952 Jowett Jupiter. A “race-bred, high performance sports car”. 1486cc, 62hp and 0-50mph in 13 seconds.
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Many of us remember the 1970s Triumph Dolomite but this is the 1937 version!! The Dolomite name was used for a range of saloons and sports cars in the 1930s.
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I’m not a fan of American cars but I will admit this immaculate 1961 Chevrolet Corvette looks striking. If I was forced to have an American car, it would have to be an original Mustang Fastback or convertible.
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Spot the difference. Yes, one’s blue and one’s red, well done. The blue one is a 1965 Triumph TR4A. The other is a 1968 TR250 which was a version of the TR5 made for the North American market. For emissions reasons, the TR250 had twin carbs (and less power) rather than the TR5’s fuel injection system. 

Colin

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2 thoughts on “WEEKLY CAR DIARY & ENIGMATIC CLASSICS”

  1. Interesting – I’ve read most of the Harris novels, with The Ghost as my favourite, although Pompeii runs it a close second. Enigma was good.
    Love the Jowett, I think I’m right in saying the whole engine had to be spun around in order to change the spark plugs.
    My favourite American car is, er, um, oh they never made a good one! I did once own a Cadillac, which look fantastic, but it was actually a badge engineered Saab 93 with lots of free kit. Mind you it did feature the American trait of poor handling.
    Roundabouts were a real challenge. More info here….
    https://whydidyougetridofit.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/one-that-got-away/

    Like

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