More Dusties

Classic Driver - - LETTERS -

I’m in­trigued by the Bruce Jenks photo on the top left in the first page of the Dusties sec­tion in Is­sue 53. It’s cap­tioned as Reg Par­nell in an As­ton Martin but it’s clearly not an As­ton and it doesn’t look much like Par­nell at the helm ei­ther.

The car looks like an HWM but which one? It’s not the Cadil­lac-pow­ered one owned by the Avery broth­ers – there are sev­eral dif­fer­ences be­tween that car and the one de­picted.

The an­swer might lie in the photo found on The Roar­ing Sea­son. It is unattributed but is said to have been taken in Kai­wharawhara, Welling­ton prior to the 1956 NZGP at Ard­more. This fits in with a con­tem­po­rary re­port of a “ship­ping mix-up” that re­sulted in sev­eral of the over­seas cars go­ing to Welling­ton in­stead of Auck­land.

The HWM on the left is said to have been im­ported by Aus­tralian Tony Gaze so I won­der if it is the car in your photo. The kan­ga­roo em­blem on the side would tally with this the­ory. Gaze ran a Fer­rari in the grand prix and the HWM in the sports car sup­port races at that meet­ing so per­haps he did the same at Ryal Bush.

The only thing that doesn’t quite add up is that the car in your photo looks to be a darker colour than the one in the Welling­ton photo. Does any reader know the true story?

The HWM-Jaguar VPA 9 is still ex­tant and ac­tive in his­toric rac­ing in the UK.

While I’m wear­ing my pedan­tic prick’s hat, I might as well men­tion that the photo on the top left over­leaf shows Scott-Brown’s Lis­ter leading Jensen’s Maserati, not Hoare’s Fer­rari. Al­lan Wylie Christchurch TH I am not one to gloat (ac­tu­ally, I am!) but that would make the score Tony 1 Terry 0. The pho­tos were sup­plied with de­tails hand-writ­ten on the back by the pho­tog­ra­pher. Terry Mar­shall and I took a look at them to make sure they were cor­rect. My first thought was that was no As­ton Martin and my sus­pi­cion was an HWM of some de­scrip­tion. Terry on the other hand was con­vinced it was in­deed an As­ton and af­ter trawl­ing the deep dark re­cesses of the In­ter­net, he came up with a photo to back up his (in­cor­rect so it would seem) as­ser­tion. He too has been taken out and ad­min­is­tered a sound thrash­ing. Af­ter a phone call from a reader whose name com­pletely escapes me, it would seem that the photo is Tony Gaze in David McKay’s HWM-Jaguar.

Quite how we man­aged to call a 250F a Fer­rari is a mys­tery, but as I am not into self-flag­el­la­tion, I haven’t thrashed my­self, but I have taken a course in “The Es­sen­tial Dif­fer­ences be­tween Mo­dena’s Tri­dent and Maranello’s Cavallino.”

As Tony was con­vinced the mys­tery car was an HWM de­spite the As­ton Martin name printed on the back, Terry Mar­shall came up with photo of a DB3S to back up the As­ton iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

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