1926 Lorraine Dietrich
Three-quarters nearside view of Lorraine-Dietrich outside our double garage in The Lane. The lower doors on the left are the stable, the taller ones on the right are the coach house.
Father unearthed a 1926 Lorraine-Dietrich Silken Six in a garage on the old A14 at Arrington. After several visits, he struck a deal. Now we had to go and collect it.
By dint of being Sergeant i/c Signals in the school CCF, I had acquired a drum containing a mile of field telephone cable. I found the idea of owning one whole mile of cable very impressive but the cable itself was very spiky and intractable, but now came into its own. We plaited a rather laughable towrope from it, and set off with the 6 1/2-litre Bentley to collect the Lorraine-Dietrich.
All went well for some reason until we came to the home stretch, turning off Milton Road and into Hawthorn Way. It was there that the 'rope' gave out, leaving me gliding gently along in the middle of the road, wondering what to do for the best, while Father disappeared into the distance. Luckily, he was soon back again.
The Silken Six was a very lively car; one of its mechanical features was the row of exposed push-rods operationg overhead valves. I used it a lot: it was a pleasure to drive and seemed to go very fast but, of course, had no speedometer. The manufacturers now tell me the maximum speed was 87 mph ...
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