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"Dedicated to the preservation of Standard Cars 1903-1963"

Dedicated to the preservation of Standard Cars 1903-1963

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Trip to the Devon and Cornwall Lunch


The V4 outside the Two Bridges Hotel

I suppose the idea to attend this event started in late October, when I was contemplating the long winter months. I happened to be surfing around the SMC web site when I found a feature on a Sunday lunch meeting held by the Devon and Cornwall area group a year ago.

It was when speaking to my friend Steve Smeltzer, who had attended last year that we decided it would be fun to drive down from Bristol to Mary Tavy in Steve’s 1927 Standard 14/28 H.P. V4 tourer. Such a drive would also serve as a useful test run prior to its trip to Ireland later in the year for the Gordon Bennett Rally, since it would identify any pressing repair jobs that needed doing on the car.

We left Bristol in cold, but dry weather on Saturday morning, and drove along the old A38 trunk road to Bridgewater, where we stopped for refreshments at a Garden Centre. We then carried on, via Taunton to the outskirts of Cullompton where the heavens opened and it really pelted down and drenched us for a few minutes. The decision was soon taken to stop in Cullompton for a cup of tea, and to let the rain pass, before continuing on journey with the last few miles to the Butterleigh Inn situated in the village of the same name, about five miles from Cullompton.

The Butterleigh Inn could be the subject of a separate article, it was that good, but suffice to say, the roaring log fire in the bar, hot showers and local brew were most welcome. Chris and Linda Bowden, who were the organisers for the Devon and Cornwall lunch, joined us for a meal at the Butterleigh Inn on the Saturday evening.

It rained very heavily over night, but Sunday morning dawned dry but cold. After a hearty breakfast we pointed the Standard V4 towards Moretonhampstead on the edge of Dartmoor where we had arranged to meet up with Chris and Linda in the 1947 Standard eight for the drive across Dartmoor to Mary Tavy.

Dartmoor was very cold, with a biting wind blowing, but at least it was clear, and dry. A stop was made at the famous Two Bridges Hotel, on Dartmoor for pictures. Soon we were under way again for the last stretch of the journey to The Royal Standard, at Mary Tavy, and the Devon/Cornwall group lunch.

After lunch Steve and I spent another 2 hours driving the 50 miles back across Dartmoor and up to the Butterleigh Inn, which we just managed to complete before nightfall. Monday morning, after another hearty breakfast, we then pointed the Standard towards Bristol for the return journey, which included the dampest portion of the whole journey.

So over the course of 3 days we had clocked up 250 miles on the 1927 Standard, with no major faults, and a short list of jobs that ought to be looked at before its journey to Ireland in June. A very commendable performance for a marvellous 82-year-old motorcar. My grateful thanks to Steve for the invitation to join him.

Leonard Barr

Three other shots of the V4, click on each of them to see an enlargement

I hope to publish a report on the meal itself very shortly.

Thanks Len and Steve for proving that the Journey can be done in an 82 year old car. Lets hope that lots of Devon and Cornwall members will be inspired to make the trip up those old trunk roads to the International you are organising in Cirencester.

Phil Homer

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