Aviation Historian 21
N.Stroud - Open wide! /The John Stroud Archive/
Steady as she goes! With the clamshell doors of Bristol Freighter G-AIFV thrown open in a wide smile, the 1904 Darracq is reversed down the loading ramp at Le Touquet on Friday, April 14, 1950. The car is still roadworthy in 2017 and remains a regular participant in the UK’s London-Brighton Veteran Car Run.
Putting the “car” into “cargo” - the Darracq is driven up the ramp at Lympne, while the Alvis TA21 awaits its turn. Just visible in the background is an Avro Anson of the Kenley-based No 61 Group Communications Flight, coded RCE-F.
The 1951 Alvis TA21 is offloaded at Le Touquet, bound for the Amsterdam Motor Show (thanks to Hilton Holloway at automotive technology magazine 5054 for identifying the car!). Silver City expressed an interest in acquiring the eight-car, 40-passenger-carrying Blackburn Universal Freighter, but the plan ultimately fell through.
An example of the exotica to be found at Le Touquet, Potez 584 F-AOQT (c/n 4147) was photographed by John with the Austin A70 which had travelled over on the same day in the background, along with another Silver City Freighter, probably G-AGVB.
On arrival at Le Touquet the cars were offloaded by Silver City staff and parked beside the terminal for collection by their owners. Le Touquet had been an active Luftwaffe fighter base during the war until 1944, when Rommel had a number of airfields disabled as a result of his (well-founded) concern that an Allied invasion of the French coast was imminent.