This car was acquired by the current owner in July 2003 from the Executors of C.R.W. Best. Mr Best had been a businessman in Guernsey and the car formed part of his very eclectic vehicle collection, mostly of cars. We have a photo of it standing beside a Scimitar tank! The collection had always been kept inside during Mr Best’s ownership of several years. It had not been registered in Guernsey as it formed part of a static display. According to Mr Best’s secretary, it had been borrowed and used in a film about the German occupation of Guernsey, regardless of being the wrong vintage!
The car was accompanied by its logbook which is stamped “Duplicate”. It was issued on 16th May 1968 by Greater London Licensing Department and stamped 17th February 1964 to Christopher Arthur Henn-Collins. It was taxed as Private and the details are as follows:
Chassis No. B 112 J, Engine No. B 56 L; Colour ‘Dual Grey’;
Date of original registration: 22nd March 1951.
Lt. Col. Henn-Collins was a grandson of Lord Collins, Master of the Rolls 1901-1907. He was reputedly the first serving officer to come under enemy fire in the first few hours of the Second World War. He was Brigade to Signals Officer to the 1st Brigade of Guards and was ordered to lead a detachment into Poland under the command of General Carton de Wiart, VC. The mission was covert and they were issued fake passports and wore civilian clothes. They brought six tons of equipment and were supposed to liaise with any Polish resistance and provide communications from behind the lines. However, war between Britain and Germany broke out and their column being a little conspicuous even from the air was attacked by German aircraft. They put on their uniforms and having met with Carton de Wiart, their mission had to be abandoned. Destroying their equipment, they exfiltrated in twos and threes to Alexandria. Lt. Col. Henn-Collins was a resourceful inventor and patented an enciphering machine. As a civilian after the war, his company completed a number of projects for Government agencies mostly in the field of telecommunications and became an early exploiter of transistors. He retired to Guernsey in 1970. The car underwent mechanical recommissioning work at our workshops between September 2004 and February 2005. The total cost for this work was in the region of £10,500 and included the following: water pump overhaul, removal and overhaul of the cylinder head, renewal of the exhaust valve guides, renewal of the rear body mounts, full service, full engine tune, new tyres and many more items. Invoices for all of the above are available. The car is running well and has barely been used following the above work.