The 30-98 Record Breakers
Number 2: Tom Plowman
Number 1: T B 'Paddy' Adair - Johannesburg
The exploits of the Australian long distance record breakers (Edkins, Burton & Bradley, Balmer & Kent etc) are relatively well known. Less so are those of T.B. 'Paddy' Adair in South Africa. Appointed as the official Vauxhall agent in Johannesburg sometime before 1912, Adair was committed to the 'Win on Sunday, sell on Monday' ethos.
He started his competition career with a 20hp Prince Henry. Sadly, in May 1913 while competing for the Transvaal Automobile cup, he left the road at speed resulting in the death of two of his passengers. Adair escaped serious injury, and was soon competing & selling again, this time with a 25hp Prince Henry.
By 1921, Adair was campaigning an E type 30-98. Reporting on the successes achieved by British cars overseas, The Autocar recorded that first place was attained in the Pretoria Motor Club's speed trial in November 1921. Over the measured half mile, covered in both directions, the 30-98 achieved an average of 81.08mph, with 3 up!
Long distance records were certain to generate significant publicity, and by 1922 Adair had replaced the factory Velox body with a rather crude, lightweight 2 seater affair. The otherwise standard 30-98 made the run from Durban to Johannesburg, a distance of 406 miles, in 10 hr. 53 min, and onwards to Pretoria - a further 44 miles in 61 minutes. On unmade dirt roads!
D .Kirke. May '22
E type 30-98: Lightweight 2 seater body, ready for intercity record breaking