Cuthbert Marc Anthony, known as ‘Dick’ Anthony was the Works Manager at the Winter Garden garage owned by Lance Prideaux-Brune.
In the late 1920’s, Prideaux-Brune held the concession for Senechal sports cars. Senechals were named after it’s French designer and were light sports roadsters with a 1094cc overhead valve engine and being capable of 70 mph. In 1926 they were being sold for £255 and were as well known in competition as the other two French sports cars of the day Amilcar and Salmson.
Dick Anthony competed in the Senechal in rallies and speed events gaining much respect for his carefully prepared cars. With optional front drum brakes complementing the rears and its lightweight design, Dick Anthony generated much publicity for the Winter Gardens garage.
1931 - the Le Mans Aston Martin Anthony appraised for the Winter Garden garage (Ref 7)
In 1931, the Winter Garden garage was loaned one of the Aston Martin works Le Mans cars (LM5). Dick was entrusted to appraise the car which he did, by entering the Light Car Club Relay race at Brooklands! The car was quite a departure from the Senechal for a start Aston Martins were being sold for about £600 and the car was capable in excess of 90 mph. Quite a responsibility for an ‘amateur’ driver. Running with a team of two MG Midgets, Dick finished 6th although he admitted, he had not ‘pushed’ the car.
Soon after, Prideaux-Brune joined the Board of Aston Martin and began selling Aston Martins from his Winter Garden garage. Dick then embarked on a fruitful sporting career with the marque one that generated much needed publicity for Aston Martin and the Winter Garden garage.
In July 1932, Dick was again at Brooklands for the LCC Relay Race this time in an Aston Martin Le Mans 2 seater and later in the year, competed in the Royal Scottish A.C. Rally.
In 1933, Dick in the same car, won the Liverpool Cup in the RAC Hastings Rally this was when he was not hard at work preparing racing cars for Winter Garden garage’s customers.
1934 saw Dick competing at Brooklands and Donington Park in club race meetings. He then entered the RAC Bournemouth Rally in a pre launch Aston Martin Mk II taking 4th place and then completed the RSAC Scottish Rally. True to his enthusiasm for the Aston Martin marque, Dick was managing the pit at Le Mans when the privateers eclipsed the works entry by finishing 10th . None of the works entries were classified.
In 1935, Dick Anthony was the most active and most successful competitor in Aston Martins and carried off 14 major awards in the Winter Garden garage’s blue 2/4 seater Le Mans. The car was always immaculately turned out with Dick, himself, ensuring that the car remained competitive. During this year, Dick virtually single handed, kept Aston Martin in the sporting news.
The LCC Relay Race of 1936 was won to much acclaim by a team from the Winter Garden garage headed up by Dick Anthony. The team of Aston Martins finished 8 minutes ahead of the field. Seemingly every weekend, throughout 1936, 1937 and 1938 Dick Anthony appeared in the results sheets for Aston Martin through his success in domestic races and rallies. A true enthusiast!
1936 - Dick Anthony (far right) with LCC Relay Race team members at Brooklands (Ref 7)
Aside from racing and rallying, Dick was also an accomplished development engineer at the Winter Garden garages. Dick was instrumental in developing cars for private customers that competed in domestic and international events with much success.
In 1936, Dick persuaded Aston Martin to let him develop the 1500cc engine into a 1750cc unit from which came the new production 2.0 litre unit.
Aston Martin cars prepared by Dick Anthony survive to this day their highly modified form are a real headache for restorers and historians alike.
With the demise of the Aston Martin concession in 1938, the Winter Garden garage turned to Morgan. It is difficult to understand what Dick Anthony thought of these relatively crude cars with a price similar to the Senechal of some 10 years earlier!
Morgan however, had built quite a reputation in sporting circles through racing and rallying their 3 and 4 wheeler sports cars. Some consolation for Dick!
1938 however saw Dick return to Le Mans with a car prepared by the Winter Garden garage for Prudence Fawcett. The Morgan factory supplied a 4-4 based on the TT which Dick Anthony then prepared using his knowledge of the 24 hour race. Surprisingly, Prudence’s co-driver was Geoffrey White, Winter Garden garages Sales Manager and not Dick Anthony. The careful preparation paid dividends however, with the car finishing 13th and qualifying for the Rudge Whitworth Biennial Cup.
1939 Le Mans - Dick Anthony and Geoffrey White (Ref 11)
For the remainder of 1938 Dick Anthony continued to compete in his Aston Martin but he also did the odd event in a Morgan. Driving a 4-4 with a modified engine of 1087cc capacity, Dick entered the September MCC High Speed Trial at Brooklands together with Geoff Hunt, a salesman at the Winter garden garage. Dick and Geoff won a premier award having put in 74 miles into the hour.
1939 saw Morgan return to Le Mans with a car entered by Prudence Fawcett. Again, a car was supplied by the factory and carefully prepared by the Winter Garden garage. This time, the Morgan factory lent support in the form of Charlie Curtis to man the pits and this time, Geoffrey White was co driven by Dick Anthony. In preparation, Dick Anthony entered the Le Mans car into the NW London Motor Clubs Lawrence trial finishing 1st in class and carrying off the Almond Cup.
1939 Le Mans - Geoffrey White & Dick Anthony staying cool before the race (Ref 7)
In the 1939 Le Mans race, the Morgan ran with few problems and finished 2nd in class and 15th overall. Sadly, the Biennial Cup eluded them but they did finish as the highest British entry.
Dick Anthony had by now dropped his beloved Aston Martin and was concentrating on the sporting aspirations of his new Morgan customers. However, his considerable engineering expertise was recognised by Raymond Mays and was asked to look after the ‘Raymond Mays’ cars. Built at Bourne, alongside the ERA, 5 Raymond Mays cars were built and then sent to REAL Coachworks in Ealing where they were completed under Dick Anthony’s supervision.
1939 Raymond Mays in car of his own name (Ref 7)
During the war, Prideaux-Brune sold the Winter Garden garage and Dick Anthony took up employment at John Mowlem Ltd, servicing mechanical plant at airports. He purchased a worn 1938 Morgan 4-4 Coupe which he had rebodied at the factory as a blue 2 seater and continued to enter into club competitions.
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Information on this page has been gathered from historical journals and contemporary text books.
Please refer to the reference page.
© 2002 John Clarke