A Word from The Chairman
Val Biro has received, at one time or another, most of the VAR awards, particularly the award for Regular Use of the Austin Car. His Austin Twelve ‘Gumdrop’ has regularly appeared at schools, charity events and rallies over many years, dating from before my time and, the way he is going, probably long after my time too.
Val is not in the first flush of youth; indeed he may even be older than his car, but his unfailing
enthusiasm and regular attendance at the AGM put many younger members to shame. He is indeed one of the pillars of the VAR and an example to all members of how to really enjoy your Vintage Austin.
Val Biro - the Herald of the Vintage Car Movement?
In 1953 the film 'Genevieve' gave a welcome boost to the interest in the preservation and restoration of Veteran cars; some years later the films 'The Fast Lady' and 'The Yellow Rolls Royce' did much the same for reviving interest in Vintage cars, which around that time had reached the stage when their worth was probably at its lowest. Thus the interest in 'Vintage' Austin motor cars was born and continues unabated to this very day.
Then came Val Biro, who in 1961 had purchased a 1926 Austin 12/4 'Clifton' tourer, which he named 'GUMDROP'. Val, already an accomplished artist and illustrator, started to weave fanciful stories around his beloved Austin and soon Gumdrop books were much in demand by young and older readers alike.
So we can perhaps attribute some of the success of
The Vintage Austin Register and the interest being shown in preserving and running these delightful old motorcars to Val Biro and of course 'GUMDROP'.