THE J.C.C. AT 1: ROOKLANDS MANY FAILURES IN TESTS SIMILAR TO THOSE SET AT HASTINGS.
FOR their opening Rally, the Junior Car Club had the excellent idea of using the tests in slow running, acceleration and braking scheduled for
the R.A.C. Rally at Hastings. The weather conditions were appalling, there being heavy snow in the morning which thawed into floods, and left a watersplash at the foot of the Test hill. Allowing for bad weather, the results of the trials gave most people furiously to think, particularly the slow running in top gear, for only 29 out of the 83 competitors exceeded the stipulated minimum of 25 seconds for 50 yards.
Proceedings opened with an easy starting test, which, in addition to necessitating a quick-starting motor, also demanded considerable agility from drivers. The maximum time allowed for opening the door, getting in, and driving for 10 yards was 12 seconds. Fastest time was shared by Miss Fay Taylour (Ford V8) and E. B. Longbottom (Vauxhall) in 7.4 seconds, these two being well ahead of the second fastest man, H. R. Winnieot (M.G. Midget), who took 8.2 seconds. The majority of people got through with flying colours, and good times were recorded by A. Negal (Morris Major), C. C. Terry (Wolseley Hornet), C. P. Wood (Wolseley Hornet), R. D. Tong (Lagonda), and C. Wood (Talbot), all of whom took less than 9 seconds. Next came the surprisingly difficult test of covering 50 yards in not less than 25 seconds. Performances, even on similar cars, varied enormously. For example, G. H. Goodson (M.G. Midget) could not manage better than 13.2 seconds, while R. I. Cowley, on another Midget, took 34.8 seconds. The most snail-like performance of all was put up by Gordon Wood’s Talbot, with the amazing time of 45 seconds. He was followed by W. Edmondson (Wolseley Sixteen) in 42.6 seconds, P. J. McKenzie (Essex Terraplane), 36.8 seconds, Donald Monro’s
litre In.victa, in 35.8 seconds, and L. W. Madge (Alvis) with a time of 35.2 seconds. The acceleration and braking test produced more consistency in performance, the majority of competitors appearing to take between 23 and 27 seconds. Best of all was A. E. 8. Curtis, who gave a very neat display with his Wolseley Hornet to record a time of 18.2 seconds, 4/5ths second faster than anyone else. Miss Fay Taylour once again distinguished herself by clocking 20 seconds dead with her
V8 Ford, other good times being made by C. M. Anthony (Aston Martin) and J. Harrison (V8 Ford) in 20.2 seconds, E. B. Longbottom (Vauxhall) 20.6 seconds, and Gordon Wood (Talbot) 20.8 seconds. The reversing test, which followed, was eventually cut out of the results owing to line being practically invisible on the
wet track. The next event, then, was the kerb test, in which competitors had to. pull up within six inches of the ” kerb,” a feat which no fewer than sixty-seven out of eighty-three people failed to perform.
The next test, in which competitors. had to start on the 1 in 5 section of the Test Hill, accelerate for 15 yards, stop on a line on the I in 4 bit, and move on for a further 15 yards, proved the undoing of many. Different times were set for the various classes, but fastest of all was C. M. Anthony (Aston Martin). Driving skill was just as important as plenty of power, and a praiseworthy effort was that of J. V. Driskell, who was second with his 8 h.p. Ford. in 7.6 seconds. Miss IC 13runell, with one of the new sports A.C.’s, was third, her time being 8.4 seconds, and she was followed by the irrepressible Miss Fay Taylour (V8 Ford) and T. C. Mann (Lagonda), who both recorded 8.6 seconds.
The Rally ended with a non-stop climb of the hill, in which drivers had to change down through the gear-box, and all but 7 got over this without difficulty.
The final results showed that it is not always the people who make outstandingly good performances in individual tests who come off best in the long run ; a premier award is more often earned by consistency. The J.C.C. Silver Tankard for the best performance of the day was won by E. B. Briault (Wolseley Hornet), who handled his car with careful skill throughout the afternoon. Of the ladies, Miss Fay Taylour thoroughly deserved her success, for her V8 Ford made one of the best times.
in all tests. Only seven out of the 83′ competitors gained first-class awards, these being F. A. Longman, on the promising Andre V6, M. H. Morris-Goodall (Austin), N. A. Prince (Austin), E. B. Briault (Wolseley Hornet), E. J. Linden (Delage), Miss Fay Taylour (Ford V8) and C. W. P. Hampton (Talbot).
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Letters from readers, October 1985
Alexander-Turner Sir, May I offer some belated corrections and information on ML's excellent article on Jack Turner. Belated because my July copy only arrived today after reminders to your distribution…