XFORD Dons, we believe, take a pride in the fact that their town is the City of Dreioning Spires, and any mention of a ” speed ” event meets With proctorial disapproval. Since the section of the Eynshain ByPass used this year for the Inter-Varsity meeting definitely included a down-hill section, ” Hill-Climb ” was not applicable, so the Organisers were ingenious enough to hit on the title which appears in the heading. The 0.U. Car Club is now defunct, but a new and purified body, the 0.1′. Motor Dirvers’ Club is rising from its ashes and will be in full swing next term. The meeting was therefore organised and run by the C. 1. Auto Club with their customary efficiency.
The course was a kilometre in length aM perfectly straight. The start took place on a section which had been sanded, and a certain amount of skill was required to tivoid wheel-spin when getting away. There was a bump when crossing one of the bridges in the middle of the Course, but otherwise the surface was excellent for high speed. Electrical timing was used with a rolling start of 10 yards.
53 out of the 68 entries were cars and amongst them such well-known machines as Bertram’s Delage, Nash’s Anzani Nash and Votheringhanfs Bugatti, converted Mice more into a ” 2.3.”
Touring motor-cycles were sent, off Iirst, and best time was made by R. r,. Doble on a Rudge. Fernihough knocked off 4 seconds on a racing 350 c.c. Excelsior, and on his 500 c.c. maehine clocked 26.69 seconds, Malcolm Muir was slightly slower, and Darbishire, who has now graduated to a 980 Brough could only manage 28.1. There were no sidecars, and J. E. Breyer’s rather touring _Morgan was the only three-wheeler. He had rebuilt the petrol and oiling system only a few hours before, quite a usual occurrence before Inter-Varsity events. The speeds of the touring cars seemed insignificant on the wide highway, Fraser (M.G. Magna) was best in the under 1,100 cc. class, while Thorpe (Frazer Nash)
made a snappy run in his class in 39.1.8 seconds. Bass’s Speed TWenty Alvis was the best in its class, and beat H. C. PairtIongh, the former secretary of the C.1T.A.C. :Ind Commander Fowle, on TalbOt 105’s, Fowle had three if not four of these vehicles at his disposal, and with his fleet monopolised proceedings for a considerable thne. Ferguson l4.’„ litre Invicta) made a good run for Cambridge, but was just beaten by Richard Marker (-U litre Bentley), with a time of 37.22 seconds. Dr. Ben
afield Terraplane) beat this handsomely (35,88 seconds) while the Bentley, which had plug trouble, was slower on its next run.
The I7nlimited Racing class followed and Oliver Bertram raised the record time to 28 seconds dead with a fine rim: Votheringham whose Bugatti sounded most warlike brought it down to 27.39 seconds. R. J. G. Nash on the ” Spook ” was slow, his car misfiring as though there were water in the fuel. Returning to the smaller classes, Sumner on a blown Austin just bettered 40 seconds, faster than Dobson’s Riley in the nest class. Seaman was driving the NIagnette which last year belonged to Whitney Straight but made a slow time. Sumner again appeared, this time on a. (;-.N., but this car refused to ” play.” Ile had bought two of them a week before
THE INTERVARSITY ACCELERATION TEST
for ;1::4, and this was the outcome of his
efforts. . Leitch drove a similar machine with an car-shattering bark, and was more .successful.
Jack Robinson on his well-known Brescia 1fugatti Nv a It zed about a good deal getting away, as his car was fitted with smooth track tyres. His time was 33.21 seconds.
Nash had another run, not much bettor than the first, while Fothringham repeated Ids time on the under 3 litre class, likewise Bertram in the over 3 litre category. The ‘Linke of i;rafton made a fast run in a stripped 36-220 Mercedes and recorded 33.19 seconds. Everyone by this time was feeling hungry, so an hour’s luncheon interval was declared. Unfortunately the clear sky had begun to cloud over, and by the time the first motor-cycles were sent off, rain was falling. Most of them got away without trouble, but Kim Collett, who gave a demonstration run on a very hot Norton anil sidecar had some unpleasant moments in the first 50 yards,
The sky continued to cloud over, so it was decided to run the I illimited Racing Class next. Bertram made his second run in a hailstorm into the teeth of a strong wind, but was only a fraction of a second slower than before, and Fotheringham actually clipped off quarter of a second under the same conditions.
Nash by this time had got the •’ Spook ” to behave and after a good start shot down the course with a terrific roar, foot hard down and back wheels snaking. His time was 29.2 seconds.
The weather then moderated, but the second runs showed little improvements on those already recorded. The principal alteration was Seaman’s time of 34.33 seconds on the Magnette, which won him the 1,100 racing class.
An interesting car was the Gordon Bennett Napier car which ran in the Isle of Man in 1904, when it was driven by Clifford Earp. Mr. R. C. Blake, the owner, is a road engineer employed in the construction of the by-pass, and uses the old car regularly. It recorded 48.29 seconds on its second run or 46.6 m.p.h.
After a few further runs in which for instance, Fotheringham was seen at the wheel of a Railtort Terraplane, the meeting ended. As may be imagined from the nature of the course, some fine speeds were put up, the best being Fotheringham (27.27 seconds =82.5 m.p.h.), Bertram (28.09 m.p.h. =80.03 m.p.h.) and R. J. G. Nash 29.02 seconds or 77.5 m.p.h.). Cambridge of course greatly outnumbered Oxford in the number and quality of their cars, and would have won the meeting easily if it had been run as the usual Inter-Varsity competition.
850 c.c. : C. H. G. Proctor (Austin) C. 55.59 sec.
851-1,100 c.c. : W. B. M. Fraser (M.G. Magna), C. 41.47 sec.
1,100-1,500 c.c. : T. A. W. Thorpe (Fraser Nash), C. 38.18 sec.
1,501-3,000 c.c. : E. W. Bass (Alvis Speed 20), C. 38.39 sec.
Over 3,000 c.c. : J. G. H. Ferguson (ft litre Invicta), C. v16.06 sec.
Unlimited : J. D. Benjafield (4,010 c.c. Railton Terraplane), 0. 35.88 sec.
850 c.c. : G. B. C. Sumner (Austin S.), 0. 39.69 sec.
851-1,100 c.c. : R. J. B. Seaman (M.G. Magnette S.), C. 34.33 sec.
1,101-1,500 c.c. : R. J. G. Nash (Anzani-Nash, S.), C. 29.2 sec.
3,000 c.c. and unlimited : T. S. Potheringham (Bugatti S.), C. 27.27 sec.
Over 3,000 c.c. : H. S. Bertram (Delage), C. 28.09 sec.