Club News, April 1937



e4 11044


At the opening meeting at which the club was formed some remarkable Invictas gathered at the ” Wee Waif” café Five 100 m.p.h. 41-litre open tourers, finished in ivory, blue, green, blue and cream and red, respectively, a black Vanden Pins two-seater, and a coupe on low-chassis 41-litres, a black N.L.C. coupe, a fabric L.C. 41-1itre, and two black A-type saloons were present. Others were :—Major D. Morris’s 11-litre primrose coupe which was once a coachwork “belle” at Monte Carlo, the exLace T.T. 41-litre, and Monro’s sea-green A-type saloon and the Monro rebuilt N.L.C. job with open, 1936 bodywork. One car was licensed specially for the run, Alexander came from Salisbury and Campbell from Cambridge. Chaired by Major Douglas Morris, the meeting passed a batch of rules and fixed the subscription at 10/with 5/entry fee, though some of the founder members insisted on paying an entry fee of -(.1 /1 /0 to ensure adequate capital, so a special Pounder Membership was instituted, with a special badge at standard price. Thirty members and friends sat down to lunch, after which the fifteen Invictas paraded at a fine gait. Congratulatory letters were sent by Raymond Mays and Donald Healey. The following officials were elected : Patron : Major Douglas-Morris. Secre tary: D. Monro. Comp. Secretary : Gomly. Press Secretary : Coates. Council of Six : Messrs. Dyer, Evans, English, Durston, Rotherham, and Whale. Hon. Assistant Secretary : Mrs. Bain. The idea of the club is attributable to Mr. Norton of Hull. A dinner and colour-film show was arranged for March 17th. A programme of interesting events is in course of preparation, and a bulletin, known as

‘Me Gauntlet,” has already been issued. All Invicta owners should benefit by joining up but owners of Invicta steamrollers need not apply, we understand. Hon. Secretary Donald Monro, 4, Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, London, W.C.2. Temple Bar 4001.


The annual general meeting was held at the Green Park Club on March 10th. No suggestions were forthcoming from those present concerning the 1937 fixtures and business of the club generally, excepting J. S. Steele’s query as to whether the extra event, which the chairman offered to include if desired could conveniently be incorporated. The chairman

felt that it .could be, but nothing was actually proposed. Col. 0. M. Giles was re-elected Chairman of Council and Eric Giles Hon. Secretary, and LemonBurton and J. K. W. Baines were reelected members of the competitions committee. J. D. Aylward, who had that day come down from Cheshire in his Aston-Martin, suggested a vote of thanks to the Giles brothers, and those present duly clapped for a while. The financial position of the club was too satisfactory to arouse discussion. Afterwards there was a good film show (though no Pozzo) and dinner.

Amongst those present were : Col. 0. M. Giles, K L. Giles, J. S. Steele, J. Lemon-Burton, C. W. P. Hampton, J. K. W. Baines, J. S. Baines, L. J. Smyth, G. E. Lind-Walker, Mrs. LindWalker, G. E. Mayo-Smith, J. D. Aylward, D. Robinson, W. Boddy and a few lady friends.

The eighth annual Opening Rally will be held on Sunday, April 11th, at ” The George,” Huntingdon, sixty miles from London. At one time the B.O.C. believed in distance, and we recall an opening Rally at which we sat -on a chain in the tonneau of Whiddington’s FrazerNash for something like 250 miles, there and back.

But perhaps in a Bugatti that isn’t such fun ! Victor. Ludorum marks are this year being given for those who bring the biggest and best ” scuderia,” composed of a minimum of two cars of like marque owned by one family—very amusing for the plutocrats, but what of mere Brescia blokes ? A novel competition will also be held, finishing for tea at the ” Duke’s Head,” King’s Lynn, over 100 miles from London.

The Monte-Honiton-Carlo Rally is scheduled for May 16th—an extremely attractive event, in which competitors choose their own routes to Honiton, where a condition-check and a speed hill-climb are staged. That quite a few people have in the past gone from London to points in Sootland, even to John o’ Groats, before descending to Honiton, knocking up a mileage equal to that of the R.A.C. Rally in much the same time period, is evidence of enthusiasm unbounded. This year the Invicta Club has received an invitation to compete, and flotillas of Invictas are rumoured to be starting from various points. We wonder if their members realise that the only respectable prize—the George Hargis Cup—goes to a .13u7ut1i driver. We suggest to the Council another worthwhile prize in keeping with a 1,000 mile ” dice ” and some preliminary publicity in the weekly motoring press— this excellent event is surely worth this attention.

Hon. Sec. : E. L. Giles, 2, Queen Street, London, W.1. Mayfair 4701.


We are interested in the doings of the Aston-Martin Owners’ Club, Bentley Drivers’ Club, Lagonda Car Club, FrazerNash Car Club and Frazer-Nash-B.M.W. Car Club, but have heard nothing of them recently. Should we have sent wreaths ?


In spite of heavy snow ten competitors set forth for the City and Guilds Trial on March 14. Starting from a small inn at Kemsing, near Sevenoaks, follow

my-leader tactics were adopted. Cotman’s Ash caused only one failure, excluding the MOTOR SPORT Morris Eight which was suffering from a slipping clutch. But the climbs were apparently made just in time, because very soon the snow began to thaw, sending a cateract of water down the chalky surface.

In the acceleration test on Wroth= Rise V. H. Tuson, driving a Balilla Fiat, made the best time in 8.05 secs.—incidentally, how was the timing to two decimal places effected ? Trosley Trongh, Hognore and Grassy Banks sorted them out, and the slowest time at the lastnamed hill went to the credit of F. Sheppard (M.G.)–,:redit is correct, because this was observed as a slow ascent. A reversing and acceleration party on PriestwoOd resulted in Tuson (Fiat) and Sheppard (M.G.) taking the first two places in 15.9 and 19.2 secs. respectively.

RESULTS : II. V. ‘Fuson

Best Performance : II. V. ‘Fuson Manila Fiat). Runner-up : F. Sheppard (M.G.).

Membership of this club is confined to past and present students of the City and Guilds Engineering College, with cheap affiliation to the United Hospitals M.C. The sub. is 2/6. Sec. : H. J. Allwright, City and Guilds (Eng.) College, Exhibition Road, S.W.7.


Scottish trials are invariably excellent, and the Caledonian M.C.’s March event was no exception. Snowy conditions prevailed.

At the first hill, enlivened by boulders on the course, D. McQueen was rapid with a Triumph, in contrast to Fairdough’s steady ascent with a Riley. A. McLeod was good with a ‘f-type M.G. Midget, likewise J. F. Diack’s Morris Minor. Killoupe proved quite tinclimbable, but excellent efforfs were

made by J. P. Millar (Frazer -NashB.M.W.) and S. Weston (PB. M.G., S.). A driving test was held before a good crowd on the front at Girvan, Weston (M.G.) being very quick and V. S. Dobson (0.M.) very neat. Vairclough retired with a broken half-shaft on his Riley. Results, made known ere tea was over, were :—


Grant Trophy : J. Anderson (Anderson-Special). Premier Award : A. MeLeod (T-tyw M.G.) Special Prize : J. P. Millar (Frazer-Nash B.M.W.).


Scottish Centre

There was a good turn out for the M.G. Car Club half-day trial starting at Biggar recently, and many found the forty five mile run very chilly. The hills were good but in the opinion of many drivers, Easterknowe, a grass hill with a steep right-hand bend, was impossible -owing to the extremely slippery nature of the ground which prevented accurate steering. The first hill, Curling Pond, was an easy test, although a trifle rutty and had some deepish mould. James Anderson (Anderson Special), observed from the rear, seemed to have excessive tail wag. but got to the top without fuss. R. K. N. Clarkson (V8) roared up as if he were bent on finishing the trial in about forty-five minutes and seemed to have a spot Of bother with his steering. G. F. Simpson motored up in his V8, without effort. Then over fields to hill number 2. Kirklaw, which looked absolutely impossible—a water splash—deep mud, gradient., corners, and all those things that make a hill a stiff test. A high-up official of a visiting club was heard to Comment on the quality on the hill viz. “Super.” Competitors were held up considerably here owing to numerous failures, and noticeable among the waiting cars was a very Stripped Ford VS, driven by Moncrieff, and a pair of quiet M.G.s and a ILA’. \ driven by T. Spence, W. Mill and J. 1iilar, ” The Jordanhill,” ” Yeomanry.” Here also were the S.S.C.C. “Perishing Officials” team, A. Frew, T. S. Weston, both driving M.G.s and D. Hill Jack in a Morris Eight which seems to require to have its lock tuned for some of the bends. Among the notable climbs on Kirklaw were W. K. Elliot (Austin) and J. Blyth (Austin). A black M.G. driven and passengered by two elderly gentlemen shot up the .hill at great speed, but the near-side door flew open and distracted the driver’s attention momentarily, but his passenger managed to shut it almost at once. H. G. Hannah driving a long bonneted A.C. Ace that showed a terrific turn of power roared lip in fine style. J. G. R. Watson gave the crowd no doubt as to whether the supercharger on his Wolseley Hornet was working and screeched his way up to the top, being heard long after he had passed from sight. The oonditions were too still for one or two. N. Gibson (M.G.) only got about thirty yards when he ran aground on his sump just before the splash, and J. Plavf air’s B.M.W. sounded too high geared. D. Hill Jack made a gallant attempt but seemed to have too much air in his tyres. D. McQueen (V8) and J. Flint (B.M.W.) were both very clever and the two

die-hards at the end G. F. Simpson and Clarkson in V8s were as usual, clean. Then on to the next, Easterknowe, where car after car failed on rounding the corner, some of them knocking down flags on account of the lack of grip by their front wheels on this treacherous grass which seemed to have no bottoming. This extraordinary hill accounted for every competitor except Simpson and Clarkson (V8s) who deserve very special mention for the way they got their big cars up. J. R. Nisbet in a Frazer-Nash had a good deal of bother here, requiring several tries. Then a twenty-one minute run on the Traquain Road brought the competitors to Torhill, a long track up through a wood, very heavy going in leaf mould and crumbly soil. The only failures noted here were T. S. Weston (M.G.), J. R. Nisbet (Frazer-Nash), and D. Hill Jack (Morris). H. G. Hannah, who like Weston had collected a puncture, climbed on one competition tyre with perfect ease. Competitors were parked at the top of this hill after their run and kept there until the next man had his shot then were sent down. From Torhill the route lay through Innerleithen and into Peebles where cars turned right for the next hill Soong:12e, which had a fairly easy surface but two bad bends which collected their bag of failures amongst which VMS Drew McQueen who stalled his motor when he put the front wheel up the bank or would have got round. W. K. Elliot seemed to be the best here, but again Simpson and Clarkson were clean and seemed to be enjoying their little private fight. H. 0. Hannah just got round this bend but seemed to be giving his back axle something to do to drive one -soft competition cover and one hard standard tyre.

From Soonope the course was through Peebles by road A.72 and right out Young Street and in about a mile and a half arrived at Chapelhill. The last observed hill of the day. This seemed hopeless—muddy grass and a very stiff left-hand hairpin bend which accounted for the entire entry except four. A. Dunn (Riley), J. E. Playfair (B.M.W.) and the private fighters Simpson and Clarkson. Spence (M.G.) wanted to go mountaineering and climbed the bank. Simpson chased the observers off the bank on his way round the bend. It seems strange that these Ford V8s can get round corners that seem to be impossible for most of the small cars. A very difficult test. The competitors were now taken on to the .grounds of the Black Barony Hotel for the driving test, where they had to start and cross a line, reverse across another line and forward to a stop astride the finishing. line. R. K. N. Clarkson failed in this test and so left the large car field Open to 0. F. Simpson. Altogether a very good afternoon’s run and seemed to please everyone, but one or two protests were heard regarding Easterknowe in the Hotel Bar.


S.M.T. Trophy : W. K. Stewart (Supercharged

M.O. Trophy : G. F. SinipsOn (Ford VS). First-class Awards : W. K. Stewart (M.G.); T. L. McDonald (Singer); W. K. ELllit ust in) ; J. Nicolson (Ford Ten); J. 41. R. Watson (WoiseleY

Hornet); J. Flint (B.M.W. ;II. Hannah (A.C. Ace) ; K. K. N. Clarkson (1;,)rd V. Second-class Awards : ; meLtrill (M.O.): A. Frew (M.(.) ; T. W. • v,trt(M 1;); ‘I’. Spence

(M.G.) ; J. B. Mayfair ( .thules Anderson (Andei-Aon Special).

Kirnber Team Trophy : T. I. Niel)t,nalil (Singer); W. K. Elliot (Austin) ; R. K. N. Clarkson (Ford V8).


At the annual general meeting of the B.R.D.C., held last month, the future of the 500 Miles Race was discussed. A considerable body of opinion was against the continuance of this race, which is scheduled to be run off at Brooklands on September 18th—the ninth race of the series. We should be extremely sorry to see this race fade out. 500 miles round the outer-circuit of the Weybridge course, handicapped class against class, is a very fine test of men and motors. It is significant that in winning last year’s race even Freddie Dixon’s Riley tried to blow a gasket before receiving the well-merited chequered flag. This race, which is the fastest track contest in the world, not barring Indianapolis, is suffering partly from the lack of proper outer-circuit type cars suited to the severe strain of hours of motoring at a fixed throttle opening, and largely from the inevitable expense of this race— for which entry fees are high, the fuel costs extreme and the likelihood of “blowup ” very considerable, though prize money is not stinted. The B.R.D.C. came to a final decision to make fresh efforts to attract entries before taking a decision against running the race, and we sincerely hope they will meet with success. The Napier-Railton, BarnatoHassan, Pace y -Hassan-Special, Dr. Roth’s Talbot which is for sale, the M.G. ” Magic Magnette ” which Bellevue Garage will dispose of at a reasonable figure, and the

Duesenberg seem the only really suitable cars—and between them should ensure an attractive enough gate. But this racing game is full of queer surprises, and quite a few apparently highly unsuitable cars have come through without trouble. Stripped Lagondas, Bentleys, Alvis, Talbots and Delahayes should shine, and this race well might be interesting to whoever now owns the 4.9-litre Bugatti, as well as to Douglas Hawkes (Miller-Derby), Austin Dobson (Bimotore Alfa-Romeo) and Major Gardner and Bobby Kohlrausch (track-type Modern high-revving power-units have developed so thoroughly that there is now less need than formerly to worry as to what will happen if they keep cracling for long periods at more than threequarter throttle, and that brings in all manner of road-racing cars, in which drivers can usually be made comfortable enough for this long and rapid drive by wise disposition of sprung-rubber sheet and a few extra fairings.

Personally we have a pet idea that by spending a few hundred pounds on dropping an old aeroplane motor into a modern, biggish frame and fitting a 1 to 1.5 rear axle ratio and modern Dunlops you would have a car which would walk through the race with the minimum of pit-stops, but that is just an idea. However, we do hope that the 500 miles outer-circuit race at Brooklands will continue to figure in the British Fixture List. It is an unsurpassed endurance test of engines and would seem to be in some ways the answer to the prayer of that .R acing Manager who remarked that “this racing would be beautiful if the cars did not require drivers,” although we should be the last to assert that a driver has nothing to do in a ” 500 “save to sit still for hours just holding a wheel . . . Details of the race are to be had from the British Racing Drivers’ Club, 12, Queen’s Gate Terrace, London, S.W.7. Phone : Western 0092-3. ‘Grams : Speedmen, Southkens, London. Cables : Speedmen, London, England. Last year’s winner netted prizes valued at over (050.


A friend of mine, before entering the aviation racket, was a very clever automobile engineer. In fact he was so clever that in his day he could distinguish almost at a glance a 4I-litre Bentley from a 21-litre Jaguar.”—W. S. Shackleton in “The Aeroplane” of March 17th.


This section of the paper, which was originally intended to keep a watchful eye on trials affairs and the doings of clubland generally, certainly seems to have developed into a sort of diary of the experiences of just an ordinary enthusiast using very ordinary motorcars. But this is, perhaps, just as well because so much fun and satisfaction is possible in this manner for a true enthusiast, whereas much money is necessary to race seriously, or even to run in sprint events and trials. For example, on the occasion of the City and Guilds M.C. Trial in Kent two of us set off early in a Morris Eight saloon, gaining considerable satisfaction in negotiating the snow-bound roads whirh had kept utility motorists tucked up snugly in bed. A slipping clutch did not help matters at the first hill and the discovery that the foot brakes were useless (merely because we needed more Lockheed fluid), so that we were left with only the hand lever, which pulled up, to a surprising position before anything happened, resulted in the trial proceeding without us, but, even so, the run home was not uneventful, the Morris getting temporarily snowed up in a farm yard and a wayside ” pub ” thereafter serving us with a much needed meal, only to turn us out at Once on the strength

of early closing.

The final tests of the R.A.C. Rally had to be seen, which necessitated leaving London early in an M.G. Magnette as yet not fully run in, though it got us to Hastings rapidly enough and in great comfort, the long, broad bonnet and very smooth engine being suggestive of at least 3-litres. Subsequently we ran along the coast roads to Brighton in very blustery conditions, returning to London in alternate sunshine and shower. A little later a very entertaining day was spent at Brooklands with a T.T. Replica Frazer-Nash from the Whitfield Seinmence stable, which commenced cheerily enough when two huge policemen in an immense Humber gouged us because our precariously perched rear-seat passenger was obscuring the mirror and the ‘Nash didn’t look safe to them, anyway. After a little talk they very sportingly let us proceed, after warning us that they regarded our intention to commit la.ppery at Weybridge as distinctly suicidal. That Frazer-Nash was very sound fun to drive, it being extremely pleasant to sit once again behind a really hot engine which had a magnificent exhaust note when really turning over on the lower ratios, and which was extremely sensitive to the bowdenactuated advance and retard. The asbestos-lagged external exhaust-system and pressure-pump fuel feed did much to intrigue. Skill was needed, too, for one brake was rubbing and the others were not especially potent until the external hand-lever was applied, and the ratioshift, always refreshing on a ‘Nash, had a stiff cross-shaft and gave us additional work to do, especially as you never want to hold out a ‘Nash clutch longer than you can help, if you value the thrust race and your leg-muscles. But certain it is that the fiercer sort of thoroughbred motor is vastly more interesting, far more possessive of” character,” than a synchromesh affair with every modern convenience beneath its bonnet. The latter type of car gives warning of excessive pace on corners by a wail from the rear covers, but not so a Frazer-Nash, so that one has to work to real effect if a car of this sort does slide, though ‘Nash steering and road clinging is irreproachable. It was pleasing to cruise at fifty with the rev. counter indicating only “two-four,” or ” two-eight ” in third, the latter ratio being normally used for long periods over give and take going. In third the needle walked round to well past the ” three-five ” mark very quickly indeed, and if it was inadvisable to run below 20 m.p.h. on the higher ratios, the engine was not really intractable and picked up cleanly at all times, while, though certain changes of ratio called for skilful work with the right hand, nevertheless it was possible to drop straight from third into second just as one would on a modern, all synchro Alvis or Talbot Ten, for instance, and all ratios were, of course,

quiet and drag-free on the over-run. At Brooklandls we committed joyful lappery in company with an imposing Cord coupe and the Pacey-HassanSpecial until clouds of smoke from the binding rear brake frightened us in, and, while it was going, that ‘Nash seemed as fast at 60 to 70 as many cars do at 70 to 80, with rain streaming past the screen, the stiff suspension and, let it be whispered, the wheels slightly out of track. Yes, it was an experience not to be missed for worlds, and although this particular Frazer-Nash had had four years of the sort of going ‘Nashes get, it still kindled enthusiasm for the Real Thing in general and the Isleworth marque in particular, so that we look forward to doing a big mileage on a newer example when Mr. Airington has one to spare. That day’s motoring was rendered memorable, too, because the steeringcolumn bracket gave way when the motor was really cracking along the Kingston By-Pass.

The next day we were due at the J.C.C. Blackdown Scramble, to which we went in state with Eason-Gibson in a delightfully Continental open touring Type 45 Frazer-Nash-B.M.W., which combined Rolls-like suppleness with sporting qualities as only a B.M.W. can. After watching this mud-wallow we came home surprisingly quickly, and personally got quiteas much satisfaction in storming those wide, deserted, sunlit roads at a fast cruising pace as any of the competitors did in scrambling through the slime at Blackdown Estate, though we had had to tackle part of the course ourselves, so that the passenger remarked : ” Thank God it’s a Frazer-Nash-B.M.W.”


New members continue to be enrolled

in encouraging numbers. P. Lycette now owns a 1914 Alphonso Hispano, purchased from the Phcenix Green Garage. It is hoped that Littlestone will again be available for the May Speed Trials, and the Club is co-operating with the MidSurrey A.C. with a Surrey trial on April 17th—and not April 24th as originally arranged. Sec. : T. W. Carson, “The Phrenix,” Hartley Whitney, Hants.


For five shillings it is possible to become a member of the Sheffield Owners’ Club and for an extra shilling the possessor of the Club badge. The Club is being run for the benefit of owners of V8s, 10 h.p. and 8 h.p. cars, and the programme for 1937 includes visits to the Ford works and all the convenient local

sporting events. Will all Ford owners who are interested please write to the hon. secretary, Mr. B. Crookes, 10 Den Bank Crescent, Sheffield, 10.