AN OLD ESTABLISHED TRIAL
L. G. JOHNSON’S RAZER-NASH-B.M.W. WINS TH:. TVVE ITY-EI:SHTH COVENTRY CUP.
In the North West London IVI.C.’s Coventry Cup Trial, the principal award, the Coventry Cup, was won by L. G. Johnson, driving a 2-litre Frazer-NashB.M.W. Only members of the N.W.b. M.C. were eligible for this trophy. Since a number of other clubs had also been invited, it was disappointing that only thirty-four entries had been received for this old-established event—actually the twenty-eighth of the series. A further attempt was made to overcome the “special car” problem, by subdividing the entry into two classes, for standard cars and those with special modifications. Competition tyres were not allowed for either group. Unfortunately the regulations were rather loosely worded, and at the time of going to press a question raised by the scrutin
eering had still not been settled. The award of the Whittingham Trophy and other cups, therefore, had at that time been held over.
It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and the Cambridge University A.C. must have felt extremely flattered, for the double-loop scheme, and, indeed, the actual route-card, word for word, used in last November’s InterVarsity Trial was followed exactly in the Coventry Cup. The well known hills in the Hindhead and Petersfield areas lurked under unfamiliar names in this event, however, taken (with one exception) from the
” Pilgrim’s Progress.” Steep Hill was known as Mount Sinai, an obstacle that even the famous Pilgrim never had to encounter. This idea of disguising the hills under imaginary names may give the element of surprise to the inexperienced among competitors, but renders it most difficult to discuss the hills, and to compare performances with those in other events. The odd numbers took circuit A in the morning, and the even numbers circuit B. Then in the afternoon the order was reversed. Blind Lane (called Valley of Shadows), on circuit A, has been used for a number of years, but on this occasion the police barred the way, so that competitors had to take another road. This hill has not previously been considered to be a bridle path, and it would be in
teresting for some daring organiser to make a test case of the sudden closure. Circuit B also lost a hill, for no marshals turned up to take the timed section on Scotland Hill (known as Hill Lucre),
and this had to be abandoned. Thus the only timed section remaining to decide ties was that at Cosford (Assault Lane). Here H. K. Crawford’s M.G. was fastest with 6t secs., while C. A. N. May and J. B. S. Jones, also driving M.G.’s, both took 7 secs. The eventual winner of the Coventry Cup, L. G. Johnson with his Frazer-Nash-B.M.W., took 7t sees. Abster’s Hollow (Hill Difficulty), which In the past has caused the downfall of many, caused only nine to stop, though
cars were started half way up the hill, the special cars of Class B starting higher than Class A (standard cars). At the top competitors found fairylike scenery, with powdery snow clinging to the branches of trees and undergrowth, but one who could not appreciate such beauties was H. K. Empson with his
Singer. He had climbed the hill well, but a big-end went at the top. He bore number thirteen! Steep Hill caused but four failures, for heavy rains had washed away the slime, leaving a firm surface under neath. Oakshott stopped only one car. Beard’s Ford V8, owing to trouble with the petrol feed, and Unterturkhelm, which twice has had to be abandoned in November conditions in the Inter-Varsity Trial, stopped but six. It was fortunate for Mrs. Wood that when a tyre punctured she had just got through the observed section. She had a ditll
cult job changing the wheel on the slippery mud.
Begley Farm (Slough of Despond) was one of the most tricky hills, and M. H. Lawson, after a difficult moment, ran back to see whether the marshals had marked his Singer as a, failure. To his disappointment he found that this was the case. The Cream Cracker team of M.G.’s, who had even numbers, arrived at this hill on the wrong circuit, and had to retrace their steps hurriedly to circuit B. The only 100 per cent. performances among the standard cars was that of Johnson’s Frazer-Nash-B.M.W. Among the special cars the following had clean performances :—
C. J. Fitt (Frazer-Nash-B.M.W.), C. A. N. May, W. J. Green, H. K. Crawford, L. A. Welch., J. E. 8, :Tones, N.g E. Bracey, E. J. Haesendonck, 1). E. Harris A J. Imhof, P. S. Flower (M.G.8), Mrs. H. Wood (singer), A. J. G. Boehaton (McEvoy Special). Whether all the above receive firstclass awards or not depends upon the knotty problems referred to previously. The following awards, however, have been announced :
Coventry Cup : (best N.M.W. member, Class A) :
L. G. Johnson (Frazer-NashB.M.W .). Forest Cup : (West N.W.L. member, Class B):
M. H. Lawson (Singer).
Bentley Cup (best visitor) : E. J. Ilaesendonek (M.G.).