BUGATTI OWNERS’ CLUB
Alone beneath the big Club badge at one end of the long room at the Green Park Club on March 9th, Col. G. M. Giles and Eric Giles conducted the annual general meeting of the Bugatti Owners’ Club. The meeting went off as smoothly
as any meeting ever has done. The Council were unanimously re-elected and not a single suggestion was made or a complaint registered, save that J. D. Aylward, down from Cheshire to attend, suggested a vote of thanks to the persons who had worked so hard to make Prescott possible, said what a topping place it is, but asked that a certain local resident be rendered happy over the matter of who owns the return road to the Paddock. Col. Giles confirmed the worries about this road, but assured Mr. Aylward that everything was now in order and that all the local people were quite pleased about the advent of Prescott. The contractor had at first not laid the road surface as required, but after being driven up in a Bugatti several times, had agreed to make alterations to render it suitable for racing speeds, which extra expense the Club hoped it would not have to shoulder. Thereafter Col. Giles told us a lot about Prescott, which would be absolutely completed for the first closed meeting on Sunday, May 15th.
The refurnishing of the club-house will proceed as money becomes available, and a new class of membership was a:greed to—yes, there was one other suggestion raised at this point—so that only Bugatti owners should ultimately have access to the club-house. Twenty new members had joined since January, indicating the pull of Prescott. In every way a model meeting. Thereafter R. L. Walkerley gave his interesting talk on Grand Prix racing, illustrated by an immense number of slides of great value, some of which melted in the
projector. One piece of information gleaned was that the big rear covers used on the Mercedes-Benz G.P. cars were inflated to 70 lb. per square inch. Donald Monro then showed the Prescott section of the Club film, after which dinner was taken. Amongst those present were K. W. Bear, J. Lemon-Burton, C. W. P. Hampton, D. Monro, A. F. Walsham, G. E. LindWalker, Mrs. Lind-Walker, G. E. MayoSmith, L. J. Smyth, J. Bryrner, J. D. Aylward, C. Anthony, W. Boddy and in any more. The Opening Rally on April 10th comprised lunch in Cheltenham and then timed climbs up Prescott, The Press was invited, the electrical timing apparatus was in use and the rally constituted a full dress rehearsal for the first big ineeting on May 15th—a splendid arrange
ment. Another issue of ” Bugantics ” came out last month and included an article by W. Boddy on Some Press Opinions of the Bugatti.
Hon. Secretary : E. L. Giles, 2, Queen Street, Mayfair, W.1.
Recently the Club was given a very generous mention in one of Germany’s foremost motor journals. The Annual General Meeting showed 157 15s. 11d, carried over to 1988. Membership is now about 145 and a 50 per cent. increase would assist the financial
side. If you are finding difficulty in getting places where motor cars race this year, pay your subscription and ask for your free seat in Mr. Green’s Bentley ! Active members this season will number Gerard, Rolt, Wilton, Billy Cotton, Wicksteed and Kerr-Bate. R. E. Tongue delivered a talk on his racing experiences at the St. Stephen’s Tavern, Westminster, on March 4th.
Hon. Secretary : S. H. Green, 591, London Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey.
FORD ENTHUSIASTS’ CLUB
An extremely successful series of driving tests was held at the Autodrome School of Driving, South Croydon, on March 13th, the event having been organised jointly by S. H. Allard, K. N. Hutchison and W. Boddy. The Autodrome proved an ideal spot for an event of this nature. The six tests were run through one after the other, without intervening delays, and the organisation was of a very high standard, though this was an experimental effort. Spectators attended in considerable numbers and were able to secure an admirable view of the proceedings in perfect safety from the natural banks within the grounds. Excellent refreshments were available throughout, and a rest lounge was provided.
Fifty-three entries were obtained, but Dyke-Acland (M.G.), R. J. Conham (V12 Allard),,C. V. Wells (Triumph) and R. E. Rushbrook (M. 0.) were non-starters. The first test was an easy-starting affair, drivers vacating their machinery, shutting the doors (one man had to unbutton and rebutton his !) and leaving handbrakes on. Best time, 7.0 seconds, was a tie between M. S. Soames (Ford V8), Leslie Allard (Allard-Special) and D. G. Silcock (Ford V8). Next came a fairly simple parkingtest, best performance in which was made by C. Anthony’s Aston-Martin and L. W. Adams’s A.T. Special Austin in 6 secs. Followed a sprint over 300 yards, where some cars reached 60 m.p.h. most refreshing and quite exciting for the onlookers. A tie for best time was recorded by M. S. Soaines (Ford V8) and A. May (30,198 Vauxhall) in 11.2 secs. An ambitious Figure of Eight followed, where Leslie Allard took 15.6 sees., and EasonGibson 15.8 secs. with an H.R.G. A MonteCarlo test followed, where C. Anthony (Aston-Martin) took only 29.6 secs. Finally, a stiff reversing test up and down hill, where Lawson (Singer) took a mere 13.2 secs. After the first round many cars were in trouble, the Allard-Special feeling queer in its transmission and a Frazer-Nash being in permanent possession of reverse gear. However, two more circuits were completed and the results based on the best times in each test. Best performance of the day was established by M. S. Soames (Ford V8), who wins the Pry Challenge Cup, with C. Anthony (2-litre
Aston-Martin) runner-up. The best P.E.C. member was T. L. Allard (AllardSpecial). The Ford Ten category was won by W. Gray (8 h.p.) with C. 0. R. Goss (10 h.p.) the runner-up. The V8 section was J. R. Morley’s, with D. G. Silcock the. runner-up. The 11-litre othermakes class was won by J. Eason-Gibson (H.R.G.), followed by K. Baillie-Hill
The unlimited other-makes class went to C. Anthony (Aston-Martin) with G. E. Matthews, driving a new 3litre S.S. 100, as runner-up. Another meeting will be held at this interesting venue on May 22nd. Membership is growing very satisfactorily and
the social side is strengthening. The Club team of Allard-Specials upholds Ford prestige nearly every week-end and a News Sheet comes along monthly.
Full details from H. Allard, 15, Millbrooke Court, Putney, S.W.15. ‘Phone : Putney 2333.
THE MOTOR SPORTS CLUB
Committee meetings and annual general meetings continue to be held at this useful automotive headquarters, and the clubroom is now a hive of enthusiasm of an evening.
The Motor Sports Club, Grand Buildings, Trafalgar Square, W.C.
On March 6th a very successful mapreading contest took competitors through some of Surrey’s finest scenery, commencing at the Ace of Spades Garage, Gt. West Road, and going to Ewhurst and to the Drift Bridge Hotel at Epsom for tea. First place went to Paul Fowler, with L. Eckett second and R. Rackham third.
Hon. Secretary : Paul Fowler. “Three Horseshoes,” Northolt Road, Harrow.
The usual Bank Holiday Meeting will be held on Easter Monday at Brooklands. An innovation of great appeal will be a two-lap race round the Campbell road circuit for absolutely standard 570 c.c. Fiats. Here is when real driving ability will come into true perspective and all sorts of famous persons are now attempting to beg, borrow or steal mounts for the race. We hear that the winning car is to be really strictly scrutineered for deviations from standard. Otherwise the meeting will comprise the traditional long and short handicaps
over both outer and Campbell circuits. The first long-distance race at the Track this season is the J.C.C. International Trophy race on May 7th.
Secretary : B.A.R.C., Brooklands Motor Course, Weybridge, Surrey.
Things seem to have been a trifle vague lately. For example, there was a ride in a Riley with a screwdriver on a string tickling our ears, the idea being that if a spare tyre, purchased from a wayside dump, should break from its moorings, the passenger would learn of this sad happening by way of a smart tap on the car as it pulled the screwdriver through the hood. Happily it did nothing of the sort, but next day it was found to be the wrong size, anyway Then there were dire happenings in Harrow on a very cold February night at a quite appalling hour, when we found that a tyre on the baby Fiat had deflated while we watched the Harrow C.C. film-show and we had no spare. Fortunately a competition driver who used to shine behind the wheel of a Balilla was found to be using a baby of this marque too, and his spare—of a sadly non-contrasting hue—was forcibly removed that we could wend a not unhurried
way homewards, The Southsea Trial was seen with the aid of the four-speed Austin Seven, borrowed, like most Press cars, for the occasion, the expedient of bringing much brown paper and some safety pins wherewith to defeat the leaks in the hood proving sadly inadequate, while the pair of trials-shoes which festooned the radiator on the homeward run aroused, it seemed, resentment rather than joy in the breasts of passersby. There followed that highly enjoyable run to Prescott in the Fiat Balilla saloon, as was reported in the proper part of the paper last month ; rapid, satisfying motoring to a charming objective on a magnificent day. Then the Riley” Gamecock” was pressed into service to take three of us to the Green Park Club for the Bugatti Owners’ Club annual general meeting, after which enthusiasm rose so high that we drove fiercely around Surrey until the juice ran out. The first speed trial of the year could not be missed, so to Syston we went in a hired Ford Eight saloon which hopped along very effectively, though the combinations of noises were remindful of an early cross-channel air-liner, no one knew whether there was any oil-pressure, and the steering was inclined to be “interesting.” After the meeting we partook of tea and cakes in a pleasant cafe in Grantham, and then navigator Brymer insisted on visiting the station, where he took pictures of everything, including flying along the platform to shoot “No. 10,000,” the streamlined locomotive he had been “hunting ” for weeks, whose driver treated us to as fine a bit of wheelspin in restarting as any V8 could produce. Personally, we thought the lamps spoilt the streamline . . . At long last we dragged the man and his camera away, though he caused complications by refusing to give up the platform tickets on the grounds that he collects them ! Away from the smoke and smell at last we juggled with choke and starter and withdrew from the car park, after being presented with the ticket as a souvenir of the town, resolved not to mention anything appertaining to railways on the way to London. Hunger stopped us at the Black Cat road-house fifty-two miles from town, where we indulged in a wonderful two-course supper, which some of you may care to try if you are tiring of the bleak North Road at night. But remind them if you do not take pepper in your
soup . . . The proprietor is a Leica enthusiast. Thereafter the run was uneventful, and we got a few hours’ sleep before starting, at the grim hour of 5.30 a.m., in the Riley for the Great West M.C. Bourne mouth Trial. We followed a 41-litre Lagonda saloon through London, having formed the theory that its driver was a Chief Constable., and fortified ourselves with an excellent breakfast at the Red Lion Hotel, Wareham, four hours later. Then we led a procession of cars to the Wool Heath, to do a job of work at a hill. The weather was still glorious when we arrived at Bournemouth for a prolonged tea, after which the erratic lift at the Ramp Garage provided some fun. We then discovered that the Riley wanted to have petrol pump trouble, but it bore us on at its customary 50 to 55 m.p.h. after two stops, and a few more to cheer disabled trials men who were grappling with the Southsea Club’s ancient motors. A brief call on friends who run an interesting open-bodied Citroen Six, and we did not pause again until entering the Montlhery Tea Barn near Ripley. It was a surprise to find that the proprietor is none other than T. Gillett, who took long-distance records at Montlhery in 1924 with an A.C., as a big photograph in the entrance hall testified. The bill
was another surprise. So to London town and, as we climbed into bed at the commencement of another week-day, we pondered wearily on the sense of these runs, reflecting that we really must give them up, yet knowing full well that the very next week-end we should set off again in some sort of motor to whatever events the Calendar offered and that so would summer and autumn pass, to merge into winter. Not only week-ends, either, for one Wednesday we went off to Birmingham in an Opel Cadet to bring back a new Austin Ten from the factory. They say that you learn something fresh every day and we duly found that Opel uses a kind of cellophane over the interior of the windows and screen to obviate steaming up, that even one-way roads cannot prevent lorries getting themselves very thoroughly entangled, and that in Birmingham there are outer and inner-circle bus routes, though how on earth the drivers find their way round is beyond
us. We also reflected that perhaps it is harsh to blame those mortals who pass you rather fast, driving brand new cars on trade plates, unless you cast an equal amount of blame on those other mortals who keep drivers hanging about the factory while they find them their cars— we waited about two hours for a car booked out five days previously. That day was a curious one, for we picnicked in a municipal park in Birmingham lit so brilliantly by the sun that its boating lake seemed curiously remote and unreal, and we battled home in thick fog. The Opel Cadet proved a good performer once the revs, mount, and possessed of light steering, devoid, however, of castor action, and extremely good brakes. It corners remarkably well, in spite of having about the most flexible suspension we have ever met. Its top-gear running is rather astonishing, and its low price excuses a certain amount of noise, particularly from the screen wipers. mounted on tubular brackets, and a Trippe spot-light is carried on the dumb
iron cross member. Cycle type wings are now fitted, those at the front turning with the wheels and being extremely rigidly fixed, yet quite readily detachable. The handbrake lever is external. The dash is fully equipped with neat, small dial instruments and carries a Tapley performance meter, compass, Ferodo brake meter, accumulator indicator, water thermometer, St. Christopher badge, etc. The large Triumph speedometer and rev.counter and cheap radiator thermometer formerly fitted the present owner would not tolerate. There are no running boards
and the rear spring shackle greasers are neatly hidden by tiny inspection doors in the valances, while the greasers for the front brake gear protrude through the wing valances. It is almost invidious to mention that the springs are bound with tape. There are brackets on the frame to accommodate service jacks when the car is out of use for long periods. Having inspected the car during construction we can vouch not only for the very fine finish and construction but for the perfect fitting of bonnet, doors, floorboards, tool box lids, locker lid, etc. The finish is glossy black and the bonnet carries the name plate “N****r II” on the off side. The car is used for pleasure touring and has completed about 700 miles since delivery. The owner modestly and quite frankly states that at present its performance is not up to standard, he believes because the valve timing requires checking. The steering, road-holding and handling qualities are very definitely of a thoroughbred order. The gearbox is noisy but the change is extremely quick and positive. The work of reconstruction reflects great credit on Mr. Lambert, who is one of those very rare workmen of the old school, who put real craftsmanship into a job. The result should warm the cockles of Lionel Martin’s heart very amply