Some 77 entrants amassed at Silverstone for” The Porn” on February 24, in cars ranging from R Barnett’s 1911 7-litre Knox to G Moore’s 1993 5.7-litre Chevrolet. The object of the event, nominally, was to discover, by various ingenious driving tests, the best all-round touring car. In reality the idea was to do something interesting with Silver stone’s excellent track at a time of year when to run a race meeting upon it would invite hostile meteorological activity.
The day started with getting the cars, wearing current tax-discs, to the track on their own wheels. To bring a competing car on a trailer involved instant excommunication. The scrutineering was exemplary and commendably brief — an example which could with advantage be followed at the Coys Historic Festival on 3rd-4th August next. The first of five tests was under way by 9.30am — the “Steering Test”, a high speed wiggle-woggle amongst some cones. That was followed by a braking test at which Painter’s 1992 Lancia excelled and the Knox did the best of the rather thinly-populated two-wheel-braked group. There was a standing-start acceleration test on which Baxter’s chain-driven Frazer Nash, Richard’s 1955 Vanguard-engined Morgan, and Di Threlfall’s 3-litre 911 Porsche seemed to be the cars in front. After a pause whilst the timing gear was removed to a safe haven, and the drivers took on some late breakfasts or early lunches, there was a pair of high-speed reliability trials, during which, if they were to keep up to their schedules, drivers were expected to achieve feats of friction-control on the streaming-wet track which would have brought Towille and Dean full marks.
Many of the drivers seemed to be only human, however, and were unable to fulfil their allotted lapping tasks. Chloe Mason in her 1935 Ulster Aston Martin put in the required 21 laps, as did most of the Meadows-powered Frazer Nashes, Anthony Pilkington in his Bristol-powered HighSpeed F-N also did his necessary lapping, but many competitors quite wisely decided to chicken out of the High Speed Trial for the day when the red flags went out at about half-time so that the various cars which had become impaled upon the scenery could be removed. The same flags and some pretty red lights were needed about ten minutes after the lappery had resumed, for the same reason.
When all the sums had been done it seemed that the chain-drive Frazer Nashes had done rather well; indeed three of the first four places in the overall classification were occupied by the things. James Baxter had won the Pomeroy Trophy in his 1928 car, Alex Boswell was second with the Densham Trophy, Steven Roberts was third in a TT Replica F-N, and Phil Champion was fourth overall in another powered-by-Meadows chain-driven device. Raymond Barnett won the Edwardian Pom trophy with the Knox. Archie Frazer Nash will have been delighted by the results — if the news has reached his part of Valhalla yet. T J T