THE M.C.C. GO TO LLANDUDNO NEW EVENT TO REPLACE THE ” SCARBOROUGH ” A GREAT SUCCESS— ONLY 11 RETIREMENTS OUT OF 126 STARTERS.
FOR some reason or other the M.C.C. Scarborough Trial never became really popular, and its brief life was ended when the organisers decided to substitute a different trial in the Welsh hills this year. There were three starting points, London, Exeter and Buxton, and the cars left these places for the night section to Shrewsbury. Plenty of latitude was allowed as to route, and only two controls were held on each run, and as the average speed was scheduled at 30 m.p.h. this part of the trial passed off a good deal less tediously than is sometimes the case.
After ravenously eating a hearty breakfast at the Raven Hotel (sorry !) the competitors set off on a sunny morning for the real work of the trial. After following main roads through Oswestry the first hill was encountered, to wit, Dolywern. It turned out that this was to be the most difficult climb of the whole trial, not because the gradient is excessive, but owing to the fact that its acute hairpin bends call for calm, unhurried driving. The small cars scored here, for a large proportion of the bigger machines failed to get round the second bend and had to reverse. Allt-y-Bady came next, short, very steep, and claiming thirty-three victims. Here the trouble lies in the gradient starting immediately round a sharp corner, but if the throttle is kept open wide there is no reason why a good modern sports car should not register a clean climb. It is always a little onerous to pick out individual climbs for special mention, especially among M.C.C. members, but we did notice good performances by Singer and M.G. owners, such as M. H. Lawson, W. J. B. Richardson (atoning for his failure on Dolywern) and J. A. M. Patrick for Coventry, and E. H. Banfield, L. K. Brownson and J. N. Hibbitt for
Abingdon. Failures were removed from the fairway by means of the traction engine which now supplants the usual team of horses. While doing its job quickly and efficiently the only fault of this machine is that it is apt to instill an inferiority complex into competitors who have already been assisted in this manner on such hills as Simms !
The hot sun certainly took the sting out of hills in this trial, but it had its handicap in scorching the weary competitors and choking them in thick dust. By the time the next hill was reached, Old BwIch, people were beginning to look pretty travel-stained, and their troubles were not relieved by overheating engines and their attendant discomforts. This hill was long and not too steep, and stopped only one car in the whole entry, A. E. Teesdale’s Wolseley Hornet.
Maes-y-Safn is a hill that would be a wonderful ” gold-saver ” in the winter, for rain would make its bumpy, rocky surface the most difficult of all types known to trials drivers. On a torrid summer day it did no more than exercise the suspension of the cars to their fullest capacity and dealt hearty blows to the nethermost details, such as battery boxes, undertrays and exhaust pipes. The noises given off by many cars in this way were positively sickening. There were only a few stoppages, and of these D. E. Harris (Le Mans Singer) failed through losing his sense of direction and charging up a bank.
Dust, and still more dust, at the end of which came Bodfari, the last hill of the trial. Fine weather and a dry surface again helped the competitors here, and only three were brought to a standstill by the 1 in 3i gradient. The unlucky (and unwise) ones were W. J. Milton (Austin Ten), A. H. Garland (Triumph Nine) and F. How (B.S.A.).
After this the by-now thoroughly uncomfortable competitors made their way to the finish at Llandudno. The final tests brought out weaknesses in the condition of both cars and drivers. Acceleration for a hundred yards was followed by violent braking, reversing into a bay, more acceleration and a brake test in which any deviation from the straight was penalised. Performances were good, bad and indifferent, some people being obviously a bit clumsy through fatigue. It was easier, here, to pick out specially good shows, for example, J. Horsfall (Wolseley Hornet), H. C. Hobron (Lagonda Rapier), M. H. Lawson (Singer), E. Long (Vauxhall 30/98), and N. E. Bracey (Wolseley Hornet).
Altogether, the new Llandudno Trial can be rated a great success. It is interesting enough to attract regular trials competitors and, at the same time, not too difficult for newcomers to the game. That seemed to be the general impression at the dance in the evening at the Grand Hotel.
SPECIAL. AWARDS. “
Cars up to 110 tax : I. Winner of “The Autocar ” Trophy : M. H. Lawson (Singer Le Mans) ; 2. W. J. B. Richardson ; (3) A. B. Langley (both Singers) ; 4, W. P. Uglow ; 5, J. E. Mellor ; 6, K. R. Biscombe (all Hillman Aero Minxes).
Cars over £10 and up to 216 tax : 1. Winner of ” The Motor” Trophy, J. Horsfalllseley Hornet) ; 2. E. H. Banfield (M.G. Magnette ; 3. J. Tweedale (Frazer-Nash) ; 4, J. A. M. Patrick (Singer Le Mans 11-litre) ; 5, N. E. Bracey (Wolseley Hornet Special) ; 6, L. Mills (Lea-Francis).
Cars over £10 tax : I. Winner of Llandudno Motor Traders Trophy : II. Hillcoat (Ford V 8) ; 2, E. Long Vauxhall) ; 3, G. Dracup (Alvis) ; 4, F. H. Lye Talbot); 5, E. E. Rednall (Ford V 8) ; 6, G. M. Denton (Ford V 8).
Team Awards : 1. Winners of The Red Garages Trophy, No. 11 team (Hillman Aero Minxes), W. P. Uglow, M. Biscombe and K. R. Biscombe. 2. No. 8 team (Ford V 8s), G. M. Denton, M. L. Curtis and H. Hillcoat. 3. No. 4 team (Singer Nine I.e Mans), W. J. B. Richardson, A. B. Langley and H. M. Avery.