MERE MALE WINS
N. V. TERRY (FRAZER-NASH B.M.W.) SUCCESSFUL IN WOMEN’S A. & S. A. COTSWOLD TRIAL
As a general rule the annual Wakefield Trophy series of trials, run by the Women’s Automobile and Sports Association, is open only to women drivers, but in recent years the women have been ” at home” to a few invited clubs in one of the events. This year the invitation event, in which men drivers could compete, was in the Cotswold district on July 17th. N. V. Terry, driving his 2-litre Frazer-NashB.M.W., was successful in winning both the Isabel Sander Trophy, for the best performance in the trial, and the Association Trophy, for the best performance by a visitor.
The contest for the Wakefield Trophy, which is virtually the women trials drivers’ championship, had come to an abrupt end for 1937, for earlier in the year the Maid of Kent Trial had proved so stiff that none of the W.A.S.A. drivers was able to keep a 100 per cent. performance. The rules of the Wakefield Trophy lay down that competitors must win a first-class award in each of the three events in order to remain eligible (for the Wakefield Trophy, of course !). Not discouraged by the fact that the Trophy must lie in abeyance till next year, the W.A.S.A. members had mustered in good force, and, to counteract Terry’s success, W.A.S.A. Team No. 1, composed of Miss Watson (Frazer-Nash-B.M.W.), Miss Wilby (Frazer-Nash), and Miss K. Taylor (M.G.), carried off the Countess Howe Team Trophy Competition tyres and non-standard solid axles were banned, and a fair, yet difficult, course had been chosen. The secretary, down at Cheltenham, where the start was to take place, was somewhat
perturbed at receiving a telegram from the club’s headquarters at Hamilton Place, ‘W.1, which read ” Police say Mutton Must Not be Used.” The secretary had already discovered that ” Ham was impossible.” These untoward events, however, did not betoken a crisis in the club’s kitchen, which is becoming famous, but that the hill, Mutton, near Chalford,
was no longer allowed, while Ham Mill, another hill in the route, had been overwhelmed by the terrific storm which had burst on the previous day. In consequence, Stancombe and Quarhouse, two hills once famous on the
” Gloucester,” which were included in the route but which were merely to be taken in competitors’ stride, were elevated to the status of observed sections, though, as expected, no one, as it turned out, failed on either. amongst these, perhaps, was H. W. Inderwick, with his Batten Special V8, which unfortunately developed severe clutch slip owing to oil finding its way through a porous engine casting. The best times were those of K. Hutchison’s
special two-seater Ford V8, with 4.82 sees., N. V. Terry’s Frazer-Nash-B.M.W., which took 5 secs., and Miss K. Taylor’s supercharged ” PB ” M.G., which took 5.48 secs. Only slightly slower was Mrs. Moss’s Frazer-Nash-B.M.W. cabriolet with 5.52 secs.
Rain had been falling gently, but it stopped in time for the picnic lunch on Rodborough Common, which was very pleasant and quite in keeping with the informal atmosphere of the trial. Then came Old Hollow, which :caused four failures, Mrs. Stanion’s Rover saloon was one of these, and there was some difficulty in getting the car going again. Mrs. Vaughan (who in professional life is a well known London doctor) had at last managed to get away from her duties to start in this event, with her Standard, and as it happened she took a wrong turning just before Old Hollow, so that the Rover was first at the hill. Mrs. Vaughan was held up for about forty minutes.
Her troubles continued at the next Holwell Farm, where no one failed, but it was thought that a car was descending the hill, whereas in fact it had gone on at the top ! Mrs. Vaughan had to wait until it was certain that the hill was clear, and this further delay put her so far behind that all subsequent marshals had given her up and departed before she arrived. After Holwell Farm came a special test, to decide ties for the principal awards. The test was held on an almost level stretch of ground, and cars had to accelerate, stop astride a line, and accelerate over a third line. Several competitors overran the middle line, amongst them Mount and Montgomery The start was in the excellent garage of Messrs. Reed and Patterson, and after the easy climb of Stancombe, the first real difficulty was presented by the restart test on Bismore, where twenty yards had to be covered in 7 secs. The surface here, too, had not been improved by the storm, and eight competitors could not manage the necessary time. Most notable