Club News, August 1938





The Bugatti Owners’ Club is now launched on a highly successful season in respect of its Prescott hill-climb. A very good point is the issue of detailed, neatly printed results of every club event. The ambitious Monte-Honiton-Prescott Rally was won by C. I. Craig’s Bugatti, who did the hill section at 55.6 secs., after a 1,400-mile journey via John o’ Groat’s. It unner-up was T. B. C. Davis (M.G.), who climbed in 61.6 secs., after also taking the John o’Groat’s route. R. W. Shakespeare’s Bugatti, climbing in 55.2 secs. was third, and Donald Monro’s Invicta fourth. Dr. Lees’s FrazerNash shed transmission components at Prescott.

Up to the middle of last month ten additional new members were elected. For Victor Ludorum marks Arthur Baron led with 63, Shakespeare was second with 48, and C. I. Craig and Symondson had 38 each.

The July issue of ” Bugantics,” excellent as ever, contains reports of the closed Prescott meeting and HonitonPrescott rally from the skilful pen of J. D. Aylward, pictures of the new 3-litre G.P. Bugatti, an article on Racing Under the Old Formula by R. L. de B. Walkerley, a humorous article by D. Monro and some amusing correspondence.

The next event is the Second Open Meeting at Prescott on September 25th, which will in due course be followed by the well-established Welsh and Night trials.

Hon. Secretary : E. L. Giles, 2, Queen Street, Mayfair, W.1.


The exclusively vintage meeting at Lewes on July 9th was an unquestionable success, and streams of spectators’ cars buzzed and swayed into the course all the afternoon, so that considerable congestion occurred on the road to Paddock and parks. But it was a very modern American automobile which temporarily ditched itself in the Paddock. Some extremely interesting cars competed, so that the competitors’ roped-off sanctuaries were almost the most interesting of haunts—Lewes is devoid of a bar. The pre-1915 class had sadly depleted entries, only Heal’s famous-. Fiat, Nash’s 1912 Lorraine, and Vereker’s low-chassis 1909 sports 8-litre Rolls-Royce doing battle— the last-named car ran in -a Vintage S.C.C. Speed Trial some five years ago, when we first made its acquaintance. Heal won comfortably at the considerable time, in complimentary sense, of 26.2 secs. Windsor-Richards brought a mighty sports Delage in place of his Brooklands Riley and also drove his 30/98 Vauxhall. Wrigley shared his Lea Francis with his wife, secretary Tim Carson diced with an early four-cylinder Amilcar brought down on a trailer, Peter Clark towed the Marcus-Chambers-tuned Austin Seven down on a trailer behind a 3-litre Bentley, and Hampton was present with his immaculate 1922 Targa Mercedes. Miss Orred came in the astonishing 200 Mile Race Horstman, now in road-trim, with Toni Rolt, as mechanician, determined to cure some elusive clutch trouble. Passini presented the Phdrnix Special, which should have been blushing under Nuffield Trophy memories, and Southon ran his 2.1-litre sports 1-I.E. Bolster drove brother Richard’s 2-litre job with four single-cylinder engines set line ahead in a cyclecar frame, using his 30/98 for towing, and Mrs. Garstin drove her 8-litre Bentley. There were some interesting motors amongst the spectators’ cars, including the Alfa-Romeo saloon used as an official’s box, the 6+litre Bentley which towed Heal’s Fiat, several excellent Bentleys and Green’s s.v. Aston-Martin which we illustrated last June. The only exciting incident occurred when Vv’interbottom’s Alta seized its rear axle solid some way from the line and snaked unpleasantly to a standstill. This episode has since given rise to controversy as to why more accidents have not been attributed to this highly unpleasant cause— is it that axles are happily universally reliable, or do seizures at really high speeds result in complete break-up as distinct from a lock-up ? McKenzie contributes an instance of a six-cylinder old-type Bentley locking its axle solid at about 80 m.p.h. and coming safely to rest, although a ball-race had literally welded its balls to the races. Reverting to Lewes, fastest time went to Whitfield Semmence’s very healthy A.C.engined Semmence Special in 22.0 secs., the runner-up being Denis Evans and Stuart Wilson (M.G.$), in 22.4 secs. Griffiths with the ..knzani-Nash, shod with big rear boots, was fastest vintage, in 22.6 secs., Lycett’s 4+-litre Bentley won the big racing class with a splendid run of 24.0 secs., Mrs. Garstin was fastest lady, and a special prize for the best car over twelve years old went to Cothay’s

blown 6.2-litre Mercedes-Benz. This meeting was one of those excellently run affairs which justify the existence of the club as a body holding worth-while important fixtures, as well as from the more academic viewpoint of keeping track of unique motor-cars.

Membership continues to expand astonishingly, but as there has not been a Bulletin issued for sonic time (one is due now) we cannot give a list. The badge has been considerably improved, and we saw the new version on the official Alfa at Lewes and, later, on a lady member’s 1927 3-litre Bentley

at Brooklands, which car has a special engine capable of giving over 100 m.p.h. and the authentic Le Mans wings and lamp mounting. The Northern Section recently issued another enthralling series of notes, including a description of Michael Rook’s 1913 Bugatti—actually, if it has sixteen valves, as stated, we suggest it is actually post-war, and that if it is pre-war it has only two valves per cylinder. We feel the introductory verse to this article deserves a greater reading than amongst those of us who have paid the extra 2/6 subs. to belong to the Northern Section, so we reproduce it here with due acknowledgment :— ” Searchin’ one mornin’ in scrap-yard, Per chassis ter take dirt-track Doug., Our Michael caught toe in po’ ‘andle, ‘Faint po, tho’—ba goom !—it’s

a BUG! ‘

The Club’s next fixture is the Prescott Hill Climb on August 27th.

Hon. Secretary : T. W. Carson, “The Phcenix,” Hartley Wintney, Hants.


Our road-test of the Lancia Aprilia in the July issue resulted in a humorous article in the Harrow C.C.’s publication, “The Radiator,” based on our statement that owing to deep footwells loose objects on the floor are guarded from loss. We laughed heartily over the ensuing skit, but would like to comment that our remarks were not made facetiously and that although the Aprilia has not a flat floor, the rear passengers really are most

comfortably accommodated. A social evening and gymkhana were successfully staged last month.

Hon. Secretary : P. G. Fowler, 100, Northolt Road, South Harrow.


On Sunday, July 17th, the Ford Enthusiasts’ Club held another extremely enjoyable series of driving tests at the Autodroines School of Motoring, South Croydon. The Autodrome provides a really ideal venue for an event of this nature, and a most cheery gathering of members and friends assembled under splendid weather conditions. A buffet and rest-lounge were open throughout. Much of the success of the meeting was attributable to the hard work of the secretary, Sydney Allard, and particularly to R. J. Canham, who laid out the tests. Broadcasting was done through a portable Tarmoy apparatus, which is an ingenious assembly devoid of valves or

amplifier yet quite effective. It may be hired by other organisers, who should apply to Uplands 0615.

The first test was a parking test in which competitors had to drive out of and reverse into a series of bays. This was followed by an acceleration test along sonic 350 yards of the railway straight, where the fastest cars went over the line at about 65 m.p.h. An .elaborate figure eight test followed, competitors starting the watch themselves to add to the excitement and ensure accurate timing. The next test was the famous MonteCarlo wiggle-woggle, held in an alley well isolated front spectators, who, however, had an excellent view from the surrounding banks. The last test was a hill test, involving a drive round an island up a steep hill and down this hill, up another hill in reverse, and away round an island to the finish. Entries were smaller than for the previous meeting, possibly on account of holidays, but what they lacked in number they made up in quality. Included were Matthews’s open 31-litre SS 100, Tindall ‘s Aston-Martin, Ballamy’s Marshall-blown L.M.B. Nine, Alan :?tay’s 30/98 Vauxhall, Parley’s H. R. G. , La wson ‘s H.R.G., painted cream like his old Singer and having special attachments on the gear-gate, Perring’s Arnott-supercharged special bodied Talbot Ten, Johnson, quickly back from the Torquay Rally with his smart Type 55 B.M.W., and Eason-Gibson with a Lancia Aprilia saloon. Moreover, G. W. Johns brought a 1912 Model T Ford laundaulet from Dorking and bleated very healthily through all the tests with the old car, carrying a full and specially attired crew, to qualify for a special prize. The interior cord upholstery was

in excellent order, and externally hordes of humorous placards decorated the car, if not enhancing it. In the parking test Lawson (H.R.G.) did beat time in 23.2 secs. In the sprint Matthews and Johnson (SS and B.M.W.) tied in 12.4 sees., and Farley was unbeaten with his H.R.G. in the figure eight, with 20.9 sees. The wiggle-woggle and hilltest saw Johnson’s B:M.W. score in both cases, in 21.2 secs. and 19.6 sees. respec tively. There Were no accidents, but Gibson tore off the Lancia’s rear bumper during his last run. The class for Fords up to 10 h.p. was won by W. H. Gray’s Eight Tourer, with 112.7 marks, runnersup being D. B. Hall (Ten-113.5) and C. 0. R. Goss (Ten-115.2). The V8 class went to D. E. R. Greig, with 124.8 marks, runner-up V. S. A. Biggs (129.7 marks). The 1 /-litre other makes category was won by Lawson (H.R.G.–1 02.4 marks), with Farley (H.R.G.-103.5 marks) second and J. Montgomery (T-M .(‘.–106.6) third. The large other makes class was won by Douglas Perring (Talbot Ten-109 marks), in this class by reason of his

motor’s forced induction. Second was May’s 30/98 Vauxhall with 112.4 marks and third Matthews (SS-121.5 marks). Best performance of all was established by L. G. Johnson with the B.M.W., which obtained 100.0 marks. The best F.E.C. member was Ballamy, whose L.M.B. Nine scored 112.2 marks.

Members will be notified of further fixtures through the medium of the newssheet.

Hon. Secretary S. H. Allard , 15, Millbrooke Court, Pane v , S, W.15.


The popular Torquay Rally was staged again last month and proved reasonably easy. There were certain retirements on account of mechanical troubles, including those of E. C. Haesendonck whose 1 ti-litre M.G. had clutch maladies and N. H. Grove, whose M.G. Midget sheared its final drive. But out of sixty-five starters, twenty-six qualified for Premier Awards. L. G. Johnson did outstanding work in the hill and special tests with his B.M.W. The ” Jabberwock ” team of Ford V8s suffered on account of Koppenhagen losing knots in the final test and Loader losing one Of the hills en route, but Walter ”Norton saved face by winning the Class for Closed ‘Cars over 1,12 taxation rate.


Test aggregate times are given in brackets

Open Cars—Up to 27 10s. tax : W. A. Goodall’ (Morgan 4/4), 82s.

Up to £12 tax : L. G. Johnson (Frazer7NashB.M.W.), 71.6s.

Over 112 tax: A. L. G. Bolt (Ford VS “30”), 88.85. Closed Cars—Up to SU tax : A. C. Westwood (Banda Fiat), 86.2s. •

Over £12 tax : W. C. N. Norton (Ford V8 ” 30 “), 80.6s.

No one qualified for the award for closed cars up to £7 10s. tax. Team Award : K. A. Macnertuid (S1.28.), :T. A. Bastock (88.4s.), A. B. Langley (92.44.), all with T-t ype Premier Awards : R. 14. if; iris, W. S. Wigan&

R. A. MaeDernikl, J. A. 1 ock, A. li. Langley, J. L. Lutwyche, W. J. Ore-u, J. M. Toultnin, H. Crawford, j. E. 8. Jones, P. E. Ainley and W. C. Kendrick (all M.G.$); A. NV. .lones, J. Bateman, T. 1.. MacDonald and TI. W. (‘nristinas (all Singers); W. V. VI,b13, L. H. Cony, W. A. Goodall (Morgans) ; A, F.. Frost., C. It. V. Ling, L. G. Johnson (Frazer

if.W.5); A. I. G. Bolt and W. C. N. Norton (Foal) ; V. It: Syntons (Lavtida); A. C. Westwood (Fiat).