HERTS COUNTY A & A.C. Speed Trials were held at Beechwood,
were at Beechwood,
near Markyate on June 25th. Fastest time of the day went to R. M. Cowell, whose racing 14-litre Alta clocked 18.6 secs., a time just outside the course record. The best club member was J. P. Clowes, who recorded 19.8 secs. with a McEvoy-Special. Bowles’s Austin Seven won the 850 c.c. sports class, Willis (blown 747 c.c. M.G.) the 1,100 c.c. sports class, E. J. Haesendonck (blown PB M.G.) the 14-litre sports class, while a Standard was victorious in the category for 10 h.p. ears and racing-driver Dunham (Alvis) won the unlimited class in 21.3 secs. Collings (K.P.L.) won the 850 C.c.!. racing class in 22.6 sees., Wilkes the 1,100 c.c. racing class with his 981 c.c. J.A.P.-Special, in 22.0 secs., and Haesendonck’s M.G. took the 14-litre racing class in 20.0 secs. The team award went to the Fitt, Johnson and Kay team of two B.M.W.s and a Frazer-Nash. There will be another meeting at Markyate on September 17th.
FRAZER-NASH AND FRAZER-NASH B.M.W. C.C.
he postponed speed hill-climb up the private drive of Neil Gardner’s house. at Burghfield Common happened on June
24th, complete with adjacent fun-fair and Lord Nuffield to present the prizes. The quarter-mile course involved some curious corners, where the artificial banking hindered rather than helped com petitors. The A.C.N.-Special had pre viously sounded very potent at the exhaust stubs of its A.0 Six engine, but has appeared too light about its G.N.type chassis to clock good times. However, it now came into its own and, driven by P. W. Neale, set up fastest time of the day, in 27.0 secs., winning the 2-litre racing class from Pane’s which was second fastest with a climb occupying 27.03 secs. The 14-litre sports class was won by Roy Cutler’s Frazer-Nash, in 27.57 secs., from Clarke’s well known, Dubonnet-suspended Frazer-Nash. Murray’s B.M.W. netted the 2-litre sports class from H. J. Aldington’s B.M.W., and in the 34-litre snorts class—the R.A.C. imposed a capacity limit on the Burghfield course—” H. J. ” turned the tables on Murray. There was .29 of a sec. in it in the previous class, and .42 of a sec. separated them this time. The 1,100 c.c. racing class saw the Appleton-Special victorious, in 28.8 secs.—slower than the sports car times. Cutler’s Frazer-Nash won the 14-litre racing class in 27.08 Secs. from a Salmson, and the A.C.N. pipped Pane in the 2-litre class. Baron’s Bugatti took the 34-litre racing class in 27.22 secs. from Hugh Hunter’s road-equipped Alfa-Romeo, which now has a higher compression-ratio than when it first came to this country. Mrs. Jill Thomas’s
B.M.W. won her the Ladies’ Prize. All gate money was handed to the Royal Berkshire Hospital.
Donington, apart from being our most important road-course, is also a very busy amateur’s playground. Following the excellent C.U.A.C. meeting the M.C.C. monopolised the manufacturer’s circuit. In the Team Relay Race the GibsonAlexander-Truett team of S.S. 100s proved easy victors—Gibson’s car, by the way, lives at Hodgkinson & Crossley’s garage at Clapham Common. Terry’s S.S. won the First 5-lap Handicap from Alexander’s S.S. and Melly’s Singer, at 70.22 m.p.h., and Truett’s S.S. the Second 5-lap Handicap from Morgaii’s Morgan and Gibson’s S.S., averaging 70.59 m.p.h. The First 20-lap Handicap was won by Hill’s Riley at 65.08 m.p.h. from Crossley’s B.M.W. and Alexander’s S.S. The last race was another 20-lap handicap, which C. J. Gibson’s S.S. won at 69.61 m.p.h. from Terry’s S.S. and Shattock’s Austin. Burton had a crash with his Talbot at Coppice, but was unhurt. ” Ebby ” conducted the starting. The modern S.S. owner certainly supports the right events, and one wonders how long it will be before someone supetcharges the already ex tremely potent 34-litre . . . ? •
. . . • LANCASHIRE A.C.
Thirty-five competitors started in the Davis Trial and thirty-three finished. J. B. Terras (M.G.) won the whole thing, J. Hothersall (M.G.) was leader of the touring class, and T. Poole (Wolseley) was best in the class for cars over five years of age, while Knight (M.G.) won the Novices’ class. Smith’s B.M.W. was the outstanding closed car.
ROYAL SCOTTISH A.C. A recent run for veteran
A recent run for veteran cars attracted an entry of twelve carriages all built prior to 1915. Runners included Gregory, of 04-litre Bentley association, with an early De Dion, a 1900 Arrol, a De Dion tricycle, a Humberette, a 1903 Peugeot and a Panhard. When are the Vintage S.C.C. road-events for F,dwarclians to commence ?
750 CLUB The 750 Club—the new club
The 750 Club—the new club catering for Austin Seven owners and other small car folk of modest means—held its first Committee Cup Trial in Kent on June 25th. The excellent entry of twenty-seven was obtained, comprised of twenty-one full members and six Austins and these comprised five” Nippy” two-seaters, three ” Ulsters,” Brown’s curious Special (looking very ” ParisMadrid ” seen head-on, from afar), Gibson’s smart Williams-Special, E. G. Smith’s well known, twin-gearbox Special
Miss Spanser’s four-seater, a ” Ruby ” saloon, an Austin Eight saloon, two A.E.W.s, an Arrow, a Brooklands twoseater, Head’s converted Army twoseater and the elderly Chummy models of 0. N. Perren and W. Boddy. The associates drove a Ford Eight saloon, an F-type M.G. Magna, a Fiat 500, a Singer, a Morris Eight and an M.W. Rover respectively. Thus, while the entry was by no means the monopoly of freak, home-brewed “specials,” competition was much fairer than in many other trials, where 7 h.p. cars have to compete against late-type and very frequently highly tuned M.G.s, and similar cars, and these, in turn, against V8s and V12s with no distinctions. The hills were Drone, Hognore, White Horse, South Street and Bucklands Bank, and they were very easy. Actually, a novel marking system was borrowed from the C.S.M.A., whereby failures were docked one mark for every clean climb—possibly a fairer method would be one mark for every success, but this is a system which should be given careful consideration, and might well be developed into a handicap scheme for the improvement of trials in general. Apart from the hills there was a downhill brake test on Coldharbour, a secret check, a restart test on Beechy Lees, and a parking test to be completed, ‘and on South Street only one reverse was permissible, at the a hairpin approach. Much trouble was evident, Birkett’s Ulster Austin. running out of fuel and misfiring, another Ulster retiring, Perren’s Chummy oiling plugs, and Frigout’s M.G. breaking a piston. We believe the winning Nippy ran an end, which Capt. Kipps certainly did in. the coursepatrolling Standard, and. Chiles had severe engine trouble with his Nippy. Official results are not yet to hand—but provisionally the winner is G. D. Cole (Austin Nippy) with L. Williams (A.E.W. Austin) second, A. W. Butler (Austin Ruby saloon) third and D. J. Kevis (Austin. Arrow) fourth. Brymer (M.W. Rover) easily won the Associates Cup, although failing the last test, and E. G. Smith’s (Austin Special) made best time in the brake test. This Club is doing great things for the more impecunious enthusiast and merits support, which it already
has to the extent of some sixty members. It is now receiving invitations to several events and will run its own Knatt’s Valley hill-storm on September 10th and a speed trial later on. The subscription is 7/6
per annum, with no entry fee, and the 750 Express” is mailed to all members.
Hon. Secretary : P. H. Hunter, 39, Warland Road, S.E.18.
The J.C.C. Party to America did not prevent the Club running its annual Evening Trial, for which it received the excellent entry of fifty. Once again, those who say that trials hills can never be any use in summer were confounded, as in the case of the Brighton-Beer, by what a British summer can do. Heavy rain on the previous day resulted in the third hill being cut-out completely and the fourth hill abandoned after continual failures following Weld’s clean climb in an M.G. Two cars retired, but special tests decided the day, and D. G. Silcock’s V12 Allard made best performance, although beaten in the second re-start test by the L.N. Special, Hugh Hunter’s Frazer-Nash-B.M.W. and Price’s Ford,
by a small margin. First-class awards were won by Hield, Jackson, Rushbrook, Bantle, Frey, Gibbs, Bacon, and Clare (M.G.$), Lines (L.N. Special), Silcock (Allard), Temple (Standard), Morley (A.C.) and Price (Ford). The trial was discussed over an excellent supper but, for our part, we found the proprietoress of ” Benacre ” at Milford, quite agreeable to preparing us an excellent meal at 10.80 p.m., as last year, and we celebrated the fifth Evening Trial very satisfactorily.
VINTAGE S.C.C. There
There is absolutely no need to advertise events by run the Vintage S.C.C., and we would merely remind readers that the Donington meeting happens on August 12th and the Prescott hill-climb on August 26th. There is certain to be an excellent entry and attendance. Another “Bulletin”
is due. Sam Clutton now keeps his Edwardians out of Town and has a very interesting Daimler as well as his Itala. He has also brought a beautifully preserved, 1922 type E 30/98 Vauxhall.
Hon. Secretary : Tim Carson, ” Egarston,” Park Lane, Basingstoke, Hants.
BUGATTI OWNERS’ CLUB
The B.O.C. rests on its laurels after the International Fixture at Prescott at the end of last month, until September 24th, when it will organise the Open Autumn Hill Climb at that venue.
Hon. Secretary : B. L. Giles, 2, Queen Street, Mayfair, W.1.
GENERAL NOTES The Rover Ten
The Rover Ten Special, loaned by R. E. Richards, provided a truly exhilarting fortnight and now, the car having been returned, one finds oneself looking back on the experience with very happy memories. This Rover certainly comes into the category of a car one would like to retain in the home garage and, if its sponsors can produce Replicas at the figure they name, they are “onto something” with a vengeance. British summer weather prevailed most of the time we had the car, but somehow drenchings and rapid dryings do not seem to harm one nearly so much as stewing all the while in a travelling glasshouse. We loaned the car to a friend on the occasion of a small trial in Kent, through which we optimistically took a ” Chummy ” Austin with its dynamo out of action and a coil-ignition engine in situ. The only partially-charged battery stood up until the very end of the day, the engine finally dying while the garage doors were being opened, and that trial was great fun, because, although pipped
by the brake test, a secret check and a reversing test, the little Austin climbed every hill, even though it rammed the bank very hard on one hairpin, showers of piston rings and old fuse-box covers raining from the cubby holes into the occupants’ laps at the moment of impact. Some more excellent fun resulted when we decided to support charity and win a car for a shilling at one and the same time, by entering for the Vauxhall fuel consumption contest. The first attempt—the cars are, of course, Vauxhall Ten saloons—was round a very well known local course, which the writer lapped solemnly at about 12 m.p.h., getting a consumption figure of 49.6 m.p.g. for his pains. A friend then tried. his hand at the job, and got a figure of 52.8 m.p.g. Inspired, we tried again, albeit on another car, over another and much more difficult course, and, in spite of twice losing the engine to hostile traffic lamps, this time managed 56.8 m.p.g., effectively turning the tables on our friend. Actually, we are not advertising an unused Vauxhall Ten for sale, for the the simple reason that others did much better ; something like 64 m.p.g. All of which makes one reflect once again on the possible economy of a really, small engine, say a Fiat “Mouse,” running with wide-gap ignition, and. it also makes one wonder how much one car varies from another, inasmuch as we were much more casual and heavy-footed on the second and, for us, more successful, test. Incidentally, a friend caused something of a sensation by announcing that he believed that 40 m.p.h. was the most economical gait for a Vauxhall Ten and thereupon going out on the local circuit, accompanied by a horrified salesman and tailed by the trials Rover, to lap in most gratifying manner, sliding wide on every bend of the wet road. His figure came out at 86.8 in p g Heavy rain fell on the day when we returned the Rover to its birthplace at Chalfont, and F. J. Brymer, in charge, got steadily wetter and wetter while we observed him from the fuggy security of a glasshouse. Actually, Brymer minds the elements very little and the cold in particular, not at all, as his cheery countenance during long spells of Leica work on some bleak trials’ activity may have suggested to you. What you may not know about this familiar figure in the trials’ world is that his interest in motoring was aroused by a family Delaimay Belleville, Sheffield Simplex and later Wolseley Twelve. He commenced motoring with a Chater-Lea Blackburn and then began to appear as a competitor in M.C.C. trials, which he still regards as some of the best trials of all, with a Riley Nine Monaco saloon. This car came in for some arduous use in connection with photographic work, though later it was replaced by a fourvalve Rudge motor-cycle and then by a Morris-Oxford, until the present twincarburetter Riley ” Gamecock ” came into the stable. This car does an immense mileage following almost all the bigger motoring fixtures and it carries a very complete stock of tools so as to render it independent of the home workshops for weeks on end. Very methodical, Brymer keeps a careful log of all his journeys and motoring experiences. Another hobby of his, apart from mapreading and various aspects of photography, is a study of railways, both model and full-size. and he is definitely an authority on British locomotives and rolling stock. In spite of his long association with motoring he is never adverse to trying a fresh car or coining on a journey,—that is, when you can tear him away from his films. The only exercise he seems to take, apart from essential work in the garage, is tennis, at which he is quite reasonably a top ranker. It was Brymer who came with us, along with two other dyed-in-the-wool enthusiasts, to try a type TB 12/50 Alvis tourer, loaned by a friendly reader, H. Whiteside, when he was going over to France for the Grand Prix and. leaving his car in London after driving down from Hull. The 12/50 Alvis is one of the classic vintage motors and this particular example was expecially interesting, being an early 1926 tourer in very fair fettle, with engine very recently overhauled by Alvis themselves, and with ” Firefly” front axle and prop. shaft. Very soon we had mastered the gearbox, with its right hand control, and become accustomed to the heavy very direct and entirely accurate steering. It was stimulating to use once again, truly rigid control, to work beautifully acting switches and minor controls and to hear a real exhaust burble as the car accelerated. Stimulating, too, to experience the gear whine of the indirects, to clear a way through traffic with the flywheel-driven wind horn actuated by a bowden-lever–or, when stationary, to observe the rugged lines of the old tourer and to examine its very clean power-unit—typical 1926 plumbling from a polished brass-bodied carburetter on the off-side, components set low down beside the big cover-plate on the near side of the cylinder block. So fascinated did we all become with this 12/50 that we set off for nowhere in particular that very night and promptly tackled quite a few useful test hills, certainly not to the car’s discredit. .Succombs in Surrey (gradient 1 in 4) it negotiated in second gear, Saltbox it managed in third and second, while Crown Ash it climbed strongly in second and bottom. Coining home, it did a most cheerful 65 m.p.h. along the Croydon By-Pass and at 45-50 m.p.h., nothing seemed to be working at all. The brakes were spongy, but very reasonable, the steering typically old-school and very pleasing withall. The gearbox was a most beautiful thing to play with, with or without the clutch (it slipped somewhat on engagement) and simply asked for rapid manipulation of the lever. The change from third to second was especially rapid, and from top to third involved a double double-declutch action at high speeds, if the clutch was used at all. On corners the car needed considerable hauling round, and one became a little conscious of the rather unusual length of wheelbase, although the steering lock was ample and castor action vigorous. But road-holding was excellent and springing of a very high standard. although the owner said the rear shockabsorbers needed attention. It was grand fun to stop. alongside a modern car to be gazed at with incredulity, then, as the amber came on, to take the Alvis with all the urge it possessed, leaving the closed car, nowhere. A rough check showed the 0-30 m.p.h. acceleration to be 9.6 secs. and she would do 30, and 45 m.p.h., respectively on second and third, without any feeling that things would disintegrate. At 45-50 all exhaust noise and engine noise dwindled and she rolled along without any effort at all. Retarding the ignition killed performance to an almost imperceptible extent, but in any case, she never so much as pinked, running on National Benzole. After a little tickling of the low-set carburetter from the facia control she started easily enough and idled at nearly zero revs., and in top she would go along at a slow walking pace. On occasion the starter would miss the mark, and at times it would set up a clicking sound, which you cured by a smart tap on its button. The big screen, low wood facia with spread-out instruments, the small doors, coconut mats and wide front seat squab, all smacked of 1926 right enough, but there could not have been much wrong with such bodywork when the fair passenger who made up the third member of the crew announced without hesitation that “open cars are far the best, after all.” It is to our lasting discredit that we judged the Alvis just a trifle slow for a run up to Wetherby and back on the Sunday, some 400 miles in a morning and evening. It shamed us the very next day, when we ran out of fuel through our own carelessness—there is a reserve tap in the driving compartment—and realised, rather late, the predicament of the passenger who was to appear on the stage that evening and for whom no understudy had been appointed. This happened at Horsham, in Sussex, and the London road was already well stocked with homeward-bound coastal traffic, mostly well in the middle of the highway and inclined to wave in a curious and unbecoming manner when asked to draw in by our aforementioned wind-horn. Nevertheless, this old Alvis went really well, never being passed once, and in something like 75 mins., we were where we wished to be in the North of the Metropolis. Incidentally, any worry we might have had about tyres was saved by the sanity of the car’s later owners, as large, modern and. well-treaded boots graced the artillery wheels ; there were also excellent, long-armed direction indicators and efficient dipping headlamps and dual dashlamps. This brief experience of a good ” 12/50 ” fully explained the enthusiasm which still exists for these fine old cars, -whether you carve them up into trials specials like Don Kirkman and Co., or preserve them as good and useful specimens of one of the better vintage cars, as Whiteside does, in company with quite a number of members of the Vintage S.C.C. Returning the car on the Monday morning, still eyed sorrowfully by office-going glasshouse occupants, we would have argued for ages with any of them that a good vintage car is essentially serviceable, and a real possession into the bargain. How we wished we could slip back to the time when our Alvis was a brand new car and Capt. Twelvetrees was testing such motors in the palmy days when this paper still bore the title of “The Brooklands Gazette . . “. Times do
certainly change. The present value of the Alvis ? Oh, about 05 I suppose . .