Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret have graciously accepted membership of the ” Order of the Road.” Their fleet of cars now carry the insignia of the Order, a six-sectioned crimson coloured circular badge.
The Royal Family thus demonstrate their very real interest in the work of the Order which has been firmly sustained since its foundation in 1928. King George VI joined it when Duke of York ; the Duke of Edinburgh became .a member in September, 1951.
The ” Order of the Road” is the only organisation devoted solely to the encouragement of safe and courteous driving, and during its quarter of a century of existence has continuously campaigned for the human attribute of consideration for ” the other fellow ” on the road through a ten-point charter which all members must observe. The Editor wishes to thank the American reader who is responsible for having that beautifully-produced magazine Arizona Highways sent to him regularly. Does anyone know of a complete or derelict example of a Guy V8 passenger car, circa 1920-24 ? If so, we shall be glad to hear of it. Model Road Racing Cars, Ltd., are showing their G.P. circuit at Blackpool’s ” Funlandia.” They issue a descriptive catalogue, obtainable front 29, Ashley Road, Boseombe, Hants, which contains a foreword by John Heath and, quite an achievement
in a catalogue, several pages of national advertising ! Poland Street Garage held a display of racing cars recently to celebrate the opening of new premises at the Roundabout Garage, Greenford. Lt.-Col. Goldie Gardner performed the opening ceremony.
THE LONDON RALLY
The first London Rally of the London M.C. held in September. 1951—a Closed Invitation event—started near London, went through the Welsh mountains and returned to London. It attracted an entry of 137 ears, of which Only one finished without loss of marks on the road section. Thirty-seven qualified for finishers’ awards, having completed the route within the maximum time limits.
In 1952 the London Rally was promoted to National status and a Leeds starting control was offered as an alternative to London.
The routes joined at Kidderminster and after an extensive and intensive road section in Vales finished at Croydon Airport. An entry of 300 plus 12 reserves. Only four cars finished the road section without penalty, but due to increased time allowances 212 qualified for Finishers’ Souvenir Awards.
In 1953 the event has again been given National status and will be run on a similar plan as this has proved extremely popular with competitors. There will be a number of detail changes and improvements based on suggestions made by competitors and officials which, it is hoped, will make the 1953 event better than ever.
Within the limits of the geography and climate of the British Isles, the available time, the necessary provisions of the Road Traffic Act and the limits of tolerance of the British public, the organisers try to make the London Rally comparable to the great International rallies held on the Continent. Although it has neither the ice of the Monte Carlo Rally nor the heat of the ” Alpine ” winners are found as far as possible on the road section.
While providing a Rally to test the experts, interest and excellent experience are offered to the intelligent novice. To win the London Rally outright needs a superb driver and navigator and a good car ; to finish within the maximum time limits and qualify for a finishers’ souvenir award needs a good driver and navigator and a reasonable car.
It is the London M.C’s intention. so far as is possible without dubious devices such as trick regularity sections or dead-engine tests, to make the results depend more on the skill of the driver and navigator than the performance of the car—although of course between two crews with equally-skilled drivers and navigators the crew with the best car will have the best chance. Note that in 1951 the first three cars were : Jaguar, Bentley and Hillman. In 1952 the first four cars were : Morgan, Vauxhall, Triumph and Jaguar. This year there will again be London, Leeds and Birmingham starting points, but in order to accommodate a large entry and to finish at a reasonable hour on Saturday, the starting time of the first car has had to be brought forward. The Rally will be similar to previous years in that it will have a straightforward road section from London to Wales, difficult snap-reading sections away front towns and villages in Wales, and a fairly easy run back. This year there will be no daylight map-reading section, but there will he more
night map-reading sections. At the start of theseseach competitor will be banded a 1-in. Ordnance map and on these maps there will be marked a number of checks and controls which must be visited in the correct order.
All the map-reading sections are away from towns and villages, mainly over B roads and minor roads. NO roads of a car-damaging surface will be included. It is difficult to arrange for a large entry running at minute intervals and allowing for a reasonable maximum lateness to all cover the same route during the limited hours of darkness. In the 1953 Rally, after a great deal of experiment and research in Wales, a clover-leaf route with three loops which can be in use simultaneously will be used. All competitors will cover the same route—all will do the two night map-reading loops in the dark. and will do the four tie-deciding special tests under the same conditions of light, but they will not do all the tests and loops in the same order. This plan will make it possible to provide more interest and make for an intense event in the ten hours of darkness available in September. There will be two compulsory stops, one of one hour with a meal available and with the cars in “pare ferrite” where they cannot be touched, which will ensure competitors having a proper rest.
This year all entering as novices will be grouped together to run after other competitors to reduce the chance of baulking. Competitors running in a team of three cars will again be separated to prevent them helping each other with navigation and thus having an advantage over other competitors. The order of running will be by ballot. This is a sporting event run by the London Motor Club for sporting motorists. The whole of the costs of running it have to come from the entry fee: They offer a very generous list of awards, including a finishers’ souvenir award and supply Ordnance maps which become the competitor’s property. They try to maintain a high standard in the printing of the Road Book and other publications and normally send—within a few hours of the finish of the Rally—two copies of fully detailed comprehensive printed result sheets to every competitor. 433***
m.p.h. from the Clairmonte and Hitchings’ Lester-M.G. Somerset took Liberties with his car as only a Bugatti driver can and the Porteous Special took Beckett’ s wide, while the newly-bodied Lamgia fell back.
Swift, in a Type C Jaguar he had dented somewhat in the first fortnight of ownership, ran away with a 10-lap scratch race for unlimited sports cars, averaging 73.7 m.p.h. Crook’s Frazer-Nash was second, ahead of Ganunon’s spectacular M.G. Downing’s DB3 Aston Martin fell out with coil failure after a mere seven laps and if it had been us we should have been very cross indeed! He Was second at the time.
A six-lap Formula 11 race saw Crook’s Cooper-Alta cornering at the limit, or at all events musing all the track, to win at 76.41 m.p.h., after lappery that must have been near record for the short circuit. Nurse’s 11.W.3/1 was second, the Martin-Headland third-500 c.c. in an FII race!. Richards’ H.A.R. retired with clutch failure. A six-lap 3-litre unblown, lb-litre blown scratch race followed and was enlivened because E:verard’s 1)82 Aston Martin fell over on to one side as it. approached Beckett’s Corner. This car had holes cut in its side-windows and we hoped to see the driver emerge through one of these—but no, he lumbered open a door from which to emerge. The car was pushed back on to its wheels and proceeded. Lurking somewhere about was Tony Crook in the Frazer-Nash, and we think he may know why Everard inverted. Downing’s repaired DB3 won at 71.91 m.p.h. from Gammon’s M.G. and Haynes’ Silverstone Healey of potent sound.
The meeting ran on through the 10-lap Formula Libre handicap, won by McMillan’s ex-Tyrer B.M.W. at 69.68 m.p.h. from the Haynes’ Healey, two sports-car handicaps of five laps, won, respectively, by Bendall’s Ford Special at 60.83 m.p.h. and Green’s II.R.G. at 61.59 m.p.h., to the undecided last race. It had clearly been Gammon’s day. The Morns’ SPOPT Trophy was not, after all, contested at this meeting.—W. B. 8414