1956 British Grand Prix race report - A win for Fangio at last

 

The British event to count in the World Championship series returned once more to Silverstone, sponsored by the Daily Express, where the circuit continues to receive improvements in the way of definition and surface, though the ditches between the track and the public were looked upon with dismay by some of the Continental drivers, they quite rightly considering that driver safety should come before public safety. With lap speeds rising steadily, this year's race had to be lengthened to 101 laps in order to extend the duration of the race to three hours, rather than choosing the alternative of 500 kilometres as laid down in FIA regulations.

Juan Manuel Fangio in his Ferrari during the 1956 British Grand Prix

Juan Manuel Fangio in his Ferrari at Silverstone. Photo: Motorsport Images

Before the event were two practice periods, one on Thursday evening and another on Friday morning, which meant rather a lot of hasty work in between for anyone who had trouble. Actually, both practices went off without any great difficulties and the first one saw ideal racing weather conditions, with a dry track, cool atmosphere and no troublesome sunshine, so that some high speeds were recorded in the way of lap times. As always, the factory teams were trying all their drivers on all their cars and generally doing some shuffling about. Ferrari had Fangio, Collins, Castellotti and de Portago on their V8 cars, Maserati were fielding MossBehra and Perdisa, and looking after Godia's private car and that of Piotti for Villoresi to drive, while Maglioli was going to have another go at Formula 1, using the Scuderia Guastalla Maserati. There was a very big turn-out of real British Grand Prix cars, Hawthorn, Brooks and Flockhart having BRMs, Scott-Brown, Fairman and Titterington with Connaughts, and Schell, Trintignant and Gonzalez with Vanwalls, the last-named driver making his reappearance in European racing. To complete the factory teams there were two eight-cylinder Gordinis, with Manzon and da Silva Ramos. Added to this were all the better-known independent drivers of Grand Prix cars, providing a Grand Prix field as good as could be desired.

QUALIFYING

During practice, it was difficult to assess accurately just how well everyone was going for official times were not available over the loudspeakers and any that were revealed were only to the nearest second. This caused some confusion when the official times were published at the end of practice, for having timed Fangio at 1 min 41.6 sec, several times when he was so obviously trying hard, he was given 1 min 42 sec officially. Equally, Hawthorn had been well under 1 min 43 sec by our timing, but officially he did 1 min 43 sec. Due to this vagueness of timing, it was not possible to compare drivers or cars, though Moss was obviously going very fast in the works Maserati, looking very much at his ease, the handling of the Maserati seeming to suit the Silverstone type of corner.

In complete contrast the Lancia/Ferraris were anything but at ease. Fangio having to work very hard to go fast, and Collins also putting a lot of effort into his driving. Salvadori was being outstanding on his home ground and hurling the Gilbey Eng Maserati into the corners with great verve. Of the Vanwalls, Schell was well on form, while Gonzalez was going nearly as fast, but not completely happy about the way the car handled, the light steering and typical "Lotus-like" wandering of the chassis being strange to him, just as it is to Trintignant. Connaughts were not at all happy, and during the first practice Fairman blew-up Titterington's car before the Irishman even had a chance of trying it, though he received an official lap time nevertheless. With the second day's practice having wet weather to start with, and the track never properly drying, it was Thursday's times that counted for the grid positions. An additional practice was allowed at the end of Friday, as there was some time to spare, but not many drivers had need of it, though Moss tried out his car with a new engine fitted.

Stirling Moss sweeps past the crowds at Silverstone in his Maserati

Stirling Moss in the Maserati during the 1956 British Grand Prix. Photo: Motorsport Images

RACE

The weather on race day was just about as dull as could be imagined, and the whole of Silverstone was covered by a heavy cloud with a mist in the air that was almost rain. Luckily this damp mistiness was not enough to wet the track, and though the day was sombre for the spectators it was ideal for racing. The track remained dry, the atmosphere was helpful for unblown engines and the temperature just the thing for tyres and drivers, while there was no sun glare to worry them. The Silverstone circuit being so wide, it was possible to line the cars on the grid in rows of four-three-four-three, and the front line saw the sort of thing that is becoming pleasingly regular; there were three British drivers in the first four, and one British car, the order being Moss (Maserati), Fangio (Lancia/Ferrari), Hawthorn (BRM), and Collins (Lancia/Ferrari). Then came Schell (Vanwall). Gonzalez (Vanwall), and Salvadori (Maserati), and in row 3, Brooks (BRM). Titterington (Connaught), Scott-Brown (Connaught), and de Portago (Lancia/Ferrari). There were so many green cars in these first three rows that the possibility of a British success was not unreasonable. Then there came Behra (Maserati), Gould (Maserati), and Castellotti (Lancia/Ferrari), and in row five, Perdisa (Maserati), Trintignant (Vanwall), Flockhart (BRM), and Manzon (Gordini). The remainder of the 28 starters were in the order, Villoresi, Halford, Fairman, Gerard (Cooper-Bristol), Emery (Emeryson), Maglioli, Godia, Ramos, Rosier and Brabham. There were only three non-starters from the official entry list, these being the fifth Lancia/Ferrari that Gendebien should have driven, but he did not arrive, Volonterio (Maserati), and the fourth Connaught that was going to be driven by Leston, but was withdrawn after practice for technical difficulties.

"The BRM suffered a structural failure in the rear end and the car and went end-over-end, throwing the driver out and then catching fire. Brooks received facial injuries and was taken off to hospital, while the car was burnt right out."

When the flag fell, it was Hawthorn who shot out into the lead, closely followed by Brooks, who made a brilliant getaway from the third row, the two BRM cars out-accelerating all their rivals. In the centre of the track there was some rapid dodging as the Vanwall of Gonzalez broke a drive shaft and came to rest so that 27 cars roared into Copse Corner in a jostling bunch with the two tiny BRM cars in the lead. At the end of the opening lap there were cheers for Hawthorn who was way ahead on his own, followed by Brooks, these two having left the rest of the field quite a way behind in only one lap. Fangio was leading the pack, hotly pursued by Schell, Castellotti, Salvadori and Collins. The second lap saw another struggling crowd of cars behind the two BRMs and drivers were heading for corners three and four abreast, the wide spaces of the Silverstone track allowing them room to run side-by-side through the bends. Hawthorn and Brooks were looking completely untroubled and by the third lap were 5 sec ahead of Fangio, who had detached himself from Collins, Salvadori, Schell and Moss. Then came de Portago, Castellotti and Scott-Brown, beginning to get really fierce with each other, and the rest of the field in twos and threes and fours. Already some were missing, for Flockhart had gone out on the second lap with engine trouble in the third BRM, and Brabham had stopped with the ex-Owen Group Maserati. Now that Fangio had a clear run he began to go after the two green cars, but though he gained on Brooks, there was nothing he could do about Hawthorn, who was still keeping 5 sec ahead. Fangio got past into second place on lap six and meanwhile, Moss was closing rapidly on Collins though Salvadori was still holding on to the two works drivers. Schell stopped at the pit with a broken rear shock absorber, so that the Vanwall threat was now finished, for the Gonzalez car had been pushed away and Trintignant was way down the field in 11th place. The field was now sorting itself out into groups of its own capabilities and Scott-Brown was giving nothing to the two Lancia/Ferraris of de Portago and Castellotti, while farther back there was a four-cornered battle in progress between Maglioli, Halford, Godia and da Silva Ramos, while Gerard and Rosier were bringing up the rear.

Euginio Castellotti, Chico Godia and Luigi Villoresi go wheel-to-wheel during the 1956 British Grand Prix

Eugenio Castellotti, Luigi Villoresi and Paco Godia go wheel-to-wheel. Photo: Motorsport Images

On lap eight the pace was still as hot, and Hawthorn led from Fangio, Brooks, Moss, Collins and Salvadori, and as they went into Copse Corner, the "aerodrome king" forced his private Maserati past Collins into fifth place, while about the same time but some way back, Scott-Brown got between the two red cars he was dicing with. When they all got round to Becketts Corner, Fangio overdid things and spun off, but kept the engine going and re-started in the gap between Collins and the Lancia/Ferrari-Connaught battle. Now Moss was settling down, and having got himself a clear stretch of road, he set after Brooks, passing him at the beginning of the 11th lap and taking second place behind the flying Hawthorn, who was still leading, while Fangio caught and passed Collins before that lap was out. Behind this rather select leading group of Hawthorn, Moss, Salvadori, Brooks, Fangio and Collins, there was quite a considerable gap and then came Scott-Brown with two furious Continentals trying to catch him, and behind them Titterington, with another Connaught, was getting into his stride and closing up rapidly. At the end of lap 14 the situation was unique, for the first four places were occupied by British drivers and a British car was in the lead, while back in the field more British cars and drivers were really sorting out the Continentals, but the next lap it came to an end, for Moss went by Hawthorn with complete ease as they went into Copse Corner, and Fangio passed Brooks to take fourth place, so the order as they came by at the end of the 16th lap was Moss, Hawthorn, Salvadori, Fangio, Brooks, Collins, and then everything was upset, for the Connaught of Scott-Brown stopped at Becketts Corner when a rear hub assembly collapsed. For a short time the race settled down, with Moss drawing away to a comfortable lead, looking completely relaxed, followed by Hawthorn, still pressing on with the BRM, hotly pursued by Salvadori, who really was on top of his form, then came Fangio, working hard and with a strained look on his face, followed by Brooks at the same speed, looking almost asleep, so relaxed was his driving, while Collins brought up the rear of the leading bunch, working as hard as Fangio, the Lancia/Ferraris not being at all clever the way they were cornering. The rest of the field came by in the order, Castellotti, de Portago, Titterington, Behra, Fairman, then Gould, just a lap behind Moss, and Villoresi, Manzon, Godia, Halford, da Silva Ramos, Maglioli, Perdisa, Gerard and Rosier.

The Vanwall team were in complete disorder, which was disappointing after their Reims effort, and Schell was running again, but many laps behind and Trintignant had lost a lot of time at the pits with fuel-feed trouble. By 20 laps the weaker were beginning to drop out and the pace began to tell, the Emeryson retiring, Titterington stopping for plug changing, and Rosier re-setting his carburetters. The BRMs had now shot their bolt and Hawthorn was slowing, so that Salvadori was able to carve him up going into Copse Corner and take second place behind the works Maserati. Then, after completing 23 laps, Hawthorn drew into his pits with all the grease leaking out of a transmission joint, and, not wishing to have it seize up, he withdrew, so the race now became in steady procession, with Moss the complete master out in front, followed by Salvadori, more than content to settle in second position, and Fangio some way behind, unable to make up any time at all. The weather was still very overcast and it tried hard to rain, but the odd spot that fell did not wet the track, though many cars were spilling oil and conditions called for great care. Only eight cars remained on the same lap, so that the fast boys were continually lapping other cars, and Fangio was passing on all sides and overtaking into corners on the over-run and entering corners much too fast for neatness, while Salvadori and Moss were making full use of the good road-holding of the Maseratis. Behra was running eighth with a car that just would not produce any power worth having, and by the 28th lap Moss had lapped him, much to the Frenchman's displeasure. The duel between Castellotti and de Portago was still going on, the Italian leading, but with his mouth open and looking very harassed, while the Spaniard was sitting right behind wearing a wonderful "pokerface" expression, and every time Castellotti nipped by a slower car, his "shadow" would follow through, regardless of whether they were on the straight or in the middle of a corner.

By the 33rd lap Moss was going round Maggotts Corner as Salvadori passed the pit area, and Fangio was 30 sec behind the leader and Collins was about to overtake Brooks. Castellotti felt there must have been something wrong with his car, so close was de Portago sitting, that he stopped at the pits to investigate and this left the Spaniard comfortably in sixth place, but a lap behind Moss.

Tony Brooks suffers a huge accident but walks away with only facial injuries during the 1956 British Grand Prix

Tony Brooks' BRM on fire after suffering a major crash. Photo: Motorsport Images

Now, nobody seemed likely to pass anybody else and it was a matter of sitting back and waiting to see what would happen. Unfortunately, it was Brooks who disturbed the order of the race, for, after stopping to fix the throttle control, the BRM suffered a structural failure in the rear end and the car and went end-over-end, throwing the driver out and then catching fire. Brooks received facial injuries and was taken off to hospital, while the car was burnt right out. Then it was Salvadori's turn to run into trouble, and though not serious, it was infuriating after such a splendid drive.

As he started his 48th lap a tank-retaining strap broke and though the tank had aircraft-elastic safety straps as well as the normal steel strap, he had to stop and fix it, so that he dropped down to fourth place. This let Fangio into second place behind Moss, but some 40 sec in arrears on lap 50, then Moss stopped for more oil, so that the gap was suddenly reduced to 20 sec, and the Maserati then lost some of its power, so that the gap closed to 8 sec and then 5 sec, but there it stayed. Fangio, with a car that handled badly, and Moss, with a car that was down on revs, were now about equal, so that after the half-way mark the order was Moss (Maserati), Fangio (Lancia/Ferrari), Collins (Lancia/Ferrari), Salvadori (Maserati), these being the only ones on the same lap. Then came de Portago, Behra, closing up quite fast. Fairman with Gould hot on his tail, Castellotti, Villoresi, Godia, Manzon and da Silva Ramos, Perdisa and Gerard, while Schell, Trintignant and Titterington were still circulating, though many laps behind.

Many cars, especially some Maseratis, were spilling oil, so that the circuit was in a bad state and the faster drivers were having hectic moments in places, though thanks to their skill, none of them caused any accidents. Collins had not been doing anything spectacular, being content to run a steady and consistent race, and as a result was comfortably in third place, but then his engine began to overheat and finally all oil-pressure disappeared, so he withdrew at the pits. As de Portago was now being menaced by Behra, the Ferrari pit pulled him in and gave the car to Collins, who set off with renewed vigour, especially when he found this car went much better than his had ever gone. Meanwhile Salvadori had begun to suffer from fuel starvation and had dropped right back, finally stopping at the pits and retiring after a drive that suggested he should have been in a works car instead of a privately-owned one. Now Moss and Fangio were in complete command, there being no one else on the same lap with them, and the gap between them being constant and both drivers having settled down to complete regularity. Then, at the 69th lap, the Maserati dropped from the lead, when Moss stopped at the pits to investigate further loss of power and the ignition leads were changed, but with little effect, so that though he rejoined the race in second place, ahead of the Lancia/Ferrari now being driven by Collins, he could not lap as fast as Fangio and lost ground rapidly, soon being 11/2 min behind.

Juan Manuel Fangio receives a kiss from his wife after winning the 1956 British Grand Prix. Photo: Motorsport Images

Among the rest of the heavily-depleted field, Villoresi and Godia were having a private race together, until the Spaniard spun momentarily, and Fairman was having Castellotti close up on him gradually. Titterington came to rest with a collapsed piston and subsequent appearance of a connecting rod through the side of the engine, and the more regular of the slower drivers were beginning to get on the leader board, Gould being seventh and Villoresi eighth. A complete calm settled over the race for a time and it was quite obvious that no-one was going to catch anyone, so it was just a question of waiting to see if any of the cars were going to give trouble. Moss stopped for more oil, and Gould did likewise, while Castellotti was called in and de Portago took over to see if he could catch the steadily-plodding Fairman, whose Connaught was going on and on without any sign of needing to stop. Actually, Castellotti had spun and buckled a front wheel, so his stop was necessary anyway, but he probably didn't think a change of driver was called for. By lap 90, Fangio had lapped Collins, who was lying third and was not far from lapping Moss but this indignity was not to befall Britain's number one driver, for as he started his 93rd lap a horrid noise came from the gearbox and he vainly stirred the gear lever about in search of gears, finally coming to rest on the far side of the circuit on the next lap, after Collins has taken second place from him. This let Behra into third place, followed by Fairman in fourth place and Gould fifth, these three having profited by other drivers' misfortunes. Behra had been going as fast as his under-powered car would permit him. Fairman had been deliberately driving steadily, hoping that everyone would blow-up, and Gould had been really enjoying himself. Now it was all over, and the cars left running were reeling off the remaining laps until Fangio completed his 101st lap and received the chequered flag for the first time since his Syracuse win in April.

Formula 2 race (25 laps)

In the morning, before the Grand Prix, a 25-lap race of approximately 75 miles was contested under the F II regulations (unsupercharged engines below 1,500 cc) which will come into force next year. Unfortunately, only one new F II car is ready, John Cooper's rear-engined Coventry-Climax-powered 100-bhp Cooper, its engine cooled by water running through the chassis tubes from a nose radiator, and with a long, lean, single-seater body. So the race was composed otherwise of sports Lotus and Cooper-Climax cars, running on fuel not exceeding 100-octane, which is also a clause in the regulations. 

Thus the field consisted of Salvadori in the F II Cooper, Brabham in a works-entered Cooper-Climax, Bueb, Taylor, Marsh, Parnell, Summers, McMillan. and Leston in private Cooper-Climax, Chapman in his well-used Lotus-Climax backed up by Bicknell and Allison in Team Lotus Loti, Hill, Somervail, Frost and Hall (who was using Weber's) also driving Loti with various engines, Russell a Lotus-Connaught, Naylor a Lotus-Maserati, and Burgess a "special" with tubular chassis by Bernie Rogers, having de Dion rear-end with transverse spring ifs, by double wishbones and coil-springs, a reversed Renault five-speed gearbox, TR2 Alfin-drum brakes and a twin-cam 1,350-cc Osca engine with Weber carburetters. Hawthorn's Lotus was a non-starter and Moss had not entered his Cooper.

Chapman led for nine laps, Salvadori having made a slow start, however, the Cooper was obviously very fast and handled extremely well by Salvadori, it came up from fourth place on the first lap to second place on the ninth, to take the lead on lap ten. It then drew well away, to win comfortably its first race—but as Chapman was driving virtually a sports car, stripped only of dynamo, battery and headlamp bulbs and reflectors, the F II Lotus should be formidable! Leston's Cooper-Climax held third place after overtaking Bueb's Cooper-Climax, then Bueb re-passed, only to have Leston in front again for several laps, until he dropped back behind Bueb and Allison. Farther back, Marsh and Taylor fought a duel in their Coopers, and Parnell's Cooper gradually out-distanced, but not by much, the neat sports Gordini of Pilette. Hall's Lotus was troubled by a locking back brake, Bicknell's Lotus retired early from second place when its Climax engine threw a rod, and Somervail's Lotus stopped for an oil leak to be investigated. Russell had to retire the Lotus-Connaught with negative brakes, and Naylor had started with a very jury-rigged camshaft in the Lotus-Maserati and only completed half a lap. McMillan's Cooper-Climax stopped at Abbey, and altogether the 11/2-litre sports cars, driven at F II speeds, didn't show up too well from the reliability aspect in this 75-mile race. But the F II Cooper-Climax was very fast, Salvadori lapping at 97.39 mph on his 13th circuit, being timed over the measured section at 119.21 mph, and averaging 96 mph for the race, or only 2.65 mph less than Fangio in winning the GP. In fact, Chapman's Lotus was faster still, clocking 123.71 mph and making fastest lap, at 97.93 mph, while Bueb's Cooper was timed at 119.6 mph, so Salvadori can be said to have won on superior handling and acceleration and not on superior speed.

Sports-Car race (25 laps)

Following the Grand Prix came the sports-car race, and as so many small sports cars had run in the F II event, this was confined to cars of over 1,500 cc, sub-divided into 1,500-2,000 cc, over 2,000 cc, 3,000 cc, and over 3,000-cc classes. The entry was not very interesting. The works Jaguars were not there, so that the big class was composed of Titterington in an Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar, Sanderson's being absent, Duncan-Hamilton's Jaguar, Head and Stead in Cooper-Jaguars, Protheroe's Tojeiro-Jaguar, Trimble's C-type Jaguar. Cunningham-Reid (HWM-Jaguar) and Easley, who has driven at Sebring, in a Jaguar.

The 2/3-litre class was even more depleted, for the Ferraris of Mackay-Fraser and Wharton were non-starters, the Gillbey Eng Co  Aston Martin had thrown a rod in practice, and Whitehead's Aston Martin non-started. Salvadori, who drives sports cars so splendidly, got a drive after all, as he took over the works Aston Martin for a still-not-fit Parnell, Brooks, who was to have done this, having crashed in the GP. Flockhart drove the 3-litre Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar which Titterington had driven well but sedately at Rouen, Baxter and Kyffin started in DB3S Aston Martins, and Moss had a works 300S Maserati.

In the small class Scott-Brown had his smart Lister-Maserati. Nurse, Moore and Cliff Davis Lister-Bristols. Crabb a Tojeiro (the Sun-Pat Special), and Lund was in Anthony's Lotus-Bristol. Yet again the Phoenix, which Colin Davis was to have driven, non-started.

Moss led all the way in his inimitable style. building up a lead about which Salvadori could do nothing, although the Aston Martin stayed comfortably ahead of the larger Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar. Scott-Brown was leading his class from Moore when one or more pistons collapsed and he retired at Copse.

Behind the leading trio Protheroe headed Hamilton and Flockhart, until the HWM moved up to fifth place. Protheroe spun at Abbey Curve but at half-distance he was fifth, behind the HWM and in front of Hamilton. Flockhart eventually took Hamilton, only to spin into the crops on the inside of Copse and drop back behind the HWM and Hamilton's Jaguar. Rain fell for the latter part of the race, which Moss hardly seemed to notice, but which allowed Nurse to hold Titterington through Copse, before he crashed at Woodcote, breaking his ribs. Hamilton retired with a broken throttle spring and Easley spent much of the race rotating, finally crashing on the outside of Copse. When the Jaguar sent out steam cloud, in protest the driver vacated it hastily and vaulted over the safety fence. After it had been subdued by firemen he was able to drive off along the grass verge to a safe place of retirement.

So the race ended in an easy Moss victory, some compensation for his bitter luck in the GP.

Titterington headed the big class, Lund the little class, and the team prize was not awarded as no team finished intact.

Formula 3 event

Rain began to fall before the start of the 500-cc race and the downpour continued as the event progressed. Stuart Lewis-Evans led the field for the first six laps, closely followed by Jim Russell, but the latter gained first place on the seventh lap and there he stayed, followed by George Wicken in second place, with Bridger third. All were driving Coopers.

Quiz solution

The first person to send in a correct solution to the Quiz Picture on page 416 of last month's Motor Sport was JA Yorke of Bedford Park, W4. The car depicted was a rear-engined Mercedes-Benz 170H. Other correct solutions came in from eight anonymous readers of London, SE5, A McDermid of Bangor, RA Harcock of Abingdon and D Bedwell of Crowborough, Sussex. A number of others got the make correct but either didn't specify the type number, got this incorrect, or gambled on all the rear-engined Mercedes-Benz models. In all, 37 per cent specified Mercedes.Benz.

Curiously, 46 per cent thought the car was a Citroen 2 cv, which shows they have never examined this little car, 7 per cent claimed VW, and 10 per cent of incorrect replies applied to Citroan 4 cv (?), Rover Scarab, NSU, Fiat 600 and DKW, in about equal proportions. Maybe we shall have another one for you next month.

Correction : The Panbard described on page 483 as a DB was, in fact, a normal Dyna Panhard, which is what makes its speed remarkable.

Common-sense prevails

The efforts of enthusiasts and the Motor Press (see last month's Editorial) have resulted in amendments to the Finance Bill which have the effect of exempting home-built specials from purchase-tax. This shows what we can do when we try and similar action will no doubt be taken if the provisions of the new Road Traffic Act penalise needlessly any one section of the motoring community or motorists as a whole.

Silverstone sidelines (See British Grand Prix report on pages 454-456)

Infuriating that a broken tank strap should stop Salvadori's splendid run in second place. This is not the first one to break on a privately-owned Maserati, though it never happens on the factory team cars.

Fangio had 20 litres of fuel left in the tank at the end, if the dipstick is to be believed. This could have accounted for the slight misfire occurring on corners during the closing laps. Four-and-a-half gallons in a 50-gallon tank is as good as empty.

Next year's Grand Prix will have to be 102 laps or more, for this year the time was 13 seconds under three hours. Strictly speaking, it should not have counted as an FIA Grande Epreuve.

It was not long ago that Collins was the new boy in the Ferrari team having cars taken away from him for the leader. Now he gets second cars given to him.

The cornering of Salvadori and Gould under difficult conditions such as wrong lines or too much speed was most impressive; they kept getting away with things and afterwards paid tribute to the Avon racing tyres they use, for helping them out of awkward moments.

Gerard had a sort of National race all on his own, the Cooper-Bristol running through with merely one fuelling stop. In complete contrast to the Reims week-end, the Vanwall team were a bit of a flop at Silverstone. The come-back of Gonzalez was short and not very sweet ; he actually covered half the length of the pit area in the race, and most of that was coasting. The half-shaft broke as he left the line.

The opening laps of the BRM pair, Hawthorn and Brooks, were immense, and no matter if they did blow-up, they proved they can still motor fast.

With three full teams of British cars on the grid, the only result of fourth by Fairman was rather depressing. No reflection on Fairman, who drove a good sensible race, but one finisher out of nine works cars starting from BRM, Connaught and Vanwall did not say much for British engineering.—DSJ.

A Talbot occasion

On June 18th members of the Sunbeam STD Register—with especial emphasis on those owning Roesch-designed Talbots—were the guests of Mr Arthur Fox at the premises of Fox and Nicholl Ltd on the Kingston By-Pass. Mr Fox, as patron of the pre-war Talbot racing team, had on show a splendid collection of Talbot activities in races such as the TT, Double-Twelve, Mille Miglia, 500-Mile Race, Phoenix Park, etc, and in between inspecting these members could replenish at a buffet generously laid on in the boardroom.

Georges Roesch arrived as passenger in a Rolls-Royce Twenty — appropriately, as his first 14/45 Talbot was designed to better the performance of this car—and he and Mr Fox spent much time inspecting the assembled Talbots, which numbered 20, together with four Sunbeams and a Singer Senior saloon.

J Bradford had driven his 1934 Talbot 105 coupe from Hereford for the occasion and intended to return home that night. The oldest Talbot present was A Rawlings' 1928 14/45 saloon, which is illustrated on page 471, and Mr Fox met a car he once owned, in the form of R Maugham's Talbot 105 saloon with the ex-Brooklands engine and gear ratios. One of the smartest Talbots present was Cmdr Harris' 1930 Brooklands-bodied 90, which stood in the works beside a 1915 40/50 Rolls-Royce tourer.

Altogether an inspiring evening ! The next fixture is a Concours d'Elegance, parade and light-hearted tests in conjunction with the Worthing Carnival on August 4th. Details from the Hon Registrar, "Carmel", Wood Lane, Fleet, Hampshire.