Vintage Cars at Shelsley Walsh

Ideal conditions prevailed on July 9th at the Midland AC hill-climb of the VSCC. It included an assembly of Alfa Romeos, to mark the 20th birthday of this Section of the Club, so the course was opened by Roy Slater, from Milan, in Black’s Monza; he deputised for Kenneth Evans, whose car had broken down en route—one hopes it was not an Alfa!

Alan Cottam made an impeccable FTD in the Connaught, in 35.9 sec, not quite as quick as his record climb last year, but 2.67 sec. faster than the 1.8-litre Ford Escort that won the special-saloons class! To show an Alfa-unbias, Pilkington took the handicap in his Talbot-Lago. Gray won the 1 1/2-litre racing-class in the Hardy Special (39.57 sec.), a new record, with Marsh’s ERA and the Appleton tying for second place (40.4 sec.). Giles’ GN Salome won on handicap. Summers’ 1934 Type 34 Maserati showed its new-found form by taking the over-1 1/2-litres racing-class, in 37.9 sec., Smith’s Alvis-Frazer Nash second, Moffatt’s ERA third, the last-named hampered by having no bottom gear, the protesting gear-bands filling the cockpit with smoke on its only run. Smith did his ascents in 38.5 sec.; Hamish needed 38.7 sec. Black’s Monza Alfa did not appear again but Dr. Taylor’s Monza was best here, on handicap. Williamson reminded the 10 1/2-litre Delage that it was originally a hill-climb car and took it off with howling tyres, to clock 42.5 sec. The Cognac did 39 sec., the Vauxhall-Villiers 46.5 sec., Hine’s Bentley 42.8 sec., Conway’s Bugatti 42.0 sec., Bunty Clark, step-daughter of prewar Bugatti-exponent Lindsay Eccles, drove Moffatt’s Type 35T Bugatti, having to hold in second gear, her first appearance in a speed event (47.1 sec.).

The Edwardian-class was hotly contested. Arnold-Forster started his 1912 Bugatti “on the button” and was a popular winner (48.5 sec., a new record). Williamson in the 12-litre 1908 Itala and Liddell in the 4-litre StrakerSquire were equal second, in 52.4 sec., Liddell doing this on both his runs. Rowley’s Th.-Schneider (now, I see, called a GP car) won the handicap. There were two sportscar classes, both won by Rileys, in which the respective handicaps went to Sherriff’s rebodied, non-road-equipped, M-type MG and Mrs. Black’s smoky 8C Alfa Romeo Spider Corsa.—W.B.