VSCC at Shelsley Walsh

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It was hot at the Midland AC’s hill-climb on July 10th, making Edwardian engines boil, and too hot for those who were up against Guy Smith’s Alvis-‘Nash, which made pre-war ftd in 36.07 sec. Donald Day was rewarded for spending most of the afternoon rebuilding the engine of the ERA R14B with second place in this class and the Raymond Mays’ Trophy (36.34 sec), and Lord Raglan’s Type 51 Bugatti was third (37.09 sec). Surprisingly, the Cognac only managed 37.41 sec, but took the vintage section. Smith’s Frazer Nash set a new class-record of 41.47 sec in winning the 11/2-litre sports-car class, with MJ Stretton’s ‘Nash taking the vintage honours, and B Spoilers (41/4 Bentley) took the big sports car class in 40.32 sec, with Rogers’ ‘Nash first vintage.

The 11/2-litre racing-car class was won by Grey in the Hardy (38.20 sec), from a much slower Giles in Salome, L Stretton’s ‘Nash being best vintage (45.06 sec). Chamberlain made his first appearance in competition with the mighty 15-litre 1904 Napier “Samson” reconstruction, doing 50.44 sec on his only ascent, wheel-spinning away from the start. This disposed of the 1908 GP Panhard’s 12.8-litres, but was no match for Threlfall’s 1913 51/2-litre Schneider (49.25 sec), which was fastest Edwardian, although the crackling BHD, driven by James Parker, took the class, in 46.14 sec. Long’s Riley Sprite seized up after crossing the finish line and the Becke spun. Best Bugatti time was by Lord Raglan, as aforesaid, while David Sewell won on handicap, his Type 13 having a “middling” camshaft and low axle ratio to help it upwards. Outside the vintage area an F1 1972 BRM P180 did 33.97 sec but was outclassed by a De Tomaso Pantera (34.4 sec, on both its runs), this being ftd in the post-war category. It was Anthony Brooke’s 71st birthday but the Vauxhall-Villiers, non-starting, refused to give him a present. The Meeting was sponsored by Newton Oils and presumably in appreciation all the competitors were using it? The next VSCC hillclimb is at Prescott on August 7th. — WB.

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