Matters of moment, August 1984

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The VSCC’s Golden Jubilee

From humble beginnings back in 1934 the Vintage Sports Can Club has developed consistently into one of the most important clubs catering for the older motor cars, mostly of the more sporting or high quality pre-1940 kind. Over and above that, it has never deflected from its carefree, not-too-serious demeanour, which cannot be said of all such organisations, aided in this very much by the integrity and excellence of its Presidents and Committee. So its Golden Jubilee, based on Malvern in Worcestershire, last month, was one of the great vintage occasions of all time.

Apart from various socials appropriate to such an occasion — VSCC members are traditionally thought of as bending elbows to manipulate beer mugs — there were all kinds of events during the week, reflecting just the sort of runs and competitions which the VSCC has so effectively held for a half-a-century. Thus the big concourse of guests, from as far afield as Australia, America and many European countries, could watch or take part in driving-tests, a ,em>Concours d’Etat (prizes by Dunlop), high-speed frolics at Silverstone (awards from the same source of essential tyre-wear), a light car run, a navigational rally (prizes by Carfax), a sporting trial at Eastnor Castle (awards courtesy of Stanley Mann and Classic Cars), and a scenic run to Prescott hill, while the Northern Section of the Club held a reception (by Rolls-Royce) and dinner, followed by driving-tests and a Concours d’Elegance at Oulton Park. The Grand Finale took place at Shelsley Walsh, Britain’s oldest unmolested speed-venue, apart perhaps from Brighton’s Madeira Drive.

The Editor, who has had so much enjoyment from VSCC affairs, would like to add his warmest congratulations to the VSCC on attaining, at full strength, its 50th anniversary. He intends, space permitting, to do justice to this in other parts of this issue. That apart, if you want to flavour the concept, ideals and sheer fun that lies behind VSCC activities, try to get hold of its Golden Jubilee Programme, in which articles by many of its leading lights explain it all, often with commendable humour. For instance Denis Jenkinson tells of how Tim Carson dealt typically with protests when he was the VSCC Secretary, makes like Alvis, Bugatti, Vauxhall, Bentley, Frazer Nash, Ford and A7 are dealt with by acknowledged experts, with others writing of various aspects of VSCC competitive life, such as Adrian Liddell on Edwardian racing (although I cannot accept that his Straker-Squire lapped Silverstone in 1.27 seconds — these printing errors)), Ron Barker on other Edwardians, Geoff Winder on trials, and Jeddere-Fisher and W.B. on the small cars, while it was sheer genius on the part of the Hon Patrick Lindsay to tell modestly of the misfortunes he has had with his ERA “Remus”, instead writing of his courageous and very successful racing at the wheel of it, as he could well have done.

There is much more besides, the welcome is by the present VSCC Secretary, and the fine paper compliments scores of splendid photographs. It is available from the VSCC office, 121 Russell Rd, Newbury, Berkshire, at £2.50.

* * *

Oh, Rover

Our first impression, when confronted with the latest Rover, was to castigate the Austin-Rover branch of British Leyland for producing a Japanese-engineered parody of former Betjeman-land “Aunties” and the later rally and race-orientated cars from Solihull, when the thought occurred that the new front-drive breed bearing the once-proud name may be no bad thing. Because those who admire Honda quality, good gearchange, etc can now have all this, and in time a “Vitesse” engine and leather upholstery if they so desire, without incurring the stigma, if that is how they see it, of buying a Japanese car. . . . — W.B.