It was a splendid idea of John Aldington’s of AFN Ltd to revive the former Stanley Cup Inter-Club Contest which was decided on race results at various circuits, starting at Brooklands in 1930 and finishing at the Crystal Palace in 1939, and to give £1,000 to the Red Cross into the bargain, that organisation having served motoring sport so well down the years. Instead of races the thing was just a nice day out in good country, starting at Malvern, with some regularity tests en route to find a winning team, and it brought out some good cars of varying ages, in 19 three-car Club teams. Such a leisurely occasion should not be reported as one does a frantic race meeting, so I will content myself with a few observations, having been unable to resist going to Prescott, the lunch stop, to see this event with its strong Brooklands’ connection.
It was very much a Frazer Nash occasion. remembering that a team of Chain-Gang ‘Nashes won in 1933 and the Frazer Nash / BMW Club in 1939, so it was nice to see many teams of this make, such as the Chain Gang “Ali Cats”, composed of three alloy-bodied early models, while the team comprising the Roy Cutler Meadowsengined car, the ex-Fane 328 BMW and Guy Smith’s 328 BMW was entered as the “Near as Dammit” team, because it consisted of two-thirds of the team that had won the Stanley Cup in 1939, the third car of that team, Aldy’s own 328, being no longer in existence. (Incidentally, we were incorrect when writing of the contest last February in saying the 1939 FN/BMW team included Leslie Johnson — he was a member of the NW London MC team.)
On the 63-mile run to Prescott BMW 11C had been troubled with lack of sparks and the Cutler ‘Nash had developed chain trouble, but this was rectified, although the first team to arrive was the VSCC Nashes, 2A, B, C led by Mark Joseland. To make the point the post-war Frazer Nash team had called itself the Chainless Wonders.
The fun of the thing can be judged when I say that there was a team of Jowett Jupiter saloons another of Jowetts comprising a 1935 Flying Fox saloon, a Kestrel saloon and a flat-four 10 hp saloon, and yet another of Jewett Bradfords, a van, a truck and an estate, and that hardly had one assimilated this than a team including two SA Jupiters arrived and then two Amilcars supplimented by another Jowett. The Bugatti OC team was late, even though led by Moffatt in his stripped-for-racing T35, as one 35B had experienced plug bothers at 10 mph in the country lanes and the other 35B, also stripped for racing, had shed its propshaft. The programme was largely anonymous, so I will keep it mostly that way. There was a mixed team of Marendaz Special, Riley 9 Gamecock and Dr Gray’s 30/98 Vauxhall, lots of Singer-powered HRGs with among them the car with which Thompson Fairfield did well at Le Mans and Spa just after war, the VSCC Alvis “Brooklands Touring” team, the MCC Dellows, three separate ACOC teams, and the Lagonda Rapiers of the “Rapierists” (careful, Mr Printer!) team, and others with similarly ingenious names. . . . The BMW 327 team had withdrawn but there were those of BMW 319 and 328 / 327 to compensate, and the TBN Porsche team. The Sunbeam Talbot Alpine Register was out in force with its “Star” team, as was the MG-A Register, but only two of the VSCC Junior A7 team turned up, the girls in almost identical Chummies, as the third baby had proved temperamental at Malvern. What a jolly day it was, a credit to AFN who thought of it and to Major Grant Peterkin, who organised it. Let’s hope for a repeat. I was even able to convince myself I had gone appropriately in a car having some Chain Gang affinities, for I understand that somewhere in the bowels of a Sierra XR4 x4 there is a driving chain. . . . — W.B.