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Stanley Cup

We had a look on June 22nd at the Stanley Cup well, not literally at the Cup, or the £1,000 cheque that AFN generously give with it to the British Red Cross Society on the occasion of this happy, revived event, but at some of the action Organised for AFN Ltd by Grant Peterkin, this year’s Stanley Cup contest started from Motec near Shrewsbury and finished with a buffet-supper at the Midland Motor Museum at Bridgnorth. There were five regularity-tests in which each team had to keep as closely as possible to the speed it set itself, some in delightful parks of stately mansions, such as at Walcot Park, where we decided to see the action. Here this regularity business incloved some two miles of rather rough back drive, which could be driven at any speed the competitors wished to do! Other such tests were at the start, at Loton park hill-climb course, Hatton Grange and Aldenham Park, the whole comprising a pleasant 109-mile run through sleepy Shropshire, easy to follow with route-card, maps, and AFN markers, but the scenery unfortunately mist-shrouded, with visibility over the Long Mynd down to only a few yards.

This is essentially a Team contest, based on that instituted by Sir Arthur Stanley between 1930 and 1939, commencing with the Inter-Club race meeting at Brooklands. The 1986 entry list did not name the drivers of the cars in the 31 three-car teams entered (in contrast to present-day F1 commentary bias) so we will preserve this anonymity. There was even a No.13 team, drawn by the Historic Rally Car Register, to keep superstition at bay. You cannot report on regularity runs, but the competing cars deserve some mention.

First to arrive at Walcot Park was the Sunbeam-Talbot Alpine Team, comprising two Sunbeam-Talbot 90 saloons and a smart open Alpine sports tourer. They were soon followed by the Willersley ‘hashes of the Frazer Nash Section Team, of TT Replica / Falcon Chain-Gang cars, two driven by girls, which had successfully found the turn into the park at the Inn bearing a sign “Ansells Traditional Ales”, which reminded us of ERAs and why should this thought occur at the sight of some Frazer Nash motor-cars, we wonder? Next to appear was the “The Other Rapierists” trio of Lagonda Register Rapiers. two two-seater examples, one with ribbed tail, and a lour-seater. The MG Car Club put in a team of MG-As. its “C” car with a roll-bar and large racing-number roundels. Naturally, the BMW-CC team of 319/328 cars was there, and the aforesaid Historic Rally “Old Stagers” consisted of a lhd Alfa Romeo coupe, an MG Magnette saloon and an 80-bore, reverse-rear-window Ford Anglia that was being given the encouragement of some engine oil The Jowett CC had three pre-war Javelins and another team of Bradfords. which putter-puttered off up the timed section, all of them smart, one a truck. one a pick-up, and the last a can in the livery of a print company Alas, the third Jowett team was depleted, and only the sports two-seater twin-cylinder represented it.

It was good to see a team of three Dellows, Mk.I and Mk.IIC models. likewise a Ferrari team. of a short-wheelbase 250 and a couple of 195 MMs. The ACOC had three teams running, of PVT 16/80s. Acecas, and Ace-Bristols, the former called “The Geriatrics”; but one noted they were open-bodied cars on this chilly day, so age had not withered. The “Gentlemen ot the MGCC” went by in a TB, followed by two TCs, the HRG Association fielded the “HRG Sportsmen” in two post-war and the pre-war EPG 735 cars’ and the three BE10 Talbot Ten tourers, two with wheel-discs all with hoods down, reminded us of the first car road-tested for Motor Sport by the writer. In contrast, two of the Riley Lynx of the VSCC “Blue Diamonds” team had hoods erect.

The Lagonda CC had put in two teams, land II. one of big Lags, the other a mix of 2-litre. 3 1/2-litre and LG45 4 1/2-litre, all open cars, in startling contrast to the cheerful team of Austin A35s the “Flying As”. There were even more Frazer Nashes, as befitted this competition, the “Chaingang” putting in an assortment of Super Sports models with AC, Meadows and Anzani engines, while the Northern ‘Nash team had a 328 BMW to augment Meadows and AC-powered chaingangers. One of the starkest cars running was Frazer Nash BYL 3, of the post-war ‘Nashes team, their “C” car a non-starter. The Morgans were in good form. two 4/4s and a Plus-4 comprising the “Flying Norsemen” team, the Series II 4/4s looking larger than the 4/4 I once ran. In keeping with the AFN theme was the Bristol Owners’ team of 405 saloon, 400 coupe. and 400 drophead with four occupants, and about the last through was “Team Octagon”, of MG NB Magnette, MG TC, and a PA with Marshall cabin-blower-boosted PB engine. From all this, the results came out as under.

If you missed this year’s Stanley Cup fun, ably thought-up by John Aldington, you should enter next year, as the spectating owner of a Mexican-built VW Beetle is hoping to do. – W.B.

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