I was most interested to read ML’s article in the April issue of Motor Sport on the growth of 500 cc Racing.
Following the successful and enjoyable “Mutton Grand Prix” held by the Frazer Nash owners it was suggested that a similar gathering for the 500 cc movement be laid on for a Saturday later in the year. This was done on the proviso that nobody arrived till alter lunch when the caretaker went off for the weekend. Unfortunately people arrived early to be greeted by an irate caretaker who threatened to call the police. For a time it looked as though the gathering was doomed to failure and most people moved to the “Saracen’s Head” in Towcester to discuss the situation and / or drown their sorrows when the Landlord suggested that Lord Hesketh could help. When approached Lord Hesketh was both most helpful and enthusiastic.
Rumour has it that he produced a map of the estate and traced out a likely circuit when he slopped with the remark that “it would involve closing Watling Street and the police would not approve of that”.
Eventually a piece of road slightly uphill in front of the Towcester Race Course grandstand was used and an enjoyable atternoon’s motoring was had by all.
Enclosed is a photo taken at Brooklands in 1934 or 35 of Miles Rothwell’s 500 cc record car standing outside Francis Beart’s shed. As I recall the chassis was similar to a GN / Frazer Nash with rear engine, motor cycle gearbox and linal chain drive. Due to the small size and height of the car, the driver lay down and controlled the car through motor cycle controls including steering by handle-bars. As far as I know no records were ever attempted as the car was rolled and written off coming off the Byfleet Banking whilst being tested by a journalist.
Great Barford. Beds CLIFFORD ENGLAND