Veteran to classic: VSCC Colerne

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Pace-Noting

The Vintage Sports-Car Club held another interesting sprint between heavy showers at Colerne on Jun 4, timing the cars over a standing-start quarter-mile and kilometre with a speed trap at the end of the course.

A special attraction was a replica of the LSR Jenatzy electric car “La Jamais Contente” (the original did 65.79 mph in 1899) which was realistic except for its 4.50 x 17 Firestone tyres. Alas, a practice run took some 500 amps from the ten batteries, and it did not perform again.

Bob Roberts did splendidly in the 1925 4-litre V12 Sunbeam, which after a hesitant start made FTD in 23.95 seconds over the kilo, finishing at 137 mph. Next fastest was Jaye in the 2-litre Aston Martin-engineered Attenborough, in 24.65 sec (132 mph at the finish), and third quickest Jolley in the 3.5-litre Giron-Alvis, with 25.45 sec (126 mph) on his only run.

In the big sports-car class Stanley Mann’s record-breaking 1924 8.2-litre Bentley was much fancied and duly won easily, doing the kilo in 26.90 sec (122 mph), Burrell’s V12 Bentley-Royce having to be content with 28.22 sec and 109 mph. Good times in the big racing-car class were 26.48 sec (124 mph) by Arnold-Forster’s 11.9-litre V8 Bequet-Delage, and 26.94 sec (127 mph) by Holdsworth in the Giron-Alvis.

Other class winners included Tony Jones in the Frazer Nash “Patience”, Judy Hogg whose Aston Martin just beat Derek Edwards, Hine’s 3/4 ½ Bentley, Conway’s 37A Bugatti, Bishop’s A7 and Lake’s Amilcar-Riley. Quickest Edwardian was Hubbard’s 1911 10-litre Alco, which managed the kilo in 37.59 (85 mph). A very notable run was that by Caroline’s Morgan three-wheeler, with a terminal speed of 103 mph.

It was nice to see the Halford Special out again, but it was soon in trouble and back on its trailer; another disappointment was the non-appearance of the Indianapolis Ballot.

For those who wonder about the top pace of the really old cars, the 1918 Straker Squire driven by Horner did 86 mph, and Roger Collings’ venerable 1903 Mercedes 60 managed 79 mph. WB