VSCC Shelsley Walsh

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An eventful day in the Worcestershire heatwave, on July 3, when the VSCC assailed the famous hill. Roger Collings’ great 19-litre 1907/16 Mercedes-Maybach was making its second competition appearance. surrounded in the Paddock by clusters of spectators. Alas, as the intrepid driver let in the clutch the engine stalled. It was quickly recommenced on the starter but next time bottom and second gear stripped their teeth. Roger quickly engaged the next highest ratio and climbed in 55.95s, sixth fastest in the class. Then President Barry Clarke’s 1913 26/60 Metallurgique shed an oil-filler cap which the flywheel flung about, breaking an oil-pipe, so that unbeknown to the driver much lubricant (Penrite presumably) was cast on the course, causing a long delay, and the engine seized. (58.5s nevertheless). Nor was that all, because Roy Adnams’ 1912 25/50 Talbot blew out a valve cap, the sparkingplug in which neatly holed its bonnet. A spare was brought from home and the second run resulted in a time of 53.06s. However, John Walker was going splendidly in the 1908 GP Panhard-Levassor and in spite of missing a gear change at the Esses did his first run in 47.61s, his next in 45.86s, equalling the car’s 1991 class record, when conducted by Mark, by 1.24s. Second fastest of these Edwardians was Mark in his Monarch OX-5 (47.55s), with the 1908 GP ltala third (49.88s). The 114 Overland needed 103.07s but won on handicap.

In other classes, the unfortunates were Ben Collings, whose 3/8-litre Bentley was on only about half its cylinders — which did not stop it taking the big sports-car class (39.81s) — and Philip Venables’ McEvoy Star which also failed to get its gears selected and came to rest, but restarted. Other class winners were: J Howatt (RileyMorgan 4/4, 40.62s), vintage, T ‘ones (Frazer Nash “Patience”), 42.69s; G Spollon (Riley Blue Streak, 40.67s), vintage, J Giles (Frazer Nash “Beetle”, 41.20s); B Collings (Bentley, 39.81s), ditto vintage; L Keeling (MG PB, 40.53s), vintage, D Lake (AmilcarRiley, 41.78s); M Gillies (White Riley, 38.63s), vintage, D Smith (Frazer Nash, 39.18s); B Spollon (ERA R8C, 35.42s) FTD, vintage, F Giles (AC/GN, 36.52s); I Clement (Cooper-Bristol Mk 2, 40.94s). Bruce Spollon won the Fray Challenge Trophy for FTD, Giles the MAC Challenge Trophy, and Spollon also took the Raymond Mays Trophy. W B