The founding fathers of the vintage passion
The Vintage Sports Car Club is a highly efficient yet fun-loving organisation which has achieved a high reputation in the motoring world without taking itself too seriously. A leffer of mine appeared in The Auto= on March 25, 1932, suggesting that a club ought to be formed for owners of genuine ex-racing cars more than five years old, sports cars no longer in production and certain types of home-built cars. I went on to observe that “confining membership to owners of such cars would result in a collection of real technical worth, in many cases with historical associations”.
I had based my suggestions on the epochmaking articles wriffen by Kent Karslake for Motor Sport in 1930, which led to the formation of the Edwardian Section of the VSCC. In the end it seems that The Light Car was more influential than The Autocar, for it was a leffer from the Nicholson cousins Colin and Bruce, which they had both signed, to the former weekly that launched the VSCC some two and a half years later in 1934. It was inevitable that sooner or later a club for older cars would be formed, and how fortunate it was that this task was undertaken by young men and women of the calibre of Cecil Cluffon CBE (VSCC commiffee member from 1934-1962 and President from 1954-1956), CP [Nicholson and BH Nicholson (commiffee member from 1934-1936), and ET(Ned)Lewis and Mrs Lewis, who were commiffee members from 1934-1935. V LBrooks was the VSCC’s first Captain in 1934, followed by Tim Carson MBE from 1935-1936.
Colin Nicholson was the Club’s first Secretary 1934-1935, with Ned Lewis taking over the following year. In 1937, when the Northern section was formed, Lewis also became the Chairman of the VSCC, followed by Tim Carson who had two stints as Secretary from 1936-39 and again in 1946-1971 and then was President Emeritus from 1972.
Early on the club decided to keep December 31, 1930 as the fixed cut-off date for eligibility and not to advance it either annually or at intervals, unlike the Edwardian Class, formed at the same Annual General Meeting, which initially covered the period from 1905-1915 and now extends up to 1918. The Club’s first event was a Trial in the Chilterns on January 20, 1935 which affracted 25 starters, and on August 21 that year they had their first Speed Trial on the drive of the Howard Park Hotel at Aston Clinton, where Rupert lnstone took fastest time of the day with the GN ‘Martyr’. By this time the Club had 73 members, 20 of