THE FLOWER OF THE GLOUCESTER

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THE FLOWER OF THE GLOUCESTER ONLY TWO CARS CLIMB ALL THE HILLS BREAKHEART WELL NAMED

THEtwenty -sevei4 Ii London Gloucester Trial was promoted by the North-West London Motor Club on December 4th, aini

bad weather lent even greatcr severity to one of the stiffest courses that a big event has seen. Only two drivers, out of a total of seventy-seven starters, came through

with a clean sheet. These were P. S. Flower and R. A. Ma ed erniid both driving M.G., ears. Flower, who won the chief award, the Gloucester Cup, deserves especial credit for the manner in which he Overcame his physical disability, and his was a most outstanding performance. The trial, under the auspices of W. J. E. Richardson, Clerk Of the Course, was remarkably xell organised, and, in spite of the big entry and the wholesale failures on the hills, finished before darkness fell. The start was at the Thatched Barn Roadhouse on the Barnet By-Pass, just after midnight. It was a bitterly cold, night, in keeping with the ” Gioucesters ” of old, and icy roads confronted the competitors. An observed hill was included in the night section, at Kineton—not the difficult Kineton of Colmore fame, but the easier track on the left. Fe* failures were caused, but just after this hill an unfortunate accident occurred when C. J. Turner’s Singer skidded On the icy surfaee and over turned. His passenger sustained fatal injuries, and thus a gloom was cast over the event Breakfast was taken as usual at the Plough Hotel, Cheltenham, and very welcome it proved. Dire stories were

circulating of the new hills. One of these, aptly named Breakheart, was indeed the piece de resistance of the event. It has been used for some years in the British Experts Motor-Cycle Trial, but this was

the first time it had been possible for cars. The organisers had obtained the permission of the owners of the neighbouring

land to widen the track, and had cut away the rocky Steps which had hitherto prevented its use in a car event. The loose shale surface was at this point

bound together by the insertion of wooden boards, but even during the event it became necessary to undertake ” roadmending ” operations at intervals, by dint of spades and pick-axes. The first to climb successfully was Warl)urton, no longer with his well known Vauxhall, but driving an Allard Special Ford. He stormed the banks on

both sideS of the double S-bend in the middle of the hill, and, using this natural banking, rocketed up. Macdermid also took the ” banking ” in style, but J. A. Bastock and A. B. Langley of the same M G. team both stopped, the former with spin, and the latter through charging so high up the bank that his car nearly overturned. In the other M.G. team, J. M. Toulmin was successful, but H. K. Crawford and

J. E. S. Jones failed. Crawford was certainly unlucky, for he was going Well, till his wheels were just stopped by the jutting boards. H. G. Symmon’s smart L.M.B. Ford Special also stopped after a goad effort, for the Stone reason. L. G. Johnson made a tine try with his Frazer-Nash-11.M. V., but stopped on the S-bend. The marshals were wearily attaching the rope when Johnson called out ” Give me a push and I’ll be away.” Sceptics eonsidercd this unlikely, but sure enough Johnson restarted in fine

style: Another ” rope ” comedy was provided by W. P. Uglow with his H.R.G. Uglow nearly succeeded, but when he did stop produced the tow-rope out of his car, having carried it up from the bottom, to prepare for the worst ! Though rain eet in and made the hill more and More slippery, several drivers near the end proved that it was still

possible. 1‘1. H. Lawson made a good climb with his H.R.G., and J. P. A. Clough’s Riley 01: over the difficulties in amazing style. Three of the five trials Austins were among the thirteen who eventually provided the total of clean climbs. The drivers were A. H. Langley, who earned particular applause, C. D. Buckley, and

C. L. Goodacre.

It was a remarkable feature of the event that success on the various hills was so evenly divided. This was particularly the case with the Austin team. A. H. Langley, after his good climb of Breakheart, stopped on Hodgecotnbe, which also claimed a notable failure in S. H. Allard’s Allard Special, while W. J. Green’s M.G., another Breakheart success, now came to grief, and was among the twenty-two failures on Hodgecombe. To continue the tale of the Austins, H. L. Hadley, who had not climbed Breakheart, was the only one of the five

to climb Station Lane. Then all five cars covered themselves with glory by a series of successful climbs on Juniper, when the rain had made the hill so slippery that failures were becoming general. The other entirely new hill, Fort, caused some delay at the beginning, but got easier as wheels bit down to the firm

surface underneath. Only nine cars failed in the end. Station Lane, which has been in the route for some years, might be included In the category of new hills, for a surprise awaited competitors. A new loop was included, only about fifteen yards in length, but running straight up a steep bank. So slippery was this that only eleven cars were successful, and strange to say all but three of those successful on Breakheart were weeded out. Mac

THE E.R.A. DINNER

THE E.R.A. DINNER

A large gathering of E.R.A. club members and their friends sat down to a very pleasant informal dinner at the Victoria Grill on December 3rd.

S. C. H. Davis was in the chair and in a brief speech he emphasised the spirit of enthusiasm that makes motoring sport the finest sport in the world and paid warm tribute to E.R.A. and to the E.R.A. Club. Humphrey Cook thanked the Club for inviting Mrs. Cook, Peter Bethron and himself to the dinner and particularly for the cheque Mr. Davis had handed to him on behalf of the club as a material display of very real and greatly appreciated enthusiasm. He outlined briefly E.R.A.’s 1938 policy and prolonged cheering greeted the announcement that E.R.A. will concentrate on Formula racing. They will not be able to attend every Formula race, but hope to run in

those nearer home. Earl Howe’s car will be entirely brought up to date at his own expense, to run in the team. R. L. Walkerley also paid tribute to the club and to the E.R.A., which, he said, was respected abroad as leader of the 1i-litre class. He saw many well known people present who should be speakers, including Mr. Tongue, who, according to Mr. Walkerley (who was once with MOTOR SPORT, by the way), has to be very careful not to upset his E.R.A. as it would be a case of an E.R.A. putting out its tongue. Emphasis was laid on the proof of British enthusiasm contained in the growing membership of the E.R.A. club. Even so, we believe it should be much greater. There is no need to draw

dermid was the only one of the six M.G. team drivers to make the ascent, even the redoubtable Toulmin failing, and Flower kept his clean record. The third was Warburton with the Allard Special, and Allard himself now made amends with a fine climb. A. G. Imhof’s M.G. scored where many others stopped.

M. S. Soames, a novice driver with a Ford V8, was successful here, but had stopped on Juniper.

Juniper was not in its worst form at the beginning, when a number of cars climbed, but grew steadily more slippery as the rain fell, and had it not been for the successful Austin onslaught at the end, the total of twenty-one successes would have been considerably smaller.

Of the other hills, Ham Mill presented two difficult sections, a number failing near the bottom, and others higher up. In all nineteen cars stopped. • Old Hollow stopped ten cars with a restart on a steep gradient. Three special tests were included, and an aggregate of the times on all of them was used to decide ties. The first was on the descent of Ferriscourt, a species of brake test. Best times were those of G. Warburton (Allard Special), 11* secs. ; E. J. Haesendonck (M.G.), 12 secs. ;

H. L. Hadley (Austin). 12+ secs. On the opposite side of the valley came the restart on Bismore, and it was here that Macdermid lost his chance of securing the principal trophy by hitting the bank. Best times were : G. Warburton (Allard Special), 16.99 secs. ; E. K. Farley a comparison with other sports. Dirt

track car-racing supporters’ clubs have very big membership lists. We forget the actual number of Lea Bridge supporters, but it is in thousands and not hundreds. The B.R.A. club, quite apart from its excellent social events and facilities at race meetings, is, in effect, the British motor-racing supporters’ club and this is particularly so now that E.R.A.

is entering the Grand Prix field. The annual cheque handed by the club to E.R.A. is at present little more than a gesture of enthusiasm. But it could play a material part in furthering the success of these British cars in International racing if all those who have the interests of British racing-cars at heart will send their Ll 1 subscription to the club. We would like to see Mr. Burgin elected to the committee after he has joined voluntarily. To revert to the dinner, an excellent film show concluded the evening, noise effects provided by the audience—so realistically that Mr. Cook remarked that if the 1938 ears sound as healthy all should be well at Bourne next year. Sam Green, on whose broad shoulders falls all the work and responsibility associated with a club of this kind, said a few words in reply to the other speakers—establishing a record, as this was alleged to be his first after-dinner

speech. He has our congratulations on doing very unobtrusively fine and valuable work for the Sport. Mr. Peter Tiethron, E.R.A designer, said a few words and concluded with a joke concerning zip-fasteners, which we cannot print in full. A telegram was sent

(H.R.G.), 17.19 secs. ; W. J. Green (M.G.). 18.26 secs. Later in the trials Ferriscourt was used once more, this time on the ascent for an

acceleration test. Best times were : K. Hutchison (Ford Special), 29.77 sec.; R.. A. Macdermid (M.G.), 29.81 sec. ; G. Warburton (Allard Special), 31.13 sec. Thus Warburton arrived at the final hill or the trial, Nailsworth Ladder, in a seemingly impregnable position. He had climbed all the worst hills, made best time in two of the tests, and third best time in the ren‘aining test. But alas ! at the Ladder, only two miles from the finish, his hopes were dashed, for although only six drivers failed on this once dreaded hill, Warburton was one of them RESULTS

Gloucester Cup P. S. Flower (M.G.).

1,100 c.o. Award : D. J. Holliday (Singer). 1,500 c.e. Award : R. A. Macdermid (M.G.).

2,000 c.o. Award,: L. G. Johnson (Frazer-NashB.M.W.).

Unlimited Award : G. Warburton (Allard-Special). Ladies Cup : Mrs. H. Wood (Singer).

Novices’ Cup : M. S. Soames (Ford V8).

Team Prize : A. G. Imhof (M.G.), P. S. Flower (M.(.). 0. Warburton (Allard Special).

Runners-up : S., R. Allard (Allard-Special), H. G. Symmons (L.M.B. Special), K. Hutchison (Ford Special).

No First-Class Awards. Second-Class Awards : K. Hutchison (Ford Special), A. G. Imhof (M.G.), W. C. N. Norton (Ford), H. G. Symmons (L.M.B. Special), J. M. Toultuht (M.G.), M. H. Lawson (H.R.G.), C. D. Buckley, C. L. Goodacre, H. L. Hadley (Austins). Third-Claw Awards : S. H. Allard (Allard-S_peciall,

N. V. Terry, V. S. A. Biggs (Frazer-Na.sh-B.M.W.$). A. B. Tangley (M.G.), E. K. Farley, W. P. Uglow (H.R.G.$), E. B. Booth (Singer), A. H. Langley, W. IT. &riven (Austins), J. F. A. Clough (Riley), R. K. N. Clarkson (L.M.B. Ford).

to Mrs. Petre at Mr. Davis’s suggestion, wishing her a complete and rapid recovery. We left feeling quite proud of Britain’s part to be in Grand Prix racing.

THE FUTURE TRIALS POLICY

The meeting at the Motor Sports Club on November 80th, to discuss the advisability of grouping territorial clubs, for the purpose of obtaining better and stricter control of trials in the London area, got things moving, if it accom

plished nothing else. It also seems to have provided quite a lot of amusement to many of those present, as different speakers strove to get their points over. It was recommended that the R.A.C. should elect territorial centres for the control of the sport and a temporary committee was elected to submit this suggestion to all clubs concerned and to work in conjunction with the R.A.C. Capt. Phillips said the R.A.C. would give all the help they could and promised to do all the duplicating and postage involved. This is a very important subject, about which we hope to say more when space permits and more opinions

have been expressed. Readers’ views are welcome. The temporary committee is composed of A. J. G. Bochaton (Kentish Clubs), R. C. Porter (One-Make Clubs), B. P. Twist (Universityand Colleges), Comdr. Purkis (Surrey Clubs), Paul Hardy (Middlesex and Chiltern), W. J. B. Richardson (non-territorial), P. W. Pinhard (S.E. Centre), A. E. S. Curtis (L.C.C.), Lady Iris Capell (W.A.S.A. & J.C.C.). used either when going forward or backward, according to the position Of the auxiliary lever. In this way there are also four reverse gears, if one cares to

use them ! Merely for amusement, the driver did actually change up right through the box in reverse gear. The only criticism that an enthusiast would make of the magnetic box is that it is too easy. It is impossible to miss the change (unless one does not move the switch right across) either going up or down. The rapid change was a great help in establishing some remarkable acceleration figures, as shown by the

accompanyiiig graph. Even so, the impression was received that the carburation was affected by the extremely cold temperature—the sewage farm at Brooklands was frozen over at the time. On a warm day in the summer, or with special attention to jets, there is little doubt that a considerably higher maximum than the 91 m.p.h. recorded would

be possible. Moreover, a considerable portion of the track was closed for repairs, and no rim, off the banking was possible.

Another valuable feature of the car was actually a handicap in such cold weather, for there is a large oil radiator between the dumb-irons. Though this is admirable for speed work on a suitable day, in December the oil temperature— both oil and water thermometers are fitted—never rose above 45° Cent.

The Delahaye is pleasantly high geared, the ratios being 3.42 to I, 5.60, 7.60, and 11.32. This means that about 40 m. p h. is possible • in bottom gear, over 60 m.p.h. in second, and 73 m.p.h. in third, or even 80 m.p.h., if one liked to push the car. This last remark is not meant literally, and, also in lighter vein, the same speeds would be possible in reverse. A. high cruising speed is thus possible, and so effortless is the engine that an unsuspecting driver might find himself approaching a corner too rapidly. How ever, two courses are then open to him apart from any escape road that may

be available. Either he can apply the remarkable brakes, or he can make use of the equally remarkable cornering. The brakes are of Bendix self-energising pattern, and give the feeling of a giant hand retarding the car. Only a gentle pressure on the pedal is needed for a lot to happen. The cornering is assisted by the independent front suspension, of the transverse leaf spring

type. The whole car is nicely sprung, with suspension neither too soft nor too harsh. The foursome coupe tested had attractive lines, but had been designed for rather a short driver. In consequence, there

,was scarcely adequate head room. The hood folded away neatly during a brief period of sunshine. If desired, it could be left in the three-quarter position. Ample luggage space is available in the rear, and the tools have a locker in the floor of the boot. Altogether the Delahaye is a most attractive example of the Continental sports-car. The model tested costs £1,030,