CASTING BACK

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CASTING BACK

No. I.—BROOKLANDS-1925 SEASON

WITH no current races to report, the Motoring Press has taken to delving into the past and, in following suit, we have decided first of all to take a look at BrOoklands as it was fifteen years ago, because Brooklands, more than any other venue, holds happy memories for thousands of enthusiasts in this country. The cars and speeds have changed year by year, but not the Track, or the irresistible atmosphere surrounding it. Sideots and leathers have given place to startling sports jackets and flannel bags which owe something to the ” Oxford ” movement of the period under review, and the ladies may have worn less and looked more lovely each new season, and as time went on there were fewer lurid tales to swop of adventure on the hasty run back from a ” Land’s End” and ” Edinburgh,” bat, in the main, Brooklands, mecca of the enthusiast for a generation, remained unchanged down the years. Let as

hope that when this war is over we may take up our abode again and find a little peace once more down Weybridge way—and peace did prevail at the Track at times, up on the Hill late on a summer evening, or way beyond the sewage farm in the lee of the Byfleet banking, on a ” quiet ” day . . . . The 1925 season commenced with a wet Easter and a curtailed meeting in consequence. Purdy’s ” 12/50 ” Alvis, 1).M .K. Marendaz (Marendaz-Special), the late Lieut. Kidston’s G.P. Bugatti, Malcolm Campbell’s Targa It ala, which Karslake afterwards owned, and Jack

Dunfee’s Salmson were the winners of the five outer-circuit races, and Kidston did the best. average, at 96.84 m.p.h. Less than a month later the Essex 11.C. ran a 100 Mile Handicap, and Purdy and his Alvis won at 86.77 m.p.h., which would be a nice speed for a modern 11-litre. He beat Capt. Douglas’s AstonMartin, and the late C. M. Harvey’s Alvis, although Harvey averaged 93.97 m.p.h.

Alvis cars were Much in the picture, for Sut ton won a ifteceding long handicap. The Whitsun Open Meeting went with a, swing,. and Rampson won the Gold Vase Race at 96.17 m.p.h. with the 1910 Fiat which Heal now runs, and Parry Thomas took the Founder’s Cup after a 118 m.p.h. run from scratch in the Leyland-Thomas. The other winners were Benjafield’s Salmson, Cushman’s touring Crossley, Sam nelson’s Austin Seven, Scriven’s Austin Twenty, Barclay’s T.T. Vauxhall, and Douglas’s Aston-Martin, while Thomas won a second race, at 119.4 m.p.h., and Benjafield’s Salmson had a second win, at over 82 m.p.h. At the Summer Meeting Thomas and the amazing Leyland-Thomas won a great Lightning Long Handicap at 120.15 m.p.h., and Major Ropner’s new ” 30/98 ” Vauxhall ” Silver Arrow” had two wins at over 90 m.p.h. Cashman again won his race with the pale blue touring ” 20/70 ” Crossley, at nearly 87 m.p.h., ” Vieux Charles Trois,the 1912 Lorraine, took Douglas Hawkes to victory at almost 100 m.p.h., and Hall’s Austin

Seven, Lanfranchi’s Alfa-Romeo, and Parry Thomas’s single-seater ” Rapson ” Lanchester, were the rest of the Winners. The August Meeting saw a Fronty Ford, the Crossley, Cobb’s Fiat, Thomas’s Lanchester and Capt. Howey’s LeylandThomas victors, the Crossley now averaging over 92i m.p.h. Parry Thomas took the Gold Plate at nearly 97 m.p.h. in his .linbtown four-cylinder ThomasSpecial, and, with the same car, won the big race of the day, the ” Evening News” Handicap, at 98.23 m.p.h. The Autumn Meeting saw a tie between Purdy’s Alvis and Turner’s 2-litre Austro-Dainiler, and wins by Barelay’s T.T. Vauxhall, Campbell’s Chrysler, Cobb’s Fiat, Morgan’s Aston-Martin-engined Thomas-Special, Howey’s Leyland-ThOMUS, Barnato’s Bentley and R. B. Howey’s Ballot. We were content with outer-circuit scraps then, but, in September, the J.C.C. introduced artificial corners for the first time in the 200 Mile Race. Segrave wOn at 78.89 m.p.h., in the Roots-blown sixteen-valve four-cylinder DarracqSpecial, .01 m.p.h. ahead of his team-mate Masetti. Johns tone’s Frazer-Nash was third in the class, but over 15 m.p.h. slower and behind the Salmsons of Goutte and Manlier. Pettitt’s Amilear was third in the 1,100 c.c. class and Gordon England’s Austin dominated the babies. The J.C.C. also ran its High Speed Trial, using part of the aerodrome road, the Essex M.C. had another meeting, and the M.C.C. its Members’ Day, and Segrave, Thomas and Waite did some record work. Happy days !

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