The Vintage S.C.C. Driving Tests at Bisley
The V.S.C.C. held another of its driving-test meetings at Bisley on November 20th, and obtained an entry of 37 vintage and 15 modern cars. The tests were not very inspired, comprising a slow-fast test, an acceleration test punctuated by a reverse into a confined space, and a parking test. There was also a concours. Some very nice cars were present. Dove's 1927 and Dore's 1920 Lea-Francis tourers made a fine pair, Towle ran his 1922 Citroën with disc front and wire rear wheels, Lockhart a rear-braked 1924 "12/50" Alvis tourer with vast furled hood, Carlisle his delightful 1908 single-cylinder de Dion, Capt. Icke a rather sad "8/18" Talbot declared as of 850-c.c. [actually 970-c.c.] with its original radiator obscured by a cut-about modern Talbot shell, while Wood drove his 1923 Riley Eleven and Robertson-Walker an early Riley Nine, Amongst the larger vintage cars were two Rolls Twentys, several 2-litre Lagondas, the 4½-litre Bentleys of Sedgwick and Cook, a Lancia Lambda, Noakes' absolutely-original 1924 "14/40" H.E., two "30/98" Vauxhalls, Eric Thompson's 1922 disc-wheeled "14/40" Vauxhall tourer with the ladies in the back protected by a "period" rear screen, Partridge's imposing 1927 "14/40" Delage coupé, Cuthell's "Alphonso" Hispano, and Capt. Browell's magnificent 1924 "40/50" Napier coupé, which displayed unexpectedly good acceleration. Abbott's Mercédès represented the veterans, very ably, and Hern apparently thought there was going to be a motor race and brough this Amilcar Six in a van. Unfortunately, Peter Clark's 1921 Wilton did not arrive.
The spectators contributed more interesting cars, such as a 1922 flat-twin Wolseley two-seater which came from Stratford at over 30 m.p.h. average and most economically, a 1903 Gladiator, Gregory's 1904 Darracq, Crozier's ex-Metcalfe 8-litre Bentley, Heal's 8-litre Sunbeam, a very lovely Sunbeam drop-head Twenty-Five with hydraulic brakes, two s.v. Amilcars, a "10/23" Talbot, a Gwynne Eight, Karslake's Hispano-Suiza, etc.
Birkett broke the long-suffering gear lever of his Type 44 Bugatti before the tests, but went wondrous slow in the "slow-fast" and secured a new gearbox top in time to make best time in the second test. In the slow-running part of Test 1, Edwards' Type 37 G.P. Bugatti stalled, as did Barclay-Inglis' Allard, and the H.E., while Carlisle anxiously applied the de Dion's push-on hand brake and the "Alphonso" Hispano and Tulloch's Hudson were too sprightly, but Hern's Amilcar fairly galloped. Many cars slid into the marker posts during Test 2, including Sedgwick, and Test 3 put lots of drivers into awkward positions, but not Tulloch, Mrs. Harman (A.C.), or Green (Riley) who parked expeditiously.
Best Time in "Slow-Fast" Test: Capt. Castle (1926 Rolls-Royce Twenty) 26.8 sec.
Best Time in "In-and-Out" Test: H. Birkett (1929 Type 44 Bugatti), 17.4 sec.
Best Time in "Garaging" Test: R. Briggs (1925 Lancia Lambda), 12.6 sec.
Winner of Concours: J. Lyons (1938 Riley saloon) and D. L. Dixon (1935 Aston-Martin), tie.
Class Winners: Vintage Cars up to 1,500-c.c.: 1st: D. H. Gahaghan (1926 Bugatti); 2nd: A. F. Carlisle (1908 de Dion); 3rd: D. Wood (1923 Riley).
Vintage Cars over 1,500-c.c.: 1st: Capt. Castle (1926 Rolls-Royce); 2nd: T. B. Webb (1925 "30/98" Vauxhall); 3rd: C. R. Abbott (1904 Mercédes).
Non-Vintage Cars up to 1,500-c.c.: 1st: J. R. Green (1936 Riley Imp); 2nd: D. L. Dixon (1935 Aston-Martin).
Non-Vintage Cars over 1,500-c.c.: 1st: J. Lyons (1938 1½-litre Riley saloon); 2nd: Mrs. Harman (1938 A.C.); 3rd: Major Tulloch (1935 Hudson Special) and A. Barclay-Inglis (1948 Allard).