The E.R.A. Anniversary Trophy, 1954
The E.R.A. Anniversary Trophy was initiated for competition this year by Humphrey Cook and the presentation of it was entrusted to the Aston Martin Owners’ Club, and the points marking system was evolved for nine specified race meetings and hill-climbs, at most of which special E.R.A. races were run. By the end of the season Derek Wilkinson had emerged as a clear winner in the E.R.A. driven jointly by himself and Jack Williamson. This car was the B-type E.R.A. in the original condition as bought by Peter Whitehead in 1936 and driven so successfully by himself and Peter Whitehead in many pre-war and immediately post-war events. Graham Whitehead subsequently drove it prior to Derek Wilkinson purchasing the car in 1952. This car was the one driven by Jack Williamson (better known with his 4 ½-litre Bentley) which won the Richard Seaman Memorial Trophy at the Vintage Sports Club, Silverstone meeting this year.
The Mercury Trial event began at 1 p.m. on November 7th at Ye Jolly Crofters Hotel, Harwich, and finished at Hartwood Hall, Chorley. There were 14 entrants, two non-starters, and a series of 18 map references took them over perfect road surfaces in the ParboId area of Lancashire at an average speed of 28 m.p.h. From each reference numbers had been omitted and a mathematical problem was set at each check point to give the missing figures.
1st: F. Snaylam (navigator, T. Warburton).
2nd: D. Barker (navigator, B. Harrocks).
3rd: B. Hebden (navigator, Mrs. H. Hebden).
F. Snaylam won the Mercury Trophy and T. Warburton the navigators’ award.
Brent Vale M.C.
The new secretary of the Brent Vale M.C. is K. J. Rohan. 31, Argyll Avenue, Southall, Middlesex (Tel. : Southall 5407), and the competition secretary is C. L. Savage, 21, Chattern Hill, Ashford, Middlesex. The date for the second annual Winter Rally has been fixed as January 23rd, 1955; regulations will soon be available from the above.
The winner of the Autumn Rally was L. G. Williams. A large number attended the party afterwards at time “Roundstone” at Angmering. The Motor Show cocktail party was held at the club hostelry, the “Denmark,” Old Brampton Road, S.W.7, where the annual general meeting will he held on Sunday, December 5th. The annual dinner and dance will be held on January 8th, at the “Rembrandt,” S.W.7. All details from G. Bradman, 154, Gloucester Road, S.W.7.
The Circle C.C.
The annual “Owl” Night Navigational Rally of the Circle C.C. was held on Saturday night, November 6th/7th, in deplorable weather. The route lay in the Hog’s Back and Box Hill areas, and out of 31 entries and starters. 26 cars finished the course after approximately 150 miles of motoring, with breakfast at Landon Airport. A most welcome half-way halt was organised by non-competing members and their friends, and hot soup, coffee and sausages were provided.
“Owl” Trophy Winner: J. E. Hughes (Ford Anglia).
First-Class Awards: E. W. Gooding (Standard Vanguard),H. J. Winson (Morris and D. A. Atherton (Standard Eight).
Second-Class Awards: R. A. C. Lambert (Austin A40). T.J. Tyler (Morris and R. C. Boucher (Aston Martin Spa coupé)
During the early part of this year the Falcon M.C. decided to run their Guy Fawkes Trial as a fairly long-distance event, catering primarily for all types and makes of sports cars as distinct from the mud-plugging “Specials” only.
The event did not bar the use of a “Special,” nor favour one or the other, and as the results show it was won by a production Dellow against strong opposition from some quite stark hoodless “Specials.” The crews of the latter, who had sufficient stamina left after the night section, were at an advantage over the standard cars only when they reached the hills. However the distance, reliability and fatigue factors took their toll at the time controls encountered during the night and it appeared that, together with the reliability of the more fully-equipped standard sports cars in the hands of alert crews, their chances of figuring in the results list were the greater.
At 1 a.m. the November 7th competitors in this revived old-type event set off from their starting points in London, Birmingham and Taunton on their various routes in appalling weather, converging on Andoversford, near Cheltenham, some 90 miles distant, for which four hours were allowed. The first section, Postlip, one of three timed hill-climbs, was encountered by the early numbers at 5 a.m., and was a grassy track with a right-hand hairpin, covering a distance of about 150 yards with an average gradient of about 1 in 10. Best time here was made by the eventual winner — J. Skinner (Dellow) — making a neat climb on the now sodden grass. C. Crosby (Vauxhall Special), with blower whining, was slow on the hairpin but made a fast ascent.
Guiting, a steady, muddy climb, was a curtain-raiser to the observed sections and, although taken before dawn, caused little bother to anyone.
After breakfast at the Royal George Hotel, Birdlip, came Stancombe, the lower slopes of which were in a difficult and rough condition, and it was here that several failures occurred amongst the sports cars; notable climbs being made by the two Renaults of the Hobbs brothers and the Popular of J. P. Davis.
Passing through Farriscourt, another timed climb, a long read section led to the Forts at Dursley, the five sub-sections of Fort 1, the piece de resistance of the trial, were completely climbed by H. H. Alderton (Ford Special) and by the unfortunate F. P. Barker (Dellow), whose flywheel parted company with its crankshaft in the attempt.
The “stop and start” on Fort 2 accounted for many lost marks. Then on to Nailsworth Ladder, where Morgans, Dellows and H.R.G.s were brought to a standstill but the TR2 of Miss Janet Ritch and the Popular of J. P. Davis literally romped up.
The steep right-hand bend of Mackhouse claimed only one victim, A. P. Blick’s sick Dellow with a blown head gasket. The long climb up the rocky rise from the Brimscombe Valley led to the last hill — Knapp. Here the very steep, hard-surfaced hairpin was both timed and observed. Clean climbs and consistent times were the general rule.
From here seven miles led to the finish at Cirencester, where the general opinion indicated that the trial had a good foundation to meet the present demand by so many who have sporting vehicles but no events of this nature — and pleas for the same next year!
Best Performance: J. T. Skinner (Dellow).
Best Falcon Member: H. C. Taylor Overton.
Best H.R.G.: J. R. Aley.
Best Morgan: P. Norgard.
Best M.G.: M. J. Lawrence.
Best Dellow: D. E. Read.
Best Saloon: K. W. Hobbs.
Best Two-door Special: C. F. Crosby.
Best Non-above-Classification: (including Frazer-Nash, TR2, Lea-Francis and Allrd): D. J. Parsons.
First-Class Awards: W. E. Wonnacott (L.R.G.), C. R. Parsons (Dellow), Mrs. N. Parsons (Dellow) and A. M. Goldthorpe (Pelican).
Second-Class Awards: H. H. Alderton (Ford-Special), T. A. Davison (T.A.D. Special) and P. Scott (H.R.G.).