Club News, December 1955

S.T.D. Register
On November 6th, the Sunbeam S.T.D. Register held a rally to the Rootes Group factory at Ryton-on-Dunsmore, where 113 members and friends were guests of Mr. Norman Garrad, Mr. John Bullock and Mr. Webb of that organisation.

Although timed to commence at 11.30 a.m., the old Sunbeams and Talbots started to invade the modern Sunbeam factory from 10.20 a.m. onwards, until a representative collection was lined up in the forecourt, from E. R. Avery’s 1911 12/16 and C. F. South’s 1913 12/16 Sunbeams to T. Mockridge’s 1937 Talbot 105 saloon. The visitors were shown films of modern Sunbeam-Talbot successes, were entertained to a sherry party, lunch and tea, and made a tour of the factory, in the care of guides who were enthusiastic volunteer apprentices, to see how Hillman Minx and Sunbeam Rapier and Mark III cars are assembled. During lunch Mr. Garrad welcomed the Register members in a brief speech, and Mrs. Boddy replied on behalf of the guests. Mr. Bernard Winter was present and was seen to be in earnest conversation with the pre-war Talbot designer, Georges Roesch. Members were particularly interested to learn that Rootes are forming a museum and in the spacious showroom were able to inspect the 1901 Sunbeam-Mabley, the 1903 Sunbeam, the 1922 straight-eight T.T. racing Sunbeam and the famous 1924 supercharged 2-litre G.P. Sunbeam (“The Cub”), which will be included in the museum exhibits.

Before this very successful party broke up the official photographer took pictures of the visiting cars, headed by the two Edwardian Sunbeams, R. C. Carter’s vast 1921 Sunbeam saloon, a 1923 Sunbeam Fourteen tourer and two twin-cam 3-litre sports Sunbeams, while the ladies of the party admired and examined the Sunbeam Rapiers which were present.

Hon. Registrar: Mrs. W. Boddy, Carmel, Wood Lane, Fleet. Hampshire.

The V.S.C.C. will hold its Southern Rally and Driving Tests at Odiharn R.A.F. Station, Hampshire, on December 11th and on Boxing Night members of the Light Car Section will re-enact the 1922 London-Exeter-London Trial (as suggested by the Editor of Motor Sport, who did the run last year for his own amusement), starting from Staines before midnight and finishing there the following afternoon.

Secretary: T. W. Carson, Brook Cottage, Bishop’s Green, Newbury, Berkshire.

Volkswagen O.C.
The V.O.C. of Great Britain is holding a Rally on December 11th and a dinner early in the new year. The winner of the Heston Driving Tests was Sheppard, Curtis taking the non-member’s prize and Mrs. Wilcox the ladies’ prize.

Hon. Secretary: R. D. Wolfe, 40, Send Close, Send Road, Send, Surrey.

Cemian M.C. Chiltern Rally (October 29th) 
Organised this year by Brian Norman, this event followed the lines of the more normal type of road rally over a course of some 75 miles. Competitors were not expected to leave the metal roads but, needless to say, the usual bunch found themselves hedging and ditching to no real purpose. The course was carefully selected with a view to giving the small car an equal chance.

Guy Fawkes 200 Trial
Basically the same as in 1954 the Falcon Motor Club Guy Fawkes Trial, October 30th, catering for all types of sports cars and a spattering of saloons, proved its ever-growing popularity by having an increased entry of over 50 competitors. Whereas last year the Dellows and specials were prominent in the awards, this year out of ten Dellow entries, five gained awards and in particular all four H.R.G.s entered received awards.

Eleven non-stop observed sections of varying character, surface and gradient, a stop and restart test and three timed climbs, situated in the Winchcombe, Stroud and Nailsworth area, were to be encountered before the finish at Cirencester during the early afternoon of Sunday, October 30th.

The sports car entry included H. C. Taylor’s stark Overton Special, A. Hay’s Lotus, a VII Special and ten Dellow, five TR2s, four Morgans, two Singer roadsters and D. G. Dixon’s Sunbeam Alpine, etc., a fully representative entry.

Considering that all cars covered the same route and observed sections it is interesting to note that the special, after “a night out,” in no way outstripped the sports cars of today or the well-driven saloons with modest preparation.

Starting from Taunton at 1 a.m., C. R. Parson’s Dellow was the first competitor away, the remainder leaving at one minute intervals from Taunton, Birmingham and London in perfect weather, a full moon lighting the three routes converging on Andoversford for the second time check. Shortly after, at Bulb’s Hill, a stop and restart test was carried out on tarmac surface with a gradient, which owing to darkness, proved deceptive. The timed climb of Postlip followed with its exciting hairpin and weaving headlights. There J. T. Skinner’s 1,460 M.G.-engined Dellow made fastest time. An easy confidence-inspiring non-stop section came next, also in the dark, “Gaiting,” which caused no bother and was an appetizer for the next stop, breakfast at the King’s Head in Cirencester, where accommodation at this early hour was most satisfactory.