This year’s MCC National Rally, which had starting points at Manchester, Kenilworth, London, Bathpool, Norwich, Cardiff and Glasgow, attracted an entry of 174, 48 down on 1955, and there were 134 starters, of whom 27 retired.
Four tests were performed on the route, the rest at Hastings. A severe test which we observed at Hardknott Pass consisted of starting with dead engine and being timed up a steep uphill section with some very nasty corners.
Just after a damp dawn had broken the first competitors appeared, winding their way over the desolate Lakeland road. Correctly, No 1, Warr’s Ford Ten, was first, going up quickly and neatly. Griffiths’ Triumph hard-top was snatchy, Lander’s Sunbeam Rapier neat but getting some back-wheel judder, while Morgan’s XK140 came up fast, tail sliding. In yellow jersey, Boothroyd handled his big Alvis well and both Shinn and Birkett in TRs clocked 20 sec, a good time. O’Connor-Rorke tried to force his DKW up the pass in the wrong cog. Simister drove his Anglia splendidly, Jackson’s Standard Ten, passenger lending weight in the back, came up neatly, and the same applied to Tyrer’s sister car, cogs being swapped after the last corner.
Wheelspin slowed Seigle-Morris’ Zephyr but, cutting the acute top corner, Anne Hall made a spirited ascent in her small Ford. Newins’ Zephyr was slow, suffering spin, and Dodson’s Zodiac a shade slower still, back axle juddering. Gilleney’s Healey 100 looked slow but did 22.8 sec, while, in spite of using the wrong ratio for the worst corner, Pat Moss’ MG MGA hard-top clocked 20.6 sec. She had dented a front wing.
Peacock’s Standard Eight was painful, Lund’s 11/2-litre MG had enormous spin on a 19.2-sec climb, and Hull’s TR was a bit wild, while Fleet’s Zephyr juddered its rear wheels. Hopper’s Sunbeam Mk III took it carefully, Stevenson’s small Ford bounced its valves (21.8 sec), Luke’s Bristol sounded sick (30.4 sec), and then came the first failure, Roden’s sv Minor having clutch slip. Russell’s Jaguar Mk VII was slow, Grant’s Porsche did a splendid 19.8 sec, Bassett’s A.35 was motoring (22.2 sec) but King’s A40 couldn’t climb it.
Wallwork (TR2) adopted speed hill-climb tactics (21.8 sec), but Casewell’s big Austin and Faulkner’s Zephyr were fractionally faster (each 21.4 sec). Hocquard’s Renault 750 failed, but got up later, Jacoby (TR) clocked a rousing 20.4 sec, using plenty of revs. Ramsey (MG ZA) got spin, valve bounce, the lot, and “slow” goes against Fisk (TR2), Tracey (XK120), Gunson (AC Ace), Graves (Oxford), Dowsett (Jupiter), while Kyffin’s Renault 750 took a poor 38 sec, and Major Graham (Consul) was touring. Lt-Col Tolputt (TR3) and navigator wore white bathing-hats, Hartnell’s quick Anglia dangled sick-chain, and Brenda Bratt was a girl controlled by a TR2. Outstanding, with snatch-change, was Walker (Prefect) and Milton’s A30 came up well.
Miss Ozanne (Prefect) shirked changing down until too late for speed. Nicholson’a A40 finished slowly, and the Dauphines appeared to have their back axles attached by rubber, nor were they fast. Reid’s MG MGA and Cleghorn’s Gazelle started badly but Morley’s Prefect was fast and Crawford (TR2) treated us to some racing cornering. Spare’s TR was fastest of all, in 18.2 sec.
At Chester a control in a park with public address broadcast didn’t seem to attract the public. Here we found Thornton (Ford) and Randell (MG MGA) bashing out dents and heard that local-boy Newinns (he was No 13) had retired his Zephyr and that Shinn (TR) had been delayed with tyre trouble.
Car models for Christmas
Model cars have a special attraction at Christmas and with the possibility of curtailed petrol supplies the building and collection of motor-car miniatures should have a wider appeal than ever. What to do with the growing collection of “Dinky” and similar replicas ? Why, construct model roads on which to display them, of course, painting in scenic backgrounds as railway modellers do, appropriate to the nationality of the groups of models, a race-course scene, etc. J & L Randall have taken over manufacture here of the American Revell plastic constructional kits, from which models of 1916 model-T Ford, 1911 40/50 Rolls-Royce, 1912 Packard, 1903 Cadillac and 1904 Oldsmobile can be made. One of their latest kits, designed by Ian Walker of Westway Models, builds a 1954 D-type Jaguar. We have just assembled this, which is easily done with the parts and cement provided, the only tool needed being a pair of scissors. The finished model is realistic, and handsome in glossy green. It measure.61/2 in by 21/2 in by 11/2 in, and carries racing numbers. This kit costs 7s 11d. Other sports and racing-car kits are to follow. Randall kits are obtainable from J & L Randall, Merit House, Cranbourne Road, Potter’s Bar, Middlesex,
The Meccano Dinky miniatures—the range is now extremely comprehensive—are sure to be as popular as ever. Just over a year ago these beautifully finished and accurately scaled models were produced in two-tone colours and the older-type Ford Zephyr (ref No 162) is available in this finish. Some additions to the Dinky range include two of special interest to Motor Sport readers, -the all-enveloping GP Connaught, complete with white-overalled driver (ref No 236), and the Type 450 Le Mans Bristol coupe (ref No 163), with dual tail fins, air-intake, oil radiator and othel details, both these having racing numbers. Then there is a smart Studebaker Land Cruiser (ref No 172), while for the road-tableaus suggested above there is a Ford 4 by 4 military ambulance with opening doors (ref No 626), a small Bedford “Dinky Toys” van (ref No 482), a BOAC coach (ref No 283), a very fine eight. wheeled Leyland Octopus truck (ref No 934 in the Dinky Super Toys series) which is big enough for transporting a Dinky racing car, being 71/2 in long, and a trailer caravan (ref No 190) with a sliding draw bar for attachment to any Dinky saloon car, which is fine for Paddock scene if you are modelling a race circuit. These Dinky toys are obtainable from good toyshops and sports dealers and are best ordered by their reference numbers.
Graphic Designers Ltd, 4, Holly Park, London, N3, have added a very fine Type 35B GP Bugatti to their well-known range of metal model kits. This kit contains 40 castings ready for assembly into a 1/24th-scale Bugatti, 61/2 in long, the bonnet of which lifts to reveal the engine with supercharger and inlet and “bunches of bananas” exhaust manifolds, etc. The Bugatti alloy-spoke wheels are faithfully reproduced and this kit, with blueprint, plinth and transparent display case costs 60s, inclusive of purchase tax. The other kits in this series, making rather more durable models than plastic kits, cover 1902 Peugeot (4 in long), 1906 Rover (5 in long), both priced at 28s 6d; 1904 Darracq (41/2 in. long) at 23s; and a very handsome 1907 Silver Ghost Rolls-Royce (8 in long) at 55s 6d. Assembled and painted models, mounted on wooden plinths, are also supplied, the respective prices being 70s, 69s and 110s, post free.
A fine range of Corgi miniatures is made by Playcraft Ltd, 120 Moorgate, London, EC4, noted for their excellent finish, realist attention to such details as over-riders, stop-lamps, boot-lid handles. door hinges, etc, and having tinted windows and screens. Priced at only 2s 9d each, or 4s with flywheel propulsion running on a hardened steel ball, these Corgis cover Ford Consul, Austin Cambridge, Morris-Cowley, Vauxhall Velox, Riley Pathfinder and Hillman Husky saloons, sportsTR2 and Austin-Healey and many commercials
Prints of many historic sports and racing cars are available for the decoration of enthusiasts’ studies and drawing-room. They are “blue-print”-type scale side elevations, drawn by Rex Hays and measuring 12 in by 8 in. They are available from Heal’s Picture Gallery, 196 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1 at 15s each, or for 22s each (postage 2s 6d) framed in attractive white, 2 in bevel frames. No fewer than 44 racing-car prints are available, ranging from the 1906 GP-winning Renault to this year’s Ferreri Squallo, Lancia-Ferrari and Maserati GP cars, and including all the famous examples between these years, such as rarities like the 1924 Targa Florio Mercedes, 1925 sleeve-valve Peugeot, 1927 11/2-litre Fiat, etc. The sports-car prints go from the 1908 TT Hutton to the 1948 Spa Aston Martin, naturally including vintage Frazer-Nash. Bentley, Riley, Mercedes-Benz, Sunbeam and other classic cars. These prints would make really splendid Christmas present, incidentally, postage on three prints is 4d, or 6d to the USA, and the framed prints can be posted, insured, to America for 9s each.