Vintage postbag

Letter to a nasty reporter

Sir,

I read with usual interest your report on the July VSCC Silverstone Meeting, including your comment that my Alvis in the Hawthorn Trophy Race was "painfully slow and sedate". I have by now received the VSCC Bulletin giving detailed results of this meeting, from which I see that 23 cars were faster than my own out of a total of 167 entries. I also observe that some of the races were won at speeds over 10 m.p.h. slower than my own (74 m.p.h.) yet did not earn similar criticism. On the basis of fact it would therefore appear that your remarks were unjustified. If, however, they were a criticism of the way the car was driven I would suggest that your personal experience hardly qualifies you to make an accurate or objective assessment.

I have several times noticed you complaining that entries are poor in such races—as far as numbers are concerned, but they would be even less if they consisted only of potential winners, and it is only a field of "also rans" that make it possible for Bill Wilks and Neil Corner to be seen.

B. H. CLINKARD (LT.-CDR.). – Colchester

[One tries to look at one race at a time and a large-engined car going slowly in an appropriate race is different from other cars going less fast in other races. The Hawthorn Trophy Race is for historic racing cars, so it seems odd for Lt.-Cdr. Clinkard to compare the speed of his historic racer of 4.3-litres with the bulk of the VSCC entry, largely composed of stripped sports and even little touring cars. As to his driving prowess of what seems to be a very hairy motor car, no criticism was implied or would he justified; I note that I have not yet had sufficient driving experience to cope with this Alvis, and he could be so right! Incidentally, VSCC racing can he regarded as great fun or taken too seriously and the courageous Lt.-Cdr. is perhaps a trifle touché? – Ed.]