I am supposed to know a bit about Brooklands, having seen my first race meeting there over 73 years ago. But can anyone tell me about a car of which I know nothing? It is the 2-litre Standard entered for a Sports Long Handicap in 1932, such cars stripped for racing if desired. The entrant was Mrs A Auterac, her driver Jack Smith. Even the bigger Standards were hardly fast, and the Plying Standards’ had not arrived. So this six-cylinder Sixteen seemed one of the more optimistic Brooklands’ entries. It was to give 61sec start in the Nine-Mile race to a Lea-Francis and 10sec to Harvey Noble’s fast Salnason. The black and red 2054cc Standard was actually slightly faster than the latter on the standing-start lap, after which it retired and Miss Hedges’ Talbot won. The Standard never appeared again.
Another Brooklands car of which I know nothing was a red Hillman Minx driven by E L Meeson. Again, an optimistic entry, surely, because the Minx was a nice, but not a fast, car. However, this was rather different, because Meeson had been a successful competitor with a 30-98 Vauxhall able to lap at up to 106.74mph. So why did he change to a seemingly impossible car? Or should it be, how did he get it to go so well?
On August 1933 the 1185cc Minx thrice non-started. The handicappers were kind, it being always the ‘limit’ starter, and before the year was out it had lapped at 79.05mph, whereas one might have expected even an open-bodied Minx to jib around the 60 mark. But Meeson did not give up. By 1934 the Minx had better manners, before again non-starting. This Minx was playing up. I wonder why Meeson chose to race this particular car! And who took on this crimson, vivacious but temperamental, Minx?