SHELSLEY WALSH (June 7th)
PRACTISE day at Shelsley Walsh for the National Speed Hill-Climb, organised by the Midland A.…
The annual general meeting was held at Chiltern Court on January 12th, and a very good attendance resulted, the members present including Messrs. Chambers, Heal, Windsor-Richards, Choate, Kirkman, Waddy, McKenzie, Robertson-Roger, Wrigley, Eason-Gibson, Boddy, etc., etc., and, in state behind the trophy-stacked top table, Messrs. Forrest Lyeett, Michael May, Sam Clutton, Bowler, Carson, and Seth-Smith. It was rather a curious general meeting as no balance sheet was presented, but these will be circulated to members in due course, after an honorary audit which will not incur the club in any expense, and it is expected that there will be a credit balance of about 1,(„70, a very satisfactory state of affairs, as 1938 subscriptions are not included. It was proposed that the Conunittee be increased from ten to thirteen members and this was carried, the new members being elected and Colin Nicholson standing down. S. C. H. Davis is now a Vice-President and not President, at his own suggestion in view of pressure of business. Mr. Lycett remarked on the flourishing state of the club, which has some 280 members, on the excellent work of its committee and on the admirable competition for the annual trophies he has put up. In view of the proportion of new full to new associate members no need was felt of altering the car age limit from December 1930. An amendment was made in the system of marking for the annual aggregate awards, as previously a member winning four classes at one speed trial could outstrip a winner of first-class awards in all trials. At the suggestion of a member this amendment also took Donington races into consideration. Bowler briefly reviewed the past season’s events and it was announced that this year a Lewes speed-trial, a Prescott hill-climb, three trials, a Donington meeting, and a speed trial or Donington meeting by the Northern Section, were proposed, as well as a trial by the newly-formed Northern Section on January 23rd. Clutton reminded members that the Motor Sports Club is “at home” to vintagents every Wednesday evening, after Carson had replied to a question to the effect that dinners and socials had been unsuccessful in the past. The question of cashawards for speed-trials was to be ” considered.” Mr. Lycett then presented the annual aggregate award to WindsorRichards, who amassed 73 points with his 30/98 Vauxhall, and the runner’s-up award to A. S. Heal, whose 30/98 acquired for him 69 mark-s. John Bolster was third. C. H. Wrigley won the Pitchford 1f-litre Cup, scoring behind the wheel of his LeaFrancis. Mr. Lycett has given another cup for competition amongst the Northern Section. Thanks were then given to the Committee, the Vice-Presidents, and to members for their support, though the
Press caine in for no mention during the evening. Michael May said he hadn’t bags of gold as a Vice-President should, but he would serve the Club faithfully in that office and all the time, if his lack of those bags didn’t matter. We look forward with keen anticipation to the next Bulletin, due this month.
Hon. Sec. : T. Carson, “The Phcenir,” Hartley Row, Hants. ‘Phone : Hartley Wintney 84.
In the last issue we inadvertently stated that Denyer’s Lea-Francis was described in the Vintage S.C.C. Bulletin as winning the 1937 Vintage Gloucester Trial, although a report of that trial elsewhere in the same issue made it clear that J. C. H. Wrigley was the winner. As Mr. Wrigley drives a standard 1930 12/40 Lea-Francis tourer, whereas Mr. Denyer gains his successes with a rather special 12/50 Leib-Francis, he is naturally anxious that we should insert a correction, which we do gladly, with apologies.
The usual annual general meeting was held in the Paddock Club-house last month, followed by a film show. Mr. Percy Bradley was in the chair. Amongst suggestions put .forward were that the silencer ruling should be reconsidered, in view of the relative noise of aircraft and gravel-pit machines in and around the St. George’s Hill estate, that a bridge be erected over the Campbell circuit where it crosses the Aerodrome road, that steps should be taken to prevent congestion of traffic at the tunnel, and that members should receive free programmes. Mr. Bradley stated that legal advice cleated against the abolition of silencers— that the rule ever had to be enforced at all shows how funny the Law is, for Brooklancls opened in 1907 and was used daily by cars and aircraft from 1914, yet the fuss only came to a head in 1924 by the action of householders the majority of whom had probably never heard of Weybridge before the War. The proposed bridge would be too expensive. The road course will be opened at certain times in 1988 on non-race days, but only for use by approved drivers. The Track will be open for at least a week’s practising on circuits used for important races. A Home Committee has been formed, composed of Mrs. Eccles, Mrs. Lionel Martin, A. L. Phillips, F. A. Thatcher and C. A. Holbeach, which will look after club
catering. The Brooklands season is due to open on March 12th, with a B.A.R.C. meeting. This year the Members’ enclosure on the Hill will always remain open to members. We hope the excellent Press bulletin service instituted last year will continue.
B.A.R.C., Brooklands Motor Course, Weybridga Surrey.
I NVICTA C.C.
The Invicta C.C. held its annual general meeting on January 26th, followed by a film show. Owing to a deficit of about 04 on the first year’s working, it was necessary to propose an increase in annual subscription from 10/to 15/-. The February Rally was scheduled to commence from Broadway on February 12th, concluding thereat on February 13th, the long route of 410 miles going via Conway, Festiniog, Bala, Gemmaes, and Aberystwyth. There was also a shorter route of 838 miles. We have long felt that there is a great deal to be said for driving long distances on good cars, and the Invicta Car Club has taken an excellent lead in putting on a Rally of this nature, with an Annual Challenge Cup for the Club gaining the most points irrespective of number of cars entered, to be decided solely on route and timekeeping, with no driving tests of any kind. Even to a modern car 400 miles over Welsh roads in winter constitutes no mean test and the Rally results will be watched with interest. Naturally, the average speed has to be low-22 to 80 m.p.h. according to sections. The January issue of “The Gauntlet” contains an interesting list of 44-litre Invictas, with notes of past and present owners and means of recognition, etc. Amongst those owned by members are Donald Healey’s Monte Carlo tourer, two of the three T.T. cars, Monro’s exGardner diesel job, now fitted with ordinary engine, that does 90 m.p.h. at 3,800 r.p.m., five h.c. low-chassis cars, eight low-chassis ” S” type, four coupes, and a number of special cars. The club gives names to all Invictas ; thus” Bira’s” 4f-litre low-chassis tourer is known as
” Siam.” About 150 4f-litre Invictas were built between 1931 and 1933.
The Patron of the Club is S. C. H. Davis, Esq.
Hon. Sec. : D. Monro, ” Windbrow,” Winnington Road, N.2.
A Club social run will be held on February 18th, and the Fourth Annual President’s Challenge Trophy Trial is scheduled for February 27th, with a St. Patrick’s Eve dance on March 16th, The President is J. Luther Dyer, the Vice-President D. Gammon, the Hon. General Secretary G. F. Rose, Hon. Competition Secretary J. W. Dyer, Hon. Treasurer N. Lloyd Evans, Hon. Social Secretary C. S. Dewey and Hon. Press Secretary D. P. Kirkman.
Sec. : G. F. Rose, 125, Queen Street, Portsmouth. ‘Phone 2657.
BUGATTI OWNERS’ CLUB
The annual dinner and dance was held on February 4th. A model electricallyfunctioning G.P. Bugatti was an interesting exhibit. The Opening Rally will be
held on April 10th. The annual general meeting will be at the Green Park Club on March 9th. Hon. Sec. : E. L. Giles, 2, Queen Street, Mayfair, W.1,
The E.R.A. Club continues to issue
its informative publication. A very interesting visit was held last year to the E.R.A. works at Bourne, and it is hoped to arrange a few evening runs to fill in time before the season starts. Thereafter the Club will arrange mass visits to, and special enclosures at, most of the race meetings at which E.R.A. cars participate. Carless members can often be conveyed to same, very satisfactorily, judging by past Editorial
experience. This is the motor-racing social club par ex5ellence, and everyone who seeks to see Britain regain lost prestige in International racing should be on the Membership Roll. The minimum subscription is /1 and it is very good value. Those who subsetibe over that amount assist the fund which is maintained to encourage E.R.A. to enter essentially British cars in the big races.
THE MOTOR. SPORTS CLUB
Club, secretaries are reminded that trials regulations and results will be displayed in the club-room if forwarded to the
secretary. The world’s motor Press is kept up-to-date on the reading table and includes many club journals, folders and sheets. But we miss the Scuderia Ferarri publication, though doubtless it is now defunct. This club, apart from providing an invaluable centre for club committee meetings, etc., is an oasis for enthusiasts in a restricted, ma-parking, pedestriancrossing infested city. And fortunately parking rules in the vicinity are quite tolerable.
The Motor Sports Club, Grand Buildings, Trafalgar Square, W.C.
THE BOCHATON COMMITTEE
The Bochaton Committee met again on J anuary 20th to discuss trials policy, which we dealt with in some detail last month. Already. good is resulting, as the Great West M.C. and Kentish Border C.C., with trials scheduled for January 30th and February 6th respectively, both in the Hampshire area, combined on a voluntary basis and ran a combined trial on the latter date,
VINTAGE S.C.C. NORTHERN SECTION
A News Sheet comes along every other month. The Committee has been concentrating on social gatherings, which have been highly successful, but on January 23rd they held a follow-myleader trial, confined to twenty entries, with a distinctly moderate entry-fee, and later in the season they will assist with the organisation of a Donington meeting or other Northern speed event. Some interesting motors are owned by club
members, notably Macgrath’s very immaculate 12/50 Alvis, Lees’s Bentley, and Peter Wike’s collection of old cars, including a 4i-litre Bentley and an Alfa-Romeo, and many many litres of Fiat. The affiliation fee to the Vintage S.C.C. proper is 1/-.
Hon. Sec. : K. Neve, 36, Deacon Road, Widnes, Lancs.
BENTLEY DRIVERS’ CLUB
A Club run, starting irom Croydon Aerodrome, was held on January 2:3rd. The Annual Dinner will be held at Bush House on February 23rd. Capt. Woolf Barnato is President and the VicePresidents are Oliver Bertram and Forrest Lycett.
FORD ENTHUSIASTS’ CLUB
A driving-skill ex,ent specially planned to appeal to owners of ordinary Ford cars who are new to competitions has been provisionally arranged for February 13th at Knatt’s Valley, Farningham, Kent. A suggestion has been made that prizes should include Ford replacement engines and Ford spares. It is hoped to hold a more ambitious driving-skill event at the Autodromes School of Driving, Croydon, on March 13th, followed by a film show and social evening. The Club will be represented by a team of AllardSpecial Fords in the N.W. London InterClub Team Trial on April 18th, and another strong Ford Team will compete for the Club in other Inter-Club events. An excellent car badge is available and a news-sheet is issued at intervals.
Hon. Sec. : S. H. Allard, 15, Millbrooke Court, Putney, S.W.15.
IMPORTANT TRIALS DATES
The following important trials are due to be contested in the immediate future :
Feb. 20th. Harrow C.C. Trial. Hants. Margate & D.C.C. Wye Cup Trial.
Feb. 26th. S.S.C.C. Trial, Scotland. Cohnore Trophy Trial, Cotswolds.
Feb. 27th, Berkhatnsted & D. M.C. Trial, Chilterns.
Southsea M.C. Presidents’ Trophy Trial, Petersfield area. Yorkshire S.C.C. Team Trial.
Mar.” 6th. West Hants & Dorset Hartwell Cup Trial.
„ 13th. Vintage S. C. C Trial, Chilterns.
J.C.C. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
At the annual general meeting of the Junior Car Club, held on Thursday, January 20th, it was reported that membership showed an increase of sixtytwo over last year’s figures. the present total of 2.179 being a new high level for the Club.
Although not being able to record the enstomary surplus on the year, the Club had succeeded in maintaining its general financial position, and its reputation in the motoring world.
At the meeting itself, a discussion took place with regard to the possible representation of affiliated Clubs on the R.A.C. Competitions Committee, and the subject was referred to the new Council of the Club for consideration.
The Secretary stated that the 1938 programme would follow on similar lines to that for 1937, the first event of importance being the Brooklands Rally on March 26th. It is hoped that, by being a month later in the year, this event will be favoured with more reasonable weather! The following officers and committee were elected :
President : The Hon. Sir Arthur Stanley ; Hon. Solicitor : Mr. A. I. leogette ; Hon. General Treasurer : Major F. H. Bale ; Council : B. H. Austin, A. G. Benstead, E. Burt, L. F. Dyer, W. Urquhart Dykes, E. C. Gordon England, C. B. Follett, H. R. Godfrey, E. Gribbon, A. M. Low, E. Magee, Lionel Martin, H. P. McConnell, A. Frazer Nash, J. Gordon Orford; G. Roberts, E. H. Tustain, L. H. White. 1938 Fixtures
February 19th. Dinner/dance, Park Lane Hotel, London.
March 26th. Brooklands Rally.
April 23rd. Half-Day Trial (SouthWestern Centre).
May 7th. International Trophy, Brooldands.
May 14th-15th. Inter-Centre Rally, Malvern.
J une 18th-19th. Rally and. Trial, Scarborough (Yorkshire Centre).
June 22nd. Evening Trial.
July 2nd. Members’ Meeting, Brooklands.
July 23rd. Members’ Meeting, Donington Park (Midland Centre).
August 27th. 200-Miles Race, Brooklands.
September 24th. Annual Trial (SouthWestern Centre).
October 8th. Dinner/dance, London. November 38th. Film Show, London.
November 25th. Annual dinner, London.
BERKHAMSTED MOTOR CYCLE AND CAR CLUB
The annual general meeting of the Berkhamsted M.C. and C.C. was held on the 16th January, and the following were the officials elected for 1988:
President : A. P. Good, Esq. Vice-Presidents : Lord Chesham; E. C. E. Baragwatiath, Esq., J. Harter, Esq., C. De L. Leach, Esq., T. Norman Hinton, Esq., G. Murdock, Esq., A. L. Kent, Esq., Armand-Blackley, Esq., S. F. Seyfried,
Chairman : A. P. Good, Esq.
Vice-Chairman : N. C. Lone, Esq.
Hon. Secretary : A. D. G. Beveridge, Esq. Assistant Secretary : F. R. Witty, Esq. Captain : A. G. Sanderson, Esq.
Hon. Treasurer : F. Groom, Esq.
Advisory Committee : N. B. Robins, N. T. Sanderson, E. G. M.. Wilkes.
Magarine Editor : Mrs. N. C. I.one. Press Secretary : E. G. M. Wilkes, Esq. The address of the Secretary, Mr.
A. D. Reveridge, is ” Inverkeithling,” The Drive, Rick mar sworth, Herts.
Following the suggestions made last month for a Mudless Trial, a very interesting letter is to hand from Mr. Pringle, of Cambridge. He says that in Ireland trials are run rather differently from here, as observed sections are rarely used, competitors being required to average something like 24 m.p.h. throughout, over routes embracing bog-roads, grass tracks and mountain paths, so that the whole thing constitutes a sort of crosscountry race, and only a few people maintain the stipulated average and so qualify for awards. Special tests decide ties. In England such an event would be heartily frowned upon, as our average speed over country roads between hill sections is usually limited to about 20 m.p.h.—though once upon a time there was a trial by night which included a timed climb of a once famous speed-hill, which induced someone to bring along a stripped racing,-car on a trailer. hush, Hush ! Mr. Pringle gives some useful data concerning an Irish Mudless Trial held on Boxing Day’. Results were almost entirely decided on four special tests. The first of these comprised running as slowly as possible over a distance of 20 yards, and then accelerating over a distance of 40 yards, the whole on a slight, uphill gradient. The second test was on a rutty surface and consisted of starting from line A, driving 30 yards and stopping astride line B, then accelerating over 39 yards to line C in the time honoured manner. The third test, on a loose -surface, consisted of a cross roads test, with One reverse and two forward runs of about 25 yards each. Apparently excellent entries were obtained and the event is reported to have been most enjoyable. Something of this sort should appeal to clubs catering for family-type cars and there is no reason to believe that the absence of Ma would render such a trial too dull after all, lots of people motor 400 miles in a Rally with only driving-tests as punctuation, and intervening routes can be planned to embrace good scenery and tricky going. In this respect, the Irish trial was run to a stiff average and a secret check con
stituted the fourth test. On the other hand, as I emphasised last month, I crave something rather more ambitious for the proposed Mudless Trial. Several readers have expressed enthusiasm for a four-wheeler edition of the V-twin Morgan trim-. They may not recall that a very prominent trials driver originally competed with such a car. He tells us that the power developed by the V-twin engine, although it is of only 1,100 c.c., makes it desirable to use 1 i-litre transmission components, especially if a solid axle is to be employed. In his ease a Lea-Francis axle and final drive was used, with Bugatti knock-off hubs. Another point to watch is weakness of the front hub assembly when cornering rapidly with the increased loading. Lancia hubs were substituted for the car in question. It was agreed that the V-twin motor is essentially reliable and productive of about 80 m.p.h.. and the chief shortcoming, it was suggested, lies in the essentially experimental nature of the conversion, bearing in mind the
need to keep the conversion down to a strict weight limit so as not to kill performance. Naturally, the above remarks refer to a ” gearbox ” Morgan chassis, with shaft-drive substituted for the normal chain anal-drive. Friction is again being felt over trials, so that Bochaton’s endeavours to untangle things are certainly opportune. Trouble seems to be brewing in the Cotswolds and the Cheshire County Council has asked the Ministry of Transport to prohibit driving of vehicles on Bank Lane, Rainow, which embraces the famous Jenkin’s Chapel Hill. More than ever before are trials organisers advised to apply to local police chiefs for permission and advice on proposed routes and, in any case, to interview property ‘owners living adjacent to the hills. From Our own experience, in a ” congested ” area, every help will usually be extended, and often residents will suggest the best means of parking waiting ears to obviate inconvenience, or will request the -services of a local to sweep the road at the foot of a hill clear of mud after the cars have passed. Incidentally, if Jenkin’s Chapel is to be no more, Photographer Brymer’s calendar which he sent to his friends will
become something of a souvenir. It depicts Guy Warburton’s well known 30/98 Vauxhall with both front wheels clear of the ground in tackling the Jenkin’s hairpin, the caption being “Up Jenkin’s.” I like it because it depicts a trials scene, a well known ” dicer ” and his wife, and a very fine old car. This time the M.C.C. ” Exeter ” was seen as an observer instead of as a passenger, and most unexpectedly. A friend of like interests implied the need of companionship only an hour before we left, at midnight, en route for Fingle Bridge. The car being a seven-year-old very commodious Wolseley saloon hired for the occasion and of doubtful mechanical order, there seemed possibility of adventure. For some miles we were engrossed in discovering the peculiarities of our carriage, the actual type of which we were quite unaware, and the alleged 16 h.p. of which we were inclined to doubt. Having tarried longer than we should have done at the start at Virginia Water, we got going to some purpose at what we imagined must be 30 m.p.h. behind girlie good lights, to the tune of a disturbing clatter from the engine. After Salisbury the writer took over, finding the car at first embarrassingly wide and possessed of ” railway-train” characteristics not uncommon amongst old family ears, i.e. it ran at a steady speed, whereas a modern, with its reserve of performance, spends the day (or night) accelerating and slowing down, while everything, steering, braking and gearchanging, was very heavy and decisive. So we rattled through the night, refuelling for a second time at ‘Yeovil, working up to a stern 53 to 60 m.p.h, on the straights, and passing clusters of competing motorcyclists. The steering, devoid of castoraction, was really not too bad if one worked hard on bends, and by the time Exeter was reached we had something amounting to respect for this ponderous saloon with its mahogany instrument-board and a rear seat so well divorced from the driving compartment—though it did fill with fumes. Moreover, over a truly excellent breakfast in the small hours at Deller’a we discovered the average to be in the neighbourhood of 35 m.p.h. The writer then slept as far as Fingle. Arrived there we went up to watch and went on watching without relief until 4 p.m., when we were truly glad to re-enter the Wolseley and make light of a picnic meal, after opening the bonnet to ascertain that the model was Viper, the rated horses really sixteen, and that the compact six-cylinder engine had o.h. camshaft Valve actuation reminiscent of an enlarged Hornet unit. The journey home was uneventful, save that the writer, hurrying more than somewhat, came upon Yarcombe Hill (which, with Chard, used to be the only hazard in pre-war ” Exeters “) unexpectedly in the downhill direction, his cornering resembling that of an early and epic Grand Prix, so that the sleeping passenger awoke not long afterwards. Thereafter the noise that should not have been increased, but, confident that it was but a blown exhaust gasket, we kept on hurrying, to crawl into bed just prior to the dawning of another day, with another ” experience “
booked and thoroughly enjoyed. But if you have ever driven through two nights and spent the intervening day standing on a chilly hill in the rain with no food, you will appreciate the writer’s feeling on facing a celebration lunch the next day and thereafter being taken to tea with friends on board a ship at the East India Docks. Which was worse : descending from the ship to the dockside, or being mam-euvred in an Austin. Seven by a young lady driver in equal proximity to the uninviting water ?
Recovered, we went down to Brooklands in a touring Type 45 Frazer-NashB.M.W. to try the Monte Carlo test, only to have the car die on us until too dark to” dice.” It puzzled many racing wizards and then proved to be merely possessed of a sticking distributor arm, so that it ran back to town beautifully, with the marque’s essential fitness for purpose, and on a subsequent very fast run through London’s rush-hour traffic the writer several times murnuired, as he has done before, “Thank God it’s a Frazer-Nash-B.M.W. ” Incidentally, that we got wheelspin in third gear and could sometimes scarcely restart in second on the road surfaces in the West End is a tragic reflection on the condition of the streets in the capital city of the Island set in a Silver Sea. Reverting for a moment to Fingle Bridge, that hill on the occasion of the ” Exeter ” provided a splendid example of the mixed humanity you see spectating at motoring events. There was the young lady down from the nearby village, obsessed with the idea that she possessed extreme personal charm and in consequence expecting continual attention from the village youth who had brought her to view” this motor-rieing,” attention that was readily forthcoming. There were pleasant groups of youngsters in wellington boots and prominent school ties, rivalling one another in their know ledge of the cars’ technicalities. There was a good-looking gentleman who seemed conscious that he would be more at home in Hollywood than at Fingle, proud of his lady companion, who was dressed more suitably for Bond Street than for a long vigil on a muddy trials hill in the rain. The towing-gang of local farm hands embraced a number of distinctive characters, and it was noticeable that motorcyclists can never look anything but motor-cyclists even amongst a crowd of heavy-eyed, unshaven and very queerly garbed car-enthusiasts. Our study of motor-minded humanity embraced a local youth of some aloofness, secure in the knowledge that he owned an Austin Seven and that his girl-friend had mastered the art of make-up, if not of dress, and a charming family, quite unashamedly “county,” of whom the mother and father showed a far greater and sustained interest in the proceedings than did their small sons and very serious small daughter. Also the undergraduate, tall and. good-looking, arm in arm with an athletic girl, hatless and in tweeds, who was thoroughly enjoying the ascents, or who disguised her boredom very skilfully, if she were not. This motor-racing is truly cosmopolitan
What of the writer ? Silent and sulky would probably be more than accurate— and so would you be, with breakfast ten hours away and twopennyworth of chocolate the only stimulant since . . . I have had an interesting letter from Cecil Clutton, commenting on the Mudless Trial idea. He feels that there are all too few steep hills of the right character, devoid of slime, and that if the idea ever became universal it would be most difficult to find suitable routes and there would then be a tendency to incorporate chassis-wrecking gradients such as Bam
ford Clough. He thinks re-start tests of a severe nature would still encourage ultra-low bottom gears. Lengthy acceleration tests to minimise this tendency would worry the R.A.C. Stewards— actually, this is where use of private drives would become desirable. He also reminds me that to judge results fairly in an event where both hills and special speed tests are used will entail using a very complicated system of marking— that I had already foreseen.
Opinions on new ideas are always worth having, and it does seem that our Mudless Trial, if it ever materialises, will have to be confined to the club which has the foresight to originate it, and be held not more than twice a year—which would not prevent its ranking as a classic, though it would diminish to vanishing point its useful influence on car design. Any more opinions ?
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