Cars In Books, July 1976
I had expected to find references to motor racing in "Jack Of All Trades" by…
FORD V8 WINS THE SEVENTEENTH MONTE CARLO RALLY
LANCIA’S GRAND SLAM IN THE LIGHT CAR CLASS. SMALL BRITISH SALOONS DO WELL.
IT is difficult to believe that such a successful event as this Seventeenth Monte Carla Rally has been, could ever have been, in jeopardy. : And yet after the previous year’s Rally there had actually been talk of discontinuing it.
The point is, of course, that the Rally will always be popular for a variety of reasons, chief of which is that it offers an outlet for the spirit of adventure latent in all of us. Even if the discomfort and suffering (and it is suffering) is selfimposed, the sense of achievement at the end of it all is none the less pleasurable.
But there was not much pleasure to be seen in the facial expressions of many of the weary, bleary drivers who checked in at the final control on the Saturday. They had no interest in the blue sea and sky, the colourful scene and the warm sunshine. Their one-track minds were focused on thoughts of a bath, and a long, long sleep. More than anything, on sleep. There were ninety-three finishers out of 125 starters. Let us see how they fared on the various 2,000 odd mile routes converging on Monte Carlo. This year the routes were marked on a different system, according to their severity
instead of their distance. Athens was generally conceded to be the most difficult starting Point of all, and was thus given 500 marks. Bucharest, considered by some an even more hazardous itinerary, was marked with 498 points. Palermo, Stavanger and Tallirm were given 497: Unica and jolm o’Groats 496: and Amsterdam 408.
How they Fared on the Road Sections
Athens is always a gamble. If there has been a heavy fall of snow in the Balkans, no one can get through. Otherwise it is just an extremely bumpy journey for long sections, with the possibility of snow near Munich. To be on the safe side, several competitors who chose Athens this year also filed entries from Palermo, leaving it to the last possible moment to decide which to use. Good weather reports from Athens encouraged them to start from the Grecian capital, and this enabled them to gain three valuable extra points over their rivals.
On the whole, the Athens route was easy, but there was one very bad accident involving Molinari’s Fiat, in which the driver was killed. There was the usual tale of one car having its sump removed by a rock, but twenty out of the thirtythree starters got through with clean sheets. British cars among this number were a Hillman Minx driven by Gatsonides, two Fords driven by Whalley and Scott (we nearly wrote Scott and Whaley !) and Alan Good’s big Lagonda, which gave its occupants the most comfortable ride of the lot. Aldington and Pane lost no marks with their 2-litre Frazer-Nash-B.M.W. Some redoubtable finishers from Athens were Lahaye and Quatresous (Renault), Quinlin (MatfOrd), Jean Trevoux (Hotchkiss) and the Dutch Ford driver, BakkerSchut. Bucharest, too, was not such a difficult route as usual this year, and three out of the five starters got through without loss of marks. From Stavanger twelve of the twenty-one starters retained clean sheets, the most meritorious performance being that of Stanley Barnes and Tommy Wisdom with a perfectly normal Vauxhall ” Ten ” saloon. Mrs, ” Bill ” Wisdom and MrS. Lace were also among the elite in their Talbot-Darracq. Of the twenty Palermo starters eleven lost no marks, but none of the four Tallinn starters were
so successful. The five limea starters were equally unlucky, but the biggest tale of woe came from the John o ‘Groats contingent. There were twenty-three starters from
the only British control, which is generally considered to offer a fairly easy route. Only six of these arrived at Monte Carlo
without losing marks en route. Their names, therefore, are worthy of being recorded : Balfour (Alvis), Willing (3ilitre S.S.), Lord ‘Waleran (Lancia), Garrad and Davis (Talbot Ten), Ras:eh (Morris Ten), and Count Hey-den (DaJahaye).
All went well to begin with, and the Scottish roads were in good condition. There was a little patchy ice which was rather tricky on the way to London from Doncaster, and Miss Taylor’s /35 Lancia Lambda was slightly delayed with dynamo trouble, but it was in France that things really began to go wrong. Between Le Mans and Nantes, Wise (Balilla Fiat) crashed into the back of Denis Burrage’s V8 Standard, which had pulled up suddenly to avoid a lorry. Result, two cars badly damaged, and much time lost straightening them out. Denis, incidentally, was in charge of the car in place of his father who was taken ill On the eve of a long-anticipated first But it was on the stretch between
Toulouse and Lyons, including the crosslug of the Massif Central, that the real fun began. The weather was foul—snow, sleet, rain and ice—and, either because fatigue was beginning to set in, or because of a lack of signposts, people began to lose their way. Worse still, some of them ran off the road and crashed, more or less seriously. Baron Dorndorl and his wife (Miss Patten that was) in their British Sahnson plunged down a steep ravine and overturned. Miraculously they were not ‘WO badly hurt, but Miss Taylor’s Lancia party, which was following, lost must time in going to their assistance. ;-;ir W. C. Anstruther’s Ford was an other car to leave the road with a considerable crash, and the occupants were removed to hospital. .1. G. Sikoek’s brand-new Jensen also deviated from the straight and narrow path. The Smiths’elaborately equipped Wolseley lost Marks at the Rodez control, while Wise’s patched-up Fiat lost twenty-three marks
at Toulouse and two at Rodez. Mrs. Joan Cotton had bad luck in puncturing a tyre just outside the Lyons control and failed to cheek in on time. Through it all, however, two small British saloons came with flying colours. Fred Ra,sch, publicity chief of Morris Motors, accompanied by W. A. McKenzie of the ” Daily Mail,” drove a little Morris Ten saloon taken at random from the
Morris demonstration fleet. Never for an instant did it falter. The same can be said for the Talbot Tell coup driven by Norman Garrad.and Sammy Davis of the ” Autocar.”
The First Eliminating Test
All routes converged at Lyons before tackling the difficult last section to Monte. Carlo. This year it was intended to make. the run from Grenoble to the finish in the nature of an eliminating test, in order to avoid the ” gymkhana’ tests at Monte
Carlo being the decisive factor. The average speed for all routes as far as Lyons was 24.85 m.p.h., but from then on it was raised to 31 m.p.h. This last lap was divided into four sections of unequal length. The first included the Col de la Croix Haute (4,000 ft) ; the second was considered to be the worst of all, the seven-mile crossing of the Col de 1,ecques having to be accomplished at 31 m.p.h. ; the third section, still with many corners, leading down to Grasse ; and the final stage taking the competitors through Cannes and Nice to the finish.
Dire predictions of disaster had been foretold of weary drivers crashing over precipices in their endeavour to maintain the necessary average speed over ice-bound and snowy roads. As it turned out, the organisers decided to merge the dreaded second section with the longer third stage-to the intense relief of many competitors. Just to prove that it could be done, however, the crew of the Talbot Ten actually achieved the required :11 m.p.h. average over the Col de Lecques -a grand performance. The only serious ” incident ” on the Grenoble-Monte route was when Bjorkman’s Lancia collided with a non-com
peting car near Grasse. Boughton’s Talbot-Darracq fused its defroster and afterwards became ditched for a short N+bile-but the control was reached on time. Altogether, sixty-one competitors got through the 31 m.p.h. average section from Grenoble without loss of marks, including the gallant British ” Tens,” the Morris, the Talbot and the Vauxhall. And so, as an eliminating test this stage was a flop. On the other hand, no one got hurt, which was all to the good of the reputation of the Rally.
The Final Eliminating Test
After all, it came down to the usual ” driving skill ” tests to find the ultimate winner among the fifty-five cars which had come through the road section
without loss of marks. Refreshed by a long sleep, the competitors presented their cars for examination at 9 o’clock on Sunday morning, immediately after which the tests took place.
Big crowds lined the Quai de Plaisance where the drivers had to perform the intricate manceuvres of accelerating, braking, reversing, turning, and repeating the same thing to a flying finish. Each driver was given two tries, one from each end of the course. There were no freak cars this year, because a new rule confined the event to standard closed cars, without superchargers. The whole test called for a cool head and unhurried, deft movements-combined of course with good acceleration and brakes. In some cases the latter had become weak through hard work on the road section, and no overhauling was allowed to be done before the tests. The situation was given added piquancy by the fact that the favourite for fastest time was Rene Le Begue (Talbot-Darracq), who had a 3 mark handicap to make up on the Athens starters. Le Begue began well with a neat 57.1 seconds, which was not quite good enough to put him in. front of Bakker-Schut’s Ford, which took 1 min. 2 seconds. On the second run, however, Le Begue failed to cross the reversing line by 1 inch in clocking 57
seconds dead. Bakker-Schut then put the matter beyond all doubt by getting down to 58 seconds, and ran out a deserving winner. Other fast times were those of Trevoux (Hotchkiss), 1 min. 1 sec., Lord Waleran (Lancia), 1 min. 2.1 secs., Descollas on a similar car, 1 min. 2.8 secs., Mme. Roualt (Matford), 1 min. 4.4 secs., and Whalley (Ford), 1 min. 5.2 secs.
Lord Waleran’s time, although fastest of the ” 1,500s,” was not sufficient to make up for the extra marks gained by Descollas in starting from Athens, and the Light Car Prize accordingly went to the latter. Mme. Roualt’s handling of the Matford (Ford V8 made in Mathis factory) showed her long experience of this kind of thing, and gave her the Coupe des Dames.
These were the outstanding performances. The majority of drivers put up good, unspectacular shows which space does not permit us to mention individually. A few, overcome by the importance of the occasion and letting haste confuse their minds and movements, gave grotesque performances which recompensed the crowd for their long attendance. It will be kinder not to mention them by name. . .
The Comfort and Engine Appearance Prizes
British cars came into their own in the Comfort and Engine Appearance
Competitions. The Grand Prix d’ Honn.eur for Comfort went to the 3-klitre S.S. Jaguar entered by J. 0. H. Willing, who was thus the third successive British driver to win this coveted prize. The S.S. thoroughly deserved its success, for at k455 it is an amazing motor-car, possessing both the looks ad the performance of cars costing two or three times as much. This result is a real triumph for Mr. ” Bill ” Lyons, the brilliant head of the S.S. Company.
British cars also filled second, third and fourth places, so that altogether we can regard our coachwork as pretty good-in direct competition with the best Continental and American practice. In the all-weather class, Alan Good’s Lagonda was placed second to a Buick, and third prize went to 13a1 four ‘s 4.3-litre Alvis.
The under 1,500 c.c. closed car class was another triumph for British manufacture, this time a normal Hillman Minx saloon, entered by D. E. M. DouglasMorris, being the victorious car. Garrad’s Talbot Ten was placed third, and the Barnes-Wisdom Vauxhall Ten fourth.
The Engine Appearance Competition went to Smith’s Wolseley, which just beat Willing’s S.S. Jaguar.
PROVISIONAL RESULTS GENERAL CLASSIFICATION
1. G. Bakker &hut (Ford), Athens : 780.9 marks.
2. J. Trevoux (Hotchkiss), Athens : 770.7 marks.
3. C. Lahaye and R. Quatresous (Renault), Athens : 777.8 marks.
4. E. Mutsaerts (Ford), Palermo : 774.6.
5. J. Quinlin (Matford), Athens : 773.9.
6. R. A. Carriere (Matford), Athens : 772.3.
7. Mine. G. Houma (Matford), Athens : 771.7.
8. G. Descollas (Lancia 1,352 c.c.), Athens : 771.6.
9. Tie between Lord Waleran (Lancia 1,362 e.c.), John o’Groats, and R. Cantoni (Lancia 1,352 c.c.), Palermo : 770.5.
11. Mme. Simon (Hotchkiss), Athens : 768.8.
12. Tie between Dr. Sprenger van Eijk (Lincoln), Palermo, and C. de Cortanze (Peugeot), Athens : 708.4.
14. J. W. Whalley (Ford), Athens : 768.2.
15. K. Olsen (Ford), Stavanger : 767.5.
16. B. Van der Hoek (Packard), Palermo: 767.3.
17. J. Daimiell (Peugeot), Stavanger : 766.9.
18. F. Hoffman (Lancia), Stavanger : 766.5.
19. Mrs. Greta Molander (Dodge), Stavanger : 765.1.
20. R. Le &vie (Talbot-Darracq), Stavanger: 762.8.
Other British Placings
22. N. Garrad and S. C. H. Davis (Talbot Ten),
John roats: 761.9.
23. Count Heyden and E. 0. Cemlyn Jones (Delahaye), John o’Groats : 761.2.
27. Mrs. A. C. Lace and Mrs. Wisdom (Darracq), Stavanger : 759.2.
28. F. S. Barnes, J. D. Barnes and T. Wisdom (Vauxhall Ten), Stavanger : 758.3.
29. A. P. Good and C. Brackenbury (Lagonda), Athens : 767.7.
40. G. L. Boughton (Darracq), Stavanger : 747.2.
42. 3.0. H. Willing (31-litre 8.8.), John o’Groats : 743.9.
44. F. H. S. Basch (Morris Ten), John o’Groats : 742.3.
49. A. C. Lace (Darracq), Stavanger : 735.45. 53. A. C. Scott (Ford), Athens : 727.7.
59. Mrs. M. J. Cotton (Lancia 1,352 c.c.), John o’Groats : 719.35.
60. P. F. Smith (Lagonda), John o’Groats : 714.5.
61. II. J. Aldington, A. F. P. Pane and N. A. Berry (Frazer-Nash-B.M.W.), Athens : 712.0.
62. H. M. Balfour (Alvis), John o’Groate : 709.6.
65. G. W. Wilkin (Triumph), John o’Groats : 690.3.
66. Major A. Schwabe (Ford), Stavanger: 688.26. 73. H. Halliwell (Riley), John o’Groata : 645.25.
86. A. W. MacArthur Onslow (M.G.), John o’ G roots: 484.0.
87. T. C. Wise (Fiat), John o’Groats : 463.4. 89. Miss K. Taylor (Lancia 2,570 c.c.), John o’Groats : 440.6.
Major D. E. M. Douglas-Morris (Hillman), Amsterdam : 440.
W. G. Lockhart (3-litre Talbot) is still under consideration on a technical point.
A. B. Grant (Triumph) disqualified owing to non-standard coachwork measurements.
LIGHT CAR CLASS
1. G. Descollas (Lancia), Athens : 771.8 marks.
2. Tie between Lord Waleran (Lancia), John o’Groats, and It. Canton! (Lancia), Palermo: 770.5.
4. F. Hoffman (Lancia), Stavanger : 766.5.
5. L. Garrard and S. C. H. Davis (Talbot), John o’Groats : 761.9.
6. E. Bellen (Lancia), Stavanger . 761.0.
Other British Placings
8. F. S. Barnes, J. I). Barnes and T. Wisdom
14. F. H. S. Ranch (Morris Ten).
19. Mrs. M. J. Cotton (Lancia).
21. G. W. Wiikin (Triumph).
24. 11. Halliwell (Riley).
35. T. C. Wise (Fiat).
36. Major D. E. M. Douglas-Morris (Hillman).
1. Mine. Itouault _(Matford).
2. Mute. Simon (Hotchkiss).
3. Mrs. Greta Molander (Dodge).
4. Mrs. A. C. Lace and Mrs. Wisdom (Darracq).
5. Mme. M. J. Marinovitch (Matford).
6. Mrs. M. J. Cotton (Lancia).
Closed Cars over 1,500 c.c.-1, J. 0. ,It. Willing (SS Jaguar) ; 2, T. A. Smith (Wolseley) ; 3, J. H. T. Edward Moss (Alvis); 4, A. W. MacArthur Onslow (M.G.); 6, Count Heiden (Delahaye); 6, W. G. Lockhart (Talbot).
All-Weather Cars over 1,500 c.c.-1, .T. I. Lovgren (Buick); 2, A. P. Good (Lagonda) ; 3, H. M. Balfour (Alvis); 4, A. Noll (Opel).
Closed Cars Under 1,500 c.c.-1, D. E. M. DouglasMorris (Hillman); 2, W. Kolaezkowski (Lancia); 3, N. Garrad (Talbot) ; 4, F. S. Barnes (Vauxhall).
All-Weather Cars Under 1,500 0.0.-1, V. Formanek (Aero) ; 2, H. J. A. Janssen (D.K.W.) ; G. Stoinschegg (D.K.W.).
Engine Appearance Competition 1, T. A. Smith (Wolseley) ; 2, J. 0. H. Willing (88. Jaguar) ; 3, A. Noll (Opel) ; 4, A. P. Good (Lagonda).
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