THE Northern Section of the V.S.C.C. received 90 entries for its annual Measham Rally. A Lancia Lambda driven by H. M. Goodman won the Measham Challenge Trophy.
To celebrate the flat-rate tax, so cheering to owners of large-bore motor cars, the. Mercedes-Benz Club combined on January 10th with the 20/Ghost and Les Hommes à l’Hispano organisations to hold a Tax Emancipation Rally. After lunch, liquid and solid, in London the monsters converged on Richmond for tea. Having a car that did not appear to have paid any tax we felt we simply had to attend. Arriving at the Richmond Hill Hotel, we were confronted by a British Straight-Eight Overdrive—Jensen to you — and a large white vintage-auto bearing so many and diverse badges (24, if you include two B.A.R.C. transfers) that we reflected that its owner must distribute subscriptions for more than he saves on the new tax ! We noted that this much-publicised Mercedes-Benz still retains the same enthusiastic owner. Next we had a look at two Type 230 Mercedes-Benz saloons hiding modestly in the background and a 40/50 Rolls-Royce sporting tourer disguised as a mobile laboratory, its driving compartment so cluttered up with dials and flow-meters that forward-visibility appeared to be entirely obscured — possibly, we reflected, the owner is so busy looking in that he gets no time off to see where he is going. We noticed that certain of the controls were labelled “late” and “slow” and that the radiator was almost entirely blanked-off. The truly immaculate ex-Ellis open Isotta-Fraschini was a centre of attraction in the centre of the forecourt, so that no one else could park there.
Later the West End contingent came sailing in — Morin Scott in his stark Hispano-Suiza with the very fashionable, inclined back springs, a 38.2 open touring Hispano-Suiza, some 540K Mercedes-Benzs and courageous Mrs. Kennard in her open Mercedes-Benz, an onlooker remarking that no doubt she never gets pinched. “By a policeman,” he was heard to add!
Mr. and Mrs. Johnson were present to receive their guests and the 20/Ghost Club raised some fine cars, including John Bolster’s sensible family carriage in which he had braved the fogs of Kent. There was a breath-taking moment when an unbelievably immaculate modern Rolls-Royce slipped slowly backwards and was only just saved from pranging a Vanguard by the adroit withdrawal of the latter.
The Vice-President of the Mercedes-Benz Club arrived in a rare open 2.6-litre M.G. which seemed to have collected much of the fog on its exterior. Other discreetly-parked spectators’ cars included a 4-1/2 Bentley saloon, a V12 Lagonda and a “chain-gang” Frazer Nash with two of the three external exhaust pipes in a semi-detached state. There was now at least one 1953 licence amongst the assembly …. A friend of ours then remarked that the four most impressive cars present were painted white so we hastened away before he could murmur anything about elephants.
Next day, off to Aylesbury, where the ducks with green peas abide, to see what the Humber Register Rally had attracted. It had brought in five 9/20s, one a saloon, a 9/28 saloon, a fine 14/40 tourer, a modified 14/40 and Denne’s well-known Brooklands replica of the “home” marque backed up by two bull-nose Morris-Oxfords, one a 1922 tourer purchased recently for £5 and a 1923 Bean.
A parking test in Aylesbury Square car park saw the Denne Humber park absolutely on the touch-line, within the 30 sec. limit allowed, while Major Dickinson did it very well and steadily in his 14/40. One 9/20 wore a radiator muff embossed with a tasty letter “H,” made, someone suggested, from a hospital blanket with which the owner had absconded after a crash. The Bean’s gearlever wrestled with its driver and the early bull-nose scored a penalty of no less than 6 ft. The contingent undertook a time trial after lunch and the results of the day’s enjoyment were:
Non-starter: H. Curtis, 1926 12/25 (stripped diff.).
1st: D. T. R. Dighton (outright win).
2nd: M.H. Alford (invited club award)
3rd: M. Hodgson (next best man belonging to a different club from the winners of the previous awards).
Fastest man in hill-climb: Major R.R.B. Dickinson, 14/40
Road section (excluding special tests in Market Square), 1st: C.H. Taylor; 2nd: P.D. Walters; 3rd: D.T.R. Dighton; 4th: M. Hodgson (no awards).