THE 32nd M.C.C. EXETER TRIAL HOW the Cars Fared on Tillerton, the new hill
TT is satisfactory that although trials-driving has become a specialised branch of the Sport, many enthusiasts are prepared
to -continue ‘with the less severe form of trials-driving, so that 285 entries were received by the Motor Cycling Club for this year’s Exeter Trial, now in its 56th year, for the first London-ExeterLondon started on Boxing Night, 1910.
Always a winter adventure, with a long night run prior to taking the observed sections, entries reached a peak of 427 in 1925 and have been well sustained, this year’s entry being only 13 down on 1955. This time the London starting point had moved from Virginia Water to the less hospitable and cheerless wastes of Feltham, other
starting points being Launceston and Kenilworth. The routes converged on flonitou, in Devon, and after Pin Hill the weary drivers and riders—for this is a mixed two-, threeand four-wheeler event— took the traditional breakfast at Deller’s in Exeter. Afterwards came a new “section,” steep, gluey and with ” stoppers ” in the form of rocky outcrops, called Tillerton, near
Tidburn St. Mary. Flare the local farmers, their families and the farm-hands thoroughly enjoyed long hours of spectating, and we expect this excellent hill, which stopped sports cars where capablydriven family saloons succeeded, will be used in the 1957 Exeter. On Tillerton we observed the entire car entry. L. S. Rayfield, the front of his B.S.A. three-wheeler suitably ballasted, did very well,
failing at the very top. C. R. Parsons, his passenger bouncing in the back of their Dellow Mk. HT, got up. Mrs. Parsons (Dellow) was better still, ascending rapidly. while C. S. Edwards (Hallow) made it look easy, and E. H. Dennis (H.R.G.) a speedy climb.
Then came a Ford Popular, ably handled by S. D. Euttridge, which just got up. while I. D. L. Lewis made a good job of it, his Morgan Plus Four’s mudguards grounding on the high spots.
Most impressive was the ascent by D. G. H. Hilliard, he and his passenger successfully bouncing their Ford Ten up foot by foot. D. C. Griffiths’ Austin Seven got barely half-way, a new M.G. MGA driven by W. J. Westlake impressed everyone with a rapid climb, D. J. B. Ayers, who had tried it before, got up in his Ford Ten powered Stafonack, but “only just” applied to G. Crossley Meate,s in a blue B.M.W. 328 and hats to match. J. M. Stevens’ Ford Ten Special sounded, and ascended, very healthily, M. Pollard only just blipped his Ford Ten-engined Austin Special past the ” Observed Section Ends” notice, the same applying to W. G. A. Penhale’s Triumph TR2, which had too mud, power, while both A. W. Leaver’s
Vauxhall Velox and J. H. Parr’e Austin Seven stopped half-way.
G. R. Cox only just persuaded his Fottl Ten Special up, A. C. I. Bulpin employed too much power to the back wheels of his TF M.G. and was lucky to succeed, but H. S. Hockings’ old Austin 16/4 saloon was never in doubt for a moment, going up splendidly, crew bouncing. W. Ivey Mollard’s Riley Imp ceased half-way up, A. L. Chard can be proud of getting up in a Ford Anglia, bouncing himself along. P. S. Banbury came up fast in his Ford Ten-powered B.X.M., whereas E. M. Rogers called upon too many horses and stuck midway in his Morgan Plus Four, hood up. C. B. James preferred screen flat in his TC M.G. but didn’t get much farther. A verygood performance
was put up by I. D. Borton’s Ford Ten A.F.S., gumboots strung on the back. I. T. Bale’s Vauxhall Velox got more than three-quartets of the way, good for a saloon, J. B. Oliver’s Ford Ten L.R.G. stormed up, as befitted traces of a racing number under the mud, J. T. Skinner twirled the wheel of his Dellow with one hand on an easy, sure ascent, R. Wilson’s odi:v. Morris Minor saloon failed at the fatal half-way point, J. S. Bacon’s Ford Popular blipped three-quarters of the way but failed, power seeming to have vanished, possibly due to a flattened exhaust pipe, and J. Featherstone’s Austin A40 died away front lack of power.
R. Scott came up extremely well in his II.R.G., lady passenger quite unperturbed, .J. 11. Leigh’s H.R.G. took it slowly but surely, passenger bouncing. while D. J. Puesons’ ” chain-gang” Frazer-Nash took it as a main-road gradient. Wheelspin stopped B. H. Thotnpson’s Hillman Husky just beyond half-way, J. Mansell’s Dellow was excellent, whereas T. A. Marshall made heavy weather of it in a TR2, hood up, using lots of revs. but only just getting up. T. E. Fleetwood’s Austin A40 Sports failed even earlier than the A40 saloon, Mrs. Woodall employed intelligent throttle-control on her Ford Ten with oversize rear tyres, D. H. C. Wooldridge’s Buckler. Ford found it very easy, but J. R. Cond’s Renault 750 stopped on the ledge half-way up and D. J. Hurd’s old Ford Ten with late-type axles made a dogged try, stopping three,quarter-way to the top.
R. B. James’ 1956 Standard Vanguard stopped at the same place, R. H. Roberts’ Austin-Ford Special, glass-fibre body juddering.
didn’t get quite three-quarter-way, after which there was a speed hill climb by G. Wood’s G.W.8 and an outstanding ascent by P. G. Riviere’s II:B.G.—nice to see so many II.R.G.s in action.
J. E. Bates’ Dellow got. more than half-way but not three-quarters of the way up, T. J. Threlfall’s 2,088.e.c. Morgan Plus Four had no trouble, W. A. G. Goodall’s 1;991-c.c. car of this make went up tremendously fast, A. T. Hill’s Morgan was O.K., Dr. Spare’s Morgan rather slower, then F. R. Fleet’s Ford Zephyr failed where the first Vauxhall Velox had stopped. B. J. Theme’s four-seater Morgan Plus Four, hood up, was steady, S. P. Briginshaw’s TR Austin, looking like a Triumph Gloria, stopped beyond the half-way mark. C. M. Seward’s Triumph TR2 dame up rapidly in second gear, the half-way hump defeated P. P. Ford’s Austin A30. L. B. Mayman’s Kettle, an Allard Special, lost water but didn’t boil, blipping up well, E. Jackson treated us to a perfect ascent in a Ford Anglia, and very good was L. E. Neway’s Bold Special, which had shed a front wing.
Another outstanding climb of Tillerton Was made by W. B. Hercock’s TF M.G., K. M. Law’s TF M.G. took it slower, air-bottles on its tail, then four impeccable ascents were made by the Dellows of K. H. Root, E. D. Beaumont, W. G. M. Crews and V. W. T. Sanders. Both the Morgan coupes of A. C. Hobbs and K. W. Hobbs, with 2,088-c.c. engines, were excellent, D. Underwood”, M.G. came sliding up, winkers winking, J. P. Davis’ Modular (modified Ford Popular) was very good, and J. Tucker-Peake’s Ford Eight Whytype better still, leaping into space at the humps. H. V. Tucker-Peake’s Tucker-M.G. was going exceptionally well, L. Jenner couldn’t get his Morgan Plus Four more than half-way, R. E. Warren tried really hard and put his early Standard Vanguard three-quarters up before stopping with loss of tyre adhesion, and then D. G. Fleming’s early Ford Ten saloon came up, whereas H. H. Alderton’s Ford Ten P.S.M. failed half-way, as did K. B. Shaw’s early Morris Eight. Vintage enthusiasts were warmed to the cockles as W. J. Haward’s old Bayliss-Thomas, still displaying a J.C.C. badge, made the grade, while H. W. Attree’s Singer Nine floundered at the halfway hump, like F. G. M. Westropp’s Ford Ten Morris Minor. Both blown Hollows of M. J. and F. P. Barker were splendid, and wildly airborne at the bumps. In contrast, V. E. Wonnacott took it gently
in his H.R.G. and A. Betteridge’s ML II Dellow didn’t worry about speed, while W. F. Mead’s blown Hollow took it very easily. The passenger’s hat matched A. E. Cleghorn’s successful Dellow, R. Guillaume’s Jowett Javelin wouldn’t look at the hill, but G. C. Turner got his early Ford Ten three-quarters of the way up. Exceedingly good cevers A. L. S. Denyer’svintage Lea-Francis-and A. E. Hay’s Lotus. D. J. Waller’s H.R.G. failed half-way, A. E. H. Parsons’ Mk, 1 Dellow was O.K., passenger bouncing, V. G. Nickels’ Rocket was a half-way failure, A. M. Goldthorpe’s supercharged Pelican, with Ford Eight engine, took it well, as did C. II. Price’s II.R.G., using bags of revs. J. J. Palms in a new M.G. MGA left it too bite in turning on the power and stopped at the top. D. S. Price managed all right, girl passenger bouncing furiously, in his 11.R.G., A. B. Palmes’ TC M.G. failed early, but G. A. Robins was splendid, using skilful throttle work to bring his Standard Vanguard to the top, and outstanding applies to F. C. Cole (Ford Popular).
H. J. Kingwdl was more than three-quarters up before his Ford Anglia failed, F. W. Marriott’s s.v. Morris Minor got higher up than P. J. Sargent’s Jaguar XK120, K. G. Cramp’s A.C. Ace seemed too light at the back, stopping at the top with far too much throttle and too little speed, A. G. Whitton was good, his Ford Popular recovering from a sideways slide, F. Bruce White and his enthusiastic passenger urged their old Jarvis-bodied M.G. 36-type Midget. up well. T. Benin’s blown Dellow was excellent, as was R. E. C. Brookes’ Ford Ten E.R.P., its hood half-collapsed, but S. S. A. Howe’s Jowett Javelin was pathetic and J. Potter get the wheels of his hard-top Triumph TR2 spinning and only just made it.
G. R. 13. Clarke had no sort of trouble in Cyclops, W. A. C. Stewart worked hard and recovered after his Hollow hit the bank, E. R. Shillabeer’s Vauxhall Velox proved that a big saloon could defeat Tillerton, T. I). H. Rutter, two passengers in the back, seemed more intent on setting his TR2’s tyres on fire than getting up the hill, C. C. Rogers (Standard Vanguard) was nearly three-quarters up when he stopped, and J. Gregson’e Jewett Javelin did better than the other Javelins. D. J. C. Bowles’ old 12/60 Alvis boiled and stopped low down, H. C. Freshwater came almost half-way in an Austin Seven Ruby saloon, J. Grapes’ nondescript !luckier-Ford hit the bank and only just recovered, P. Hoequard’s Renault 750 hadn’t enough power, stopping half-way, and F. Denison’s Standard Ten grounded and failed at the top, after N. E. Denison’s Mk. I Dellow had gone up splendidly. The hump half-way stopped J. R. Whalley’s Ford Anglia
and the entertainment, enlivened by the varied entry, concluded after A. R. Bryant’s Triumph TR2 had failed at the same place with spin, in spite of two passengers in the hack.