The VSCC Measham Rally (Jan. 8/9th)
Run in conditions of heavy showers, fog, and snow in high places, this year’s “Measham”, starting and finishing at Church Stretton, lived up to its exacting reputation. Going to watch it, in BL’s latest and very acceptable Triumph Dolomite (no sir, not a blown, twin-cam straight-8—but comments on page 121), we found plenty to report, along the 200-mile route.
Giles’ Frazer Nash was damaged on the way to the start but most of the 44 entrants lined up for the 22.30 getaway. Malyan informed us that 22/90 Alfa Romeos this time outnumbered the 30/98s—they did, by two to one; Tony Jones having the only Vauxhall entry! C. Mann had but an aero-screen to protect him in the ex-Lanfranchi Alfa Romeo, Leach was in a very spartan 1924 12/50 Alvis with intrepid passenger in the back, but the stoutest effort was probably that of Payne, in his 1925 Amilcar on “bicycle” tyres, although it had a huge BMW-drawn trailer to take it home.
Philip Mann had modern spot-lights and a quick-action fuel filler on his 1928 4 1/2-litre Bentley but had to retire when his navigator fell ill. Griffiths, in his Austin 7 “bath”, had the gearbox seize up twice before the compulsory stop near Welshpool, by which time the 30/98 had not only made navigator Weeks sick but was dousing all its lamps when the brakes were applied. The Mann Alfa Romeo had discarded its n/s rear mudguard, its dynamo was playing up, and it was enveloped in steam. Millar’s Lea-Francis was having another battery installed and the Amilcar had a busy pit-stop, with an obliging policeman shining a torch, for a plug inspection and change-about of leads to the more serviceable part of the 12-volt battery that fed its 6-volt electrics.
Stretton’s Frazer Nash was reluctant to take its oil, which was frothing in the valve cover, Wood was suffering from exhaust fumes in his Rapier, Malyan’s Alfa Romeo was smoking from a loose but elusive manifold joint, Abbott’s 1928 Model-AF Ford with home-built two-seater body needed water and Hutchings’ 328 BMW had broken its front shock-absorbers.
Fountain’s Riley 9 had clouted a bank with slight alteration to the shape of a n/s mudguard, and Waine’s Riley, an ex-Monaco special with gull’s wing-door coupé body, a shovel neatly stowed on the roof, was out with only three serviceable big-ends. Price’s Austin Nippy, however, had had a trouble-free and economical run, as had Spencer’s Lancia Aprilia, Heath’s Alvis, Hill’s Alvis and Stafford’s Riley, but the last-named had tried to discard its n/s headlamp and Lamb’s Riley was without light from its o/s headlamp. Collins had plenty of light on his Alvis and plenty of chunky tread on his rear tyres. Hall’s Frazer Nash had the Union Jack on its bonnet and Hallam’s was labelled “Royal Scot”. Mann’s Alfa Romeo later ran gently out of road at a junction. So another eventful “Measham” progressed, to give the following results:
Measham Challenge Trophy: K. M. Hill (Alvis).
PVT Cup: V. P. Stafford (Riley).
Jeddere-Fisher Trophy: J. A. McEwen (Riley).
Light Car Award: Mrs. Hill (AJS).
Newcomers Award: J. Malyan (Alfa Romeo).
First Class Awards: L. J. Stretton (Frazer-Nash), P. J. E. Binns (Riley), M. Fountain (Riley), M. J. Costigan (Austin). Second Class Awards: A. D. Jones (Vauxhall), J. A. Griffiths (Austin), R. A. Hutchings (BMW), A. D. Mitchell (Rolls-Royce). Third Class Awards: L. J. Wickham (Alvis), A. C. M. Millar (Lea-Francis).