VSCC Measham Trophy Rally

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January 8th-9th

Another well-supported VSCC Measham Rally took place last month (50 entries). Having had a good run back from the Exeter Trial in the BMW I decided to go to the halfway stop and check-up on what was going on. At the well-lit Border Garage at Welshpool competitors came in to refuel after attempting the first-half of the event, which involved over four hours of nocturnal motoring for those who visited every check point, with 3 hours 25 min. driving still to come. Already Barwell’s 1924 30/98 Vauxhall had retired, with loss of 2nd and 3rd gears, Knill-Jones’ long-tailed Riley Nine was out but safely parked, and the navigator in Johnson’s Frazer Nash felt too ill to continue.

Tony Jones in his 1923 30/98, carrying No. 1 and navigated by Jim Whyman, arrived first, to check-in at the Rover 95 official car, while the VSCC ladies worked out routes to future controls in the comfort of the Club’s Bedford bus. Boyd, in a handsome Mullner 2-seater-bodied 1923 30/98 Vauxhall which used to tow the racing GN “Wasp”, overshot the entrance to the forecourt. Abbott’s Model-A Ford was reported as having had an excursion into a field but appeared to be unharmed, and Rooney presented his “allelectric Chummy”, in the form of a 1928 Austin 7 with four batteries on board. Adnams’ Riley had a policeman as navigator, Frazer Nashes were out in force, content with 2-star fuel but one of them short of amps, due to suspected dynamo-belt slip, whereas Hutchings’ 328 BMW would have liked a drink of 5-star, but had to be content with 4-star.

There were three Lancia Lambdas in action, all nicely-original cars, Muschamp’s 5th-series tourer with 8th-series engine, Crowe’s open-bodied 7th-series, which had a trace of clutch slip, and Stephens’ open 8th-series model. Incidentally, a Belgian-registered Lancia had been reported at the start and one spectator had come from Brussels to keep a sort of Common Market watching brief. Jane Hill had her husband working on the AJS’s gearbox, which had shed its drain plug. Wickham seemed to be taking his 12/50 Alvis to pieces, with the excuse that he was “just repairing the screen-washers”, but otherwise there appeared not to be much amiss, except for a headlamp askew on Cann’s 2-litre Aston Martin and a side-lamp likewise on Laxton’s Talbot 65; even the near-naked lady on the radiator filler-cap of the latter seemed to have lost none of her sang-froid on this January night! The prize for starkness should have gone to Haggard’s 1936 2-seater straight-eight Railton, with two aero-screens, twin outside exhaust-pipes, external levers, one of which was a Rolls-Royce gear-lever, the car using an R-R gearbox, and the speedometer faired in on the top of the scuttle. Binns’ Riley 9 wag on form, as was Price’s Austin Nippy, and May’s Frazer Nash was taking a little oil. The Measham was proceeding in traditional form! —W.B.

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