The articles on historic racing and Michael bowler’s excellent letter examine the problem of eligibility of certain historic cars in considerable detail, but no satisfactory method of vetting individual cars is mentioned. Michael points out that the vehicle identity forms were drawn up to ensure that cars running in events covered by FIA regulations were genuine. However, this depends on a high degree of integrity on behalf of the wonders, as there appears to be little or no method applied to see whether the answers given on the forms are correct. The forms for my own cars were not examined at any of the UK or overseas historic events last season.
I searched in vain through the articles and correspondence for some mention of the VSCC. For many years the VSCC rules have been taken as the acceptable standard for single-seaters. These rules have been recently re-drafted and, more important, each car which is to be run in the Club’s events has to satisfy an investigation by a small expert Committee. The owner has to show with appropriate evidence that the car does comply with the regulations. It is then examined by an RAC scrutineer acceptable to the club. The benefits drawn from this method are that a certain amount of flexibility is built in. for example, one well-known car has been allowed to run in the Club’s events for some years with a non-standard gearbox as the original one was completely unreliable.
Unfortunately, two main Championships for historic cars last season specified that entrants should comply with the FIA regulations through which can be driven the proverbial coach and horses. If the HSCC put its house in order by setting up a scheme similar to the VSCC for sports cars and if all championships are run to these two Clubs’ regulations, then a big step will be taken towards drawing an acceptable but flexible line for historic car authenticity.
Brixham, Barry Simpson