May Motor Sport have the last word, after the correspondence about what happened when Jean Bugatti brought the 4.9-litre 4WD Bugutti to Shelsley Walsh for the Open Meeting of June 1932? Rumour now says he shattered the course-record before crashing and damaging the car beyond repair. But at the time, Motor Sport reported that the car made three practice runs on the day before the event, a Friday, crashing on its last run at the first left-hand bend. On one of his previous runs he was “rumoured to have got within 1/5th of a second of the record”. That would mean that he was timed unofficially to do a climb in 43 seconds, leaving Hans Stock’s record of 42.9 sec. with the 3-litre Austro-Daimler, established in July 1930, intact.
Our report confirms that the following day Early Howe made f.t.d. in 43.2 sec. with his OP Bugatti, braking hard before the Esses, and that Jean Bugatti was permitted to drive a borrowed Type 55 Bugatti (which Motor Sport had tested the previous month) in the 2,001-3,000 c.c. Sports-Car class, which he won with a time of 49.2 sec., beating Bachelier’s Bugatti by 2.4 sec., that gentleman not being pleased, therefore, about the permitted change of programme! Shall we leave it at that?
Before the Meeting in question, Harker also crashed, in his vee-eight Harker-Special, on the Friday, his passenger being flung out uninjured but Harker going to hospital. The event was attended by 15,000 spectators, our reporter said, arriving in 2,500 cars. Howe drove home in his 38/250 Mercedes-Benz, his Bugatti going away in his Commer Challenger van. What a lot of history has been enacted at the famous Worcestershire hill! – W.B.