THIS long-established night trial was centred originally at Measham but this year’s 198-mile night navigation event, very efficiently organised by Paul and Mike Tebbett, started and finished at the “Moat House Hotel” in Hereford, whose spacious car parks and comfortable accommodation made it ideal for the purpose. Cars were driven and navigated by Masters and Experts who had to average 24 mph and by non-experts expected to average 20 mph, the first leaving at 9.30 pm, on the VSCCordained pleasant moonlight night of January 6/7th.
Before this, thorough scrutineering and a noise check had been carried out which, together with strict penalties for any traffic infringements, should convince the public of the legality of such events. The halfway stop was at RAF Hereford. The entry of 63 pre-1940 cars were parked before the start in splendid isolation and strolling round in the semi-darkness we saw the Scrutineers pounce on Wilson’s A7, with cowled radiator and Ulster-like tail, because it had a defective o/s headlamp, soon rectified, and noted that Aston’s 1922 GN Legere, which has only one headlamp anyway, had arrive safely from London. Ducker had a rather shallow hood on his 12/50 Alvis beetle-back, Lou Wickham an extra spotlamp at hood-height on his SD 12/50. Whispers of “Grapes of Wrath” greeted Baxter’s 1928 Model-A Ford tourer, spare cans on its running boards, and Sudjic’s 1929 Hotchkiss AM2 twodoor coupe looked splendidly original, even to scuttle-mounted sidelamps. Binns’ HRG 1100 had its driver’s and navigator’s names on its bonnet, Marathon fashion, and Mahany had another HRG 1100. The Asplins had thoughtfully
supported the front mudguards of their A7 Ulster Replica with bungee-rubber and an extra stay. Some cars looked too smart for a night trial, like Nice’s blue 1933 A7 Chummy Special, Potter’s Lea-Francis saloon, Saunders’ Sunbeam 20 with lined paintwork and Schumacher’s enormous 20/60 hp Sunbeam tourer, while Huggett’s 1930 16/50 hp Humber saloon might simply have been about to collect the ladies for a dance. Others, such as Winn’s 3-litre Bentley, implied “everyday use”. Alvis and hare mascots abounded, Parker in a lofty SL 12/50 saloon, and 30/98s were plentiful, the youngest Collings among the crew of Ham ish Monro’s. The two-seater Mathis Emysix had a slab tank and external handbrake. The most spartan car was Peerless’ open VA-litre Invicta with just two small aero-screens as protection. Bart Peerless, Miss Alex Marsh (A7) and David Lake (Bentley) were young drivers in their first VSCC event. Both Lancia Aprilias had arrived, and Dawson had the only Rolls-Royce, a smart 1924 tourer. The reason you have to put up with these furtive notes gleaned at the “Moat House Open Air Vintage Car Exhibition” is because night trials are as impossible to report as are DTs, unless the reporter is prepared to dart hawk-like among the competitors all night. But as the night wore on some mist and icy roads were in the best Measham tradition, and among the retirements were Bloy’s A7 with a broken crank and Tomlin’s TL 12/60 Alvis beetle-back with a broken half-shaft. Tim Jones’ 30/98 suffered water pump problems, Gathercole’s Riley Imp broke a
rocker, Binns was apparently delayed by electrical troubles and Saunders’ Alvis Silver Eagle with valve-gear maladies. The GN not only got round the route but set off for London afterwards and the mothers of Peerless and his navigator Evans were there to see them on their way to winning the Novices’ Award. Harris took the PVT Award for the second year in succession. WB
RESULTS Measham : J
Measham Trophy (best vintage car) : J Potter/Kettlewell (1930 Lea-Francis) Jeddere-Fisher Trophy (best vintage touring car):P. Cattell/Cork (1930 Riley) PVT Award: J Harris/Costigan (1936 Lagonda Rapide) Novices’ Award: B Peerless/Evans (1933 4 Y2-litre lnvicta)
Awards for most meritorious performance: D Aston/Bullett (1922 GN) 1st class Awards: P Hart/Smith (1930 Humber) and best overall performance, P Caftell/Cork (1930 Riley), J Potter/ Kettlewell (1930 Lea-Francis), L J Wickham/Wickham (1929 Alvis), J Harris/ Costigan (1936 Lagonda), W Mahany/ Herniman (1939 HRG), M Garfitt/Roberts (1937 Frazer Nash/BMW).
2nd class Awards: M Dawson/Mrs Kenyon (1924 Rolls-Royce), A D Jones/ Miss A Jones (1924 Vauxhall), A Winn/ Hyde-Finn (1929 Bentley), D Johnson/ Harvey (1933 Frazer Nash), A Hutchings/ Selwyn-Smith (1937 BMW), M Parkin/ Hooke (1931 Alvis).
3rd class Awards: D Marsh/Robinson (1923 Vauxhall), M Sythes/Joseland (1927 Frazer Nash), G Butcher/Rosten (1933 Frazer Nash), A Saunders/Allen (1932 Sunbeam), J McEwen/Allan (1938 Riley).