VSCC Enstone tests

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The VSCC concluded a full and successful season on December 4 with its traditional driving-tests at Enstone airfield near Chipping Norton. It was the occasion of a needle-match between Ben Collings and Tony Jones for points towards the Lycett Trophy, a memorial to Forrest Lycett who drove his famous 8-litre Bentley before and after the war at such impressive pace. Ben was slightly ahead and, if he won, would be the youngest driver to hold the coveted trophy. Suprise, suprise, he arrived without his 3/4-1/2 Bentley, resolved when Tony sportingly let him share his 1929 A7 Chummy. Not used to the car, or anything quite as tiny, Ben nevertheless finished 1.7 points ahead of Tony, although neither took Enstone awards.

The entry was decimated by ten non-starters, including the President’s FN-GN; this left only Kimber’s Morris Minor in the saloon-class and you can hardly not win in this situation. . . Of the ten tests, the first was not too difficult, only four drivers failing to stop astride prescribed lines. Test 2 was again easy, although Dames-Longworth (1932 MG) hit two markers and five drivers went the wrong way. “Garaging” correctly caught out 11 in Test 3. Getting into the pens, as in sheep-dog trials, was again the problem at Test 4, where Ben Collings and Dickie (Morris Minor) twice lost points, Ben stopping too soon, as he was unaccustomed to the short wheelbase of an A7. The fifth test was easier, but Champion’s Riley 9 twice had-a-go at the markers, and in the next test Miss Port’s A7 twice refused to “whoa” when told to do so.

No further garaging after this, but Test 6 was so complicated that 14 lost many points for mis-routing, as did 16 drivers in Test 7, Mrs Brewster (A7) giving up altogether. Test 8 presented few difficulties, Test 9 imposed most penalties for those failing to go the required way, and Test 10 caught out seven through under- and mis-braking, after which there was compensation for a wintery morning in the snug pub in Enstone village.

Seventy-nine had taken part, the entry divided into four classes; R Barnett (1911 Knox) won the Edwardian Class with 601.9 points, J Muschamp (1925 Lancia Lambda) the Touring Class with 563.8, B Bowles (1930 MG Midget) the Light Car Class with 459.3. Nothing more was heard of the lone saloon-class Morris Minor, but Robin Bachelor persevered through all the tests in his 1913 Rollo cyclecar, to come home a gallant last, not all that far behind a 1927 12/50 Alvis Special. W J Mahany (1939 1188cc modified HRG) was fastest overall, and scored first place with 453.6 points. First-Class Awards: Bowles (MG Midget), Mahany (HRG), D Marsh (Bugatti). Second-Class Awards: A Hall (A7), M Hewson (MG Midget), T Gosland (A7), C R Marsh (A7), D Hescroff (AC), R Nice (A7). Third-Class Awards: T Brewster (A7), D Robinson (Riley 9), M Anderson-Boyd (A7), A Winn (Riley), B Conway (Bugatti), R Smith (MG Midget), M Blake (Frazer Nash), R A Hescroff (AC). W B

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