VSCC Winter DTs

The usual site of this event was shifted this year from the heights of the Enstone plateau to the spaciousness of the Westcott Venture Park, where there were excellent facilities for signing-on, lunch, etc, and the 12 tests were laid out on hard-standing, although many of the pull-up areas were on loose soil. There was so much ground available that a map was needed for finding these tests, which detracted somewhat from the spectating/ reporting aspect, as a car was needed to see them, and the competitors were less bunched than previously.

However, the entry was large and varied, so that there was plenty of interest. For those who favoured the less usual there was Britnell's 1926 De Dion Bouton and Ron Barker's 1924 Dodge Brothers, contrasting, for instance, with Ivan Dutton's strippedfor-action 2-litre GP Bugatti. A 1939 Frazer Nash-BMW cabriolet contrasted with the 328s. A7s were numerous, as ever, but were Opposed, as was the 750 MC's original intention, by Singer Juniors and Morris Minors. Rumour had it that the engine had parted from the gearbox on Paul Bullett's A7. My daughter, who had never driven her 1927 Chummy before, was competing in her first event of this kind; in between bouts of carburettor and magneto problems she managed quite well, after Tony Jones, who was in the Chummy that was inverted last year, now smart again, lent a jet key, and Peter Livesey, in another Chummy, loaned his spare magneto, to keep her going.

So on a dull day with the rain holding off until the afternoon, the tests were The Verzons Vault, The Arrow Mill Meander, Thatched Cottage Canter, Floating Light Folly, The Phoenix Flip, Six Bells Salome, The White Hart Wonder, Triton Trap where a ditch and solid railings awaited the too adventurous, the complicated Readings' Revenge, Red Lion Rampage, The Leather Bottle Bender and Dolphin Inn Dawdle The Threlfalls, mother and son, used a 1930 Aston Martin while father Tom was photographing LE JOG, and Miss Peacop was sharing Owen's Morris-JAP. G Smith's MG was very quick, its 12/4 Riley engine give-away being rows of bonnet louvres to let the heat out. J Hindle's 1926 yellow bull-nose Morris was going very well, and my one-time Riley 9 "boy racer" appeared with a very attractive sort of Brooklands-model four-seater body, the work of Duncan Ricketts. The "old brigade" consisted of Croome's fleet 1904 Wolseley, the Marion, and a rather "fair-ground" 1915 Model-T Speedster. Trevor Tarring had the misfortune to shear reverse cog on his 1927 Frazer Nash, not a happy thing at a drivingtest event. Edmonds's 1922 Morgan had no such facility from the start so reversing was done by two "approved pushers". Vauxhall 30-98s did not deign to appear but Ben Collings and A Fletcher entered 4 1/2-litre Bentleys. W B

Results:

First-Class Awards: M Croome (1904 Wolseley), D Bond (Morris), I Hindle (Morris), R Firmin (HRG), D Marsh (Bugatti), J Baxter (A7), T Costigan ,Vernon-Derby), G Owen (Morris-IAP), Second-Class Awards: A Tongue (Morris), B Savile (Singer), P Live sey (A7), D Boyd (Citroen), R Wills (FN-BMW), W Mahany (HRG), Third-Class Awards: A Marsh (A7), T Britnell (De Dion Bouton). 1 Brewster (A7), A Tarring (Humber), H Conway (Bugatti), R Threlfall (Aston Martin), T Jones (A7), R Marsh (A7), Muschamp (FN-BMW), G Cormack (Riley), M Anderson-Boyd (A7). Retirements: N Cooksey (Morris), B Clarke (FN-GN). H Colridge (Riley), Miss Banning-Boddy (A7), B Fidler (Talbot), P Bullett (A7).