Club news, January 1937
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KENTISH BORDER C.C.
The third annual Sporting Trial started from Charing, Kent, with sixty-three runners out of an entry of seventy-seven.
R. M. Andrews (blown M.G. Midget) was put out by reason of the exhaust pipe puncturing his fuel tank—a nasty business which suggests a severe surface— and on Postman’s Walk A. Broadley’s Singer stopped with water in the gas works. Only ten cars successfully tackled Shrubs Wood, these being :—J. Dyer’s Riley, A. Carminati’s Triumph, W. Green’s blown M.G. Midget, E. Mobbs’s M.G. Magnette, C. Anthony’s Aston Martin, K. Shackers Wolseley, A. Broadley’s Singer, K. Hutchison’s Ford V8, D. Silcock’s M.G. and J. Bond’s Morris Minor. In the restart test at Cavert Woods, D. Loader’s Ford V8 was fastest, recording 7.7 seconds. Miss Baskin (S.S.) was the best performer in the Down hill Brake Test, in 9.4 seconds. Five failed on Palmstead, which is quite steep and of interesting length. Seventeen cars then managed the final section. C. M. Anthony (Aston-Martin) was the best performer, K. R. W. Shackel (Wolseley) the best member, K. Hutchison (Ford V8) best in the opposite class, and the Southsea” B team were winners of the Team Award, with a team composed of C. S. Dewey (M.G.), J. Dyer (Riley), and
A. R. Carminati (Triumph). J. Dyer scored for Southsea, Anthony for the Great West, Bond for Brighton, and C. J. Hawkes (Ford V8) for Margate. First-class Awards were gained by C. S. Dewey, D. G. Silcock, and W. J. Green (M.G.$), C. A. N. May, and E. G. Mobbs (M.G. Magnettes), J. G. C. Bond (Morris Minor), J. Dyer (Riley), A. R. Carminati (Triumph), and 1). Loader (Ford V8).
A Christmas party was held on December 14th, at Bromley Country Club, to which entrants in the Sporting Trial were invited. This is one of the more go-ahead small clubs.
MAIDSTONE & MID-KENT M.C.
Twenty entries were received for the Founder’s Cup Trial, which started from the Tudor House, Bearsted. There were four teams. A special test on Thumham Hill failed no one and only two came to rest on Coldharbour Hill. HoWever, Affington Hill stopped 80 per cent. of the entry and only four
M.G.s and a Singer got up. After a pause for lunch twelve cars got up Temple with Pentony (M.G.) the star-driver. The finish was at the Tudor House, for tea, when the results were speedily announced. The cup went to Pentony (M.G.) and H. Huckins (Singer) was runner-up. H. J. Barwick (M.G. J2) was third. This is the sort of minor trial over which competitors and marshals alike can have a good day’s outing and gain valuable experience for sterner things to come. A dinner and dance will be held at the
Tudor House, Maidstone, on January 20th.
Hon. Secretary : A. W. Jupp, 203, London Road, Maidstone.
The W.A.S.A. has moved into new premises at 2, Hamilton Place, W.— a London mansion of the better kind, next door to the Chilean Embassy. This is one of the few motoring bodies with its own headquarters where members can meet and stay. The W.A.S.A. puts over .sOme extremely good motoring events, and, has done much to establish trials driving and racing as no more unwomanly a pastime than golf, tennis or swimming. May it be well suited at its new home.
CEMIAN MOTOR CLUB
The annual dinner and .dance was held at the new Burlington Gallery, Burlington Gardens, on the 8th of last month. It was very successful, and nearly 200 people were present. Special features of the evening were the happy and friendly atmosphere which prevails at all Cemian Motor Club events, and the complete absence of unnecessary formality. The Club’s chairman, Mr. P. Knowland, presided and the awards won during the year were presented by Mts. Knowland. The ” party ” terminated at 1..30. The secretary is always happy to hear from prospective members. He is A. A. Bolsom, of 33, Heath Street, N.W.3.
The Percy Butler Trial covered interesting ground in North Wales. Seventeen cars finished, seven with clean sheets. The trial was divided into two distinct sections, of which ” A ” was for sports-cars and ” B ” for normal cars, the latter by-passing the more arduous sections.
Bwlch-pen-Barras stopped J. R. White (Hillman Minx), P. Markwald (Singer) and R. H. Gregory (Morris). In spite of such hills as Maes y Safn, Boundary Stone, Hendre Quarry and Vsceiflog. only a few of the class B people lost marks here, from which we surmise that just leading a trial into Wales is not alone sufficient to provide abnormal fun and games. On the other hand, bear in mind Cae Glas Uchaf, which stopped every class A competitor, excepting C. E. Stothert (Fiat) and J, F. A. Clough (Riley).
The Druid Hotel, Llanferres provided tea and tables where results were worked out, which were largely decided on speed error. The Percy Butler Challenge Shield went to Stothert’s Fiat and he and dough (Rover) were the only winners
of First-class Awards. In the class B section, G. Good (Ford) and A. G. Sugg (Rover) gained First-class Awards, and interest always attaches to such “standardcar ” classes. Recently speed trials were held over a stretch of concrete road, when Rolt made fastest time of the day, driving an interesting car, in the form of a blown Dolomite Triumph. Leathart’s M.G. was
second. Over a flying half-mile Rolt’s Triumph clocked 101.75 m.p.h. and Talbot’s Ford V8 registered 81.05 m.p.h. The latter event was staged by the Liverpool University M.C.
BERWICK & DISTRICT M.C.
Out of seventeen starters in the recent trial, only J. N. L. Harrison (Ford V8) came through clean, in spite of sunny weather following a frosty night rendering the course easier than the award-givers had anticipated.
W. Forrest (M.G.), L. Robinson (Morris) and Harrison put in some excellent displays of driving ability.
First-class Award : J. N. L. Harrison (Ford V8).
Second-class Awards : J. R. McBsin (Ford), R. Grain (Ford), L. Robinson (Morris). J. Stoddart (Lancia) and H. B. Byers (M.G.).
Whatever the pessimist may mumble about the present and future of the sport, the fact remains that the reliability trial is by far the most popular aspect of competitive motoring, in spite of the proving-ground involving, with isolated exceptions, the public highway and byways. As So many people file their copies of this paper for reference purposes I feel that an attempt should be made to list the outstanding trials drivers of the past season, together with the mounts that they favoured. The task is by no means a light one, and the following analysis outlines merely the winners of the premier award for best performance, in the more classic events :-
Sporting 0.D.C, S. C. H. Davis Trophy: L. R. Swain (M.G.). Scottish S.C.C. Winter Trial : J. Flint (FraserNashB. M .W ),
Wye Cup : A. B. Langley (M.0.).
Southsea M.C. President’s Trophy: It. W. G. Collins (M.0,).
Harrow CC. C.L.I. Cup: Mrs. A. B. Moss (Marendat-Swial).
Colmore Trophy: H. Laird (McEvoy-Special). West Hants Hartwell Cup : E. N. Wright (M.G.). N.W.L.M.C. Coventry Cup”: C. A. N. May (M.G.).
Hospital’s Cup : N. Mansell (M.G.).
Bristol M.C. & L.C.C. Full Moon Cup : C.C. Evans (Mt ;.).
Leicestershire C.C. President’s Trial : J. H. Rawson (Wolseley liornet ).
C.U.A.C. Barton Trophy : K . M. Potter (M.G.). Newcastle & D. M.C. Travers Trophy : H. Laird (Mel; voy-Speeia I).
M.C.C. Land’s End Team Prize : NlaedennidBasttek-Lang1( y (M.G.
Suntac Inter-Team Prize : Tottlrnin-CraWfordJoni s (M.G. team).
Margate & D. C.C. Jackson Cup : D. R. Mount (m(f.).
M.G. Challenge Trophy : L. J. OnSlowBart lett (3L fl.).
Kentish Border C.C. John Belmont Taylor Cup : S. B. Allard (Ford vs).
Liverpool M.C. Jeans Cup : C. E. Stothert (Fiat). Hospital’s Cup : Mansell (M.(;,).
Lawrence Cup : S. H. Allard (Ford V8). West Hants L.C.C. &infield Cup : J. E. S. Jones
Plymouth M.C. Allen Trophy : IL TurnIttill (Morris 12).
Sonthsea M.C. Cannon Trophy : M. W. Sheppard (M.G.).
J.C.C. Half-Day Trial : F. I. cox (M.(;,).
Brighton & Hove Trophy : B. A. Maedermid (M.U.).
J.C.C. Evening Trial : 1). E. Harris (singer). Welsh Redly 44. L. Boughton (Triumph). M.C.C. Torquay Trial & Rally : Sir Stenson Cooke
Trophy : T. S. Weston (M,(4.).
Salisbury M.C. Budgen Trophy : P. S. Flower (MU.).
Barnstaple Trial : A. B. Langley (M.G.).
Lancashire A.C. Sporting Trial : J. F. A. Clough (Singer).
Eitham “100 ” : G. Arrow (Morris).
L.C.C. Buxton Trial : D. Barnes (Singer). M.G. Challenge Trophy (Scottish Section) : J. M. Anderson (Anderson-Special ).
Hagley & D. L.C.C. Clair Cup : R. Smart (31.0.). Wye Valley A.C. Zimmerman Cup : J. E. 0rgee (M.G.). Knott Cup : P. S. Flower (M.G.) Pointing Trophy : .1. Twyford
Edna Flood Trophy : J. F. Lambert (Singer). Brighton M.C. & L.C.C. J. H. King Cup : J. H. Wailer (M.G.).
W.A.S.A. Trophy : Miss P. Goodhan (Frayer-NashB.M .W.). d’Espiney Trophy : J. Newman Clarke (Singer). Gliksten Trophy : H. K. Crawford (M.O.). Torbay & Totnes M.C. B.C.R. Bowl : F. Lambert
Kentish Border M.C. Great West Tankard : C. 11 Anthony (Aston-Martin).
Bugatti O.C. Giles Cup : C. P. Hampton (Bugatt i). Percy Butler Challenge Shield : C. B. Stothert (Fiat). Maidstone & Mid-Kent M.C. Founder’s Cup : 0. Pentony
Gloucester Cup : C. A. N. May (M.G.). An enthusiast has afoot a scheme to organise a ran for light cars and cycle cars of the 1912-1920 era. This was a very fascinating period of motoring history, before Sir Herbert Austin had solved for all time the problemof providing motoring for the million, when optimistic folk with little engineering knowledge and less business instinct set up curious little works in all manner of odd places and turned out even more curious vehicles, in depressingly limited quantities as a rule. As late as W27 something of the sort was launched on the market. MoToR SPORT carried out a road-test at the time and after a while we published the experiences of someone who had been engaged in building and selling these 14 pop-bottles,” who told his story with lightly veiled disgust. Even recentiy there have been half-hearted efforts
to revive this sort of thing. But it is the genuine article, out of history, that my friend wishes to assemble for another competitive outing, and quite apart from the interest to people who maw’ in comfort and security in presentday i100 light cars, there is tremendous scope for a spot of unique motoring adventure for enthusiasts of any imagination. You might think that with Morrises, Clynos, Singers, and similar cars of 1925-26 vintage on sale all over the place at around i5 all the really early Stuff would long ago have been pensioned off. But I am told that there is a good chance of an early Gwynne and a prewar two-cylinder staggered-seat Swift being entered and someone else has offered the support of an antique Lagonda. And a Mr. Cutler has written to say that he has a 1924 Rover Eight which he bought three years ago for L5, and which has since done 25,000 trouble-free miles, and that if something like 300 miles in the day is contemplated, the Rover would
doubtless prove willing. He mentions that late last year there were two of the old three-wheel two-track Scott Sociables running about in Luton and that a New Hudson three-wheeler is still in use in the Aylesbury district.
At this rate I foresee something of a revival of that enthusiasm that was in force before the first Veteran’s Run to Brighton, with people frantically wandering from breaker’s yard to country garages in search of suitable cars, with the important difference that whereas the historic old ‘itns fetch something like E,40 to 1.:70 or more, ancient small cars should be purchasable for a few sliillings ! It has not yet been decided whether the run will be organised by a club or merely on impromptu lines, or even that it will take place at all, but I shall be glad to forward letters from anyone interested enough to offer support. The latest news is that a 1910 tiller-steered jowett is a possible entry.
Having been in reminiscent mood in these columns for sonic time past I was rewarded as the year drew to a close with more motoring adventure crammed into a period of twenty-four hours than normally come the way of the ordinary enthusiast. It so happened that three of us set out from London town at midnight with the idea of seeing something of a classic trial, due to take place in the West Country on the morrow. The car was an English version of a highperformance American, well-suited to this kind of motoring, and, after spending the evening at a more than usually cheery party, we bade our slightly incredulous hosts goodbye, setting off in optimistic mood. Unfortunately, as we have discovered only too frequently, the best of motorcars is a depressing possession when the tank is dry, and our supply, taking advantage of a lethargic fuel gauge, and the crew’s lightheartedness, ran out at 2 a.m., somewhere beyond 13icester. Help came quickly, in the form of a Standard saloon engaged on trials duties, and our navigator went off cheerfully, saying he would return very soon. So we settled down to wait, looked through
some summer snapshots, noted the disappearance of the nmon and arrival of rain . . A heavy milk lorry awoke us at 8 a.m. Like most ” heavies’ ” crews they were only too glad to lend a hand, and forthwith undid most of that lorry’s fuel system to obtain for us half a gallon of dirty petrol, conveyed to our tank in the lid of a milk-churn. Restarting, we pondered on the fate of the navigator, who had been gone six hours or more
Some ten miles up the road we came upon a Morris Eight van which pulled up with a squeal of brakes. Getting out we observed it making reversing manasuvres that would shame any trials. driver explained by the presence therein of our navigator, who thought that we had failed to see him ! Our troubles seemed to be Over and a rapid calculation showed that we might yet see quite a bit of the trial. Whereupon changing from bottom to second, the clutch pedal vanished completely. To stop was out of the question, for our Morris van was leading the way through tricky country to a garage at a good 45 in p.h. Consequently we just drove on whereupon the thermometer needle rose to a decent reading for the first and last time during our acquaintance with this particular car. Arrived at the garage we explained things to the astonished staff and repaired to the pub where the navigator had slept—yes, slept !— earlier that morning— on a wooden bench before an empty grate. Back at the garage we passed a weary three hours inspecting a Lanchester Forty landaulette that intrigued by reason of immense rear brake drums and the famous, water-lever where you usually find a radiator badge. the most dilapidated Morgan even Seen, that intrigued us even more because it proudly d:.,Tlayed a job-card reading ” fit new valve ” (only a valve ! ) and a sporting line in Amilcars that had just ‘hanged hands for L4. Incidentally, to shovk that this i, not fiction, let me say that the garage in question is that of Messrs. Young and Major, of Chipping Norton, and that they charged us only 16/9 for some 31 hours’ work by two men in making up a new dutch bolt, including the
iournev to bring us fnel. Also incidentally, their workmen provided a lucid and instructive lecture on the inaccessibility of mOdern cars. Off again, we further delayed progress by taking a wrong tenting and arriving in what can only he described as the ” wa-ling yard ” of a country marFion, where expensive cars were being cleaned by chauffeurs who showed no astonishment at our arrival, merely ‘ waving solemnly for us to drive round the place, in lieu of reversing. Cheered by this friendliness and quite warm sunshine, we decided (or at least the driver (lid) that it, would be fun to tackle one of the hills that had figured in the trial earlier on and to which the route-card would conveniently lead us. Our ascent coincided with the disappearance of the sun and the commencement of a healthy hail and snow storm and in due course the driving wheels ceased to drive. The sort of stone wall that is typical of Gloucestershire provided.. plenty of material, but CLUB NEWS–conti-nued
after an hour or so we got tired of roadbuilding, and, with the snit nearly set, went off in search of civilisation. The nearest village provided provisions and, for half-a-crown, the biggest horse we had ever seen . . . An amusing meal in Broadway put us in fine fettle for the homeward run, and the discovery that it was snowing hard in no way dismayed us. The average was most satisfactory to the man behind the wheel, who attempted to look not too closely at the road surface. Then, beyond Oxford, a Ford Eight ahead did most alarming things, that plainly said ” ice.” And ice it was, so that we spent the rest of that night helping people out of overturned cars, eventually to crawl home with an unbelievable respect for the brake pedal. Very ordinary .adventure in some ways, but very good fun for all that, and we set off again, in a snowstorm, at 9 a.m. on the Sunday for another dose. Certain vivid impressions are retained ; devouring empty West Country roads in wintry sunshine at 80 m.p.h., climbing up Fish Hill at a fine gait in second, with the view blanketed out by snowflakes ; and the feat of the navigator, who ate six eggs for his breakfast and was astonished when we drew his attention to it. By the way, the next day we found a reserve petrol-tap, tucked away where you do not usually look for such things . . . ! It’s a good life ! !
Another December week-end was spent remaking the acquaintance of the M.G., in the form of a series T. Midget, which proved a thoroughly stimulating experiment, so that some very satisfactory averages have since been entered in the log-book. On the Saturday an optimistic effort to get round a well-known trials course, guided by an old route-card, rapidly passed the morning and increased our respect for the motor-car. Later, a long-postponed expedition was made to Bentley, in Hampshire, in all attempt to locate one of the more exciting of the Zborowski Mere6di.s, an expedition that ended up at Windsor Richards’s garage, where we paid our respects to his wellknown racing 30/98 Vauxhall and chatted with an enthusiastic owner of a J2 M.G. Midget. Also, we learned that the Mere. had vanished, as happens inevitably, it would seem, to these veterans from a sterner age. The homeward run was productive of an intriguing duel with a touring Riley Nine, when the manifestations of Hare Belisha were temporarily forgotten. The following day a start was made for a destination up the Great North Road when the M.G., doubtless intrigued, as we ourselves always are, by that blackand-yellow placard ” The North,” comfortably put over fifty miles into the first sixty minutes, in spite of full respect for all the built-up areas encountered in that period. The opening stages were rendered more than usually soul-satisfying on account of a duel which we had with an Armstrong.-Siddeley saloon, which appeared to possess an identical maximum and which rolled lustily on its damping arrangements. ‘Thereafter we branched off, for no especial reason, to St. Neots and Cambridge, and were rewarded not only with fast roads, but with the unique and beautiful sight of a closedcockpit Drone that appeared to specialise in hedge-hopping, though we felt sure that its pilot was attempting a crosscountry. ‘Unable to resist the possibilities that seemed likely to arise from the highpitched buzzing that filled the stillness of the morning every time the wildly swaying Drone sank towards the trees, we tried to follow it up a lane that terminated in a intuldv field, and thereafter the average went all to pieces. We proceeded via Chatteris, March and Whittlesey to ” Al ” roads that can be recommended to those motorists who appreciate long, level, deserted straight stretches, punctuated by plenty of open double
bends. Arrived at our destination we met three of the realest enthusiasts imaginable, so that lunch was a prolonged sitting. Then our M.G., joined by a P-type of the same breed and a fierce Morgan whose owner thought nothing of driving it With a broken front-axle tube, we withdrew to a certain piece of road to settle
disputes about m aximum abilities, when the ” T ” nobly upheld Abingdon by sailing past the older model, in which two very wind-swept mortals wished they had not lowered the screen and hailed with joy the end of the foot-extending stretch. Albeit it was remarked that a lowered screen is productive not only of a shade more speed, but also raises the appetite-content of the vehicle’s occupants.
At all events, we disposed of a hearty country tea before resuming the road, to return to town by a devious route, duelling with a red ” P ” -type M.G. during the going. But !perhaps modern motoring ‘seemed a trifle tame after the tea-table conversation, which centred round fascinating cars of the early nineteentwenties. Some of the stories told could never be committed to print, but ” G.H.D. ” has written up his milder experiences elsewhere in this issue. That the moderns have :a :good deal to commend them we appreciated when a friend arrived in a rear-engined Trojan, whose many ” features ” occupied a • humorous half-hour, at the end of which probing someone remarked that the car could boast at least one good point— that there was room inside to hold a sizable party, if not to stage a dinnerdance. Never mind ! That car has earned a worthy reputation locally, having been seen proceeding through the neighbouring town followed by clouds of fire and smoke. Not many people have ascribed this to a starting-lever cable trailing within the centre tramline. Incidentally, we ran out of fuel at the end of the Barnet By-Pass, but this time there were three reserve gallons to be burnt beforehand, so that the passenger’s comments were completely justified. Yes ! It’s a great life !
VINTAGE SPORTS CAR CLUB
The Annual General Meeting will be held on January 13th.
P. J. Robertson-Roger, owner of the blower four-seater 44-litre Bentley, now has a half share in the 1908 Sixty Rata with Chitton. New members come in at the rate of about one per week. They include J. F. Fry, who runs Bentley No. 5, built in 1921.
Marcus Chambers has acquired one of the Double Twelve Bentleys and is engaged in the rejuvenating process. The next bulletin is scheduled for the New Year. Incidentally, Clutton has discovered that his 155 x.160 mm. Itala is no! a 12-litre car, as taking pi as 3.14159 the capacity was found to be 11,999.3 c.c. No wonder this club can afford to apply obtuse formula. to its speed events !
Hon. Sec. : E. T. Lewis, 152, Kew Road, Richmond, Surrey.