Club News, January 1938

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0(414 ……?0?11111111,

BUGATTI O.C.

Prescott seems very much destined to become a very big development. A dub meeting has been wheduled for May 15th, with open dates on Sunday, July 3rd, and Sunday September 251:h.

Another issue cf ” Bug-antics” is due this month and will contain a report of the Night Trial, and an article on 1110 m.p.h. cars, genuine and otherwise, by W. Boady. The Nighi Trial saw J. K. W. Baines, T. B. C. Davis, Col. Giles, A. F. Walsham and E. C. W. Stapleton gain Prem’er Awards and K. W. Bear a Second-Class Award. We wish the club would specify Marques as well as manipulators. There were six other competitors. 1938 should be a very important year for the club, with the advent of Prescott. Hon. Sec. -: E. L. Giles, 2, Queen Street, Mayfair, London, W.1,

1NVICTA C.C.

The Special Christmas Number of ” The Gauntlet ” contained a very nice letter from .Messrs. Joseph Lucas, Ltd., commenting on Reed’s lighting layout, some notes on Mouro’s lighting preferences, a list of members, a list of Invictas for sale, an -account of Monro’s run in the Bugatti O.C. Night Trial with his new ex-diesel 41-litre, and Eric Giles’s story of driving up Prescott in an invicta. The club now has fifty-two members. A Welsh Rally is being arranged this month. Hon. Sec. : D. Monro, ” Windbrow,” Winnington Road, N.2.

VINTAGE S.C.C.

This classical and unique body is flourishing exceedingly. Although this is the close season for increased membership, new members come in at about ten per month on the average, recent newcotners numbering amongst their motors two 3-litre Bentleys, a racing GrahamPaige, an 18/80 M.G., a 1912 Alphonse) Hispano, an Arab, a Hillman, a Riley, a Lambda Lands, a Talbot 90, a Mathis, a Salmson, a 1924 Frazer-Nash, an 1897 Hurtu, a Morris-Cowley and a 12/50 Alvis. There are four new associate members. fhe New Year’s membership list should make most imposing reading and those who are not yet ” Vintagents ” are reminded that the annual subscription Is 12/6, with an entry fee of 5/-. Associates 7/6. The beautifully-produced December Bulletin contains a report of the Gloucester Trial won by Denyer’s LeaFrancis, Veteran Notes, Northern Notes, and a description (illustrated) of Heal’s Tipo 861 Fiat, The Northern Section IS ministered to by a Northern Sub-Committee, but remains essentially under the Club’s control, This Sub-Committee

includes Ned Lewis, Peter (Mephistopheles) Wike and Porky Lees. Forrest Lyc.ett has given another cup, for the best performance annually in events held in the Frozen North. For an annual subscription of I!affiliation is secured to the Northern section and scandal-sheets are distributed, while for 1/6 extra photographs of members’ cars will be issued with each broadsheet. Otherwise Northern ” Vintagents ” should send their subscriptions to the existing secretary.

For 1938 four trials will be held, in the North, and in Surrey, Hants, and Gloucestershire, also two speed trials and one or more race-meetings at Donington. There will be a hill-climb at Prescott by sanction of the Bugatti Owners’ Club on August 27th. The annual general meeting takes place at Chiltern Court on January 12th at 7 p.m. Full letails from : Tim Carson, Pluenix Hotel, Hartley Row, Hants. (Hartley Whitney 84).

FORD ENTHUSIASTS’ CLUB

The initial e vent, in the form of the Xmas Trial on Boxing Day, attracted

thirty-one entries. Social events are being planned for owners of family Fords in the near future and further ambitious trials are in prospect. The subscription is 10/social membership and /1 full membership : entry fee ‘t 6. This includes membership of the :?-lillbrooke Dining Club. Hon. Sc.-. : S. H. Allard, 13, Millbrooke Court, Putney, S.W

THE MOTOR SPORTS CLUB

This London club for sporting motor ists is in growing demand. Lunch is served every day, Sundays excepted, for members and guests, at 1/6 per head. A comprehensive selection of the world’s motor Press is kept in the club room, and regulations of forthcoming events are

posted on the notice-board. Members of the Vintage S.C.C. are now granted free membership on Wednesday evenings. The annual subscription is EV-, or 5/for those living over fifty miles from Charing Cross. Details from The Motor Sports Club, Grand Buildings, Trafalgar Square, W. C.2.

L.C.C.

The Light Car Club is carrying on under the guidanee of A. E. S. Curtis. On January 20th a very ambitious private film show will be held in Mr. Curtis’s own cinema. The classis Buxton Trial is scheduled for October 9th, and the club has booked Brooklands Track for July 16th, when a new event will be put on to replace the Relay Race, which has definitely followed the Dodo. We believe this new fare may consist of a longduration high-speed trial for production

style sports-cars. Hon. Sec. : A. E. S. Curtis, Levallon, Longdown Lane South, Ewell, Surrey.

ULSTER A.C. “

This Club continues to issue its ” Ulster Motoring Review,” which is not only a valuable guide to Irish happenings, but is so well written that perusal of it is truly enjoyable—which cannot be said of many Club publications. There is apparently a strong social side to Clublife in Ulster, largely kept alive, we suspect, by the writings of the ” Review’s ” woman. correspondent. Very suitable premises are available as Club headquarters if members are agreeable. The Circuit of Ireland Trialwill be held again this year. The ” A” class trial on November 20th was won by R. A. Gallaugher (Riley) with W. B. Michael (Wolseley), runner-up. The ” B class competition on November 24th, which took competitors’ singing capabilities into consideration (!) was won by H. L. S. Jefferson (Riley) with C. E. Robb (Lagonda)

second. Capt. Phillips of the R.A.C. attended the Dinner-Dance. Ulster

AC., 63, Chichester Street, Belfast.

WEST HANTS AND DORSET C.C.

The recent Simon Trophy Trial was contested over a course commencing at Bournemouth. There were twelve starters, and two failed on Stony Lane, two on The Jessy, four on Bond Street, and one on Chorley. Four failed on Aitken’s Alley. Snowy conditions were encountered. There were three special tests, in which P. S. Mower’s j.2 made best time in two, with J. E. S. Jones (T-type M.G.) outstanding in a go-stop-go test on Vauxhall. The Simon Trophy went to P. S. Mower (M.G.) with

Jones (M.G.) runner-up. C. S. Dewey (Riley), G. Rose (Ford V8) and E. L. Fry (Riley) gained ‘first-class awards. L. K. Holdaway (Austin Seven) gained a second-class award and D. P. Kirkman (12’50 AlNis) a third-class award.

SUBSCRIPTIONS DUE

At this time of the year the subscriptions become due to many clubs and on behalf of club secretaries we would ask members to make prompt payment. Club funds are diminished needlessly by having to issue repeated demands, and club prestige is seriously lowered by a finct u a t Lug bank-balance and uncertainty as to who is and who is not continuing membevhip. So please dispatch those cheques. Thank you

THE LEINSTER MOTOR CLUB

The Leinster M.C. will hold another run for pre-1915 cars on June 25th, using a route from Dublin to Kingstown or Dun Laoghaire, via Stillorgan, Stepaside, Enniskerry, Bray, Cabinteely and Dean’s Grange. The prizes will be distributed at a supper-dance at the finish. A circular has been issued asking for information about pre-1915 carriages-Veteran C.C. and Vintage S.C.C. please note—and owners of a 1903 De Dion, 1902 Mercedes and 1901 M.C.C. have

already been approached. Scotland. also seeks to attract veterans this year, and we hope someone will drive up from the South on the car he intends using for the run.

TRIALS

Forthcoming trials dates, of interest to competitors, marshals, on-lookers and photographers include :—

Jan. 16: Ringwood M.C. & L.C. Jubilee Cup. Hants, Dorset and Wilts. area.

Jan. 23rd: Sunbeam M.C.C. Car Trial. Bagshot area.

Feb. 6th : Maidstone & Mid-Kent M.C. Trial. Kent.

Feb. 12th: N.W.L.M.C. Coventry Cup Trial.

Feb. 26th: S.T.LN.B.A.C. Cob-note Trophy Trial.

GENERAL NOTES “

The ” Gloucester” was a truly grim affair, with an all-night run down as passenger in an abnormally draughty Riley “Gamecock,” though there was joy in emerging from the Victoria Grill well fortified by the E.R.A. Club’s Dinner, to rush home and change into trials garb by lamp-light, all illumination in the house having fused at the first touch of a switch. This year we mixed with the competitors at Chipping Norton, where last year we had breakfasted alone while the Brough’s clutch pedal was being reconnected in the garage yonder. That dinner must have been high in vitamin content, for we missed both breakfast and lunch and had only a small tea at a farmhouse in the Cotswolds before facing ice, snow, fog and rain back into London town. One has to admit that one’s starting time on a Kentish trial next day suffered more than somewhat, and that the Riley driver, now my passenger, seemed to appreciate the closed bodywork of the little D.K.W. as much as I did, and no wise objected to a fairly lazy day’s driving over Kent’s lesser known motorways.

Later on, a trials route-card had, perforce, to be checked and there was joy in motoring 170 miles in a hard-used Austin Seven, first in teeming rain and gloom, then in sleet and snow, and, finally, really dense fog, in which, nevertheless, we contrived to average a good 20 m.p.h. on side lamps alone, with the screen open, visits to the footpath via the Kingston By-Pass kerb being only proclaimed by immense wheelspin on the frozen grass verge—an unintentional advertisement for Austin suspension.

That day’s motoring, grim as it was, nevertheless was well worth doing, though perhaps, the aftermath of Christmas being what it is, it was just as well that it was warm and dry for the trial itself, when the Austin, shamelessly carrying a sprig of mistletoe and filled with laboriously hand-painted notices, set out on Boxing Day on marshalling duties. Drop-head bodies are the writer’s pet fancy at the moment. In connection with my article ” On the Influence of Slime-Storming” which caused rather a stir in trials circles last month, I feel that perhaps a few words should be written about running a slimeless trial. I think it could be done, as a bold experiment. Two or three hills of considerable gradient would be needed, having a rough, as distinct from muddy, surface. Most competitors would doubtless romp up them, even were ” comps” and faked differentials barred, but they would probably produce a few failures to conserve awards for the organising club. As they would not be of sufficient interest to involve long road-sections between, they should be closely grouped, and I think you would find them around Salisbury. But where such hills could, in my opinion, be rendered interesting is by staging on them severe restart and acceleration tests against the watch. I would have one straightforward restart and one double restart, the latter involving a fair length of acceleration test, both on really steep loose surfaced gradients where engine power and torqueresisting rear-suspension would be at a premium. Then I would have a test similar to the latter, but on a fairly level. tarmac surface with a longish acceleration section preceding the braking area. It will be argued that such tests would favour certain types of car quite unduly, as, even in existing mud-mountaineering, special tests usually favour big-engined or blown cars, with the saving factor that distances are very short, which levels things up, and that often these results only apply in the case of ties. Even then too many trials are won on such figures by super-performance cars. My answer is that in our Slimeless Trial, where timed-tests would form the primary hazards, some form of levelling-up system of marking could fairly easily be introduced, or a variety of classes instituted. If the former, one could choose between percentages above and below standard time, the same scheme with a fixed time limit and marks awarded or deducted within limits, or a fixed time limit per class and each test either a success or a failure as is a hill climbed or not climbed in existing trials. In any case it should not be impossible to level things up, class by class, and to make a failure in any one special test equivalent to failing on one hill. I do consider it would be a step towards better trials to breed better road-cars, and welcome your comments. But don’t let us run away with the idea that here is an atnusing novelty to be run by one of the smaller clubs in lieu of a treasure hunt. Let a well known. club try it out, inviting clubs catering for ” touring-car ” owners (who should be most interested to compare comparative times), and clubs whose members are confirmed slime-stormers (who would probably deem it all very silly beforehand, but, having put away their ” comps ” and unclogged their axles, would, perhaps, find it more attractive and less easy than it sounds). Owners of fast motors and healthy vintage jobs, who do not favour putting their cars up slime-lanes, should also be interested, so there is prospect of an excellent mixed entry. Call it the Mudless Trial, and make it quite clear that this is to be Something Different, on an important scale. Cut out all gymkhana driving-tests. And if the West Country seems too far away, start from Loudon, but have the first time-check where the fun begins and sanction the highest average down that the R.A.C. will allow. That should attract London competitors. and yet give them quite a plain straightforward couple of hours drive down. One final suggestion. One often comes upon long private drives that seem ideal for a speed-trial but which, on investigation, prove useless on account of lack of parking space, the noise problem, or the cost of erecting safety-fences, etc. But why not use such a venue for a sprint-section as part of our Muclless Trial ? Cars would arrive as at a hill, be dispatched against the watch, and rejoin the course immediately afterwards. No spectators_ would be admitted so no safety fences. would be needed. Loud-speakers would likewise be unnecessary and car-parks. would not be needed. The noise question would hardly arise with non-racing type cars making single runs. Again, a marking or fixed time-limit system would level things up between different types of cars and would ensure that failures would count for no more than failure in any one of the other tests or on one of the hills. Sports-car drivers would enjoy the “blind,” especially if bends were met with, and even family saloons would reach something in the sixties, comparative times being of great interest to owners who had never previously extended their cars against the watch. The distance could be 44.0 yards upwards, and getaway, acceleration, speed and roadholding would be adequately tested. Not many marshals would be required, as each car, even if driven slowly over the course first as a safety-measure, would. be cleared much sooner than on a trials hill, while there would be no ” failures to cause delays. Sports-car drivers already supporting speed-trials would no doubt find the fresh conditions of interest, i.e. no time to change plugs and strip the car and no second run to improve on the first effort. And owners of slow motors would, I think, enjoy such a test, whereas a whole afternoon spent at a venue like Lewes hardly justifies the entry-fee, in view of the tame aspect of a run in a

slow car. A little experimentation by the organisers, using cars ranging from, say, a Ford Eight to a really hot sports job, should ensure that the levelling-up rulings are not a complete fiasco.

So much for the outcome of a little revolutionary thinking on the question of cleaning up modern road trials. Club secretaries, to your writing rooms . . .