Club News, January 1955

Oxford U.M.D.C.
The Oxford U.M.D.C. intends to run its exacting Targa Rusticana Rally on March 13/14th. This is an event based on the belief that such contests should be run on the road. Last year’s winner of the Rallye Rapide, on which the Targa Rusticana is based, incidentally, finished 36 minutes late!

The road section will be of 250 miles and the telegraphic start will be adopted, thereby providing a G.P. de G.P.O. A London M.C. section will be introduced to vary the navigational problems, which are otherwise on the Eight Clubs’ system, but last year’s cruel section will not be repeated, leaving race-horses in sole possession of the Berkshire Downs.

The invited clubs are London MC., B.A.R.C., Hants & Barks M.C., Oxford M.C., S.U.N.B.A.C., and M.G.C.C. Regulations are available from P. T. Adams, Worcester College, Oxford.

Allard O.C.
The annual dinner and dance of the Allard Owners’ Club has been booked for Tuesday, February 8th, 1955, to be held at the Criterion Restaurant. A private suite has been reserved, and members are asked to round up as many of their friends as possible in order to ensure that this, the Club’s most social event of the year, should be well supported and as successful as it has been on previous occasions.

Tickets are 37s. 6d. each, and reservations should be made, as usual, from Miss Pat Downey, c/o The Allard Owners’ Club, 24/28, Clapham High Street, S.W.4.

B.R.D.C. Annual Awards for 1954
The committee of the British Racing Drivers’ Club have made the following awards for the 1954 season. These awards were presented to the drivers concerned by the club’s President, the Rt. Hon. the Earl Howe, P.C., C.B.E., V.R.D., at the B.R.D.C.’s annual dinner and dance which took place at the Dorchester, on December 10th.

Gold Star for road racing (the British Championship) to Stirling Moss.

Richard Seaman Trophy (for the British driver scoring the greatest number of marks during the season on the Gold Star marking system in foreign races) to J. M. Hawthorn,

Johnny Wakefield Trophy (awarded annually to the British driver establishing the fastest lap at Silverstone during the season) jointly to J. M. Hawthorn (Ferrari) and Stirling Moss (Maserati), each having recorded a lap time of 1 min. 50 sec. (95.79 m.p.h.) in the 1954 British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

E.R.A. Club Trophy (awarded to the driver of British nationality who, driving a British car, has put up the most meritorious performance of the year in an International road race held outside the British Isles). Awarded jointly to P. N. Whitehead and Ken Wharton, co-drivers of the “D” Type Jaguar which won the 12-Hour Race of Reims on July 4th.

John Cobb Memorial Trophy (to be awarded not more frequently than once a year to a British driver with a British car for any performance or performances which, in the opinion of the committee, is sufficiently outstanding in character to merit the award). Not awarded.

Vintagery at Lasham
V.S.C.C. Driving Tests at Excellent New Venue (December 12th)
The Vintage Sports Car Club ran its annual winter driving-test rally at the new venue at Lasham Aerodrome, Hampshire, on December 12th, which was a decided improvement on Slough and Risley, where this event has been held previously.

The location of the tests wasn’t easy to find, it is true, especially as the printed instructions to competitors bade them fork right off A30 by the vintage-famed Phoenix at Hartley Wintney instead of left towards the uncharted areas of Odiham and the Golden Pot.

But, arrived at last, the vintage vehicles found hard standing, and overhead a Tiger Moth aerobatted appropriately against the steel-blue sky.

The tests, old favourites, were perhaps less interesting than the competing cars, which numbered 49, of which 12 were vintage up to 1 ½ litres, 21 were vintage over 1 ½ litres and 16 were described as thoroughbreds, although in some instances spectator-opinion appeared to be otherwise.

L. P. Sawers drove a very clean 1926 Lea-Francis tourer, R. O. Stanley a yellow 8/18 Talbot two-seater of 1922 vintage, F. S. Lockhart had forsaken his diminutive Peugeot for a very nice 1923 Rover Eight Chummy, while Bertie Brown had his just-vintage Meadows Frazer-Nash with later Shelsley-type front axle and homemade body. Another car which looked to have crept into the vintage class while Tim Carson’s back was turned was L. T. D. Taylor’s Austin Seven Special with Micky Mouse badge on its bonnet.

J. A. Howard’s passenger sported a very fine fur-hat in an imposing 33/140 Mercédès-Benz tourer, E. S. Eaton brought the nicely-rebuilt 1,750-c.c. Alfa-Romeo-engined G.P. Bugatti, D. Poole was ensconced in a covetably smart 1926 Morris-Oxford two-seater with monograms on its doors, R. E. Gormly had a rather gormless Excelsior, G. Wellings a clean, grey, unspoiled, 1923 Morris Cowley two-seater, while George Grigs performed in the Mrs. JeddereFisher 1913 Lancia Theta coupé, while Jeddere himself was giving the children a brisk outing in his E-type 93 Vauxhall. F/Lt. Douglas-Reid came in a very fine and original 1924 30/98 Vauxhall with aluminium bonnet and small front-brake drums.

Most of the thoroughbred interest centred round the Frazer-Nash contingent. H. J. Chalcroft had a 1932 T.T. Replica with a Continental tractor engine of 1 ½ litres installed, rumoured to have cost 47s. W. S. Heath brought his pale blue Meadows-engined (formerly Gough) T.T. Replica, built as the last production “chain-gang” car in 1938, and I. D. Gostling’s 1935 Blackburne six-engined car sported a considerable exterior exhaust-pipe. R. Starr had another Blackburne ‘Nash, and R. Truscott his swift 12/70 Alvis-engined Fraser-Nash.

W. L. T. Winder’s 1924 Humber came most of the way on a trailer and, endowed with a modern sort of free-flow exhaust system, fairly rushed about. The rest of the entry comprised old favourites. Nigel Arnold-Forster’s Trojan ran a big-end on the way to the event, but another Trojan was seen in the spectators’ car-park, where an attractive exhibit was a yellow disc-wheeled 14/40 Vauxhall two-seater containing an attractive girl passenger. The tests ? Well, they produced the following results: —

Vintage Cars up to 1 ½ litres: First-Class Award: J. M. Hinchliffe (1925 Austin Seven Special), W. L. T. Winder (1924 Humber Special). Second-Class Award: L T. D. Taylor (1928 Austin Seven Special). Third-Class Award: D. H. Gahagan (1926 G.P. Bugatti).

Vintage Cars over 1 ½ litres: First-Class Award: P. J. E. Binns (1924 30/98 Vauxhall). Second-Class Awards: D. Poole (1926 Morris-Oxford), A. Jeddere-Fisher (1922 30/98 Vauxhall). Third-Class Awards: S. Sedgwick (1928 4 ½-litre Bentley), C. D. L. Harding (1921 Lancia Lambda).

Thoroughbreds up to 1 ½ litres: First-Class Awards: W. S. Heath (1938 Meadows Frazer.Nash). Second-Class Award: Dr. D. J. Chapman (1932 Frazer-Nash). Third-Class Award: R. F. E. Baker (1932 Riley Nine).

Thoroughbreds over 1 ½ litres: First-Class Award: R. Truscott (1935 Alvis-Frazer-Nash). Second-Class Award: R. Starr (1935 Blackburne Fraser-Nash).