The thirty-seventh Gloucester Trial was held on December 3rd at Birdlip, Glos. This well-known reliability trial consists of a road section of about thirty miles and a trials section involving the ascent of various hills and mudbanks.
Competitors were split up into odd and even number groups, the route being so arranged that neither group had long to wait before commencing the special tests, which began from a track in the valley of a wood, the seven observed sections being marked out on the inclines on either side. The first section consisted of a straight hill; the second, third and fourth were straight with turns or bends half-way; the fifth was similar, after the cars had negotiated a mild form of watersplash before it; the sixth, a steep, straight climb with a bend at the finish; and the seventh involved traversing several banks and ditches.
Amongst the successful gentry at Hill One were A. Erskine in a Ford and T. Harrison (Harford III), who made good, steady climbs. E. Reynolds failed with his Dellow owing to the use of too many revs., and N. Carr (Trafford) also failed to complete the last two sections, much water and steam emitting from his radiator.
Hill Two again saw Harrison make a fair climb, Carr making to section four. On Hill Three Harrison did some aviating but just failed to reach the summit. Hill Five was a stiff one for most people, Cotton (Cotton Special) and Lawson (M. & L.) having fair luck, as did R. N. Stallard (Ford) and T. Bellm in a smart Dellow. E. Chandler in the Chandler Special made another good attempt, but H. Smart (B.S.T. II) was less successful. B. Dees, in a smart and very clean P.A.B. Special with aluminium painted chassis and large folding windscreen, reached the summit with assistance but got stuck in the puddle at the bottom before joining the main track, a branch having lodged between the spokes of his rear wheel. R. Davis, driving the only Austin Seven-engined car, was one of the last to ascend the bill but failed to get very far, the mauve-coloured car was well turned out, however, being fitted with hydraulic brakes (by Lotus Engineering, Ltd.), Stromberg carburetter, high-compression head, large sump and pressurised Nippy crankshaft.
Hill Six proved to be an easy one, few cars failing to reach the top; Cotton, Lawson, Hollingworth (Oliver), Faulkner (Paul Special), Highwood (Exspence) and Corbishley (C.C.S. IV) being seen to make clear climbs, as did Chappell in his Cannotton with punctured tyre and Dadswell (Sanford) after starting troubles at the bottom.
The final test, Hill Seven, proved to be the most interesting to watch, drivers forcing their “Bucking Broncos” over mounds of earth and rubble. “Mike” Lawson gave a spectacular showing of how to do the thing properly by completing all six sections without stopping; a very enterprising spectacle, accompanied by much cheering on the part of the spectators. Nearly all other competitors had to try some of the obstacles more than once. Hopkinson, Appleton (Cannon Eight) and Needham (Needham Special) completed the course, along with Ackerley (Ford) and Broadhead (J.C.B.), who stopped for breathers in between. T. Harrison cleared section three after examining the lie of the land with his passenger, and finally reached section six and cleared it. Imhof (Imhof Special) cleared point two, and reached point six after several attempts at the steep bank at point three. Reynolds (Dellow) inspected the layout also but failed at point two, when he motored off down the main track, the car sounding like a Ford V8 owing to a broken exhaust system.
F. Harrison (F.H. Mk. IV) went in for tree felling and cleared point one only, as did Cotton’s steaming Cotton Special, trailing some of the undergrowth behind it.
So ended a very interesting few hours of inexpensive motor sport, the special tests being well chosen and the cars well finished and carefully driven.—I. G.
Gloucester Cup: B. Dees (P.A.B. Special).
Thomas Cup: E. Chandler (Chandler Special).
Committee Cup: P. Highwood (Exspence).
First-Class Awards: G. Newman (Cannon Seven), R. Chappell (Cannotton), J. Jenkins (Austin) and T. Harrison (Harford III).
Team Award: J. Appleton, B. Dees and E. Chandler (175 points).