The Bugatti Owners’ Club Winter Rally (Dec. 3rd/4th)
PRIOR to World War IT meetings of the Bugatti Owners’ Club were outstanding occasions, because this club, more than any other, brought together delectable ” post-vintage-thoroughbred ” machinery, when really fast cars were less frequently encountered than is the, case today.
It is a sign of the. times that on the occasion of this club’s Winter Rally on December 3rd/4th, only one Bugatti was entered. 1 JVirr’s Type 57S coupe, which retired ignomortiously in a Cloud of smoke during one of the Castle Combe high-speed trials and had to be towed away with a brokimpiston behind a Ford breakdown wagon.
The event, however, was fully up to B.O.C. traditions, for this club has always concentrated ou competitions suited to the better types of motor car and testing machines as well as drivers. In this Winter Rally competitors could start from London, Banbury, Bromsgrove, Market Drayton, Redmarley, Tolpuddle or Withamon-the-Hill, converging on Castle Combe circuit. Here, under the watchful eyes of Kathleen Maurice in her handsome Frazer-Nash coupe and with Bill Cook in his Mercedes-Benz 300SL in charge, a special test was contested, ears were directed onto the course for a tdx-lap speed-performance test, and a one-hour high-speed trial, run in three groups, W. David Porter acting as a cheerful Clerk of the Course.
There were 53 entries, ranging from a Renault 750 to a MereedettBenz 220. The special test, was great fun for both drivers and onlookers, because the organisers had made excellent use of the space at their disposal, which so often is wasted. Four garages, well spaeed, had to be entered, drivers being allowed some discretion in technique, with a long sprint to the finish. The finest performance we saw was put up by A. Newsham’s Ford Anglia, taken through in polished professional fashion; it later went vary well in the highspeed trial. A. P. Hitchings’ Porsche was slow, perhaps weighed down by its B.R.D.C. badge, B. A. M. Small’s Riley Kestrel spat back, taking it steadily, while Dr. J. L. Grignon’s Freneh-registered Jaguar XK120, with bolt-on wire wheels, clanked its back axle and crawled. P. R. Chadwick’s Triumph TR2 was slow, using it clumsy route, but Mrs. Jean Frazer drove splendidly in a rally-equipped Sunbeam-Talbot 90, Dr. Mann tried hard in his A30, Dr. King’s TR2 was good, if dicey, and A. N. McKechnie very good indeed in an M.G. TD. Outstanding, and aided by an excellent lock, was .J. Jack’s Ford Anglia. A. P. Holdsworth’s Mk. II Aston Martin was cautious, touching one of the smart, white marker-posts, D. Hall (A.C. Ace) hadn’t a clue, while D. R. Blanes Jaguar Mk. VII proved too big for its driver and came to rest. and P. R. Procter’s Aston Martin
DI32/4 hit a post in spite of going slowly and fell off the edge of a raised area, damaging its underparts. T. A. G. Wright’s AustinHealey 100 was excellent, M. ‘few had a busy, worried time coping with his ex-Gerard Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica, and G. H. Woodcock’s Morris-Oxford loitered. L. J. Tracy did it properly, sliding his Jaguar X.K120 about skilfully and reversing smartly.
In the first speed-performance, A. J. Liddiard’s Jaguar 100 led all the more modern machinery, but in the subsequent high-speed trial lost much time due to an electrical ” short.” Sydney Allard had his chances spoilt when a half-shaft tried to escape from his threecarburetter Ford Zephyr. Before it stopped, the fast Jaguar 100 spun, Tracy was going well, W. B. Coon’s Austin-Healey had momenta at the same corner, and E. Williams’ Austin-Healey proved faster than Conn’s.
The second one-hour high-speed trial saw Tom Sopwith making Lt.d. by a huge margin in his smart Cooper-Jaguar. I. A. Grant was having a great drive in his Javelin, G. C. Hull’s Triumph TR2 was going much more rapidly than Chadwick’s, Small’s Riley Kestrel saloon got along well, once sliding its corner, and it was interesting to see Jean Frazer, scorning a crash-hat, doing all she could to catch Hitchings’ Porsche, with Newsham’s Ford Anglia keeping equal station with her, until towards the end it fell back. Alas, the event was marred when Hall’s A.C. Ace rolled over beyond Tower Corner, hurling him out and striking him in mid-air. Luckily, he wasn’t badly hurt..
The third high-speed trial was notable for W. 13. Croot really turning on the taps of his Cuff Special—tubular side-members, i-elliptic suspension, Aquaplane Ford Ten with twin S.U.s, and Brooklands Riley Nine body—although it seemed to suffer a little front petrol thirst, while a long wheelbase hid a Vanguard engine in Bakewell’s Triumph Special. The hour concluded in the dusk and the competitors left for a night in Bath before essaying a 200-mile route in the West Country on the Sunday. So the sparkle went out of Castle Combo (until next year, we hope)—Hawthorn in his Lancia Aurelia and at least four Porsches amongst the delectable cars present.
let (Wine Invieta Challenge Trophy—let in Class 13) : Dr. M. D. King (Triumph TR2), lest 76.436 marks. Speed 68.01 m.p.h.
2nd (Wins Welsh Trial Challenge Trophy-1st in Claes IC) : E. Williams (AustinHealey 100) loot 109.665 marks. Speed. 63.13 m.p.h.
3rd 8 A. Newsham (Pool Anglia), lost 114.187 marks. Speed, 56.90 m.p.h.
4th (let in Class 2A) : K. Baker (Triumph TR2), lest 114.393 marks. Speed. 58.60 m.p.h.
Class 20 1 L. B. Tracy (Jaguar XK120). lost 117.780 mark,. Speed 66.3$ m.p.h.