May I through the columns of your widely read magazine extend my thanks to the many modern and vintage motorists who showed the utmost consideration to myself and fellow entrants in the above event?
Having been an entrant every year from 1960 to date and been successful on 22 occasions, I found the traffic this year more considerate than any previous years and the Police superb — especially their efforts to cope with a serious accident involving modern cars halfway up Redhill.
Other entrants that I spoke to expressed similar views although in one or two cases, inevitably, there had been minor hold-ups en route.
How disappointing it was to see the rules on Tender Cars being flaunted so blatantly by at least two of the entries from the USA who, in spite of having quite powerful cars carrying several passengers, had a uniformed chauffeur driven Rolls-Royce Limousine and a Daintier Limousine driving right behind their competing cars.
Apart from being against the published rules of the event, the obstructions caused both to Veterans and modern cars and as, one may assume, the chauffeurs were not experts in the repair of the Veterans in the event of a breakdown, one can only wonder if they were there in case it rained!
Very early and frail cars may be excused from having tenders in close proximity, as they are often too small to carry all the tools etc that might be needed and not everyone is able to drive back to home under their own power as I do, and thoroughly enjoy doing so! There are some breakdowns which need trailers and some far afield entrants trail their vehicles to the start and away from the finish, and a lot of these tenders travel by other routes to Brighton. (The Historic Commercial Vehicle Club insist that the tenders on their May Rally to Brighton be genuine recovery-type vehicles).
It is not difficult to obtain help, in the event of a breakdown, from other competitors or members of the public and the event is a demonstration of reliability and endeavour.
Could it be that if there was more restriction on unnecessary Tenders; that the RAC and VCC might be able to persuade the authorities to allow a further increase in numbers so that fewer reserves would be disappointed? With all the thousands of cars of modern type would a mere fifty or so more Veterans really make all the difference? East Molsey, Arthur Freakes
[We thought the rule was that tender cars and vehicles were not allowed to follow competing veterans, under penalty of disqualification of the latter, if discovered. The temptation to use a back up vehicle is, however, understandable and then, when it is needed in congested traffic, it becomes difficult to park so as to present no obstruction. We encountered large trailers badly obstructing the veterans this year, which endorses this correspondent’s views. —Ed]