Driving-tests are an important part of competitive motoring life, because they do not call for a car in racing trim, and if you possess a trailer the competing car need not be taxed. In addition, since they are concentrated at one venue, the social aspect is very strong. The VSCC’s annual December DTs at Enstone aerodrome above the delightful village of Church Enstone in Oxfordshire brought in a formidable 82 entries. After early frost the weather was warm for December, for as is well-known the VSCC has long had a deal with the weather man…
You cannot “report” DTs as you might a race or a trial, so let’s just look around. Robin Batchelor had come in an interesting new addition to the Morris side of his stable, a 1923 Cowley with a most unusual saloon body by Bowden’s of Tysley, the only entry to which was through a sliding central door on the near-side. When it suffered a burst radiator en route, the resourceful Robin fitted a gilled-tube one from another Morris, rebuilt the fending engine, and arrived late and leaky but game for the afternoon test session.
Wheeler had a later (1926) Morris Cowley tourer complete with 4WB triangle on a rear mudguard, Lees his 1927 Cowley, and the variety was as usual one of the attractions of spectating. The Frazer Nash “Chain Gang” was out in force, supported by a noncompeting Lea-Francis-engined car; A7s predominated, those with Ulster bodies much in evidence, although Jane Arnold-Forster was back in her wooden affair, and there were , naturally, the Chummies. Of the Rileys, Lee came in a smart Gamecock, Northcliffe in a neat blue fabric-bodied nine tourer, and Tebbett had another Gamecock, while the long-bonnet of Pack’s fabric-bodied Riley Special housed a 1939 Big-Four engine. Clear had brought his 1927 side-valve Riley tourer from Somerset, only to have mechanical mayhem in the first test, thought to be breakage of the gearbox imput-shaft. Rosoman was treating his wife’s 1930 A7 box-saloon cautiously, having been told not to invert it, Parkin had opened the upper pane of his A7 Chummy’s windscreen, to improve vision rather than to increase its speed and among the Bentley contingent Ann Shoosmith was making the mud fly in her 3/4 1/2-litre. There was a 1 1/2-litre Invicta tourer driven by Heard, Armitage’s quiet and stately PI Rolls-Royce aluminium tourer, a contrast in Amilcars (the Reg. No, “VAT 69” on the 1922 skiff-two-seater struck a seasonal note), the Threfalls were BSA-propelled, the President was in his 1903 Mercedes, Raahauge had that big Buick C55 tourer, a 5.3-litre from 1915. One covetted Weeks’ immaculate Hyper Lea-Francis two-seater, Upston’s Austin 12/4 had those railwaycarriage door handles and a full set of side-screens, and to show that pace is not an essential for enjoying DTs, Britnell was there again his attractive 1926 De Dion Bouton coupe. WB
Results D R
tu Close Awards:— P Rosoman (Austin 71. M B GaMtt (Frarer-Nash-BMW). MV Parkin (Austin 7). D R Marsh (Bugatti,. Miss A Jones (Austin 7). ‘7’119.1eBursittn_’nell Igelioir:37,;:t1,;;;!):`,1;’,ileTtta(At’sgtinP;r”‘”h PG 3rd Close Awards:— J Wheeler (Morr)s uowley). IC Smith (Austin 7), MO Threlfall (BSA). AC Beckett (.7.317,,,,,,,..1.7,-Seyie(4,J.,Bv7iPleY)YJEBinns(HRG).DC Non hcliffe (R iley). DR Hescroff (Ac). T N Bull. (Aust in