The Vintage Sports Car Club’s twenty first annual invasion of William Wordsworth’s demesne took place on the day before Remembrance Sunday, November 7. Of the 80 entries, one quarter comprised Austin Sevens, many of which (including Robin Harcourt-Smith’s and Barry Clarke’s) had been driven some 350 miles from the gale-torn south in order to avoid the VSCC’s 10-point penalty for bringing road-cars on trailers.
The route of the trial had been made rather more compact than in previous years, with two sections near Cockermouth being left out and two new ones included in the slate quarry on Honister Pass, where Drumhouse is located.
The rocky terrain was less kind to transmissions and suspensions than are the grassy slopes of Wales — Adrian Liddell’s 30/98 Vauxhall broke a vital torque-arm at an early stage, Rodney Hickling’s normally bounding Dodge Fast Four chewed up its crownwheel, and Mike Hirst’s Alvis 12/50 lost a tyre on an uncharted rock in the Lanthwaite water splash and subsequently understeered into a wall, damaging the radiator.
Luckily John Harris, a dentist by trade, had to hand a wonder-goo which sets quickly on damp surfaces — enabling the radiator tube repaired and Hirst to go on to a third-class award.
After the trial there was a brief ceremony in the Bridge Hotel at Buttennere, in the course of which the VSCC’s president Roger Collings thanked Dick Smith, and his organising team of 20 years, for their long service and good conduct. They are handing over to the next generation for 1988.
Freddie Giles in his Frazer Nash Boulogne won the trial by a narrow margin from a trio of Austin Sevens. Dr Brian Gray and Julian Ghosh, both in Vauxhalls, won the longer-car class.
First-class award winners were Stringer, Low and Winder (A7s), and Threlfall (Ford A). Second-class awards went to McKinnon and Pipkin (A7s), Garfitt (BMW, Munro (30(98), Hescroff (AC) and Tebbett (Riley), third-class to Gordon and Parker (A7s), Spence (Lea Francis), Johnson (Frazer Nash), Lee (Salmson GP), Felton (Bugatti), Collings (Mercedes), Spollon (30/98) and Hirst (Alvis). TJT
Royce v Daimler
From the Leicester Mercury comes another Rolls-Royce/Daimler cameo. Apparently, when the R-R PVI which Leicester’s Lord Mayor had used for nearly 20 years failed repass its MoT, it was part-exchanged for a new 4.2-litre Daimler Sovereign limousine. The registration number ABC 1 was transferred to the new car; the council already has another Daimler. registered ABC 2. WB