VSCC at Enstone
IF ANYONE doubts whether vintage car competitions are an all-the-yearround pastime, they should have been at bleak Enstone airfield for the VSCC Driving Tests (107 entries) on December 2. Much of the fun of watching how such tests are dealt with comes from the great variety of cars used. This time they ranged from Edmonds’ jolly 1923 Morgan threewheeler with its disc wheels and JCC badge, which had to bribe the marshalls to help it “garage”, as it has no reverse to its two-speed transmission, Woodrow’s delightful yellow flat-twin Rover 8 twoseater, Barry Clarke’s racing Singer Ten with what there is of its bodywork as easily detachable as its bonnet, and Hiron’s GN, the ioe-valved engine of which was seemingly content to tick over indefinitely.
At the other extreme, Hamilton-Gould’s handsome 1925 DISS Delage, its Victor Broome coupe body enhanced by a low roof-line, was conducted in a manner belying its Parisian dignity, that consistent competitor Mark Garfift was flinging stones from the back wheels of his smart FN-BMW, Keith Hill was really hanging out the tail of the Crouch-Helix, and Roger Collings’ 1913 Brixia-Zust also dropped down a cog after the speed part of the test named “Arnold-Forster’s Route to Marsh’s Marathon.”, the better to take the pyloned roundabouts. This test sensibly made full use of the space an airfield provides for such frolics. Other tests had terrifying names like “Collings’ Cage”, “Gray’s Glide”, “Spollon Sprint” and “Giles’ Jolts”, which did not seem to intimidate the faster competitors. Indeed, how the halfshafts of D Bond’s 1928 Morris survived all the wheelspin he produced is a minor miracle; Wheeler treated his 1926 Morris with much more circumspection and R Bond was quite gentle with his 1932 Riley 9 two-seater. Not Peppercorn, however, who hurled his “top-hat” A7 about. Enstone seems to attract Morrisses, perhaps due to the proximity of Cowley and Oxford. But A7s also abounded, from the Ulsters and Chummies, of which Felthouse’s Chummy was very low, very spartan, and had twin-SUs and an Ulster-type front axle, to various “box-saloons”, of which Rosoman and Chinery preferred the longer bonnetted later type. Binns’ was in his HRG and John had the actual Frazer Nash road-tested by MOTOR SPORT in 1933. Wendy Cooksey’s M-type MG looked as new but her husband apparently preferred the lofty utility of a 1923 Harper-Bean. I saw no mechanical mayhem this time and as for the humans, they had free doctor’s checks before the start! To the credit of the officials and marshals, it was all over by lunchtime. WB