Club News, July 1936





The Team Trial must be written down as a very successful event. That something like a hundred officials gave their services suggests it from the start.

Dry weather robbed the hills of their possibilities. Bodesbeck stopped two cars, both Singers.

In a sporting farmer’s farmland was found a hill that put back two of the teams, when N. W. Gibson’s M.G. tore out a fuel line against a boulder and J. Clough’s Talbot came to a standstill. T. S. Weston’s M.G. then got held up in a watersplash plentifully strewn with boulders. Ewesless Hill, with three hairpins so acute that a couple of reverses at each were permissible to those who needed, stopped R. Lumby’s Singer. W. R. L. Thorne, after a good climb of this hill, had to abandon his M.G. Magnette which was suddenly found minus a vital component in the rear axle.

Right at the finish the Cream Crackers M.G. team of blown M.G.s. and the S.S.C.C. team No. 1 comprising W. Keith Elliot (Riley) G. Murray Frame (Singer) and T. L. McDonald (Singer) were level and the spectators were enjoying themselves vividly. Then on the very last hill—The Mill—Murray Frame’s Singer stopped ; but so did Welch’s M.G. So the result was based on times in the special driving test held in the Station Yard at Moffat, and when results were worked out the S.S.C.C. team gained the day by about 4 seconds. RESULTS

RS.A.C. Trophy : Scottish Sporting Car Club’s Team No. 1: W. Keith Elliot (Riley), G. Murray Frame (Singer), T. L. McDonald (Singer). Time in driving test lm. 375.

8.8.0.C. Award : Cream Crackers Team of supercharged M.G.s. Drivers : 3. M. Toulmin, H. K. Crawford and L. A. Welch. Time in driving teat: lm. 41.8s.


The Lawrence Cup Trial embraced the use of the War Department ground near Camberley, which is just another way of saying that it was a very strenuous event.

First however, the fifty-five competitors had two special tests to go through on Maidens Grove, the first, on a downhill section, resulting in twenty-one drivers gaining the maximum five marks. In the second test, held on an up-gradient, S. H. Allard’s special V8-Ford, M. H. Lawson’s Singer, H. W. Johnson’s Singer and T. C. Wise’s Ford V8 were the most impressive set of performers.

So to the special area, where as a start two cars came to rest on ” Highlands ” Forty-two drivers then lost marks on Block Hill, six because they made use of the heather at the side of the track proper, which naturally materially contributed to wheel-grip. Two Ways Hill stopped eighteen cars and Tunnel Hill accounted for twentyfour, including Humphrey Symons in the

” Sahara ” Morris 25, Elsdott’s M.G., and Peaty’s Frazer-Nash with broken chain. On this latter hill Allard’s V8, Warburton’s Railton, Anthony’s Aston-Martin and Mrs. Moss’ Marendaz-Special were noteworthy.

Came the worst section of all, six Ford V8s, two old-school Bentleys, Wooding’s A.C. Ace, a trio of FrazerNash B.3/1.W.s, The Railton, The Marendaz, a Frazer-Nash, McEvoySpecial, Aston-Martin, Singer and blown M.G. getting up both. Finally, Red Road, sandy, about 1 in 1. Allard, Wise, Warburton and Miss Goodban’s high-geared B.M.W. did it ; Chambers’ old Bentley just failed. RESULT

Lawrence Cup : S. H. Allard (Ford V8).

Ripley Trophy : M. H. Lawson (Singer).

Team Award : K. N. Hutchison, S. L. Chappell, 8. H. Allard (Ford V8s.).

First-class Awards : C. M. Anthony (Aston-Martin) T. C. Wise (Ford VS).

ikuiond-class Awards : C. A. H. Cann, K. N. Hutchison, F. Allott (Ford V8s.), N. V. Terry, Miss Goodban (Frazer-Nash-B.M.W.s.), G. Warburton (Railton), Mrs. A. E. Moss (MarendazSpecial), A. J. H. Bochaton (McEvoy-Special), C. D. Buckley (Austin), A. F. Easton (Singer).


The club’s big event for June was the County Down road-race. The monthly review for June was devoted almost entirely to this race, descriptions of all the competing cars being given, together with a large map of the course, details of how best to view the race, etc. One commendable item was the following request, printed in heavy type :—” Try to recognise and applaud good cornering. Do not get carried away by the man who skids wildly and raises clouds of dust.” We imagine that “carried away” was not meant in the truly literal sense ! These Irish enthusiasts are commendably thorough. Eight new members were elected recently. Address : 65, Chichester Street, Belfast.


The Cremian Motor Club will stage speed trials at the well-known Howard Park venue at Aston-Clinton on July 19th. Members of the W.A.S.A., Kentish Border, Harrow and Vintage Sports Car Clubs have accepted invitations to compete. Particulars are available from the Hon. Sec. : Mr. A. A. Bolsom, 83, Heath Street, London, N.W.3. Telephone : Ham 1171-2.


A river day at Clifton Hampden is scheduled for July 12th, with a club night at ” Woodhaw ” on July 23rd. The ” Exhaust ” continues to be issued, and twenty new members have been enrolled of late. Hon. Sports and Trials Sec. : Paul Hardy, 33, Cypress Avenue, Whitton, Twickenham, Middx. Telephone Pop 3842.


A hill climb in Knat’s Valley, near Farningham proved a popular fixture with members, although the hill used was hardly steep enough to constitute a freak gradient, yet was too steep to be of much interest as a speed climb, a shortcoming to some extent off-set by the introduction of an artificial S-bend.

Fastest time of all was established by A. J. G. Boch!tton’s McEvoy Special, in 21.4 seconds. E. G. Mobbs (Singer) won the under 1,100 c.c. class with an ascent in 25 seconds, beating P. Goodman’s Singer by 4.8 seconds. Of the cars over 1,100 c.c. Bochaton took the honours, the runners-up being S. L. Chappell’s V8 Ford, in 22.0 seconds, and H. E. Richard’s centric-blown ” P ” Midget in 23.8 seconds.


Unfortunately the speed hill climb scheduled for June 20th had to be cancelled, but a supper-dance will be held at the end of the month, and it is expected that a speed event will be held in August.


A half-day trial was held by the S. Western Centre, starting from Bishop’s Waltham, Hants. The worst hill was Oakshott, which failed eighteen cars.

Best Performance : F. L. Fox (M.G. Magnate).

First-Class Awards : L. K. Holdaway (Austin 7 sports) It. Bonner-Pink (KG.).


That noted fixture the Grand Cup Trial resulted in A C. Fairtlough’s blown A.C. taking the Sopwith Cup, while V. H. Tuson’s Fiat was runner-up. The team prize was won by Pairtlough’s A.C., A. R. Samuel’s West and Chittendett Lancia and R. A. de Y. Bateson’s A.C. As will be appreciated the atmosphere closely approached ” varsity ” I


I feel that there is no need to offer excuse for a belated reference to the ” Edinburgh.” The M.C.C.’s big Whitsuntide event, like all the M.C.C. trials, was extremely well organised, and it would perhaps, be as well if the smaller trials could be absorbed into an event of this nature, where expert organisation could cope with another hundred or more entries without distress. Perhaps the Edinburgh is not quite such a holiday event as the Land’s End, because going North competitors do not seem to mingle with the holiday road users to the same extent as in the West country at Easter, and certainly the hills and special tests are situated away from the populated roads But competitors who occupy the better part of Whits= in this way do have a very worth-while sense of accomplishment, especially if they get back in time to be at Brooklands

on the Monday, their mileage in the three days totalling at the most conservative estimate, some 900 miles, given a London start. Incidentally, what a fine tribute to the dependability of modern cars— primarily sports cars of course—these M.C.C. holiday events are. Nowadays you enter, reserve rooms at Land’s End or Edinburgh, do next to nothing to the car, go through the trial and almost invariably you can run back home again after a night’s rest with no attention to the machinery.

Alas, most of the adventure of the early days has evaporated, but these trials are always intensely interesting for all that. I was again offered a” seat ” by L. M. Ballarny and went through in his Marshall supercharged L.M.B.-Ford V8 driven by Sub.-Lieut. R. B. Lakin, R.N. We ourselves had only about five minutes to spare at Barnet and nothing was done to the car in preparation beforehand. One very interesting point was that no means were taken to ensure that we were not using a locked axle, which the regulations forbade. By the way, when rushed at the start we found the scheme of covering the competition numbers with a whitewash solution very effective, as a wipe over with a dry rag reveals the numbers, and one is spared a struggle with string and paper covers or the necessity of actually fixing on the number boards. As usual the night section to Harrogate was a trifle dull, and it was cold enough to make all four members of the party gladly don heavy coats. Incidentally, our navigation and time-keeping was in the hands of Capt. H. Luff-Smith, who knew the ” Edinburgh ” in the very dark ages, having piloted early Wolseleys through it. In 1903 he made fastest time on formula in the Sunrising Hill Climb, also on a Wolseley. And he tells a delightful story of an episode later in his trials career, when he was handling a Cluley light car of somewhat doubtful horse-power. He actually did extremely well with it, and few people know that on the steeper gradients that the Cluley was assisted to the summit by its starter motor, which was provided beforehand with a special and fully charged battery. Quite within the rules, too.

Returning to 1936, the breakfast halt at Harrogate was welcome, and I thought that the overcast sky and fitful rain that hung over the common outside the “Marquis of Granby” added an adventurous expectant air to the scene. When we restarted it just came down as hard as ever it could, and we wondered if Miss Morgan found a helmet sufficient protection in H. F. S. Morgan’s attractive and practical Morgan 4-4, or whether she envied us the Ford’s roof. It was pelting when we stopped to have the comps. fixed on, a job that as usual we had done at a garage—and why not ?where a very interested and helpful policeman assisted with the job. Two webbing straps thereafter held the two heavy Ford wheels in place on the rear of the car, and perhaps it was Lakin’s naval training that led him to suggest inflating the covers until the straps pulled taut. The hills in the ” Edinburgh ” are different from those of the Land’s End, being

of much greater length, so that often you just carry on, up the observed sections, with no wait at the foot of the gradient. While this may be somewhat less jolly than running up a shorter hill lined with spectators, there is no doubt that the miles of low-gear climbing and the prolonged very rough-surfaced descents that one encounters in the Lake District, certainly try a car more severely than do Land’s End conditions. Meeting a very early member of the Bugatti Owners’ Club at Doncaster, he voiced this opinion, which was evidently also that of his Rover.

We had a good run, though had we known it we were outside time in the Hard Knott test, which cost us a ” premier.” Indeed, after late lunch at Doncaster we dallied rather too long over re-fitting the normal covers—again done for us by a garage I—so that we had to do some very rapid motoring into Edinburgh, which an S.M.T. coach driver did his best to spoil by blocking our way for some five miles on a straight, three-track road—and even the assistance of the very powerful horns of Viscountess Chetwynd’s Lincoln Zephyr were of no avail. We at last got him to pull up by pretending the thing was on fire and urging the inmates to pull the bell-cord !

Thereafter we cruised at 75-80 m.p.h., and even put one very sporting 4k-litre Bentley to shame. And after we were in sight of the finish, and only then, did the V8 emit a noise that told clearly that one big end was weaker than its seven fellows. Actually, this was not unexpected, because we had started with a low oil and water level and no spare can of water. On the long passes and while waiting at the foot of the special tests, overheating had been evident, and we carelessly forgot to re-fill the radiator. Our final speed burst did the rest. Very keen to be at Brooklands on Monday, yet not at all anxious to leave the car in Scotland, we decided to risk running it down to London on the Sunday. As people are just now rather, making a habit of writing to the papers about their long journeys, I feel tempted to quote the statistics of our run down. Edinburgh was left at 10.26 a.m., and we dropped a member of the party at Hendon Central Tube station at 10.5 p.m. Time of stoppages, chiefly to refuel, and for tea, lunch being sacrified, amounted to one and three-quarter hours. We seldom exceeded 50 m.p.h. and often almost came to a standstill on the hills, in our anxiety to make best use of the 2.9 to 1 high ratio of the Columbia axle, and so relieve the clatter beneath the bonnet. So surely any family jug-box driver, should be able to make the trip comfortably in a day, stopping for lunch and tea ? It does not lessen the fascination of that long run down through England, when after what seems endless motoring you have barely reached those Midland towns that many fellow motorists regard as an ample one-day objective. One day I want to do the journey in a car like Marcus Chambers’ 1907 Renault It was amusing that when we stopped and opened the bonnet long faces were cast at the blower, and a bit tragic when

you think how prejudiced people can still be in respect of supercharging. This blown V8 went through the Land’s End with not so much as a sneeze and it took us for a very nice holiday tour afterwards. Since then it has done hundreds of miles of fast hacking. Overheating offended the big-end, not the booster, and we were to blame. I wish we had sent a telegram to those Edinburgh Ford Agents, who announced that we should not get twenty miles, before awful things happened inside the works. Actually we used the car to go to Brooklands on the Monday and subsequent inspection showed that only the bigend needed replacement.

I have dealt with my Edinburgh impressions at some length, and really, doing all the big events of 1936 has been great fun. Those competitors who have not yet made a habit of ” M.C.C. Holidays” should .do something about it, next year.

By the way, a Wolseley bearing in its rear window the very clearly printed notice : ” Running in” has given me an idea. The excitable Press makes such a lot of these big trials being road-races that

I wonder if it would be a good scheme if Mr. Masters were to ask all those competitors who do not dash about between checks and then wait impatiently just outside to display a similarly placed notice, inscribed ; ” M.C.C. TRIAL 25 m.p.h. SCHEDULE.” Experienced competitors and travelling marshals know that it is best to run at about 40 m.p.h. between checks, and notices displayed in their cars would be good counter-propoganda —or would it ?


Although our big cars were not up to the speed of the extremely well-prepared French 3-litre machines, Britain put up a striking performance in the 2-litre class, where 14-litre Rileys driven by Trevoux, von der Becke, Cyril Paul and Dobson won the first four places. In the class for cars over 4-litres Leoz (4k-litre Lagonda) defeated the four Hudsons in spite of considerable trouble with his brakes. Lehoux unfortunately retired.

The 2 to 4-litre class provided the winners of the general category. The new 3.3-litre Bugattis proved particularly rapid, and were fitted with aerodynamic bodies reminiscent of that of the Blue Bird. Wimille and Sommer were not allowed to have things their own way, and there was a continual change of leadership between the ” Bug” the Delahaye and the Talbot. A fully illustrated account of the race will appear in next mouth’s issue of MoToa SPORT. The First Six

1. J. P. Wimille and .1t. Sommer (3,257 c.c.

Bugatti), 7h. 58m. 53.7s. 77.85 m.p.h. 80 laps.

2. Paris and Mongin (3,557 c.c. Delahaye) 7h. 50m. 44.3s. 77.71 m.p.h. 80 laps.

3. Brunet and &tender (3,557 c.c. Delahaye) 811. Om. 25.6s. 77.60 m.p.h. 80 laps.

4. Schell and Carriere (3,557 c.c. Delahaye) 79 laps in 8h. 3m. 7.1s. 80 laps.

5. Perrot-Dhome (3,557 c.c. Delahaye) 78 laps In 7h. 50m. 20.8s.

6. Veyron and Williams (3,257 c.c. Bugatti) 78 laps.