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Fl NISI The Great West M.C. had to cancel the already postponed. London-Bournemouth trial, which was scheduled for June 11th, at short notice. Big trials are harder to organise in the summer and we believe that only twelve entries were obtained, which probably did not warrant going ahead with this long-distance event, with its night section and breakfast stop. There is an unfortunate feeling that the Great West M.C. is almost dead and will not survive this cancellation. We sincerely hope this is not the case for this once live club runs some excellent events, notably the London, Bournemouth trial aforementioned, and the Thatcher Trophy Trial, for a trophy put up by the popular M.G. racing man,
Fred Thatcher. However, club life is not too easy these days and possibly Secretary Cox may consider it wise to wind up if things cannot easily be pulled through. Lots of once-important clubs only just exist to-day which, if they were decently wound-up, would assist more worthy bodies, Inasmuch as members would seek new addresses to which to post subscription money no longer due to their existing club at the beginning of another season.
Ler. In between organising an ambitious Rally to America, gymkhanas, trials, socials, and suchlike, Secretary Morgan has managed to get out regulations for the ever enjoyable and extremely instruc five Members’ Day at Brooklands. The date is July 8th. As usual, the one bour high-speed trials over a course which includes corners, will constitute the highlight of the meeting, supported by a series of short, outer-circuit races. These highspeed trials are a real test of all those good qualities which a sports-car should possess, while the event is a most enjoyable, prolonged dice, and, as such, seems to us to offer better value for entry-money than the majority of speed trials and speed
hill-climbs. Enthusiasts proud of the abilities of themselves and their cars should see to it that better support for an excellent semi-important speed event is forthcoming this time—last year the M.C.C. outer-circuit high-speed trials were more popular and only one J.C.C. hour run was held. The J.C.C. will put OA two runs if pressure of entries necessitates and full details are available from then at : Empire House, Brompton Road, London, S.W.7.
LUCKY AMATEURS! amatenr and Nowadays amatenr sprint and speed exponents have nearly as many fixtures to consider as have professional racing men. And they have the interest of notable variety amongst venues. The Donington manufacturers’ circuit calls for high speed and very good brakes ;
the Crystal Palace Club circuit emphasises corner-craft to a high degree. Lewes is a pure test of acceleration from rest to a high cruising speed, Wetherby calls for cornering qualities as well, and the hill element enters into things at Prescott and Backwell ; and so on. Although a lot of club speed meetings are over, and many were contested last month, a goodly number of fixtures remains. We tabulate the more important below, and would advise those who take motoring sport seriously to obtain details from the respective secretaries and start preparing right away. Even more contrast can be had by competing in the L.C.C. and M.C.C. High Speed Trials as well as in the “80 secs. 1” events—incidentally, it was not so long ago that George Chaplin took a Premier Award in the former driving a fairly standard 1924 Austin Seven tourer which is typical of the feats accomplished in these excellent events. The following are some of the remaining speed fixtures suited to amateurs :July 1st. M.C.C. Donington Meeting. July 8th. J.C.C. High Speed Trial,
8th. M.A.C. Speed Event.
9th. Yorkshire S.C.C. Wetherby Speed Trials.
15th. Vintage S.C.C. Lewes Speed Trials.
22nd. Bristol M.C. Backwell House Hill-Climb.
29th. West Hants & Dorset C.C. Poole Speed Trials.
Aug. 12th. Vintage S.C.C. Donington Meeting.
19th. Kent & Sussex L.C.C. Lewes Speed Trials.
„ 26th. Vintage S.C.C. Prescott HillClimb.
Sept. 3rd. Berkhamsted & D.M.C. Dancers’ End Hill-Climb.
„ 9th. M.C.C. High Speed Trial, Brooklands.
„ 10th. Yorkshire S.C.C. Wetherby Speed Trials.
„ 17th. Herts County A. & A.C. Markyate Speed Trials.
Oct. 7th. United Hospitals & U.L.M.C. Donington Meting.
BUGATTI OWNERS’ CLUB
The Bugatti Owners’ Club held a quite informal and exceedingly pleasant meeting for members only at Prescott on June 11th, which seemed rather like a contest of the Club versus Miss Strain—who had entered the Alfi-Capa, a Bugatti, a CharonSpecial, Rabelro, Chatterbox, and an Alfa-Romeo, to be driven by other persons. There were thirty-two entries and the meeting passed off with out incident. The 1i-litre sports class went to P. Williams’s Bugatti, the 3-litre sports class to Bagratouni’s 2.6-litre AlfaRomeo, and the big sports class to G. Campbell’s 41-litre Invieta, the times being
55.65, 51.8, and 58.81 secs., respectively. Bowen’s blown 750 c.c. M.G. won the small racing class, in 62.42 secs., and Peter Vaughan with the Becke-Powerplus walked off with the Iflitre racing class in 50.0 secs. C. L. Clark’s Bugatti took the 2-litre racing class in 51.35 secs., and Arthur Baron put his ” 3.3 ” G.P. Bugatti up in 48.71 secs. to make fastest time of all, winning the big racing class. The Handicap class was a victory for Bagratouni’s ” 2.6 ” Alfa-Romeo. Incidentally, the Alfa’s run beats the class record, but the times at this closed meeting will not be officially recognised— so Bagratouni will have to do it again on July 30th! No veterans deported themselves. We were glad to see that Donald Monro entered his Invicta as an Invicta-Special and not by the lurid name of” Red Gauntlet ” as at Shelsleyand. we wish more of the specials-builders would avoid comic, nick or non-descriptive names, albeit John Bolster’s” Bloody Mary” for his Bolster-Special was an excusable inspiration.
The May issue of” Bugantics “contains most readable reports of the Opening Rally and Prescott by philosophic J. D. Aylward, a description of the various Bugatti racing models produced from 1928-1939, and No. 16 of the series ” Bugatti Cars I Have Owned” by R. B. Pope. Mr. Pope now runs a Type 57SC Bugatti, which was delivered as a nonsupercharged Type 57S and was the first car to be converted in England to blown Type 57SC form. The car is an Electron coupe and of it the author says :—” I consider it the best of all Bugattis and the finest sporting car in existence.”
Five new members were elected since last March. On July 30th the Club holds its International Prescott Meeting, at which Winaille will perform with the latest G.P. Bugatti.
Hon. Secretary : E. L. Giles, 2, Queen Street, Mayfair, W.1.
FORD ENTHUSIASTS CLUB
Another of the pleasant and usually well supported driving test rallies will be held at the Autodrome School of Motoring, South Croydon, on July 18th. The Harrow C.C. will hold a joint meeting for its own members and the W.A.S.A. is expected to be amongst the invited clubs.
Details from : S. H. Allard, 15, Millbrooke Court, Putney, S.W.15.
Well, Shelsley had to be attended, of course, but perhaps, knowing what adventures this run usually involves, we were unduly optimistic in not taking our vehicle more seriously, for, no modern being available, it was necessary to essay the 250 or so miles in a very recently acquired ” Chummy ” Austin Seven, age ten summers, which had been bought back in the summer, that we might try some expetiments therewith in connection with weight distribution and an increase
of urge. Alas, our plans could hardly have been said to have reached Imitation on the eve of She’sley, possibly because several day’s hard toil some weeks before had merely ended in the special engine, now installed in the car, sending out such clouds of oil-smoke as to render it humanly uninhabitable. A local firm having been persuaded to swop the cylinder block for a rebored one and to insert therein B.H.B. light-alloy pistons, newly-ringed and of a suitable oversize, the job Was just reassembled before the day, after several hectic journeys about the countryside had been made in the Only respectable car in the stable, acquiring a set of Terry’s excellent double ” Aero ” valve springs and h.c. gaskets and such like—what concern, other that Klingerit of St. Mary’s Cray, would mrfrowningly supply a non-trade customer with a 2/6 article at the very front door of the main works ? If the car was reassembled in time for the Shelsley trip that is not to say it was reassembled devoid of snags—we confess to casting longing .glances at the aforementioned dependable fug-box, whose owner quite firmly said he wanted It for a journey on the same day, having no connection whatsoever with sports motoring. Perhaps we may here digress to say that this particular car is -a 1935 Austin Seven ” Ruby ” saloon, which, bought secondhand and never given so much as a decoke, and driven hard every day, everywhere, has only once let us down in some 10,000 miles—whatever British babies lack in road clinging qualities they certainly are delightfully dependable. The first excitement after starting was the discovery that the off side rear brake was suffering from jambed shoes and was very warm indeed, and, as the shoes showed no inclination to unjamb, we had to remove the brake drum on that side, which not only reduced us more or less to hand-operated front anchors only, but moved our hour of starting on from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. Moreover, it became clearly evident that the previous day’s trick of tapping the cut-out to ensure dynamo-charge had lost its charm and is the engine was a coil-ignition unit we stopped at the ever-obliging premises of Adlards Motors, Ltd. at Putney to take aboard a fully-charged battery—here we may observe that, every endeavour to cure the in is-firing having failed, we changed over to this new battery on the Western Avenue and the engine promptly hit on all four and, moreover, the battery stood up to the journey and to some two hours motoring with the lights On, and it had by no means lost all its charge when restored to its rightful owners on the morrow—which may hearten owners of coil-ignition motors with temperamental dynamos. Nov, things going better, we began to open up and, at the risk of owners of real sports-cars extending us an unwanted pity, we may oh serve that even in this form of motoring there was a certain joy, unsileneed exhaust quite deafening and making the 40 m.p.h. or so cruising gait seem quite exciting, front wheels dancing madly beneath flat alloy wings, the handbrake steadying the little
car before bends. round which the writer who had never previously covered any sort of mileage in these particularly flea-like babies, found he could coax the car faster and faster as he got the feel of things. Anyway, we achieved Shelsley and we got home to London again the same night, meeting our fug-box friend in Watford at mid-night, whereupon we changed cars so that he professed our car vast fun and insisted on going so fast to a rather well-known acclivity rising from London’s Finchley Road that we, in the modern Austin Seven saloon, just couldn’t live with him. Thereafter there was much fun trying the little car locally and it certainly surprised us, and adjacent occupants of several bigger motors when the Belisha lamps condescended to change, while it climbed an alleged I in 5 hill up to Kenley in third gear and propelled itself from Beckenham up to Bromley by way of a quite appreciable grade on its highest cog of all. Maybe we gave it too much to do, or it got over-confident of its abilities, but the fact remains that on the following Saturday it emitted .very ominous and unmusical noises and, although we joyfully started for Prescott on the Sunday, as has happened before we failed to arrive, indeed, we failed to leave the Western Avenue. The reason was very badly stripped main timing gears, but at last she crawled back the way she had come, and nine hour’s hard in the garage, saw that trouble rectified Certainly we missed the run down, for the runs to Shelsley and Prescott we count as two of the most enjoyable, and we always look forward to meeting fellow enthusiasts after meetings at the latter venue at Start Farm, which lies back on the right before Burford, on the main Cheltenham-Oxford road, and where excellent meals of the ham-and-eggs and-plenty -of -bre ad-and-butter-and-te a variety are served by a lady who takes a great interest in Prescott and who does nOt in the least object to a big, noisy gathering of motoring enthusiasts. Incidentally, reverting to the run back from Shelsley, we were passed by Shakspeare’s 1907 Renault ” Agatha, ” beautifully turned out and going well really and that recalled a most memorable and cherished run undertaken in 1935 at the writer’s suggestion, when he persuaded Marcus Chambers to drive up to see a Shelsley meeting in this very car. Of course, She was much rougher then, and all the dripfeeds going on strike, cost us a small fortune to lubricate, but it was truly immense fun, especially so as in those now seemingly distant days the potency of the bigger Edwardians was not generally recognised—and the old Renault certainly passed some rapid moderns when Marcus gave her her bead.
It is to his lasting credit that he acquired his Own trade plates especially to undertake the run and that he drove most restrainedly on an occasion when he might excusably have gone a little hay-wire . . . To revert to the present, in case it is thought that. elderly, albeit breathed upon, Austin Sevens satisfy folk of our now quite matured years, it must be recounted that there has been one brief but ex
hilarating flip in a rather fine Red Label 3-litre Bentley, handled -expertly by a friend who used to share a 41-litre of the same breed with his brother some years ago, so that he was master of the radio-chest, and there was another magnificent run in Lycett’s 8-litre Bentley, on Brooklands, when some quite exceptional acceleration figures were recorded. This was followed by a decidedly interesting week-end when we were packed into the sternsheets of Richards’s wellknow Rover Ten Special to go ” on the Beer “—actually a rather misleading description of our way of passing the time, as the only potent drink we had was Devon cider . . . I First we went to Lewes and then we tanked up with Disco!, checked tyre pressures and packed in all the luggage and got down to some real motoring in an evening of sunshine and patchy cloud. A fair amount of Tattoo traffic was met, including a party of merry folk in a Lagonda,.. a very military turn-out in an old Bentley, and three Frazer-Nashes. We nevertheless averaged over 40 ut.p.le and at the Petersfield level-crossing caught up with Uglow’s smart H.R.G., which had been competing at Lewes and which was on the way home to Cornwall. We tailed it for a while, led it after it had overshot a corner, but thereafter -it’s owner opened up and drew away. Incidentally, in one town we came upon a big sports Hampton, but practically the only other interesting old cars, apart from a few 14/40 Delages, Were two 10/23 Talbots. Late that night, we came upon Wiveliscombe and, failing to find a very pleasant farm whereat we had stayed on a ” Beer” some three years earlier, we applied in panic to the local inn, where they gladly put our Rover under cover and agreed to give us a 5 a.m. breakfast on the Sunday. Alas, Sunday dawned very wet, but, even so, the day’s motoring across Devon in what later turned out to be varied weather, was very good fun, spray flung back from the front wheels, rain frequently driving hard round the aero screens, and the exhaust note rising to a healthy roar as the big rear wheels spun and the tail slid about on winding roads—for we were, as usual, in a hurry. Widlake, having failed all the entry, proved unclimbable, and in the afternoon Simms defeated us through spin. At the Dumbridge Service Station at Dmnbridge Cross, near Bovey Tracey we learned that the proprietor is a real enthusiast who has built up a stock of spares to help unfortunate tourists who strike trouble and who will go out to their rescue at all hours of the night or day in his 3-litre Lagond.a. He started motoring in 1900, was a Clement Talbot owner before the War and is very keen on cars, cameras and touring—as his very charming and extremely energetic young daughter dryly observed ” we get cars ‘ all day, for breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner . . . 1 ” This service station is on A38, the London-Plymouth road, and, although we merely ate and tanked .up there, it seems a thoroughly worthwhile
spot, and anyone going West this summer may care to remember the ‘phone number, which is Bovey Tracey 60.