The Veteran C.C. Southern Rally

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The Southern Rally of the V.C.C. at Oxted on May 25th was, as usual, a well-organised and enjoyable event, enjoyed, that is; by public, police and participators alike. Thirty-five entries were received and only Gardner’s 1901 Argyle, Bird’s 1904 De Dion, Tubb’s Gobron-Brillé Taylor’s Stanley steamer, and Hampton’s famous little Bugatti failed to appear, the last-named, unfortunately, having dropped in one of its o.h. valves.

Several new cars added to the interest, if you can talk of “new veterans”! S/Ldr. Pidgeon, starting four days earlier, arrived from Stranraer in a 1912 38-h.p. 6-cylinder closed Delaunay-Belleville, with “basketwork” finish and two foot-brakes. Skinner had an immaculate 1913 RoverTwelve coupé, W/Cdr. Anderson brought a 1911 “40/50” Rolls-Royce to keep John Bolster’s car company, Walters came in a quite perfect 1911 7-h.p. De Dion Bouton coupé, and Rowe’s 1904 Renault had sprung wheels shod with Connolly solids, and a most imposing hansom-cab body. Wilcock’s “12-16” Talbot, from Angmering, possessed a most sporting exhaust note.

A short map-reading and speed-judging contest took place after lunch, the local police sportingly doing special traffic patrols to help the old cars. The set speeds were: Up to 1900, 9 m.p.h.; 1901-4, 12 m.p.h.; and 1905-15, 15 m.p.h. Allday, very “veteran motorist” with cap, goggles and cigar, had to swing the 1903 Mercédès several times to get it going, and Skinner’s Rover, suffering carburetter trouble, did not run at all. Welham’s 2-cylinder Renault, with wondrous tick-over, displayed an L-plaque, Pilmore Bedford’s upward changes took ages on the 1904 Wolseley, Mrs. Wood, on the 1900 3-h.p. Pieper, momentarily got lost at the first turning, and Sear’s Mors, five up, sailed by to the rattle of driving chains. Capt. Oliver’s 1903 Panhard “putta-putta-ed” along; Estler’s Siddeley broke down but recovered, and Cook’s 1904 Darracq was running well, nearly overshooting a corner. Bird had passenger and child on the little De Dion, which pulled strongly. Pierpoint’s chromiumed 29-h.p. Mors was stately, while Rowe had 3/4-elliptic rear springs to help his Renault’s aforesaid sprung wheels and was very “turf-turf.” There was a full crew under the voluminous hood of Major Swiney’s 12-h.p. Sunbeam, Pilmore-Bedford’s Wolseley was very sprightly and Abbott’s single-cylinder Rover particularly so, while the 1912 15.9 Sunbeam of J. Hampton had Peter Hampton as passenger.

Bridcutt, finding a 15 m.p.h. average very tricky in his so-beautiful (and fast) “Alphonso” Hispano-Suiza, had his small daughter as passenger, and all the Hutton-Stott family seemed to be in the grand 1913 39-h.p. Lanchester, with Upton driving them. Smith’s 1903 Clement, with lady-soldier amongst the crew, displayed a magnificent bulb horn, Cook’s 1904 8-h.p. Darracq had whitewalled tyres, and Walters actually had trafficators (doubtless rather essential) on his De Dion coupé. The two oldest cars running were Russell’s 1899 3 1/2-h.p. Benz and Browning’s 1899 3-h.p. New Orleans.

Altogether an excellent day’s sport, for which we have to thank Hutton-Stott and Cecil Clutton.

Results: — Class I: 1st, W. Browning (1899 New Orleans); 2nd, Pilmore-Bedford (1900 De Dion). Class II: 1st, D. Cook (1904 Darracq); 2nd, Capt. Oliver (1903 Panhard). Class III: 1st, C. Abbott (1906 Rover); 2nd, F. Wilcock (1912 Talbot).