Heavy rain in the morning and a programme confined to sports-car races produced only thin support on Bank Holiday Monday. The seven-lap Closed Car Handicap saw saloons really pressing on. A system of time and credit-lap handicapping made this race difficult to follow but it transpired that Sprinzel’s special Austin A35 had won at 62.65 m.p.h., after a close fight with Bell’s hood-up Morris Minor tourer, Wright’s Minor — both were 943-c.c. cars — third. Goddard-Watts got his Berkeley hard-top round at 58.62 m.p.h. before it retired, Adler’s big Austin also retired, and Taylor’s Riley Pathfinder parked itself neatly at the end of a gyration at Madgwick Corner. On the very first lap Draper rolled his Ford over many times at Woodcote. Steadiest, safest-looking car was Calvert’s Alfa-Romeo Sprint Veloce — for instance, it passed Gillett’s Jaguar Mk. VII on the outside round Madgwick. But Jean Bloxham (Aston Martin DB2) made fastest lap, at 76.6 m.p.h.
The 100-kilometre 1,100-c.c. sports-car scratch race followed, the field composed entirely of Climax-engined vehicles. After six of the 26 laps the race settled down into a procession, Ireland’s Lotus leading Stacey’s team-Lotus, after Ashdown’ s team-Lotus, with F.II wheels, had retired, while Greene tried hard in third place in his father’s Cooper-Climax. Stacey could make no impression on the imperturbable Ireland but on the very last lap the latter suffered wretched misfortune — engine trouble eliminated him, giving the race to Stacey, at 83.18 m.p.h., with Greene second and Hewitt’s well-driven Lotus third. Ireland set fastest lap, at 84.87 m.p.h. Hicks (Lotus) escaped from a nasty sideways swipe into the bank at St. Mary’s, and Mrs. Gibbs (Cooper) varied a gentle tour with a spin at Fordwater and retirement.
To mark the 21st anniversary of a Bentley Handicap at Brooklands the B.D.C. now fielded a dozen aged Bentleys in a seven-lap handicap. All save Mason’s well-known 1930 open 4½-litre and Batten’s 8-litre had chopped-about bodywork and most used modified engines, McDonald’s 4½ having Jaguar carburetters. Day’s 3-litre an exhaust system rivalling the pulse-jet, Bradley’s 4½ claiming 170 b.h.p. and Batten’s 8-litre 220 b.h.p., while Pacey’s 3-litre had upright S.U.s. Only Burton really went racing, his 1927 4½-litre lapping at 77 m.p.h. The race was won at 65.11 rn.p.h. by Day’s 3-litre, from Bradley’s 1923/28 3-litre and Chaffey’s 1925/28 9 ft. 9 in. wheelbase T.T. replica 3-litre. Alas, after finishing Bradley’s car savaged the bank at Madgwick, the driver unhurt and unruffled but the overturned Bentley extensively damaged.
After an ear-splitting couple of demonstration laps by Meikle’s Cooper-S.N.E.C.M.A. pulse-jet “Slug” came the best race of a rather dull afternoon. This was the 100-kilometre big sports-car scratch race, with Le Mans start. Taylor’s Jaguar D led for three intense laps, then fell back with a blown head gasket, letting Blond in Atkins’s disc-brake Aston Martin DB3S into the lead. Head in his Cooper-Jaguar was moving up fast and after six of the 26 laps was third, behind Blond and Charles’ Jaguar D. He took second place on lap 10 and there was now a stirring battle between the leading Aston Martin, Head, Charles, and Fairman in Broadhead’s Jaguar D, who couldn’t get past new-boy Charles. Stacey drove his 1,100 Lotus in solitary state behind, and further back Greene did all he could to pass Sir G. Baillie’s Jaguar D, without avail. On lap 15 Head passed Blond but the race remained exciting to the end, especially as on the last lap but one Blond hit the chicane wall and finished with a sagging front wheel. Head won at 85.58 m.p.h., 5.8 sec. ahead of the Aston Martin, and he also made fastest lap, at 87.63 m.p.h. on a clean fast drive. Stacey won the 2-litre class from Greene, Flockhart’s and Ashdown’s Loti having retired. Mrs. Hardy presented Col. Head with the Hardy Trophy.
Only six girls contested the five-lap Ladies’ Handicap. Avril Scott-Moncrieff displayed the new-found speed we saw at Silverstone the week before, winning at 68.27 m.p.h., but she pressed her Lotus-M.G. too hard, for it subsided with a clattering engine after the finish. Rosemary Seers was second in the Cooper-Zephyr and Jean Bloxharn’s Aston Martin third, making fastest lap, at 77.14 m.p.h. Patsy Burt’s Cooper being tired she drove a Fitzwilliam M.G.-A, finishing last. Avril, Rosemary and Jean should smell nice these days. because they won Parfums Revillon perfumes.
The last race was a seven-lap Marque Scratch Race, contested between M.G.-A, Triumph TR, Morgan Plus Four, A.C. Ace and Austin-Healey 100. It was intended to display standard models but why Ace-Bristols and Austin-Healey 100S were barred when two disc-brake alloy-bodied Le Mans MG.-As ran is difficult to comprehend. Many drivers diced close to the accident. Fletcher’s A.C. Ace won at 75.62 m.p.h. from Looker’s Morgan and Carnegie’s M.G.-A, the class winners being Carnegie, Fletcher and Norman’s Austin-Healey. Fletcher out-sped the lot with a lap at 76.46 m.p.h.
During the meeting the American amateur, B. Sadler, tried out his very compact Sadler Special, which has a wide tubular frame, a 4.6-litre tuned Chevrolet V8 engine with twin 4-choke Rochester carburetters, a pre-selector E.N.V. gearbox in unit with the 1940 Ford 3.7 to 1 final drive, low-pivot swing-axle rear suspension with underslung transverse leaf-spring and strut dampers, wishbone and transverse leaf-spring i.f.s. and Austin-Healey brakes, inboard at the rear, the whole enveloped by a fibreglass body, with twin fuel tanks ahead of the swing axles. — W. B.