Crabbe’s 1937 W125 Mercedes-Benz Special provided the drama. Very quick in practice, he was soon in the lead in the Seaman Historic Trophy Race, which he just won last year from Martin Morris. This time Crabbe ran right away from the ERA R11B, which was using a lower (16 lb.) boost, the Mercedes setting a new pre-1940 lap-record of 87.5 m.p.h. But three laps from the finish the German car began to misfire and just before the end of the last lap it emitted clouds of ominous smoke. Crabbe was only a length ahead of the ERA as they received the flag; he cut out quickly, parked on the grass, and walked away, probably not wanting to know how expensive the damage was. No. 1 plug had lost its electrode and although the pistons were intact the valve gear might well have been deranged. Venables-Llewelyn in ERA R4A, was way back, but a safe third ahead of Fielding’s 6C Maserati. Unfortunately no race times were published. Corner’s ERA R4B nonstarted due to lack of oil pressure and odd noises from the back axle.
In the Seaman Vintage Trophy Race Moffatt in Wall’s 35B monoposto Bugatti drew well away from Llewelyn’s 8.3. Bentley Special by half-distance and Footitt finished third in the AC/GN after Kain had stopped when a sparking plug was literally blown-in half in the Bugatti’s engine. No damage was done, as Kain later romped home to win a handicap race.
The other big race was the 12-lap Allcomers’ Scratch Race, in which Wilks’ Lotus 16, its rear-end rebuilt after it shed a back wheel at Silverstone, proved more than a match for Corner’s Maserati 250F. Corner could only take Wilks on braking and although he led from lap 3 to lap 8, the Maserati’s brakes didn’t like it and the Lotus regained the lead, going on to a popular win and making fastest lap of the day at 89.22 m.p.h. Morris, who might well have beaten Crabbe in the Historic Seaman had he not gone onto the grass and lost time letting the Mercedes pass on the first lap, again drove his pre-war ERA splendidly, forcing it ahead of Pilkington’s Cooper-Bristol and Cottam’s Connaught to finish third. Pakington was fourth, as Cottam retired. Venables-Llewelyn was next, ahead of Rose’s Maserati 250F Maserati. It was nice to see the Hon Patrick Lindsay driving his ERA very well, so soon after his Silverstone accident.
The rest of the races were 4-lap handicaps. The first was won by an Alvis Speed 25 which started life as a Charlesworth Saloon, the next was the FN/GN race, in which the AC/GN, although unplaced, set a new vintage lap record of 80.16. m.p.h., an original-looking 3/4 1/2 Bentley won the third, Angela Cherrett started first and finished first in her blown 1 1/2-litre Alfa Romeo in the next handicap, and the last was won by Kain from the Pacey-Hassan Bentley (scheduled for a new body next year).