The weekend after the Colerne speed trials, the VSCC held its annual speed trial meeting at Curborough near Lichfield. The course is quite different, involving as it does several corners to reverse the cars back onto the straight along which they started. However, if there is an element of ‘driving-test’ about it, this is no worse than at those speed-trials which once took place at a Croydon driving school or in the AEC factory grounds at Southall. Anyway, the best thing is that in such an event cars can be pitted one against another and individual duels between rivals can be indulged.
On May 3, the 29th occasion when this event has been run by the VSCC (although the Shenstone & DCC’s venue is used by other clubs), FTD was set by Guy Smith in his 3½ litre Alvis-engined single seater Frazer Nash, in 36.63 sec, a new VSCC record for the course. He was the only competitor in his category, so won the class as well, the vintage section of which went to Leston’s Lovell Elkhart (40.89s), also of 3½ litres but six years older. The class winners were: J Knapp (1930 Frazer Nash) which clocked 45.15s on its only run, with Mahany’s 1939 1100 HRG winning the general section; Baxter’s 4.4-litre Chrysler, dating from 1929, was best vintage (45.39s) in the post-vintage category, won by Hoolie’s big Delahaye (44.37s); Beebee managed 46.68s to take the vintage part of the next class, in his 1926 blown Hyper Lea-Francis; and Dunn, with that very quick 1926 1½-litre Riley Special, set a new VSCC class record (40.655) and was only 0.03s slower on his next run; Walker, with the GN-Ford (41.76s) was best vintage in the class taken by Guy Spollon’s 1931 blown Alfa Romeo (39.96s). Those were the sports-car classes.
Of the racing cars, in the smallest class Hernandez had the quickest vintage car, his A7 recording 43.31s, against the time of 42.7 Is by Gunn’s blown Q-type MG, his consistent driving over the by no means easy course deserving mention. Just 0.01s separated his two runs. Chris Gordon’s useful Sage-engined Silver Hawk took the 1500 cc vintage class (49.94s), improving notably on his second attempt, although he would have won anyway, as the only other vintage entrants, the Norris Special and Caroline’s Morgan trike, non-started. The non-vintage 1500cc class went to Moore’s 1933 MG (45.41s), which had only Templeton’s larger-engined MG, both blown, to compete against. That record-holding non-starter, the Vauxhall-Villiers, lived up to its reputation yet again, leaving Templeton’s TT Vauxhall Replica as the only runner in the vintage three-litre category (43.15s) and president Bruce Spollon cleaned-up the non-vintage section in his ERA R8C (37.34s), against whom Day’s ERA R14B did 30.63s. Then there were the popular Edwardian cars. Of four of these, the 1911 Marion won on handicap, which is how this class is usually judged, but, as expected. Walker’s magnificent 1908 GP Panhard-Levassor was fastest (46.43s), beating the younger but smaller-engined Th-Schneider by 1.22s.
Book Reviews, February 1959, February 1959
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