V to C Miscellany, July 1995

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A reader who is researching the history of the Alpine Trials cannot ascertain exactly when the first of these auspicious events was held, confusion arising because the Alps attracted trials and rallies by different organisers. If anyone can provide the answer and any relevant data, letters can be forwarded.

The Historic Rally Car Register holds excellent competitions for the older ex-rally cars, by which we mean that it thinks generally in terms of entries from owners of MG Midgets, Austin Healey 3000s, Mini Coopers, Alfa Romeo Guilias and the like. One wonders how high the HRCR Officials’ eye-brows might rise if a 1922 8 hp Talbot-Darracq was to request an entry? In fact, the little car in question got through the 1935 RAC Rally trouble-free, scoring a third-class award, driven for fun by Hal Hill, who lost marks in the first special-test, a quick-start from cold after the cars had been in the open all night following the 1000-mile road section. But only because he had sagely removed the starter, knowing that all the batteries carried would be pretty “flat” after the night run. He had intended to start-up on the handle, which the regulations apparently allowed — but not the marshalls at this point…
This was not quite the oldest car rallying at that time. Mr Hasel, who had Company connections, entered his 1912 I 5 hp Crossley saloon “Connie” for the 1933 Scottish and 1934 RAC Rallies, losing not a mark in the former and completing the course in the latter. Alas, unlike the Talbot-Darracq, the Crossley is thought to be no more.

Arrangements by the VCC to commemorate the first recorded motor journey in Britain (by the Hon Evelyn Ellis in his new Panhard-Levassor in 1895) are well in hand. Sponsorship and help have been received from ADT Auctions, the Borough of Basingstoke and Deane, Hampshire County Council and the Willis Museum, with the AA providing back-up vehicles. Already over 40 pre-1901 cars have been entered for this run, the first of which will start from Micheldever Station at 9.26 am on July 9, to cover 26 miles of the original route, ending at Blackbushe, with a coffee stop in Basingstoke and lunch at the finish, which the first veteran should reach by about 12.30pm. Entries are £15 per car, £3 for each passenger; contact the Rally Secretary, Michael Edwards, Woolton Tops, Sandy Lane, Boars Hill, Oxford, OX1 5HN 101865 735180, or Malcolm Jeal on 01380 812649.

This is Aston Martin’s Diamond Jubilee year and many fixtures will support it. James Whyman, Secretary of the Aston Martin OC, has the details — 01353 777353. The Austin National Rally, with which the 750 MC is concerned, will again be staged at Beaulieu, on July 1/2. And owners of Brescia Bugattis have their own rally and run in the Cotswolds, on July 2/4.