Club News, June 1937



etta /1.4


The first of the 1937 series of the always excellent Lewes speed trials was held on May 8th. Spectators arrived in plenty, many specials were being exercised and there were some fast runs, indeed the only thing missing was a spot of sunlight to warm and brighten this delightful spot on the downs above the sea. J. Lemon Burton made the fastest run of the afternoon with a very fine drive in his 2.3-litre Bugatti, clocking 19.12 secs. Appleton managed 21 secs. with his AppletonSpecial, Maclachlan did a very impressive run in 21.47 secs. with the tiny black Austin, and Denis Evans, after some misfiring, got his old Bellevue-modified Montlhery M.G. Midget going really well to clock 20.76 secs. Dick Nash found the Union-Special decidedly off colour, but Forrest Lycett displayed the usual silent, bullet-like acceleration with the McKenzie maintained 8-litre Bentley. Special classes were run by the Frazer-Nash C.C. and the Bentley Drivers’ C.C., the former won by J. 0. C. Samuel in 26.24 secs., the latter, splendidly supported, by Lycett’s 8-litre in 21.3 secs., with L. C. McKenzie’s 4i-litre runner-up. Amongst the specials was the Wellesley, comprising B.S.A. V twin f.w.d. units united by chassis members into a four-cylinder four-wheel-drive job, and entered by Wacldy, who also entered a Talbot to be driven by Rodney Seys. The H.R.G.s dominated the 1i-litre sports-car category, that driven by G. H. Robins being the car on which a road-test report appears in this issue, while Alan Hess drove the

original, very hard-used H.R.G. The Sumner J.A.P. had trouble half-Way up the course, and S. A. Cohen’s neat Cognac-Special, with Hampton radiator, appeared to indulge in clutch-slip. The B.H.D. Special did not appear, but E. R. Stafford did some very quiet runs with his 1i-litre Moses, bumping about furiously.

N. H. Sissons’s 6i-litre Bentley was truly imposing and Hampton ran his little Mercedes-Benz. The automatic starting apparatus died early on and the style of the genial Curtis was rather cramped by inadequate broadcasting arrangements, but competitors’ times were displayed with promptitude on.

a board at the start. Lewes is a pleasant spot and good sport and demands much of a successful car. It is also a pleasant spot at which to introduce the girl-friend to the sport. The next meeting will be on June 12th.


Frazer-Nash Car Class : 1, J. 0. C. Samuel, 26.248.; 2, H. H. Sampson, 28.87s.

Standard Sports Cars, 1,100 c.o. : 1, F. Y. Andrews (Fiat), 33.26s.

Superseports, 1,100 c.c. :1, H. Witley Burt (939 c.c. M.G.), 27.66s. ; 2, C. E. A. Terry (939 c.c. M.G.), 28.30s.

Standard Sports 1,500 c.c.: 1, G. H. Robins (H.R.G.), 26.88s.; 2, A. E. S. Curtis (H.R.G.), 27.67s.

Standard Sports 2-litres : 1, C. G. Fitt (Frazer-NashB.M.W.), 28.038.; 2, H. H. Sampson (Frazer-Nash), 28.10s.

Super-Sports, 1,500 0.0. : 1, P. T. Gifford-Nash (746 c.c. M.G.), 25.43s.; 2, C. W. P. Hampton (Mercedes), 27.618.

Super-Sports Unlimited : 1, F. Lycett (8-11tre Bentley), 21.30s. •’ 2, G. Stedall (— ), 24.98s.

Bentley Drivers’ Club : l, F. Lycett (8-litre), 22.39s. • 2, L. C. McKenzie (11-litre), 22.59s.

1,100′ 0.0. Racing :1, D. G. Evans (746 c.c. M.G.), 22.65s.; 2, P. T. Gifford-Nash (746 c.c. M.G.), 24.37s.

1,500 c.c. Racing : 1, R. J. W. Appleton (AppletonSpecial), 21s.; 2, A. N. L. Maciachlan (Austin), 21.03s.

2-litre Racing : 1, A. N. L. Maclachlan (Austin), 21.47s.; 2, R. J. W. Appleton (Appleton-Special), 21.65$.

Unlimited Racing Cars : 1, j. Lemon Burton (2.3 Bugatti), 19.33s.; 2, D. G. Evans (746 e.e. M.G.), 20.76s.

Handicap Class : 1, H. Stuart Wilton (Q-type M.G.), 17.19s. net ; 2, G. B. C. Sumner (10.6-litre Deluge), 17.71s. net.

Saiomans Challenge Cup (fastest racing-car) : D. G. Evans (M.G.).

Caffyn CUP (fastest sports-car): Forrest Lycett (8-litre Bentley).

Silver Cup /fastest invited member) : .T. Lemon Burton (2.3 Bus:tatti) and fastest run of the day in 1.9.12s. (in handicap evtlit).


Seventy-six cars ran in the recent Weatherby Speed Trials. Fastest time of the day went to H. J. Williams (M.G. Magnette. S.). The sports-car record for the course was set at a new figure by J. Kingston-Whittaker’s blown Railton, but S. Cummings’s course record with the Vauxhall-Villiers still stands.

RESULTS c.o. unblown H. B. Prest

Sports Cars, 1,000 c.o. unblown 1, H. B. Prestwich (M.G. Midget), 41.56s. ; 2, S. Rowlands (Singer), 44.42s.

1,000 c.o. blown and 1,500 c.o. nnblown : 1, J. H. Spencer (MM. Midget, 8.), 38.05s.; 2, C. L. Clark (1,500 c.c. Bugatti).

1,500 0.0. blown and 3,000 c.c. nublown : 1, T. W. Meikle (Frazer-Nash, S.), 34.28a.; 2, A. t% Molyneux (Lea-Francis, S.), 37.35s.

8,000 c.o. blown and 5,000 c.c. unblown : 1, Kingston Whittaker (4,168 c.c. Itailton), 34.21s. ; 2, T. C. Wise (3,622 c.c. Ford), 37.53s.

Racing Cara. 850 0.0. blown and 1,500 o.o. unblown : 1, R. S. Stevenson (1,496 c.c. Stevenson Special), 36.21s. ; 2, D. Ackernley (1,500 c.c. Bugatti), 37.71s.

1,500 o.o. blown and 3,000 c.o. unblown 1, H. J. Williams (MG. Magnette), 30.04s.; 2, 11. B. Prestwich (M.G. Magnette, S.), 30.83s.


At the Bo’ness Hill Climb fastest time of the day was established by T. W. Meikle’s Frazer-Nash in 38.5 secs.


Up to 750 o.o. Unblown J. H. Blyth (Austin). 51.1s.

751-1,100 co. Blown : T. S. Weston (M.G.), 39.8s. ; nnblown : ‘1’. L. McDonald (Singer), 42.3s.

1,101-1,500 o.o. Blown : T. W. Meikle (FrazerNash). 38.5s. ; anblown : J. M. Archer (Riley), 39.8s.

1,501-2,000 o.o. Unblown : J. Flint (Frazer-NashB.M.W.), 39.98.

2.0014,000 o.o. Blown : H. W. Beveridge (Alvis), 43.2s.; unblown : D. McQueen (Chrysler), 43.7s.

8,001-6,000 0.0. Blown : G. Brough (BroughSuperior), 40.8s.; nnblown, N. Garrad (Talbot). 41.78.


The Monte-Honiton-Carlo Rally was won by Col. G. M. Giles (4.9-litre Type 50 supercharged Bugatti drop-head coupe) who went via John o’Groats. Second was Hampton’s 2.3-litre Type 55 Bugatti, via Aberdeen, and Gormly’s A.C. was third and Donald Monro’s 4i-litre Invicta fourth. R. Watkins-Pitchford (Frazer-Nash) attempted an epic run via John o’Groats and wrote off his car against a bridge twelve miles from his goal, fortunately escaping serious harm. The Hill Climb was won by Hampton’s Bugatti with Gormly (A.C.) second and Monro’s Invicta third. Other competitors Included Crowther (Lancia), Bromfield (Invicta), Broadbent (Invicta), Rotherham (Invicta), Ellison (Lea-Francis), Foxlee (12-50 Alvis), and Miss K. Taylor (M.G.). The next fixture is the Summer Dinner-Dance at Bourne End on June 26th. The May issue of ” Bugantics ” contains an article on ” Bugattis I have Owned” by Hampton, ” Bugattis in Egypt “by Lieut. W. I. Miller, “On More MoIsheim Magic” by W. Bodd.y and a description of the 1901 De Dietrich

B ugatti A few copies are usually amailable to non-members at 7d. each. Hon. Sec. : E. L. Giles, 2, Queen Street, Mayfair, W.1.


After a week of fine weather it was most unfortunate that May 9th should have turned into such an unpleasant day for the Speed Hill-climb held at Dancers End. The rain kept many away, for only a small crowd was present and there were several non-starters. However, some excellent driving was to be seen on a wet course which proved extremely tricky, especially to those handling the faster machines. Mrs. J. Bolster in her well known little white Morris Special, put up an amazing performance, climbing on one occasion, in 26.5 seconds—the best time of the day. Her various climbs were always well worth watching—from the start with the small Morris’s rear wheels spinning furiously and making a fine getaway to the ” hairpin ” bend—here

beautifully driven—and then away up to the finishing line with incredible acceleration. Others noted for their excellent climbs—well driven, fast, and a joy to watch on the bend—were Alan C. Hess and A. E. S. Curtis in H.R.G.s (most impressive performances), A. P. Alinack in a Riley, Rogers in a Montlhery type M.G., and C. W. Taylor in his blue Aston-Martin which, incidentally, was once the property of Sir Malcolm Campbell. B. A. Leith (Fiat) and R. M. L. Lemon (M.G.) likewise performed well ; also R. J. Harter (M.G.) and K. Jarvis (Austin).

On one run Claridge in his green Frazer-Nash went into the corner very fast, skidded completely round and then, without stopping, returned to the starting line again—all very neatly done. Of the various home-made “Specials “—always the cause of so much interest and amusement—it was not (for the majority of them) their day out, for one got up to a surprising velocity in the competitors’ paddock, went still faster and faster, could not possibly stop, dodged in and out among people and cars and the trees, and finally ended up by running into a tree, head on, with a most healthy zonk I The car was bent but the driver was not. Another “Special,” a low spidery G.N. affair with a great angrylooking o.h.c. twin cylinder engine, would first fire on one cylinder and then on the other but seldom, if ever, could it be persuaded to crack on two in the correct manner. On another car the driver found to his horror that directional control was becoming rather a problem and the next instant car and all suddenly collapsed with a sickening thud on to the road, minus one of its front wheels. A broken kingpin was the cause of this— thus presenting a nice little conundrum of how to get the car home again.

Ailyway, because of the weather, it was a true “enthusiasts only” meeting and altogether a most enjoyable affair— forgetting the rain. The following are the provisional results.


Class A (Up to 850 c.o. Sports-Cars) : 1, A. G.

Sanderson (847 c.c. M.G.) 35.8s.; 2, L. Williams (747 c.c. Austin) 36.4s.

Class B (1:19 to 850 c.c. Racing-Oars): 1, Mrs. J. Bolster (849 c.c. Morris Special) 26.5s.; 2, B. Rogers (747 c.c. M.G.) 30s.

Class C (Up to 1,100 c.c. Sports-Cars): 1, A. P. Almaek (1,087 c.c. Riley) 31.4s.; 2, B. A. Leigh (905 c.e. Fiat) 31.5s.

class D (Up to 1,100 c.c. Racing-Cars) : 1, B. Rogers (747 c.c. M.G.) 29.2s.; 2, B. J. Haesendonck (939 (‘.c. M.G.) 30.3s.

Class E (Up to 1,500 c.c. Sports-Cars): 1, C. D. (!ridge (1,496 e.e. Frazer-Nash) 29.6s. ; 2, A. B. S. Curtis (1,497 c.e. H.R.G.) 29.8s.

Class F (Up to 1,500 c.o. Racing-Cars): 1, B. Rogers (747 c.c. M.G.) 28.5s.; 2„4.. C. Hess (1.497 c.c. B.R.G.) and A. E. S. Curt is (1,497 c.c. II.R.G.) 29.0s.

Class 11 (All comers up to 1,500 c.c.) : 1, Mrs. S. Bolster (849 c.c. Morris Special) 27.6s.

Fastest Time of the Day : Mrs. J. Bolster (849 c.c. Morris Special) 26.5s.

The next speed hill-climb to be held at Dancers End will take place on Sunday, September 5th. Speed Trials, however, will be held on Sunday, June 27th, and again on Sunday, September 26th.

Hon: Secretary : Mr. N. C. Lone, 57, Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead, Herts.



June 19th-20th. Party to be organised. to fly to Le Mans for the 24-Hour Race. July (date later). Bathing Party, probably in Kent, tea provided by Mr. Prideaux-Brune at his house at Limpsfield, Surrey.

August (date later). Speed Trial, either in private grounds or by arrangement with an existing track.

September 4th. Trip to be organised for the T.T. Race, wherever it may be held.

September 18th. Week-end Party to the West of England.

October (date later). Members’ Film Show. All possessing cinematograph cameras should make good use of them earlier.

November (date later). Club Dinner. Hon. Secretary, The Aston-Martin Owners’ Club, 185, High Holborn, London, W.C.1.


In bad weather thirty-one cars started from Mote Mount Golf Club for the British Car Competition of the Middlesex County Automobile Club. Twenty-five finished after a run of some forty miles.

RESULTS The Powysbrooke : Riddell and Green

The Powysbrooke Trophy : Riddell Cup and Green Trophy were won respectively by Miss Mattock, 8rn. 31s., error ; Ireton Robinson, 7m. 30s. ; Butterfled, 3111. 10s., error

Seventy-five drivers and friends took tea at the Red Lion, Radlett.

Hon. Secretary : Capt. W. J. Lendrum, 10, Leaside Avenue, Muswell Hill, London, N.10.


Although it must be evident that MOTOR SPORT has little sympathy for dirt-track racing in the forms in which, up to now, it has been seen in this country, we do feel that any of our readers who may be marooned in Coventry on a Sunday could do a lot worse than pay a visit to the Brandon Speedway, where meetings for cars are staged at 3 p.m. throughout the season. The races are held under the ruling of the National Car Speedway Association, by Car Speedways Ltd., of whom the directors are H. Skirrow, E. Skirrow and G. J. Baxter.

Ralph Secretan, whose quiet enthusiasm for this branch of the sport we greatly respect, is announcer at the Speedway and he it was who sent us details of the meeting of May 2nd. The cars comprised eight Skirrow-Specials, the specification of which appeared in the January issue of MOTOR Spora, a Salmson, two Sulman-Specials, a J.A.P. Special and an Anzani. Eighteen races were contested, in one of which no one finished on account of two cars overturning.

Ralph Secretan contributes some very breezy items in the programme about competing drivers. Those who enjoy “this wild and exhilarating sight of a handful of brightly flashing ‘DoodleBugs,’ scuttling, tightly bunched, into the bends, sliding and broadsiding, striving after the foremost position on their way to annex the day’s honours” (vide the programme) are ::?rtainly well catered for at Coventry.


If the winter provides a fund of reminiscences for a quite ordinary enthusiast, *hat of these warm sunny days and drawn-out evenings ? Naturally, the Campbell Trophy Race over the new Brooklan.ds road-course had to be seen and that involved inserting four persons in. a baby Fiat, not quite with a shoehorn, but a painful enough process to make the owner observe that he now had less than 150 c.c. per occupant. Even so, that wonderful little car still did its speedometer 60 m.p.h. and nothing ill befell the rear axle. The following day was spent exploiting the H.R.G.—and spent very pleasantly indeed, for, leaving Tolworth at 11 a.m., we did 300 or so miles, going well down into the West Country in search of good gradients, and yet we were back at the works within

twelve hours. That motor-car leaves very satisfactory memories, even though enthusiastic spectators on the banks of Middledown Hill so flattered the driver that he resembled a racing bloke, that he hit the bank on the outside of the last bend well and truly, while the occupant of the rear ” seat ” that night revived the legend of former school-days about eating all meals off the mantel-shelf! Moreover, the Monday was spent at Brooklands, when the writer indulged in some astounding grass-clipping, putting his faith implicitly in Mr. Godfrey’s hands, to lap at 78, whereupon a betterknown ” speed-king ” sailed round high up both to the tune of the H.R.G.’s very fascinating exhaust-note, to cheerfully return a lap-speed of 82!

The first really summery evening was devoted to a jaunt to Amersham to inspect a 1903 Darracq and an 1896 Lutzmann, veterans whose price was regrettably in the sky, for they have had successes in competitions. If anyone is interested we can supply particulars of their whereabouts.

The following Saturday was Lewes Saturday, whither we went in a friend’s M.G. Magnette, the last of these famous Cars, we believe, to be sold to a private owner. Being nearer to fully run-in some pleasant speed bursts could be indulged in, but Lewes, alas, lacked the sun. On the Monday, an incident occurred, amusing enough in its way, for we accompanied J. Eason-Gibson when he delivered a brand-new Type 500 Fiat to one of his clients, the scheme being to assist him to bring home the part-exchange part of the deal—a 1924 Brescia

Bugatti, Bugattis usually add to one’s fund of reminiscences and increase one’s experience, but in this instance the owner found that he was too fond of the car to part with it, keeping it along with the newcomer, not to mention an immaculate Aston-Martin and a Merc6desBenz. Then, feeling that it was time to go really far afield again, we went on the “Edinburgh,” and having missed the Exeter and Land’s End this year, and being especially enthusiastic about M.C.C. Holidays, it was a very good thing to do. As in 1936, we sat somewhere in an L.M.B.-Ford V8, this time driven by L. M. Ballamy himself. The trial itself was just an easy tour, even the cornering

thrills on the hills being damped by the presence of L.M.B. independent suspension. But all the old atmosphere that we find so fascinating was there in plenty. We were followed through by D. F. Scutts, of the A.C. concern, who held conversation with us at the numerous “tarries-by-the-wayside,” and who got through clean in a 9 h.p. L.M.B.-Fordan Eight saloon overbored and with L.M.B. suspension, which somewhat dlmiriihed our crew’s pride in our own clean run with the 30 h.p. At the start at Barnet the usual crowds, keen if tired, to bid us God-speed, A. C. Hess and ” Austin ” Chaplin amongst them. A stop on the road—when some lorrydrivers, fine chaps, were interested to hear what constitutes an M.C.C. Holiday. Coffee at that cheery and well-managed café at Stratford and breakfast at ” Marquis of Granby” at Harrogate—why 6d. extra for that much-needed grapefruit this year ? The run “across Yorkshire,” this time in sunlight, the Scottish section in clearas-crystal summer evening sun, then Edinburgh with Coronation decorations, floodlit castles above Prince’s Street, crowds, and fireworks in the main streets. And so to bed On the Sunday, revived by the softwater baths provided by Edinburgh, over which one member of the crew—Capt. Luff-Smith, who participated in this run in the dark ages with Wolseleys—in particular enthused, we went to see the Forth Bridge and returned as far as Penrith that night, where the ” Crown” made us commendably comfortable. We had planned an early start next day and a rapid return to London, but the sea called, and the anchor was cast at Morcatnbe, where Lancashire was spending an orderly and tidy bank-holiday. The very excellent swimming pool and the Fun Fair deferred a re-commencement until nearly 4 p.m. and we still had some 250 miles to go. There was something very satisfying boat settling down to this long journey at this time of day, tired after two days and a night’s motoring. Any cruising speed up to the

maximum of around 90 m.p.h. suits the L.M.B., and the cornering speed is a revelation and distinctly frightening unless you know Mr. Ballamy and his suspension. On. the long straights the overdrive top top of the Columbia two-speed axle made things very peaceful within, and also enabled second gear to be used for very effective acceleration, using the high-ratio drive. So, in spite of holiday traffic near the big towns, and a hold-up for a stupendous religious procession replete with some delightful kiddies and equally delightful young ladies in mortarboards, and a prolonged ham-tea at the “Bradford Arms” at Ivetsey Bank (where Capt. Lufl-Smith helped the proprietor to draw up a tariff way back in 1910) we were all in London town again more or less on the day on which we had started. The run showed up the dependability of the modern low-priced car, and rather confirmed Ballamy’s contention that supercharging is unnecessary for the Ford V8 engine. Last year we had a spot of extra punch on the hills and came home on the Sunday with seven big ends. This time we got up all the hills and averaged an overall fuel consumption of 19 m.p.g., used hardly any oil and stopped only for brake adjustment, which is singularly easy, and to adjust the dynamo. The Ford’s luggage-boot is rather astonishing, by the way, for it held. two comp-shod wheels, tools, a two gallon fuel can of Discol, all our suitcases and the usual horde of heavy coats. The next Friday we went to Brooklands where, before going on the Track with a Triumph Dolomite, we had the remarkably good fortune to commit lappery beside Forrest Lycett in his black 8-litre Bentley. The first rounds, without goggles, rapidly developed into glimpses of a speedometer that at times indicated as much as 125 m.p.h., when it could be seen with difficulty through tear-filled eyes. After the very necessary goggles had been borrowed from Robin Jackson’s we enjoyed the experience much more, the big car giving a truly intriguing impression of silent speed, riding high round the Byfleet, very steadily indeed,

showing the usual marked reluctance to come off for the Pork and leaping, fearfully if cleanly, from the famous bump past the Member’s Bridge. Timed against a very strong wind over the Railway Straight half-mile the speed was 116 m.p.h. The rigidity of the ” frontworks ” and facia was almost unbelievable. This car ran with wings and lamps in place and was in the trim in which Mr. Lycett potters it about London town. Returning, distinctly elated, to the Paddock we agreed heartily with the slogan neatly inscribed on the 8-litre’s instrument panel” Bentley—Still the Finest Sports-Car.” And for a few minutes we had ridden with the gods . . .

Next day it was Littlestone in the Triumph for the Vintage S.C.C. speed trials, notable only because the writer, running short of fuel, eventually found a garage, only to discover that he had completely lost the stranded car. We came home in great comfort, very very rapidly, and next day other members of the staff relieved us of the car, for apparently the Dolomite is one of those irresistible motor-cars.

Nevertheless, we contrived still to motor, now in a Morris Eight, quite uneventfully if you disregard almost losing a rear wheel, the complete absence of shock-absorbers and a throttle-control tied up with cord. The run was devoid of motoring “colour,” being associated with Public Address adventures, which can be nearly as enthralling as sports-motoring but that is quite another story. Life is good I—which we had pondered during those minutes when we sat beside Mr. Lycett.