THE BERKHAMSTED AND D. M.C.
The Berkhamsted and D. M.C. deserves the greatest credit for carrying on, in this repressed age, the best tradition of the Aston-Clinton lull-climb days. Their course at Dancer’s End, near Tring, offers no particular excitement apart from the acute hairpin bend, and the loose surface restricts speed and driving artistry, but the organisation is admirable. On May 8th there was a running commentary in the best Shelsley style, ” mikes ” changing over from the start to the corner, while refreshments were on sale and the policeman at the entrance had been furnished with a list of names to enable him to admit Passless Pressmen without bickering, a piece of Wilkesian forethought which we greatly appreciated. Unfortunately, we were subsequently rudely removed from the road when watching from well beyond the starting line, so we can only conclude that something went astray with these good intentions for our well-being. A very big cluster of Onlookers assembled at the hazard, the R.A.F. prominent amongst them, and the inevitable queer birds ascended
into the surrounding trees. Actually, we adhere to the belief that Dancer’s End is more interesting to the drivers than to the looker-sees, and more particularly to beginners or flying-bedstead tuners.
A. C. Hess, A. E. S. Curtis, J. EasonGibson and Miss Redfern turned out for H.R.G. (now sometimes referred to as the ” Herg ” marque, in accordance with the popular modem desire to abbreviate long words and to lengthen abbreviations, irrespective of whether or no such changes contain ally wit or charm). Nevertheless, the Haesondonck brothers held the fifteen-hundred fort with M.G.s. E. G. M. Wilkes established best time of the day with his V-twin skeleton Wilkes G.N., rettirning 26.1 secs., equalling the car record for the course. The silencers had been hastily fitted beforehand, because, as Wilkes explained, the scrutineer had only just reminded him about it, although he had helped with the :car all the previous evening. As it was, one of them consisted of an oil tin. Pratt contrived to turn his fully stripped but apparently fairly normal Austin Seven over, without injury, and Miss Redfern just avoided a trip into the crowd. Gibson went up the bank with the red H.R.G. on his last run, but re
covered the road without alarming himself and Hess steering a pretty corner. . e next climb is on
. e next climb is on September 4th. RESULTS
850 c.c. Sports .• 1, A. G. Sanderson (M.G.), 30.78.; 2, L. Williams (Austin), 33.78.
850 c.c. Racing : 1, A. G. Sanderson (M.G.) 29.98. ; 2, C. B. W. Robins (Austin), 30.88.
1,100 c.c. Sports : I. A. G. Sanderson (M.G.), 30.28._, _• 2. B. Rogers (M.G.). 30.3s.
1,100 c.c. Racing : E. G. M. Wilkes (Wilkes-O.N.), 28.2s. ; 2, B. Rogers (M.(4.), 28.9s.
1,500 c.c. Sports : I, E. C. Haesondouck (M.G.), 27.48. ; 2, E. J. Haesondonck (M.G.), 27.5s.
1,500 c.c. Ruing : E. G. M. Wilkes (WilkesG.N. ), 26.1s. ;2, E. C. Haesondonck (M.G.), 278.
1,500 c.c. Allcomers :1, E..1. Haesondonck (M.G.). 26.98. ; 2, E. (I. Haesondonek, 27s.
Best Time of Day : E. G. M. Wilkes (Wilkes-0.N.), 26. I s .
Team Award : A. G. Sanderson, B. Rogers, E. G. M. Wilkes.
The Wetherby speed trials of May 8th attracted an excellent attendance. The half-mile course embraces a hairpin bend, where the fastest cars were taking to the verge. Fastest time of the day was made by T. Gritnshaw (Bugatti) in 31.29 secs. The 3-litre blown and 5-litre unblOW11, also the sports-car, course records were broken by Guy Warburton’s V8 .Allard-Special, which beat two very
potent SS 100s. Sydney Allard drove on sonic of the runs.
on sonic runs. RESULTS
Sports-cars, up to 1,300 c.c. unimpereharged : 1, J. Miller (M.G.), 37.78s.; 2, E. Hewitt (M.G.); 3, A. Wadsworth (M.G.).
Sports-cars, up to 1,300 c.c. supercharged and 1,500 0.0. =supercharged : 1, Miss M. Wilby (FrazerNash), 30.258.; 2, j . Higgins (Fraser-Nash) ; 3, J. Reiss (M.G.).
Sports-cars, up to 1,500 c.c. supercharged and 3,000 c.o. =supercharged : 1, D. Murray (FrazerNash-B.M.W.), 33.068.: 2, D. Mather (Frazer-NashB. M .W. ) ; 3, W. Currie (Lea-Francis). Sports-cars, up to 3,000 c.c. supercharged and 5,000 0.0, =supercharged : 1, (4. Warburton (Allard Special), 34.1s, ; 2, 1.1. Bradley (SS ” 100″); 3, K. Rispht (SS ” 100 “) ,•
Racing-cars up to 850 c.c. supercharged & 1,600 0.0. unsupercharged : 1, J. Staneer Beaumont (Ford Special), 35.6s. ; 2, R. Robinson (M.G.); 3, R. Steavenson (Steavenson Special).
Racing-cars up to 1,500 c.c. supercharged & 8,000 c.c. unsupercharged :Clowes (MacEvoy Special), 31.728. ; 2, H. Souter (Hutchison Special).
Racing-cars up to 3.000 oak supercharged and 5,000 c.c. =supercharged : I, T. Orirashaw (Bugatti), 31.29s. • 2, C. Clark (Bugatti) ; 3, H. Bolton (SS ” 100 “;.
Already in a very strong position indeed, the Vintage S.C.C. continues to enrol new members, so that it is becoming one of the most important clubs in existence. During the last two months, thirty-nine new members and twelve new associate members enrolled, their cars including five 4i-litre Bentleys, three 3-litre Bentleys, four 12/50 Alvises and a 2-litre Alvis, a 14/40 M.G., two Lancias, two Lea-Francis, two Lagondas, a Senechal, two Delages, two Frazer-Nashes, three 30/98 Vauxhalls, a Riley, two Bugattis, a 1912 Lanchester ” 25,” a 1925 Darracq, a blown Alfa-Romeo, a 1900 Benz, an Austin, and two Specials. The age limit is 1931, and the annual subscription is 7/6 for associates and 1216 for full members, with 5/entry fee.
The oversize April-May issue of the Bulletin contains reports of the Chiltern Trial, won by Denyer (Lea-Francis) and Heal (30/98 Vauxhall), the Donington Meeting, and the Surrey Trial, won by Kirkman (Alvis) and Baillie-Hill (H.R.G.).
There are also the Northern Notes, Veteran Notes, news-items, a description of Anthony Mills’s 1907 42 h.p. Renault, the Phocnix Letter and a list of new members.
The Club’s next fixture is the Lewes Speed Trials on ;filly 9th. At present, up to the April meetings, the leaders for the annual trophies are : Lycett Trophy, Clive W’indsor-Richards, 49 points, A. S. Heal, 47 points ; for the 1,500 c.c. Trophy, Denyer and Hampton, 36 points, Simmonds, 21.
Hon. Secretary : Tim Carson : “The Phernix,” Hartley Wintney, Hants.
KENT AND SUSSEX L.C.C.
At the Lewes Speed Trials on May 7th, the course record again fell. The new holder is Arthur Baron, and he set the record, previously held by Geoffrey Taylor’s Alta, to 18.61 secs. with his Grand Prix 3.3-litre Bugatti. Lycett’s famous 8-litre sports Bentley did an excellent run in 21.5 sees., equalled by Sumner’s
shaft-drive J .A.P. motored SumnerP. and Craig got his 4.9-litre Bugatti sports two-seater up in 21.55 secs.. Lemon Burton’s 2.3-litre G.P. Bugatti went notably well for second fastest time in 19.64 secs. In the sports category a great battle ensued between Ken Farley with his privately-owned H.R.G. and John. EasonGibson, with a works H.R.G., Gibson finally settling the issue by recording the very excellent time of 26.32 sees., against Farley’s best run of 27.8 sees.
R.G. Cars : 1, .1. Eason Gibson, 27.3584 2, E. K. Farley, 27.85s.
Standard Sports-cars, up to 1,100 0.0. =supercharged : 1. F. V. Andrews (995 c.c. Fiat), 28.8-Frs. Up to 1,500 c.c. =supercharged : 1. J. Eason Gibson (1,497 c.c. 11.11.(4.), 27.35s. ; 2, E. K. Farley (1,497 c.c. II. It .C.), 27.89s. ; 3, Mrs. O. H. Robins (1.497c ..c. 11 .11 .G •), 27.90s • Up to 2,000 0.0. unsupercharged : 1, J. Eason Gibson (H.R.G.), 26.508.; 2. E. K. Farley (11.R.0),
Unlimited =supercharged : 1, G. A. Steddall (3,622 Batten Special), 25.20s.; 2, G. Ian Craig (3,255 c.c. Bugatti), 27.56s. Super Sports-cars, up to 1,100 (.o.: I, G. Reid
(940 c,c. B13, S,), 26,50s.
Up to 1,500 c.c.: 1„1-. Eason Gibson (H.R.G,), 26.32s.; 2. G. Reid (040 c.c. M.G. PB, S.), 20.05s.
Unlimited :1, Forrest. Lycett (7,963 c.c. Bentley), 21.938. ; 2, C. Ian Craig (4,840 c.c. Bugatti), 22.75s.; 3, C. G. Fitt (4,108 c.c. Hudson Special), 24.43s.
Racing-ears, up to 1,100 c.c. : 1, G. B. C. Sumner (998 c.c. Stunner-.I.A.P., S.). 21.508. ; 2, Denis (4.
Evans (746 ex.. M.G.. S.), 26.50s.; 3, K.. C. Jarvis (447 c.c. Austin, S.), 26.95s. Up to 1,500 c.c. : 1, 0. B. C. Sumner (SumnerJ. A . P. ). 21 .75s. : 2, I). G. Evans (M.G.), ‘24.50s. ;
3, it. B. rattenfkli 1.496 Bugatti). 26.508.
Up to 2,000 c.c. : I. H. W. Semmence (1,991 c.c.
Semmence Special), 23.00s. ; 2, D. G. Evans (M.G;), 23.28s.
Unlimited : I. A. Baron (3,300 c.c. Bugatti, S.), 19.258. ; 2, .1. Lemon Burton (2,300 c.c. Bugatti, S.). -19,64s. ; 3, Forrest Lycett (7,903 c.c. Bentley), 21.508.
Handicap Class : 1, F. A. G ma’am’ (1,122 c.c. Morgan), hantlivap. 21.80s. , net time 1.8s.; 2, A Baron (Bugatti), scratch, 18.61s. (new course record) ; 3, U. B. S. Cothay (6.202 Mercedes-Benz, S.), handicap 10.60s., net time 19.02s. Special Awards
” Salomans ” Challenge Cup : A. Baron (3,300 c.c. Bugatti, S.).
” Caffyn ” Challenge Cup : F. Lycett (7,963 c.c. Bentley).
BUGATTI OWNERS’ CLUB
The Closed Invitation Prescott Hill Climb on May 15th was in every way a success, and the Club looks forward to the first Prescott open meeting on July 3rd. In the meantime, that remarkably enthusiastic affair, the Monte-HonitonCarlo Rally, will finish at Prescott on
June 12th. In this event, small as is its status, some members drive up to John o’Groat’s from London and down again to Honiton to amass marks on the road section. An Invicta C.C. team is expected. Another issue of ” Bugantics “appeared last mouth. Col. Giles has accepted a scale model, by March Models Ltd., of his Type 57S Bugatti and Eric Giles a eine-camera, as a tribute from members of the untiring work these two brothers have put in to make Prescott possible. Membership is on a steady upgrade following the advent of Prescott and, full particulars may be had from :
E. L. Giles, 2, Queen Street, Mayfair, W.1 (Mayfair 4701).
CHILTERN CAR CLUB
The annual general meeting of the Chiltern Car Club was held at the King’s Arms Hotel, Amersham, on Friday, May 20th, with Mr. H. K. Scott in the chair. The satisfactory condition of the Club’s accounts, considering that much of the expenditure would not have to be repeated for some time, was commented upon and the accounts were passed unanimously. The secretary then read his report and stated that the Committee were very pleased with the progress made by the Club in this its first year of existence. He stressed the need for bigger entries for events if the entry fees were to be reduced, as was suggested by one member, and also the impossibility of pleasing everybody in choosing the type of event to be run. In view of this, a programme was suggested to the Committee to act upon at their discretion.
The Committee for the following year were then elected. They are A. J. Thompson (Hon. Sec.), H. R. Patrick (Hon. Treasurer), M. H. Parkin (Trials Sec.), D. R. Webb, J. S. Webb (these are all members of the previous committee and the only ones available for re-election), Miss K. M. Dean, F. G. Barter, C. C. W. Burrage and A. R. Woodley. Results of Touring Trial, Saturday, May 21, 1938
Start and Finish : The Mill Stream, Amersham. Number of Starters : Thirteen.
Test 1 (stop and restart, timed) : Failures, nil.
Test 2 (easy start test, timed) : Failures, four.
Test 3 (slow running in top gear) ; Best Times : D. Millard (Standard), 4m. 40s.; R. E. Richards (Morgan 4/4), 4m. 84s.; D. Cook (Riley Nine), 3m. 3s.
Secret Check Section (11i miles) ; Best Timekeeping : W. O. D. Stanton (Raton), on time ; L. J. Bailey (Standard), 20s. out ; R. E. Richards (Morgan 4/4), 25s. out.
Test 5 (reversing round roundabout)’ Best times : C. B. Ballard (M.G.), 10s. ; Mrs. H. “Wood (FrazerNash-B.M.W.), ills.; W. 0.1). Stanton (Banton) 12s.
Teat 6 (parking test) : Failures, six. Awards
Premier Award : W. E. Edgar (Morris Eight, supercharged).
First-class Awards : W. 0.1). Stanton (Banton); L. J. Bailey (Standard).
Second-class Awards : D. Cook (Riley Nine); C. B. Ballard (M.G.) ; R. E. Richards (Morgan 4/4).
ULSTER AUTOMOBILE CLUB
The Ulster Automobile Club has applied for and has been granted by the A.I.A.C.R. permission to cancel the 1938 International Ulster Trophy Race, which was to have been held on the 18th June.
The roads forming the circuit near Ballyclare on which the race was run in 1937 are being widened and several severe corners and bends are being removed. It has been found that this work will not be completed in time to allow the race to be held this year.
It is considered, however, that when the reconstruction has been carried out the Ballyclare course will be one of the most interesting road circuits available for car racing in the British Isles.
Owing to the abandonment for this year of the Ulster Trophy Race, the Craigantlet Hill Climb will be the only car speed event of importance to be held In Ulster in 1938.
It will take place on Saturday, 27th August.
Another extremely successful meeting was held at Donington on May 21st, in conjunction with the Vintage S.C.C. These meetings provide extremely good value on account of the reasonable entry fees and the fact that real racing is most certainly the order of the day, and as the organisers courteously provided us with a Track Pass, quite apart from a photographer’s pass, we are enabled to report their meeting. In the 8-lap scratch race for 1 flitre sports-cars, K. V. Baillie-Hill’s H.R.G. obtained a useful lead until it spun completely round at Melbourne Corner, but It overcame this delay and won at 63.27 m.p.h., with Lady Mary Grosvenor’s Riley a very close second at 63.05 m.p.h., beaten on up-hill acceleration to the finish. The Riley was beautifully handled but had very severe front-axle judder. G. N. Mansell’s very healthy-sounding blown M.G. Magnette was third at 61.96
m.p.h. Whincop’s G.P. Bugatti misfired, but Fee Carson went nicely on an unentered Alfa-Romeo. The next race, a 3-lap scratch race for big sports-cars, resulted in a fine scrap between C. I. Craig’s blown 4.9-litre Bugatti and G. A. Stedall’s Batten Special. Craig cornered wide at Melbourne and Stedall close in, and on the last lap they came out level. But the Bugatti spun its rear tyres until they smoked, and accelerated away to win at 73.64 m.p.h. against the Batten’s 73.04 m.p.h., Crozier’s fabric-bodied twinblower Ford V8 third at 72.45 m.p.h. They do say that Craig wasn’t really
opening up. Palmer’s 2-litre Bugatti toured. A 3-lap handicap followed, Mansell’s very noisy and potent M.G. winning the first heat at 55.97 m.p.h. from Lady Mary Grosvenor’s Riley (61.96 m.p.h.), and Baillie-Hill’s H.R.G. (64.17 m.p.h.). Bremner’s ” Hyper ” Lea-Francis blew from its ‘blower release-valve and Clive Windsor-Richards retired on the first lap with a detached magneto on his Brooklands Riley, which has a waterpump below the mag. drive. The second heat was most exciting, Craig going really well on the sports ” 4.9 ” Bugatti, likewise Crozier, whose Ford hissed a warcry as it accelerated strongly up from
Melbourne. Alas, Craig, indulging in. wheel-sawing as the Bugatti leapt from the road at the bump after Melbourne, spun viciously round and slid backwards onto the grass verge, fortunately without damage. Matthews on the Alfa-Romeo won at 57.59 m.p.h., with C. C. D. Miller’s well known Riley four-seater second (63.49 m.p.h.) and Bremner’s M.G. Midget third (53.47 m.p.h.). The Alfa then won the final at 53.0 m.p.h. followed by Mansell (M.G., 62.39 m.p.h.) and Miller (Riley, 63.69 m.p.h.).
Another 3-lap handicap followed, won by Collie’s closed Ford V8-engined Invicta-Special at 65.57 m.p.h., with J. B. Carr’s 4i-litre Bentley second at 64.53 m.p.h. and Seccombe’s 3-litre Talbot third at 64.01 m.p.h. Craig elected not to run.
So to the 5-lap handicap. Gerard stalled his single-seater Riley on the line but soon got going very rapidly indeed, while Hampshire did some very fast stuff with the unblown 2-litre G.P. Bugatti. Whitworth’s ex-Southport 30/98 Vauxhall beat Smith’s Type 55 B.M.W. on initial acceleration but retired, and Heal’s exciting 1919 5-litre Ballot, calmly attended by Giron, came in with clutch worries. Peter Clark went slowly round in the Marcus-Chambers prepared singleseater Austin Seven, and appeared to go slower and slower, but won fairly easily at 49.09 m.p.h., with Mansell’s M.G. second (61.82 m.p.h.) and Hampshire’s Bugatti third (72.53 m.p.h.). The meeting concluded with an ambitious ten-lap handicap. A great duel developed between Crozier’s Ford and the Batten, which left 20 secs. to the good. Stedall was handicapped by a locking off-side rear wheel, and turned round at Melbourne one lap, and at the end Crozier’s screen attempted to come adrift. Miss Suter’s black Railton tourer, driven by a male driver, was beaten on acceleration by Carr’s old Bentley and was swerved rather hectically in front of Crozier coming out of Melbourne one lap. Green’s Bentley had transmission mala dies. Gerard eventually won on the Riley after an excellent drive, at 77.11 m.p.h., fastest time of the day, with Crozier’s Ford second at 71.02 m.p.h. and Carr’s Bentley third at 66.06 m.p.h. Swain’s curious Alvis motored noticeably well. So concluded a really enjoyable and instructive meeting, largely a success because of the good work of Eddie Wrigley, who, as chief marshal, wore two armlets and drove about in an immense 6i-litre Bentley saloon, and Clerk of the Course Kenneth Blake, who even found time occasionally to spectate, sitting in
his smart Lambda Lancia. Wrigley’s Bentley later towed the Peter Clark Austin home on an ingenious cuddlingbracket-the Austin has twin motorcycle carburetters on an external manifold and independent front suspension.
Another meeting is scheduled for October 8th.
Hon. Secretary : K. V. Blake, 95, ‘ Hillway, London, NM.
ENFIELD AND D. M.C. AND C.C.
The Landon-Stroud Trial was run off on. May 22nd. A representative of MoTOR SPORT who saw the first round at Ham Mill, a stony surfaced, winding hill, easy in the dry, reports as follows :Several quite normal cars figured amongst the entry. A Morris Eight tourer attempted the ascent in second gear and failed at the first hairpin, valves bouncing merrily, and an elderly Austin Seven Chummy made an excellent climb, only to stop high up. An old Wolseley Hornet sports four-seater climbed without worry, its owner having fortunately been unable to find anchorage for the “Heinz Beans” placard he had hoped to tie on the rear. A Vauxhall Twelve saloon with normal rear tyres came up extremely well, the passenger raising his hat to friends through the sunshine roof, and Douglas Perring was good with his special-bodied blown Talbot Ten, using the banks. An Austin Seven two-seater had no worries, and the rest had an easy time, K. N. Hutchison, just back with Mrs. Hutchison from a holiday in Rome, treated it as a
speed sliding the corners with the V12 Allard-Special, so that a cloud of chalk-dust hung over everything thereafter. We were surprised to find a crossing at the hill top unguarded by a marshal.
Visits to races in which E.R.A. cars participate are 1101V in full swing, and a tea drive took place on May 15th. D. N. Kennedy has pointed out that if every true enthusiast in this country—he estimates that there are about 10,000— joined the club, some 1:,8,000 could be handed to the E.R.A. concern to assist their efforts to show the British &dams in Formula contests.
Thirty-six cars took part in the driving tests at the “Ace of Spades” roadhouse on May 8th. The victors were as follows :
Potato Stabbing : C. G. nogg.
Heads and Tails : G. Samuel and H. Atkinson.
Coco-nut Shies : A. Moore.
Balloon Race : A. T. Gamble.
Variety Tour : Miss Browning.
Animal Rally : C. Sutton. Hon. Secretary : C. C. W. Burrage,
Grand Buildings, Trafalgar Square, Vt.T.C.2 (Whitehall 2201).
The Bo’ness speed hill-climb went off very successfully on May 15th. The fastest run of the day was made by H. Souter’s ex-E.sson-Scott Bugatti, in 36.8 sees. W. S. Miller made second best time in 37.4 secs. with a Ford Special and Tommy Wisdom’s SS 100 was third fastest. In spite of a wet course, John Fry, with the famous Preikaiserwagen cyclecar, actually broke the course record in 35 secs., but as he was only making a demonstration run, the record does not stand officially
INVICTA CAR CLUB
A social event is in hand, and may have taken place ere you absorb these words. The Club entered a team in the Maidstone and Mid-Kent Rally on May 29th and will run one or more teams in the Bugatti O.C. Monte-Prescott-flottiton Rally on June 12th, thereby supporting a type of event the Club itself sponsored last year. The May issue of the ” Gauntlet” contains reports of the Brooklands Speed Trials and Prescott Opening Rally, correspondence, verse, notes and some useful Invicta data.
Hon. Secretary : I). Monro, ” Windbrow,” Witmington Road, N.2.
FORD ENTHUSIASTS’ CLUB
Another driving test meeting will be held On that ideal venue on private ground, the Autodromes School of Driving, South Croydon, on Sunday, July 17th. It has not yet been settled which clubs will be invited, but the meeting will be run very much as was that of last February, and it is almost certain that the sprint section \*ill be retained to embrace the speed element, and that the tests will be run through non-stop, also as before. In the combined meeting with the Kentish Border C.C. on May 14th, E. K. Farley (H.R.G.) won the small class in 18.4 secs., G. Bmroughes (Burroughes-Special) the large class in 20.6 secs., K. R. W. Shackel (Ford V8) the Standard car class in 20.2 secs., and Burroughes the handicap
class. Full details of membership and the meeting on .1 illy 17th are available from the secretary, and spectators will be welcome at the Autodronies School of Driving on this day.
Hon. Secretary : S. H. Allard, 15, Millbrooke Court, Putney, S.W.15 (Putney 2333).
The joys of fast motoring were temporarily forsaken for the purpose of renewing acquaintance with the baby Fiat and some surprisingly good fun was had with the little car, chiefly in snappy, across London journeys, though we even contrived to do a little country motoring of quite the
trials variety, three up. However, as that run concluded in the early a.m. with the writer insisting on singing in a voice loud and, he believes, immelodious ” My Topolino and I . . .,” until the sight of a Police Telephone Box called a halt that we could inquire the whereabouts of an all-night cafe (yes, I think we Inquired for a cafe), perhaps that run was hardly one to be committed to journalistic analysis. The next day we awoke with the comfortless knowledge that Blackpool must be visited for the R.A.C. Rally. So thither we went in a game Riley ” Gamecock,” feasting not until within a mile or so of the promised city, It was a pity that after seeing the first final test we ate most heartily and then went for a seemingly unending 1d. ride on one of Blackpool’s wonderful trams, because after that it was only logical to walk back along the sand-dunes, so that the rather strait-laced family parties in the hotel lounge seemed to like our late arrival
no better than they had liked the behaviour of rallyists they had encountered in the town earlier in the evening. Moreover, we had the utmost difficulty in persuading the manager to keep the lights on that we could, respectively, insert films in a. Leica and scribble the MOTOR SPORT report. Next morning the writer’s 3/0 alarum clock played dirty tricks and he nearly missed breakfast, so that four hours on. Blackpool’s very bleak front pleased him not at all. However, we were away at last, after a mixed meal of great ingenuity and no little danger, at a small café of the popular variety, which seemed loth to recognise the approach of the summer season, although quite enthralling sailing boats were in evidence on the surrounding lake, manned by the youth and beauty of the town. What should have been a fairly rapid return to London was retarded by photographic excursions on a high and extremely breezy bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal and for a welcome snack at the “Little Barrow ” in Lichfield. So that the hour at which we picked up the familiar route down from Donington was rather appalling and that at which we subsequently arrived home particularly grim. Vet, Saturday morning, found the writer, large yellow and purple spots mingling with cold, depressing rain-clouds in his field of vision., setting off by tube and motor omnibus for the wilderness of the Slough Trading Estate, the Editor having ordered an investigation into the properties of torsional suspension and front wheel drive. Drowsiness was quickly dispelled by a fast run back into London in the solid comfort and security of a Citroen Twelve saloon, which then conveyed us to Brooklands, where we committed excellent lappery in the metal-backed bucket seat of a 1924-5 Brescia Bugatti, which sang a most enthralling war cry as it held a steady 3,300 r.p.m. down the Railway Straight. That led to a gathering at the Pork of two 3-litre Bentleys, the Brescia, and a T-M.G., for an impromptu two-lap race. The stripped Bentley won, the Brescia used third from the rise up from the Fork and kept the other Bentley at bay and the M.G. came in very sick, but we were all rather shaken by the driver of an SS 100 who, stationary in the Railway Straight, watched us pass, restarted, and caught practically the whole bunch. This jollity over we fled to Midhurst in search of friends who had been on the Mid-Surrey Trial, interested to have tea at a favourite spot thereat, only to be directed aI ,ne garage to our old friend, ” ThRoyal Huts,” at Hindhead, where we d.scovered that tea had long since concluded. Home, in company with a Singer Le Mans, and, in spite of so nm,:h intensive motoring, we were off again at 4 a.m. on the Sunday in the Citroen for a fierce run over wet, deserted roads to meet a friend at Harwit 11, after which, and a prolonged breakfast in Colchester, we hurried back via the ‘filbitry Ferry to Maidstone for the local club’s driving tests. Finding ourselves apt to doze over the cream and buns in the “Tudor House,” there was obviously only one thing for it, and that the storming of some Kentish trials acclivities, which the sturdy Citroen
seemed to enjoy as much as we did ourselves, though we did not enjoy our codriver’s rapid negotiation of the almost continuous water-splash along Pilgrim’s Way, with the sliding roof well open !
Some sleep, and we went off to Brooklands to get net performance figures for the Lancia ” Aprilia,” which are given in the correct part of the paper. A fine duel with a 12/50 Alvis along the North Circular, and we reluctantly bade goodbye to a motor car that we appreciate very much indeed.
The next spell behind the wheel was taken in a Speed Twenty-Five Alvis, on a short trip through rush-hour London congestion, when, even so, the independent front suspension, all-synchro-mesh gearbox and responsive controls indicated the true worth of this high-class car. Then there followed a rapid journey to the South Coast in one of the four-cylinder ” 12/70 ” Alvis saloons, a journey broken momentarily to inspect a side-valve 12/50 Alvis of 1923 vintage for sale at E,15, an animal we had previously not known to exist. The Alvis was used to visit Brooklands for the LT. Trophy Race, a sad business, so that one felt depressed and temporarily out of sympathy with racing on an evening run to meet friends who had spent the afternoon at Lewes, and with whom cakes and coffee were partaken of. The United Hospitals Meeting at Donington meant a long run in the Riley, the route taken being Putney, Uxbridge, Aylesbury, Buckingham and Towcester, which may be of interest to some of you, although on this occasion it did not seem much faster than the writer’s usual route up through St. Albans, turning off at Weedon and Red Gate, which run he reckons to do in 21 to 3 hours from Finchley Road, right to the course, without really hustling, and in ordinary cars. After the meeting we hurried southwestwards, leaving Baillie-Hill to reconvert his H.R.G. from racing to touring car and catch us if he could. We got momentarily lost in Stratford-on-Avon, so that we decided the Memorial Theatre is just about as ugly as the black and white Citroen and all-yellow Ford V8 taxis, though the sight of Aston-Martin and Frazer-Nash motors amongst lots of tinware in one car park cheered us up no end. Eventually we fetched up in a pretty village, down the main street of which garage mechanics were pushing an obviously sick Brooklands Riley Nine. At a rather pleasant establishment we inquired whether we could rest, emphasising that we must rise and break fast at the grim hour of 6 a.m. This drew forth the announcement that no bedrooms were available, though subsequently the Riley driver and his lady returned and promptly acquired one, presumably because he did not wish to rise so early—he had decided to leave his magneto maladies until the morning, in spite of my friend’s assurance that it was probably just oil on the slip ring, for the Riley Nine has a beautifully simple and accessible mag. location but one which does expose the electrics to excess lubricant. So off we went into the chilly night, dropping into Cheltenham with the town’s lights winking in the yalley, and out into the country again. Here inspection of serried layers of beds, prison-like in a bleak room, at a Youth Hostel (tough, modern youth, undeniably tough), and of accommodation at 2/6 a head in a shed in a field, sent us flying back into the town in search of a hotel. Alas, musical festivals apparently attract bigger crowds than Grands Prix and accom
modation was precarious. Eventually we found the Central Hotel, and as the proprietress was most obliging, getting us a meal at 11.30 p.m. and breakfast at 6 a.m. on the Sunday, you trials drivers and Prescott competitors may care to make a note of the place. Off by 7 a.m. in already warm sunshine we ascended to Rod.borough Common through what might have been a piece of South Devon and basked in the drowsy warmth at the scene of the Enfield Trial’s first hill.
Coming back to the Riley thereafter we had an enthusiastic welcome from the car’s former owner, who was now living not a mile away. That led us to impinge on Daniell’s garage, in search of some Riley parts the other owner had left there, and an interesting conversation ensued, the proprietor being a flying enthusiast and anxious to sell us a Gypsyengined slotted Blackburn ” Bluebird” with full C. of A., for 150, though we were much more interested in a 1924 Meadows-engined Hampton coupe that he had sold the previous week for L5. That is a car we should have liked to own very much indeed. So off, behind schedule, to contact friends at Watford Junction Station, whereafter the party became one of railway engineering rather than motoring interests, though yet another week-end has to be entered up in the diary as devoted primarily to matters motoring—and there’s really nothing like ’em . . .
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