THE SHELSLEY WALSH RECORD STANDS
FASTEST TIME AT MAY MEETING BY RAYMOND MAYS (E.R.A.). VERY FINE RUN BY BERT HADLEY (AUSTIN). ANTHONY HEAL’S REMARKABLE DRIVE
MR. ” SIIIT,L1414Y ” WILSON, as we now have to refer to Mr. Leslie Wilson, Secretary of the Midland A.C., was very lucky on May 28th, for, although torrential rain undoubtedly reduced the Shelsley Walsh attendance, and fell all the way on the London-wards journey home, the famous hill was not more than spotted during the afternoon. As usual, the event was very very good and certain it is that anyone who climbs Shelsley in under 45 secs. is a very capable racing driver indeed. The usual excellence of organisation was evident, save that in the first half of the afternoon programme some delays occurred at times in dispatch of cars to the starting
line. Matters were further delayed because an unfortunate spectator was taken ill and had to be lifted into the ambulance and driven out of the grounds via the course. However, by abandoning the usual interval the meeting ran through well and was concluded by about 6 p.m. This time the B.B.C. broadcast was not in progress, due to a difference of opinion between the B.B.C. and Mr. Wilson, so that announcers Findon, Hess, and, after Pindon left for Midland Regional to give an eye-witness account of the meeting, Willoughby, were able to be very
” free and easy. They did a truly excellent commentary between them, which does so much to obviate any dull moments at Shelsley. But we feel that, excellent as humour is, it should, perhaps, be applied more sparingly, or not at all, in future, to situations during actual ascents, which, to some of us, are dramatic rather than funny. We were sorry to find the combined Yearly Handbook and Programme smaller than in previous years, the historical section being now confined to a list of record and fastest time holders, although a page is devoted to A.R.P. In the first half Mays and Pane tied with climbs in 40.13 secs. and Hadley’s little Austin beat them both, in 40.09 secs. Then Pane’s second run was spoilt by overheating and Mays (rot down to 38.90 secs., best time of the day, but .13 secs. outside Fane’s record, while Hadley spoilt his second run by clouting the
bank. The ladies’ record did not fall. Thus there was the making of a dramatic afternoon. The first car up in the afternoon session was Pane’s single-seater twin-blower ” Shelsley ” Frazer-Nash, Pane clad in red overalls, visor and crash hat. At the ” S ” he slid, steered rapidly and roared fast up the higher stretch to clock 40.13 secs. or 1.36 longer than his record run last :September. Mays followed, driving the 1,750 c.c. E.R.A. which he drove into second place in the International Trophy Race. Starting on the extreme off side of the road Mays experienced an immense power slide, seemed to lose time at Kennel Bend, using all the road, blipped through the ” S,” and screamed up the finishing straight with the revs. rising and rising. Time : 40.13 secs., equal to Pane
Bert Hadley’s twin camshaft Austin Seven followed, sliding sideways under initial acceleration, again, more fiercely at the” S,” through which it was blipped, to vanish at incredible revs, over the line. Even before his time of 40.09 secs, was posted and announced, Hadley was clapped. The Austin left a smell behind very reminiscent of the dope which smelt at Donington on Grand Prix day. The sun now burst through the murk and Mrs. Petre, starting in the middle of the road, slid at the Kennel, cut out momentarily and came up very fast, clocking
46.98 secs. A stray black pussy was
rumoured to have slowed her.
Denis Evans on the Bellevue Montlhery M.G. followed, making no mistakes and coming close to the banks. Time : 45.17 secs. The announcer had never noticed twin rear tyres on this car previously, but actually it has rather special rear wheels to accommodate them.
Next up was G. H. Symonds (747 c.c. M.G.) who Made a poor start and suffered misfiring, though the car—ex-Tongue R-type-cut in. noisily at the finish—a case of bad luck. T. H. Dowler’s 744 c.c. M.G. was slow, taking 53.21 secs. At this point a dog had to be chased from the fairway.
Fry, in the fascinating Freikaiserwagen, made an excellent getaway, came into the ” S” wide, slid out, and did 43.2 secs., a better run than his qualifying effort and a truly fine show.
Hunter’s Alta started badly and nearly stopped, needing 40.25 secs., which indicated the car’s latent possibilities. Buckley on the s.v. Austin came up very nicely, the blower release popping
back viciously twice in quick succession at the “5,” clocking 44.14 secs. Clarke’s sports Frazer-Nash was steady, in 48.82 secs., and Peter Clark’s H.R.G., in its full Le Mans guise as bestowed by L’Ecurie de Lapin Blanc, swept cleanly through the bends after a neat start, to record 51.17 secs. Glegg, in black overalls, after trouble in commencing the machinery, brought the Alta-like Dorcas up in 52.7 secs., having momentary bothers just after starting and later doing furious tiller work.
Roy Cutler’s Frazer-Nash ‘did 48.87 secs. in spite of slowing in the “S,” and Dyke-Acland treated us to a fierce drive in his blown 1,408 c.c. M.G. illagnett, taking 40.13 secs.
Instone had the revs, drop on the famous G.N. Martyr, blipping the ” S,” and hitting the bank, nevertheless doing the run in 47.01 secs.
N. G. Wilson’s 1,100 c.c. E.R.A. then started slowly and came up suffering bad misfiring, his time being 40.2 secs.
Cudden-Fletcher with Parnell’s 1,087 c.c. M.G. did a splendid start and steered fiercely on a run occupying 46.24 secs. Tommy Sulman was surprisingly quick with the nriblown 972 c.c. Singerengined dirt-track Sulman-Singer entered by Scott-Moncrieff, whom one usually associates with far bigger car
riages. Sidman went flat through the Kennel Bend and found the near-side wheels trying to lift through the ” S.” The time was 53.2 secs., not a match for proper Shelsley Specials. Carlmark, clad in visor, was notably Steady with the rear-engined Carlmark J .A.P., in 48.63 secs., and Barry Goodwin’s single-seater” Shelsley ” Frazer-Nash was well held in a bad slide out of the ” and really quick at the finish, to record 43.91 secs. Poor E. J. Moor stalled the G.N. ” Wasp “on his first run after bothers over starting up, and, after a black and white cocker spaniel had been persuaded that Shelsley on May 28th was no place for canine pedestrianism, Clive Jones got as far as the ” S ” with Tiger Cat and petered out. Vaughan squealed the tyres of the Becke-Powerplus through Kennel Bend and slid considerably at the ” going close to the hank, to clock 44.66 secs., splendid time for an old car, whose engine dates back to 1923. At this point there was a broadcast appeal for a doctor
to attend the sick spectator, no official medical man apparently being present. Again Moor essayed a climb with the “Wasp,” but had engine trouble.
Lord Howe brought a green works independently sprung li-litre E.R.A. up in 42.16 secs., making one of the finest starts so far, braking heavily into the ” S ” and accelerating with smoking tyres, skilfully holding a tail slide. Up the final stretch the gear ratios seemed to suit the conditions exactly. It was a beautiful climb.
Arthur Dobson seemed to hesitate momentarily in Starting, with his white E.R.A., then came wide into the ” S,” swung to the road centre, glanced at his wheels, and was gone-a steady run in 43.4 secs.
Ian Connell got his E.R.A. off well and spun his wheels, sliding tremendously. He took the ” S” neatly and was steady up to the finish, taking 43.11 sees. Ansell (E.R.A.) raised a protest from twin rear covers at Kennel Bend and displayed tine acceleration out of the “S,” to clock 44.47 secs. Lloyd-Jones made excellent use of a Wilson box in getting off and held the centre of the road on a steady run,
until he hit the bank near the end. Time : 46.34 secs. Robin Hanson’s 14-litre Maserati, with unpainted frontworks cowling, made a model ascent in 44.05 secs., and Clive Windsor-Richards brought his stripped O.E. 30/98 Vauxhall up beautifully, oilsmoke pouring from the tonneau, in
49.76 .secs. Ronnie Hughes’s sportsequipped O.E. 30/98 Vauxhall also smoked and almost hit the outside bank at the ” S,” a higher ratio being selected early for the run to the finish. Time : 51.93 secs. Pane did a quiet and extremely neat ascent with his Type 328 Frazer-NashB.M.W. holding the centre of the road until it was time to come close to the banks to split seconds at the bends. Time :
47.47 secs. His number, curiously, was 47.
Came Percy Maclure, in the =blown six-carburetter Riley, now of 1,987 c.v., and after his run the knowledgeable among the spectators thought even more of the Maclure-Riley combination than they did after the I.T. Race, if that is possible. Usually Maclure corners very effortlessly, but now he really. worked, .closing in to the banks and getting the unblown Riley, by no means a sprint job, up in 43.37 secs.
.Griinshaw’s green supercharged 2-litre Bugatti, with aluminium wheels, and clearcut exhaust note, spun its wheels out of the ” S ” on a splendid run taking 44.95 secs. Amy Johnson, in black hat and frock, scrubbed her feet on the ground to remove slime from her shoe soles, before getting into Pane’s B.M.W. She unfortunately found something in her eye, and had the optic which has watched so many aerial oil gauges examined by Pane. She drove a particularly neat, silent run in 49.92 secs. The A .C.N. , looking like a long tailed G. N., then came up in Crowther’s hands, its high-geared steering and flexible column making it snake fearsomely. Time 60.24 secs. Holloway was good to watch with a 2f-litre SS ” 1.00 ” in 53.36 secs„ and Robarts on a sister car slower in 57.87 sees. Lemon-Burton’s 2.3-litre Bugatti was well handled, puff of exhaust smoke indicating the cut-off point, to return 44.17 secs. It ran with single rear covers. Bear’s unblown 3-litre
Bugatti did 47.83 secs., and Marston seemed to miss a change on his Type 43 Bugatti and took 51.13 secs. The wonderful Skinner Special, with 4.2-litres of concentrated power in a small Wolseley chassis, started well, almost lifted round the ” S” and slid on the straight, in recording 43.11 secs., a truly amazing effort. Small rear wings protected the driver’s elbows. Newsome, tyres protesting, blipped his 3i-litre SS” 100 “through the “S,” very near the off-side bank, and experienced wheel spin in accelerating out, to clock 44.6 secs. ; most convincing for a sports-car. The A.C.N. then repeated its comic looking snaking in Neale’s hands, taking 61.7 secs. Forrest Lycett, with his 4f-litre Bentley and a tennis shirt, seemed to drop revs, coming out of the “S,” but handled the heavy car splendidly and vanquished the Vauxhalls with a time of 48.38 sees. Mrs. Bolster then made a model run with the Skinner,
clocking 46.96 secs. She made curious movements with her right arm, possibly patting the car by way of encouragement. Clutton now thundered up, head level with the hedge top in the ’08 Itala. He entered the ” S” amazingly swiftly, changed just before the finish into top and swayed and bounced over the line in 50.98 sees., a really masterly drive. Anthony Mills, in deerstalker hat, vigorously pumping, thoroughly entertained the onlookers in the ’07 Renault, in which the writer journeyed to this very venue by road (and back) three years ago. He
took 83.74 secs. Mavrogord.ato (1914 Opel) placed his car perfectly for the bends, but had a double slide coming out, to clock 54.42 secs. Then Anthony Heal with the ex-Warde 10-litre 1910 Fiat did 48.75 secs. Words cannot justifiably describe this magnificent drive, during which the high, heavy car kept astonishingly stable, save for a slight slide and front-end bounce. Lycett did not run the 8-litre Bentley on account of lack of opposition ; it stayed up in London. John Bolster completed the first runs with an ascent in his most astounding of all creations, the new fourmotor eight-cylinder 3,924 c.c. BolsterSpecial. Running without bonnet it looks very like the original Bolster, only vastly more potent. It got off fast but unfortunately dried up and only managed 55.88
secs. Thereafter it broke a magneto platform and did not run again.
The Second Half
After a very brief interval, Pane came up on his second run. He cut out momentarily for the Kennel Bend and shot into the ” S.” Alas, the blower release seemed to stick up, and at the same time a rush of hot water and steam from the
radiator obscured Pane’s view. He took 42.63 secs. Raymond Mays followed. He hardly seemed to cut out for the Kennel Bend and accelerated hard out of the ” 5,” sliding almost into the near-side bank and off up to the finish in a cloud of smoke. That slide apparently cost him the record, for he took 38.9 secs., fastest run of the day. Bert Hadley was naturally out for blood, but after a fine commencement the Austin got into a tail slide coming out of the ” S.” The tail hit the near-side bank, then the car hit again, sent up a fountain of mould and turf and landed about 35° across the road. Bert managed his car marvellously, keeping the revs, in hand and yet never easing up, and his time of 40.53 secs.-.44 of a second slower than before-was most creditable. Mrs. Petre (Austin) snaked to the finish in 46.08 sees., and Evans (M.G.) drove well to clock 45.06 secs. Symonds’s M.G. stopped, Dowler (M.G.) did 51.21 secs., and Fry coped well with difficult situations to do 41.52 secs., cutting rather early for the ” S.” Hunter got some spin away and the Alta was a handttd out of the ” S,” to clock 44.5 secs.
Clarke corrected a slide neatly and the sports-equipped Frazer-Nash did 49.05, Clarke’s H.R.G. .seemed oVergeared and took 52.30 secs., Buckley’s Austin popped back and slid near the finish (43.98 secs.) and Glegg, hunched over the wheel of Dorcas, had. 49.58 very full seconds. Cutler’s aluminium Frazer-Nash did 48.01 on a steady run, Dyke-Acland’s M.G. cornered fast to clock 46.04, and WindsorRichards’s Vauxhall slid at the first bend of the ” S ” (48.94 sees.). Most drivers were pulling their times down. Hughes (Vauxhall) almost missed his final changeup after cornering wide and tail-wagging (52.2 secs.) and_ Maclure never allowed his Riley to go astray, doing a splendid 42.6 Secs., accompanied by an E.R.A.-like exhaust note. Instone did a well-judged 47.27 secs. with Martyr, and Wilson, his E.R.A. starting at the fourth pull, cornered steadily (48.07secs.). Cuddon-Fletcher’s M.G. smote the bank at the same spot as Hadley, but went on fast (45.29 secs.), and SuIman seemed to go fiat out round the “S,” rear tyre flexing, to do 51.73 secs. The Carlmark-J.A.P. failed at the ” S” with mechanical trouble, and Lones started slowly, the Tiger Cat bouncing and sliding at the ” S ” (46.84 secs,). Goodwin’s Frazer-Nash had trouble and came to rest early and Vaughan fairly flung the B-ecke-Powerplus into the “
S” but was hampered by misfiring (45.03-secs.). Lord Howe did not :appear to get the E.R.A. off so well as on his previous run, but the acceleration was immense and he held a nasty slide out of the “.S ” like the master we know him to be. Time :41.25 secs. Moor’s’ •Wasp ” now appeared, front tyre flexing under the stress of Shelsley cornering, but the car really stable in spite of G.N.-size covers. But misfiring did not help and the time came out at 46.54 secs.
Connell blipped the bends on a steady run (42.78 sees.), An.sell braked hard for the ” S ” and seemed temporarily worried (43.43 secs.) and Lloyd-J ones appeared to lack fuel pressure, the TriangleSpecial taking 53.96 sees. this time. Hanson’s Maserati had a considerable slide from the ” S'” (43.35 sees.), Pane controlled a long slide with the B.M.W. with cool skill (47.01 sees.) and Grimshaw’s Bugatti, exhaust joint leaking, was very good to watch (44,46 secs.). The A.C.N. did another snaky climb, and, much as we admire special motors, we feel it might be better to specify lowergeared steering before starting it up
Shelsley next time. The car literally broadsided several times up the straight. Crowther took 60.32 secs. and Neale 59,84 secs. Holloway’s stripped SS did 51.69 secs., and Robart’s SS, stripped of main screen glass and spare wheel, 56.08 secs. Lemon-Burton’s Bugatti cornered wide and was expertly held (43.69 secs.) and
Amy Johnson did a very neat rim with the sports B.M.W. in 49.57 sees. Bear (Bugatti) bounced somewhat on a fast run in 47.32 Secs., MarstOn’s .Bugatti exploded loudly and stopped, and the Skinner-Special, which surely has the greatest capacity/wheelbase ratio ever ? after a hesitant start, clocked 43.48 secs. Newsome spun the SS off the line, cornering wide to record a very excellent time of 43.98 secs., and Lycett’s 41-litre Bentley was perfectly driven up in 48.05 secs. The veterans once again thoroughly justified their presence. Clutton put the Itala into the ” S ” so fast as to almost broadside and yet the huge czr remained completely under control. Sam’s expression has net et been bettered, and his time was 51.46 secs. Mills contributed a smoke screen to encourage A.R.P. recruiting with the Renault (81.7 secs.) and MavrogOrdato’s Opel, looking very smart and far more compact than it really is, was very well driven, to clock 51.17 sees. Then Heal did a simply grand run with the Fiat, steady at the ” S,” masterful to a degree thereafter, to clock 47.96 secs. The record stood at 65.4 secs. in the year
in which the Fiat first saw the light of day and Heal’s time would have easily broken the 1926 record ! Comment is tumecessary, but we may .add that one very well known driver, commenting on the run in the Paddock, said to us : ” That lad should be driving an Mrs. Bolster took the Skinner-Special carefully into the ” S” and cornered. effortlessly, to record 47.7 secs.. So ended another Shelsley. The September meeting will be extremely interesting, for this time Fane and the Frazer-Nash came so near to losing the record, yet still retain it k.’.4 38.71 secs., whereas next
time . . . ? The Ladies’ Record, too, is still Mrs. Petre’s property, which she shares with Austin, in 43.7 sees. That, too, must one day fall . . .
Fastest Climb of the Day (8helsley Challenge Trophy and £.100): Raymond Mays (1,750 c.c. E.R.A.). 38.90s.
Runner-up (Midland A.C. Challenge Trophy and £50): H. L. Hadley (744 c.e. Austin), 40.09s..
Third Fastest : A. F. P. Fane (11-litre Frawn. Nash), 40.13s.
Fourth Fastest : Lord Howe (11-litre E. It 41.25s.
Fifth Fastest : J. G. Fry (1,097 e.e. Freikalserwagen ), 41.52s.
Fastest Sports-Car (Midland A.(‘. Sports Trophy and £20) : A. F. P. Pane (2-litre Fraser-NashB.M.W.). 47.01s.
Second Fastest Sports-Car (Midland A.(‘. Trophy and £10) : John Clark (11-litre Frazer-Nash)„ 48.82s.
Third Fastest Sports-Car : Miss Amy Johnson (2-litre Frawr-Nash-B.M.W.)..19.57s. Fastest Woman Driver (Shefsky Ladies’ Challenge
Trophy and .Mrs. Kay Petre(747 e.e. Austin), 441.( Ks.
Fastest “SheLsley Special” (F. (Jordon Rossiter. Trophy and fr.:15): J. 0. Fry (Freikaiserwagen), 41.52s. Second Fastest : P. G. Skinner (4-litre Skinner Special). Fray Challenge Trophy (Team Prize): Midland F. P. Fmk and Barry (loodWin (1.1-litre Frazer-Nindies) and It. E. Ansell (
Aggregate time, 1.27.47s.
Forrest Lycett Trophy (Fastest pre-1914 racing. car): A. S. Heal (1010 10-11tre Mat). 47.90S.