HEAVY rain showers made Prescott sinuous course very slippery on the occasion of the Bugatti Owners’ Club’s Open Hill-Climb on May 14th. As a result the course record did not fall, and the only record to be shattered was that for Sports-Cars over 3-litres, which S. H. Allard’s V8 Allard raised by .11 of a m.p.h., making best unsupercharged time of the day. Quite a good crowd attended, and the organisation was excellent. In the Veteran Class Heal’s famous 1910 Fiat was best, in 50.8 secs., and might have been faster, but its time was missed on the second run and a gearchange on the third. Clutton instructed Robertson-Roger from the tonneau of the big Itala, which made second fastest time in 67.18 secs., cornering neatly. In the It-litre sports-car class J. G. Clarke’s Frazer-Nash did its first run in 58.55 and then got up in 57.97 secs., winning easily from Claridge’s stripped Frazer-Nash and Lind-Walker’s blown, road-equipped G.P. Bugatti. T. B. C. Davis did an excellent second run in his blown ‘f-type M.G., beating Miss Redfern’s H.R.G., which was quicker than Curtis’s H.R.G. Mrs. Hague’s Riley and Melly’s Riley were both fast, but Richards’s ” Brooklands ” Riley Nine was not so quick. Ballamy went fast through the “S,” clocking 60.56 secs. on his first run and 72.81 on his second, when the motor died. Davis (M.G.) hit the bank coming out of the ” S ” on his first run and Clarke had nasty moments going into these turns. Walker did the good time of 61.12 secs. with his blown” Ulster”

Austin, using high revs. The recordholder, Baillie-Hill, did not appear, but his class record was untouched by 3.71 secs., an early indication that the course, which was reminiscent of the Crystal Palace surface in its first season, would not permit of record shattering, in the wet. The class for sports-cars of 1,501 to 8,000 c.c., saw some excellent runs. Pane set off with 57.7 secs. in his new FrazerNash-B.M.W., sliding, and going very near the bank out of the” S.” Bagratouni, who had come down from Scotland to win this class with his blown ” 2.6″ Alfa-Romeo, pinking, did 60.64 secs., Crozier’s special Frazer-Nash was wild, and Flather’s B.M.W. slid considerably. Then Leslie Johnson did a great run in his B.M.W., sliding so much once that he grabbed the door to steady himself, beating Pane, with 55.65 secs. A. H. Langley, with yet another 328 B.M.W. touched the bank, but was only a frac tion lower than Fane. On the second runs the course was drier. Pane got down to 56.48, and then Shakespeare’s Type 55 Bugatti, on a furious run, beat the

B.M.W. by .38 of a sec. Flather did a fine run in 56.78 but Johnson lost time, sliding from the ” S ‘ and took 59.36. He still led the class, but on the final climb of all in this section, Langley, in soft hat, drove magnificently, to return 55.34 secs., just vanquishing ” Johnie,” but well outside Pane’s 1938 record. In the big sports-class the soaking course resulted in slow rums. Hutchison’s V12 Allard slid about badly on a climb occupying 58.71 secs., Hutch dicing to regain control, and Connell’s Darracq could only do 58.26 secs., which Ballamy, crunching his gears, beat with the ex Symonds L.M.B. V8, Best time first went to Silcock’s new V12 Allard, a quiet car very nicely handled, extremely steady, yet climbing in an effortless 56,59 secs. On a drier road for the second runs we expected some good times, especially as Allard had done 51.0 secs. in practice, unofficially breaking the sports-car record-though he was now using bigger rear wheels to steady what is a very light car. Hutch, steadier now, led off with 56.23 secs. Allard followed, extremely fast up to what are essentially slow corners, and making no mistake out of the ” S ” this time, when before he had clouted the retaining wall with the near side hub cap. His time was 53.21 secs., beating every time, racing-cars included, so far, and breaking the old course class record, set up by Hutchison’s V12 Allard last year. Allard used his V8 Bugatti-bodied trials car, and this performance endorses what we have so often said about the potency of this not over specialised sports-car. Silcock made another beautifully judged climb in 54.88 secs., and Connell, braking the Darracq cautiously for the corners, got down to

54.31 secs. Donald Monro (Invicta) carried a rear-seat passenger this time, which obviated former rear wheel float, and did an excellent drive in 56.32 secs. In the small racing-car class the Lightweight-Special and the ex-Tiger Cat Morgan K.P.L., did indifferent ascents, and Buckley, with the little works Austin carried the day, very steadily in 55.43 secs., then wilder but quicker, in 53.65 secs. The wet kept him nearly 3 sees. away from his former record. The car was ” delivered ” on the new Austin Twenty six-cylinder racing lorrya very neat turn-out. Pane was easily fastest on the first runs in the 1t-litre racing class, the now slimmer, fiercerlooking ” Shelsley ” Frazer-Nash doing a rousing 53.64 secs. in the rain. It had trouble on its second rim, hesitant in pick-up and noisy on the overrun, but it managed 52.67 secs., nevertheless. Woodall’s ” Chatterbox ” was slower than two of the pre-war cars, using full lock to correct slides, but better on its second run until a chain went. The Sulman cinder-track Singer hit the bank leaving the ” S ” first time and was slow, Peter Vaughan, sitting right out of an abbreviated, Wolseley “Moth “–engined Becke-Powerplus, got through the ” S ” beautifully, and did 52.69 secs. in spite of casting a chain, and Palethorpes’ ” Shelsley ” Frazer-Nash was not very rapid. Abeca.ssis, with the record-holding Alta, had been second-fastest on the first run to Pane, in 55.24 secs. On his second run he entered the ” S ” tremendously fast and hit the bank badly, slowing right up momentarily and buckling the off side twin rear wheels. Luckily, his time was missed and, after chaging plugs, he tried again, but only did 56.18 secs. on a much steadier run. Percy Maclure’s blown, independently sprung Riley had done a steady, throttle-blipping run in 57.11 secs. in the rain and on its second run it took all the honours in a really fast, splendidly judged run of 51.65 secs. Ansell did much wheeltwirling in the E.R.A., to make a rousing second fastest climb in 52.3 secs. In the 1+-2-litre racing-class the first runs were the fastest, and Beadle’s Alta led easily, with 55.74 secs. Neale’s A.C.N. had a remarkably healthy A.C. Six engine and smoky exhaust stubs, but was too light about its G.N. rearparts to better 60.9 secs. The unlimited racing class went to Baron’s ” 3.3 ” G.P. Bugatti, in 55.81 secs., with Bear’s special 8-litre Bugatti second in 56.43 and Connell’s now stripped Darracq third in 58.11all comparatively slow times. Lemon-Burton could not better 60.25 with his beautiful 3,798 c.c. G.P. Bugatti, Tom Moore, did an excellent run with a 2.3 blown Bugatti in 59.8 secs., and Mrs. Darbishire suffered from a very floating throttle foot in the usually potent ” 2.3 ” Bugatti. Ballamy did some naughty gear-crunching when his L.M.B. did not motor as he wished and Edmondson (M.G.) had some exciting moments out of the ” S,” in the middle of which Palethorpe, in very protective face mask, hit the bank quite

hard. The handicap class went to Hampton’s beautifully prepared and quite sprightly 1910 1,327 c.c. Bugatti, which has quite an exhaust note, and climbed in 80.7 secs. of the other Edwardians, Willeby got Shakespeare’s 1913 “2.3” Mors tourer up in 86.81 secs., the 1918 Enfield took 108.1 secs., and Lycett motored his ” Alphonso ” Hispano up in 76.17 secs.

So ended an excellent meeting, and the crowd was quickly down the hill and away -Gloucestershire meadows seemed very tolerant and did not bog the cars in spite of the rain.