Hutchison (Allard) Fastest at Fordingbridge
Best Aggregate Time by Sydney Allard (Allard)
The Southampton .M.C., assisted by the R.A.F., deserve every possible credit for their organisation on May 12th, when they put over a speed hillclimb on a private venue at Fordingbridge. The course, a very loose-surfaced gravel road winding over the downs, was possessed of a tricky bend just before the finish and, as the sports and touring cars (racing machinery was barred) made their ascents with dust clouds welling out behind, it was all very reminiscent of a sprint event of the early nineteen-twenties. Because the crowd could see almost the whole of the hill from the natural banks beside the road, hardly a soul had to be warned away from dangerous areas. Ambulance, breakdown lorry and a most efficient loudspeaker car were present, and times were very promptly displayed on a blackboard near the start after each run, while the cars were brought to the line very efficiently. Each competitor made three runs and the aggregate time counted for results - a good scheme, ensuring each ascent being made at speed and introducing a certain reliability factor.
Amongst groups of competitors there was interesting competition. Of the big cars, Alan May's "30/98" Vauxhall, blushing under Elstree honours, and effectively Burgess-silenced, tried the Allards of Silcock, Allard, and Hutchison very hard. Allard opened with 31 secs., Hutchison 31.8 secs., Silcock 33.0 secs., and May with 32.0 secs. On their second runs, times improved to 30.0, 30.6, 31.0 and 32 respectively, while Parker's Allard did 30.4 secs. The third runs promised to be exciting. Allard had one cylinder cutting out, due to bending a valve through over-revving on his second run, but promised to keep his foot flat down round the top bend - he now has four double-choke Stromberg carburetters in action and was using a 4.1 to 1 top gear. Keeping in 2nd gear all the way after the start, he clocked 30.4 secs. on a grand run, but Hutchison, with the original Allard, still Bugatti-tailed, but newly-cowled at the front, L.M.B. axle working hard, returned 29.8 secs., fastest run of the day. Silcock was slower, 31.2 secs., but May clipped the Vauxhall's time down to 31.4 secs. The honours, on aggregate times, went to Allard, with a special f.t.d. cup for Hutchison. Lady Mary Grosvenor's Allard misfired, and no one else came near these times except Oscar Moore's left-hand-drive 328 B.M.W., with schoolboy passenger, 33.0 secs., and Parker's Allard, which did 30.4 secs. In the 1 1/2-litre class Hay's Anzani Frazer-Nash, Jenkinson's Meadows Frazer-Nash, and Denyer's famous Lea-Francis had some ding-dong battles, but two blown M.G. Midgets of Wilcocks and Best were running beautifully, and the latter was appreciably faster. The third runs of these men came out as: 36.0, 35.2, 34.8, 33.4 and 36.6 secs., respectively.
Hartwell's ex-Cowell 2-litre Alta made one fierce run, but later suffered plug trouble; Way's B.M.W. coupé was running badly, and Morrish's blown M.G. had an expensive blow-up. The touring cars were naturally very slow, but an exception was Secretary Pearson's little Morris Minor Special, with T-type M.G. engine. Altogether an excellent day's sport. Results:
Class 1. Sports Cars: Up To 750 c.c.- R. Ruppell (Austin), 59 8.15 sec.
Up To 1,100 c.c. - D. Wilcocks (M.G.), 34 12.15 sec.; J. Dyer (Riley), 37 2/3 sec.; H. Bryant (M.G.), 40 11.15 sec.
Up To 1,500 c.c..- D. Wilcocks (M.G.), 34 9.15 sec.; A. L. Denyer (Lea-Francis), 34 13.15 sec.; D. Jenkinson (Frazer-Nash), 35 13.15 sec.
Over 1,500 c.c. - S. H. Allard (Allard), 30 7.15 sec.; H. Hutchison (Allard), 30 11.15 sec.; L. Parker (Allard), 31 1.5 sec.
Class 2. Non-Sports Cars Up To 8 h.p. - Miss Clarke (Morris), 71 7.16 sec.; G. Pease (Fiat), 72 4.15 sec.
Up T0 12 h.p. - Lea (Ford), 55 sec.
Up To 16 h.p. - Hanwell (Lancia), 39 9.15 sec.; R. G. Harris (Rover), 44 6.15 sec.
Over 16 h.p. - R. Way (Frazer-Nash-B.M.W.), 35 sec.; V. S. A. Riggs (Riley), 36 13-15 sec.
Rumfitt's smart 4 1/2-litre Bentley 2-seater experienced rear wheel judder at the start.
Knight's "12/50" Alvis, home-bodied, was very stark, sounded well, but wasn't very rapid.
Both Price (Price Special), Hay (Frazer-Nash) and some of the M.G.s had "moments" at the top bend.
Hartwell's white, special-bodied Sunbeam-Talbot ran well.
The ex-Phoenix, lowered "30/98" and Hayes's "30/98," with naval crew, made pleasing, if sedate, ascents.
Richmond changed down neatly on his Lagonda Rapier, which had a nice crackle to its exhaust.
Lady Mary Grosvenor's Riley "Sprite," driven by her friend, had one rear spring shackle above, and the other shackle below, the rear cross-member.
Dyer's very brief Riley Nine and V. S. A. Biggs's Riley were there to remind us of the old Southsea days.
Miller drove an unblown "2.8" Alfa-Romeo saloon with "aerodynamic" saloon coachwork.
Mrs. Pearson made courageous ascents with a radio-equipped and apparently standard Morris Eight tourer.
Wilcocks's M.G. was a Powerplus-blown J-type with Solex carburetter, outside exhaust system and a large number-disc on the body.
Best's M.G. was a Marshall-blown P.B. with home-made plywood body and fabric bonnet.