V.C.C. Southern Rally and Hill-Climb

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Enjoyable event at Charterhouse School. Heal makes f.t.d. with the 1908 Hutton.

The Rally section of this event was run on the excellent plot of allowing competitors to start from any place they chose, not earlier than p.m. on the Friday, sending a telegram before they left to the Hog’s Back Hotel, Surrey, where they were due by noon on the Saturday. Marks were awarded on straight-line mileage and age of car, with a penalty for late-arrival and disqualification if over 60 min. late. This is an altogether excellent competition for veteran and Edwardian cars, which are in their element on a main-road run.

Sam Wright’s 1903 Humber came 140 miles from Coventry, returning in a lorry, while Barton’s 1913 9-h.p. Morris, with “Jerry-can,” funnel and spare covers lashed to it, did 180 miles from Plymouth. At the finish veterans were arriving continually. Hutton-Stott’s 1903 Lanchester was “soiling the drive” with oil, Skinner’s two children occupied the dickey of his immaculate 1913 Rover coupe, and Lt. Atkinson was trying all manner of things to keep the raucous single-cylinder engine of his 1905 Adams-Hewitt firing. Anderson’s 1908 de Dion Houton appeared to have been re-bodied and arrived with hood and sidesereens erect. Bird’s 1904 de Dion Phaeton came up at a great lick, and Lees’ 1911 Rolls-Royce, hood up, showed grand acceleration. Knibbs came in a well-kept 1907 single-cylinder Rover with a ratchet for its brake pedal; Sears’ 1912 Rolls-Royce limousine was the acme of perfection. Mrs. Hampton came in Peter’s equally immaculate Type 13 Bugatti, and very astonishing was E. Hill’s 1910 Phoenix, with pent-roof bonnet and transmissin by internal-tooth silent chains.

As the clock ticked on there were notable gaps in the assembly, but Jim Kentish and his Mother got in comfortably in the 1902 de Dion Victoria. Duncans queer 1900 Cyklon, with 2-cylinder air-cooled engine over its tiller-steered front wheel and carburetter dangling fantastically in front, was about on time — a pity the car carried a comic continent on its warning bell. Another offender in this direction was Wadsworth’s 1910 Thornycroft, with “Not for Export” chalked on its back panel — it had wire rear, artillery front, wheels and is said to have been rescued from a sandpit, which we could well believe. W/Cdr. Anderson’s 1905 de Dion-engined Cupelle, with beautifully-isolated back seats, was on the late side, as were E. Pilmore-Bedford’s 1904 Wolseley, with little rods moving up and down underneath as it ticked over steadily, a huge Renault landaulette, Parkinson’s vibratory 1901 Darracq, Pierpoint’s chromiumed 1904 Mors, and Faitclough’s 1912 Delaunay-Belleville limousine.

After lunch the cars went in procession to Charterhouse School, where the hill-climb was held over a half-mile course, in the most picturesque setting imaginable. The hill wound upwards between steep banks, with gentle corners which even the faster Edwardians could take at full-bore. The event was divided into seven classes based on year of manufacture and contested on the formula: —

(Time x h.p.) / Weight

The organisation was perfect, the Charterhouse boys extremely courteous and helpful, and altogether this was one of the V.C.C.’s best events — we hope it will become an annual fixture. The entry fee was modest, but competitors had to buy programmes.

Heal, in the 1908 T.T. Hutton, made f.t.d. in 44.2 sec. Many of the older cars needed their passengers’ assistance, amongst them the Cupelle and the de Dions of W. Pilmore-Bedford and Kentish. Karslake’s 1914 Baby Peugeot stopped but restarted, assisted by Neville Lloyd. The 1902 Dennis was slow, Berry’s 1902 Panhard made a steady ascent, while Guest’s 1901 de Dion and Capt. Oliver’s 1912 Mercédès made excellent ascents. Bridcutt’s “Alphonso” Hispano-Suiza was really fast, Boddy, sans bottom gear and steering with one hand in order to make sure second did not disengage, only slightly slower. Atkinson just got up in the Adams-Hewitt. After the climbs tea was taken in one of the School buildings, the assembly without suggestive of a Parents’ Day prior to the Kaiser War!

Results of Rally
Veteran Cars: 1st, S. Wright (1903 5-h.p. Humber), 148.4 pts. 2nd, D. Cook (1904 8-h.p. Darraw, 90 pts.
Edwardian Cars: 1st, R. Barton (1913 “8.9” Morris), 212.4 pts. 2nd, H. Timmis (1910 “15.9” Mercédès), 103.5 pts.

Hill-climb results not yet available