The first round of the 1952 Motor Sport Clubs’ Challenge Trophy took place at the VSCC Silverstone Meeting on May 3rd. The sports-cars which qualified to compete in this five-lap handicap, which is virtually a “winner’s race,” were RHB Mason’s 41/2-litre Bentley and HJ Wilmshurst’s slightly-older 41/2-litre Bentley (on the 1 min 13 sec mark), Len Gibbs’ Riley Nine (1 min 5 sec), GHG Burton’s 41/2-litre Bentley (43 sec), Major Bailey’s 41/2-litre Bentley and WF Moss’ blown 11/2-litre Alfa-Romeo (37 sec), CM Sears’ Frazer-Nash (32 sec), and Gerry Crozier’s 8-litre Bentley from scratch. Burton dropped back and was eventually passed by Crozier, who, however, couldn’t coax his big car any higher on the wet track. The first six finishers who were eligible to run in the Motor Sport Handicap at the Maidstone & Mid-Kent MC meeting on May 24th, and the marks they held were :—Gibbs-6, Mason-5, Wilmshurst-4, Major Bailey-3, Sears-2, Moss-1.
Watt moves on
The Bristol Aeroplane Co (Car Division) is the latest firm to secure the services of James Watt, who has transferred to them, in the post of Export Sales Manager, from Aston-Martin and Lagonda. Previously this much-travelled man had been with Triumph, Jaguar, Healey and Austin. TVG Selby, who will be remembered by some of our readers as a Bugatti exponent at Brooklands many years ago, has been appointed Home Sales Manager for Bristol cars.
Point is lent to the editorial in the March Motor Sport by a Rootes Motors, Inc, advertisement in an American motoring journal, in which it is claimed that the Sunbeam-Talbot 90, “beamed to the thrill of the open road,” was the first car in the world to exceed a speed of 200 mph, and the first car on the same planet to cover over 100 miles in one hour. We feel compelled to remark that neither Sir Henry Segrave nor Percy Lambert ever heard of such a car.
The sport in Ceylon
On April 13th the Ceylon Motor Sports Club revived its Mahagastota speed hill-climb, which was run annually from 1934 up to the war. A big crowd attended, all tickets being sold out before the first class had been run off. Three new records were established for the 675-yard course. AE Filby broke the course-record in his Cooper 500, in 50.1 sec. The old record of 55.89 sec, made by TS Jinasena’s Magpie Jinasena, had stood since 1939. Clarke’s Bitza motor-cycle made second fastest time, in 52.79 sec, from Colin Silva’s BSA, which clocked 54.5 sec. Allan Senanayak’s MG made best sports car time, in 58.8 sec. Ray de Costa’s Peugeot took the 11/2-litre class in 66.4 sec, and T Sheriff’s Fiat the up-to 750-cc class in 71.2 sec, the 1,100-cc category having fallen to Edward Mason’s elderly Standard Eight, with a creditable 69.4 sec. Light relief from real speed was provided by Jinasena in a Commer station wagon, which ascended in 83.9 sec. The prizes were presented by the Acting Governor-General, Sir Alan Rose, who referred to the Ceylon MSC as the premier motor sports club of the East, in congratulating them warmly on their event. The club’s President put in a plea for more “specials”—” four wheels, an engine and a soap box”—like those that were built to run at Mahagastota before the war. The Castrol films were then shown. Details of the club from : E Mason, c/o The Goodyear Tyre & Rubber Co, Ltd., PO Box 24, Colombo.
Mrs Kay Petre, well-known racing driver and motoring correspondent, has joined the firm of Sidney Barton Ltd, as motoring consultant. Mrs Petre is leaving shortly for the United States to visit the major motor car factories there. She is to make a study of the latest car production methods and styling, particularly from the woman driver’s point of view. She will investigate many of the new developments, such as power-operated steering, which are being incorporated in new models not yet announced.
A Vauxhall Velox for 41s 6d.
An electrically-driven 1/18 scale model of the Vauxhall Velox, produced in collaboration with Vauxhall Motors Ltd, is available at 41s 6d each, including purchase tax, from Vauxhall dealers, model shops, electrical dealers and toy shops.
The model, which is 9;3 in long, is powered by a “Mighty Midget” electric motor (size 1 cubic inch) fed by three standard type 11/2-volt flash-lamp batteries. These will keep the car running continuously for over two hours.
The body, of durable plastic, is detachable from the chassis. Reversing gear is fitted, and the car may be obtained with either right or left-hand Ackerman-type steering. Scale speed is 75 mph.
The models, manufactured by Victory Industries (Surrey) Ltd, of Guildford, are guaranteed for one year. A full spares and reconditioning service is in operation.
The BBC presents—Death-Dicer Peter Wellington
On April 30th in the Light Programme and again on May 4th, the BBC broadcast a motor-racing play, “The Last Lap,” by Jon Manchip White, produced by David H Godfrey. It is a pity that, at a time when hundreds of thousands of intelligent members of the British public are displaying a keen interest in motor-racing, the BBC should choose to inflict this hysterical and imaginative play on the millions of listeners who are said to tune-in regularly to Curtain-Up.”We envy our readers, for they were free to switch over with relief to the Symphony Concert on the Home Service, we felt duty-bound to hear the play out, but it was so thoroughly bad that to describe its many faults and improbabilities would occupy more space than we can spare. Clearly, Mr White and producer Godfrey know very little about motor-racing and still less about racing drivers. Ironically, even the race-commentary from an imaginary Italian radio network was but a poor parody of something which might have come from Indiana, but would certainly never be heard during a major road race at Lombardy—or was this intentional, as representing an inferior, non-BBC performance ? Mercifully, drivers like Peter Wellington (headstrong British hero-ace in a leading Italian team, played by an hysterical Anthony Jacobs) do not exist in real life, Mr White, and if they did their first laps would no doubt be their last, as yours should be where radio plays are concerned. Perhaps, however, not much harm was done—for we suspect that the majority of “Curtain-Up” listeners had joined the motor-racing enthusiasts at the Symphony Concert long before you and Mr Godfrey had waved your chequered flag.