Club News, June 1954

London M.C.
The Le Petit Rallye (June 17th) is being held in conjunction with the French Sporting Trial and gives five days’ motoring holiday (June I6th-20th) on the Continent, at Annecy, at modest cost. The regulations for this event were included with those for the “Little Rally.” Entries are coming in fast and the available hotel accommodation being booked, so send in your entry now.

On September 3rd and 4th comes the club’s National Rally, the London Rally — with starting points in London, Birmingham and Leeds — which goes through the mountains of Wales and, in contrast to the Little Rally, is intended to be a reasonably difficult and tough event. This year, to celebrate the club’s 50th anniversary, it finishes in the heart of the City of London, the first time a motoring event has ever done so.

There will be entirely separate classes for the experts and novices. The experts will have a night navigation section of 80-90 miles — maps provided free by the club. This they will have to attempt at a 30-m.p.h. average. Somewhat difficult, but a little easier than last year, when no competitor succeeded in doing the map-reading sections without loss of marks.

This year, for the first time, novices will only have to undertake a portion of the map-reading section of approximately 50 miles in length and at a slower average speed, probably 24 miles per hour. Thus, in one event with two entirely separate sets of awards, it is hoped to extend the expert and encourage the novice, giving both a rally of approximately 700 miles with rest periods. Already much work has been done surveying the route in the mountains of Wales, and an interesting and exciting one has been chosen avoiding rough roads.

Circle C.C.
The fifth annual rally of the Circle C.C. took place on May 2nd through Buckingham and Berkshire. The route of some 110 miles covered route, map reading and regularity sections, with special tests along the route. There were 37 entries starting from Harrow, with tea halt at the Royal Ascot Hotel, and finishing at the Headstone Hotel. North Harrow.

Paul Trophy: M. Mostyn (Jaguar XK120).
First-Class Awards: K. W. Barrow (Aston Martin DB1), T. B. Riley (Rover P4) and W. W. Paul (Jaguar Mk. V).
Second-Class Awards: E. Gooding (Wolseley), A, Wheatland (Ford Zephyr), P. J. Butler (Austin) and G. S. R. Dewsnap (Austin A40).
Best Performance by a Visitor: E. K. Lawrence, Chiltern CC. (Ford Zodiac).

Leicestershire C.C.
The annual Derbyshire Trial for the Sturgess Trophy was run on Sunday, May 2nd, starting from Braunstone Gate, Leicester, at 10.30 a.m. The route followed secondary roads via the Charnwood Forest, Melbourne, Repton, Hilton and Farley, to the finish near Ilam, the average speed called for being 24 m.p.h. for the worst sections and 30 m.p.h. for the remainder.

Due to a delay in marshals reaching their positions, the restart, after a half-hour break for coffee, etc., near Repton, was put back by 40 minutes; but apart from this and a report at one stage that one of the marshals had dozed off and missed a number of competitors, a successful day was had by all concerned.

Sturgess Trophy and Replica: A. Payne (Ford Anglia), 2 marks lost.
First Navigator’s Award: H. Smith.
First-Class Awards: Miss Anne Waddington (Triumph Mayflower), 3 marks lost, and Ken Law (M.G. TF), 4 marks lost.
Second-Class Awards: Miss Gaynor Hercock (Sunbeam-Talbot), 4 marks lost, and Alan Shipley (Austin Special), 4 marks lost.
Novices’ Award: J. M. Taylor (Sunbeam Alpine), 8 marks lost.

Allard Owners’ Club
The first of its kind held in the motoring world (so far as is known), the recent Allard Owners’ Club 250 miles, seven-hour car rally on Sunday, May 2nd, starting and finishing at the “King’s Head,” Capel, Surrey, was acclaimed by all competitors as completely successful and a most enjoyable event. In lieu of the usual multitude of officials, each competitor was armed with an identical simple camera and had to photograph the various places en route to prove the actual visitation. During the meal which followed the rally, at which some 60 people were present, the films were developed and the alternative of a new Kodak camera or a new pair of prismatic binoculars was presented to the winner, Mr. D. E. Godfery (P1 Allard saloon), who chose the camera and expressed his appreciation of his navigators and the rally arrangements, which he thought were most excellent. The runner-up, Mr. P. Renson-Smith, was presented with a Kodak Brownie camera gift outfit. Mr. Sidney Allard, who competed in the rally with his usual enthusiasm and only failed by 30 sec. to complete on time, paid handsome tribute to the organiser, Mr. Reg Leather, who, in turn, sincerely thanked Miss Pat Downey and Mr. Tom Lush for their very willing co-operation and enthusiastic help.

Coventry And Warwickshire M.C.
Fifty entries were received by the Coventry and Warwickshire Motor Club for the T. G. John Cup Car Rallyette, of these thirteen were from the invited clubs.

Forty-six competitors actually started from “The Sportsman’s Arms,” Allesley, and all reported to the first time-check at Stoneleigh Deer Park, for three driving tests, without loss of marks. The tests were held on the cinder parade ground of the army camp, and allowance had been made for each car to complete the tests and to be clear of the control within 15 minutes. This proved to be ample time, and again all competitors reached the second control — Flecknoe Station. The best time in each test was made without loss of marks by A. Yarranton, the eventual winner, in his Morgan Plus Four.

The tests being simple in character did not cause undue difficulties except where people had failed to read their regulations thoroughly.

Competitors continued across country at average speeds varying between 24 and 30 miles per hour to the start of the regularity section in Inkberrow, near Worcester. This test was at an average of 24 m.p.h., the route was nearly four miles and was described on the route card. All competitors lost marks, although only seven competitors were more than one minute outside the required average.

The next control was a check for high tea at the “Green Dragon,” Sambourne, where competitors were able to obtain tea with bacon and two eggs. After a 65-minute break drivers left at one-minute intervals to drive towards the setting sun.

The route up to this point had not been difficult, and the majority of the competitors faced the evening section with full stomachs and complacent smiles. The Clerk of the Course, Peter Nichols, had, however, left a sting in the tail of this rally, and the narrow roads in the Hagley area took their toll of the competitors and only seven of the original starters completed the route section without loss of marks.

Nearly all competitors remained at the finish, which was at the Fleur-De-Lys, Lowsenford, to hear the results announced by the Clerk of the Course at 9.45 p.m.

Exceptional performances were put up by Mrs. Osborn, driving her H.R.G., who came second in the open-car class, and won the ladies’ award. R. Foster, who was from the M. G. Car Club, was runner-up to A. C. Yarranton, and first saloon car. R. Evans, again driving consistently, gained a first-class award in his new Standard Eight. Murray Austin, Miss Haynes and A. Baillie won the team award for the “Axle Optimists,” driving their Zephyrs.

Five competitors were disqualified for missing checks and three retired; unfortunately. W. E. Langton had the misfortune to break his crown-wheel and pinion on his Ford Prefect tourer at the first driving test.

Perfect weather and the cherry blossom being in bloom made the day most enjoyable not only for competitors but marshals as well. The speedy compilation of results by the team working under Mr. Wolseley was appreciated by all competitors.

Morgan Three-Wheeler Club — Third Madresfield Speed Trial
The club’s 1954 speed trial attracted a smaller entry than usual despite the increased club membership-now about 600-and quite reasonable weather. The entry included the winner of last year’s event, C. Hale, together with the “Flying Saucer” of L. Bolton and a new sprint machine of E. A. Woods, so that fast times were expected despite the loose surface of the course, which has deteriorated recently.

The small touring class (8-h.p. Ford or side-valve V-twin) machines opened the proceedings, C. W. Coombes (J.A.P.) putting up a good 42.4 sec. for the first run of the day. This stood until P. Murphy (Ford Eight) put in a run at 37.1 sec., which was not beaten. Last year’s winner, G. Bullock (J.A.P.), cams nearest with 41.4 sec., winning the Woods Side Valve Trophy, but P. Murphy put up 36.7 sec. on his second run, thus winning the class award.

Class two, consisting of touring machines with o.h.v, twin or 10-h.p. Ford engines, now came to the line. A good run was put in by J. G. King (J.A.P.) in 35.7 sec., but the next on the line — R. G. Davies (Blackburn)-did 31.9 sec., a time which was to give him the class award. Others putting up a good time at their first attempt were W. D. Evans (Blackburn) 34.8 sec., R. King (Ford) 33.7 sec., and P. D. Davies (Blackburn) 35 sec. Most people improved on their times on their second runs, King’s 33.5 sec. getting him, second place in the class, while J. G. King (33.5 sec.) came third, having a slower aggregate for his two runs than R. King. Evans improved his time to 34.2 sec., but R. G. Davies could not better his previous time and recorded 32 sec.

After a short interval the racing class came to the line. After the gyrations performed by the more powerful touring devices on the poor road surface it was expected that the times put up would be limited by wheelspin, so that the relative advantage of the racing types would be reduced. Bolton’s futuristic-looking J.A.P. was first away and, accompanied by the noise of terrific revs and much loose gravel, returned a time of 31.2 sec. Hale’s first run was not up to his expected standard (35 sec.), but Evans 32.1 sec., R. G. Davies 31.5 sec. and J. G. King 32.1 sec. put up excellent times in what were virtually standard touring Morgans. On his record run Hale’s J.A.P. was going well and recorded 30.8 sec., which was fastest time of the day, but did not beat his own record for the course of 30.2 sec.. set up last year. Davies 31.8 sec., Evans 32.3 sec. and J. G. King 32.1 sec. all put up excellent times in their second attempts.

A rough count at about lunch-time showed 70 or 80 Morgans at the meeting, and it is a pity that more did not enter for the event, which was well organised by the club, assisted by members of the R.R.E. Motor Club.

Perhaps the most disappointed man was the club’s chairman, E. A. Woods, whose Rudge-engined Special — built in less than three weeks — broke a piston and was unable even to make a practice run.