Matters of Moment, June 1956
British Drivers, Bravo! Bravo!
Britain has every reason to be proud of her young racing drivers. Stirling Moss, Mike Hawthorn, Tony Brooks, Peter Collins, Archie Scott-Brown, all have the qualities necessary for success in modern motor racing. Moss has had a very good start this season, Collins has shown his virtuosity in the Tour of Sicily, at Syracuse and in the Mille Miglia, etc., Brooks continues to drive with the calm skill which beat the Italians at Syracuse last autumn, Scott-Brown called forth our praise last month, and if Hawthorn has had disappointment after disappointment so far this year, when the B.R.M. is going well it couldn’t have a better driver. Bravo, bravo !
The R.A.C. having decided that Dundrod circuit in its present form isn’t suitable, the Tourist Trophy Race, which was to have counted towards the Sports Car Championship, will not be held this year unless a suitable course can be found in the Isle of Man. This is a thousand pities, for the T.T. has long been our most important sports-car race and our only big race held on a genuine road circuit. However, this race has known breaks in the past, having been held from 1905 to 1908, then abandoned until 1914 – when it was revived as a racing-car event, in which form it was held again only in 1922, reviving, as a sports-car classic, at Ards in 1928. In 1937 and 1938 it came inland to Donington Park and was held at the excellent Dundrod course after the war. The best of fortune to the Ulster A.C. in their plans to resuscitate the T.T. at this circuit in 1957.
There was an unfortunate hullabaloo in a local Surrey newspaper recently about how a quiet country village was disturbed by the arrival, off their course, of hundreds of cars which were competing in the London M.C.’s Little Rally. The main cause of the trouble seems to have been that competitors mistook the intended turning, motored up a dead-end, and caused unnecessary noise by meeting one another in this narrow lane. The police were sent for but could only ” pacify the villagers” and didn’t appear concerned when a farmer commenced driving his tractor up and down ” to slow them down by causing congestion.” The outcome was a threat that councillors would complain to the R.A.C. In R.A.C. rallies, too, we have had instances of checks being arranged in or near villages, of which the local police had no knowledge.
The police are usually willing to be co-operative. They have no powers to stop rally cars from using any public road but they can advise organisers of “sticky places”, either geographically or because “anti-rally” residents live nearby. It always pays to tell the police of your intentions, whether you are secretary of a big club organising a rally with scores of entries or of a small club holding a simple navigation run or treasure hunt.
If anything goes wrong or complaints, justified or unjustified, are lodged, you are much better off if the police are expecting you and understand what you are about. At least they can save themselves personal attendance when the local idiot telephones to say the Mille Miglia is passing through his village, but if no one has informed them it is only the Vespa Club on a photographic tour they have to go along to see for themselves. So, organisers of motoring events on the road, do go to see the police through whose area your event will pass. Do so for the good of the Sport, its future, and your own peace of mind.
As the cries of the baby whose carrycot was placed on the back seat of a car running on the Wrong Petrol die away comes a series of female’s exotic hats, one for each season of the year, covering an internal combustion engine, that usually oily and dirty, if trustworthy, piece of machinery.
These headgears have been designed by Madame Vernier, milliner to the Duchess of Kent and Princess Alexandra, and their intended purpose is to sell Mobiloil to women motorists. My hat!
Having frequently preached the advantages of air-cooling in these pages, the Editor recently undertook a penance to prove that his theories are indeed correct. With a co-driver he took three-hour spells at the wheel of a 2 c.v. Citroen which the National Benzoic Company set to make 100 consecutive ascents and descents of the notorious Welsh mountain pass, Bwlch-y-Groes.
Not being a Grand Prix ace, your Editor received no starting money, although he considers this was richly deserved, not because one iota of the skill of the racing driver was required but because, for sheer boredom this drive surely rivalled doing spells at Le Mans in the slowest of cars! However, this R.A.C.-observed trial does prove that air-cooling is absolutely foolproof even under conditions far more arduous than any modern car would normally encounter – see pages 349 and 352.
* * *
This month a new British Lion fill will be shown in London. It is “My Teenage Daughter”, starring Anna Neagle, Sylvia Syms and Norman Woodland. A 4 1/2-litre Bentley features in the film, which tells the story of the struggle between the mother and her elder daughter; the daughter, who until leaving school had been lovable, resents her mother and feels that she is interfering with her life.
Mobilgas Economy Run
This will take place on June 16/17th. Organised by the Hants & Berks M.C., the 650-mile run covers South and West England, with fast tests at Goodwood. The entry fee of £5 5s. appears to be somewhat unreasonable for the nature of the event, as a considerable amount of night driving at low speeds makes the journey exceedingly tedious. Starting money has been paid for lesser ordeals. Over £150, however, is available in prize money for economical runs. – I.G.
A new type of driving glove is now on the market. Manufactured by Boulton Bros., of Westbury, Wilts, it has been specially designed with the co-operation of Stirling Moss. These gloves have handmade crochet backs with hogskin or chamois leather palms; the latter, priced at 35s. 6d. per pair, are completely washable.