Rumblings, June 1957

Celebrating Success

On May 3rd a luncheon was held at the Hyde Park Hotel, London, by the Standard Motor Co., Ltd., to celebrate the rally successes of the Triumph TR3 drivers J. Waddington, F. Snaylam, T. A. Gold and Dr. Spare. 

The party was attended by members of the motor Press and the Standard/Triumph organisation. The Managing Director of the Standard Co., Ltd., Mr. Alick Dick, took the chair and presented the Norma silver cup to Waddington, the Gold Star winner. After an excellent lunch and speeches by all who felt so inclined, the drivers left for the Tulip Rally — it was a good party, so good that, if they caught their train, they did so with only split-seconds in hand! Waddington paid handsome tribute to the co-operation he and his driving col­leagues receive from the Triumph Company. In conversation we discovered that this experienced rally driver uses a Volkswagen as hack-transport and we gather be thinks pretty highly of it. 

Dollars for TR3s

It is becoming increasingly difficult to think-up new publicity stunts but Mr. I. J. Penrice, Publicity Manager of the Standard Motor Co., Ltd., scored a distinct triumph in this direction when he heard that 40 members of the American Triumph Sports Owners’ Association wished to purchase new TR3s. He chartered a Douglas DC-7C aircraft from B.O.A.C. and flew 80 U.S. enthusiasts to London Airport, where they were met by the Press during the morning of May 4th. After their images had been committed to many hundreds of feet of camera and cine film, the American visitors took delivery of their gleaming new Triumph TR3s and drove, in imposing convoy, to “The Bull” at Gerrards Cross for lunch. 

Each TR3 wore English number plates, having been taxed for a quarter and lightly run-in, and the cars were, of course, as specified by their new owners, some red, many white, a few hard-tops but the majority open 2/4-seaters, some with the available “extras,” some on Dunlop Road Speed, others on Michelin X tyres. One young lady, drove her Triumph away solo, followed by many pairs of envious male eyes. 

After lunch the convoy proceeded to the inevitable Stratford-on-­Avon overnight stop. Sunday was a free day, on the Monday the Americans were entertained to another lunch at the Standard works and shown the TR3 production-line, and on the Tuesday they left for a T.S.O.A. rally on the Continent — another of this club’s non-competitive social rallies but with each car flying British and American flags and carrying a small numbered rally plaque. 

Altogether this rally was a very neat way of emphasising that the Triumph TR3, as Motor Sport wrote last month , is selling extremely well in dollar markets, 90 per cent. of the output of this value-for-money Coventry sports car being exported. We were glad to hear that B.O.A.C. co-operated splendidly in Mr. Penrice’s ingenious venture. 

Convincing Volswagen Victory in the Coronation Safari 

The Fifth East African Coronation Safari, a trial so tough that more than 200 miles of impassable roads on the Nairobi-Nairobi route had to be cut out and two drivers un­fortunately lost their lives, an event described by a contemporary as “the toughest in the world excepting the round-Australia event, was a convincing victory for a team of Volkswagens driven by Hofmann/Burton (lost 270 points), Townsend/Shepherd (lost 510 points), and Cardwell/Thomas (lost 550 points). 

Out of 64 starters only 19 finished, of which 12 were Continental makes (50 per cent. being VWs), the remaining seven British. The class for cars costing £600-£799 (East African prices) was a victory for the Armstrong/Temple-Boreham Fiat (lost 810 points) and the over £800 category was won by a Peugeot 403, driven by Feeney/ Nowicki (lost 530 points). 

Amongst the unfortunates were a Mercedes-Benz 170S which, after overturning, blew its head gasket, a Simca with engine trouble, another Simca with failure of a front-wheel bearing. a D.K.W. which overturned, a Ford Zephyr which burnt out its clutch, a Morris Minor 1,000 which broke its frame, an M.G. Magnette which damaged its sump, a 1947 Ford V8 with mechanical trouble and a Simca which rolled into a river. 

The eyes of the world are on this and the Australian rally and the men we meet from motor factories in the British Midlands who poo-poo the VW and won’t listen to a word in its favour must face up to the fact that this year’s Coronation Safari was a very con­vincing Volkswagen victory. 

Rapier Economy

A Sunbeam Rapier won the Malayan Mobilgas Economy Run with a figure of 52.09 m.p.g., or 71.98 ton-m.p.g. The under-1,000-c.c. class was won by a Goliath, which achieved 48.11 m.p.g. and 60.71 ton-m.p.g. The Sunbeam Rapier won the 1,000-1,600 c.c. class. The 1,600-2,700 class was won by a 2.4 Jaguar at 42.06 m.p.g. (71.03 ton-m.p.g.) and the over-2,700 c.c. category by a Studebaker Champion which did 28.44 m.p.g. (46.71 ton-m.p.g.). In the later Mobilgas South African Economy Rally B.M.C. cars secured the first three places, an Austin A55 achieving 43.37 m.p.g. (63.88 ton-m.p.g.).