D. Howard shines brightest at 40th B.A.R.C. Members Meeting
The Cup Final at Wembley and celebrations following the Royal Wedding reduced spectators at the B.A.R.C. Member,’ Meeting on May 7th to a handful of enthusiasts but in hot sunshine they saw some stirring racing.
In the 10-lap Scratch Race for sports cars up to 1,100 c.c. Lyon’s Lotus-Climax ran away from the field to win at 83.16 m.p.h. (best lap-85.04 m.p.h.) and finished 17.8 sec. ahead of Saunders’ Victoria-Climax, Lawrence third in de Selincourt’s Lola. Waldkirch spun twice, putting his Lotus to the back of the field, but he pressed on so effectively that he finished fifth. Dade escaped harm when his Lotus caught fire at the chicane.
The Five-lap Scratch Race under Cibié Cup Regulations for closed cars promised well. Blydenstein’s Borgward soon established the lead, upholding the reputation of these cars as very quick 1-1/2-litres, but the big German saloon was pursued relentlessly by Lawrence’s A40. Slightly further back Hedges’ A40 was hard put to it to hold off Harris’ astonishing Mini-Minor, which has twin S.U.s, special camshaft, etc., and again endorsed the fantastic road-clinging capacity of these excellent baby carriages. Byrne’s Auto-Union roused consternation by its three-wheeled cornering and eventually left the course in a very big way at Woodcote, although able to continue. Merfield did a lot of grass-track racing at St. Mary’s in his New Anglia. The Borgward won at 72.53 m.p.h., after a lap at 73.72 m.p.h, – master of the up to 1,600-c.c. saloons. Hurrell’s Pirelli-shod 750 G.T. Saab with triple S.U. carburetters cornered on a level-keel, in sharp contrast to the Auto-Union.
Lawrence next ran right away from his rivals to win the 10-lap Marque Scratch Race in his Morgan Plus Four at a rousing 79.54 m.p.h., his best lap being to the tune of 81.82 m.p.h. Hextall came up well to second place in his TR2, leading Munns’ A.C.-Bristol home. Lawrence won by no less than 48.8 sec.! In the following five-lap Scratch Race for 1,000-c.c. o.h.v. or up-to-1,200-c.c. sports cars four drivers were racing for the first time and of them Murrell did very well to bring his D.R.W.-Ford home second, behind Parkinson’s Yimkin. The Yimkin had been cured of chronic brake trouble which had assailed it in practice and it averaged 74.79 m.p.h. (best lap 78.12 m.p.h.), clinching Parkinson’s lead in the Motor Sport Brooklands Memorial Trophy contest by three points over his closest rival, Munns. The other first-time drivers were not so fortunate as Murrell. Baron’s Sprite ramming Segal’s Berkeley in an incident at St. Mary’s and Hughes’ Sprite overheating. Third place went to Marriott’s Sprite. Epps’ Sprite spent much time spinning but pressed on fast when facing the right way.
The 10-lap Formula Junior Scratch Race suffered from seven non-starters including the lone Lotus. Mason’s Elva led for half the distance, closely followed by Ames’ Elva but the latter’s engine only lasted three laps. Boden’s Elva then came into the picture, taking the lead on lap six, Mason’s car going badly, so that Bridge’s Deep Sanderson finished second, ahead of Puzey’s Yimkin – new blood on the F.J. scene. Boden averaged 79.93 m.p.h. and put in a lap at 81.97 m.p.h., but the Junior racers were outclassed in speed by the 1,100-c.c. sports cars this time.
The big sports cars were let into the next five-lap Scratch Race, yet the winner proved to be a “1,100”, Howard driving his Lotus-Climax splendidly, to win easily at 84.34 m.p.h. from de Selincourt, also in a 1,098-c.c. Lotus-Climax. Victoria and Elva “1,100s” followed these two home, the best the “heavy metal” could do being fifth place by Hetreed’s Aston Martin DB3S; Howard even made fastest lap, at 85.71 m.p.h. The observers grew tired of Waldkirch’s frequent spins and flagged hint off.
The meeting, with the sun still beaming down, concluded with two five-lap Handicaps, the first dominated by Sprites, with Marriott’s winning at 72.87 m.p.h. from Scott’s and Thomas’, while Mrs. Kathleen Howard did nicely to finish fifth in the Lotus after making fastest lap at 78.4 m.p.h. It was the Howard’s day, for husband Howard won the last race at 82.82 m.p.h. after unsensational but calculated driving to catch Dilley’s smart, fast and ambitiously-driven Frazer Nash and Yeates’ Lister-Bristol. The 1,100-c.c. car not only achieved this from scratch but set fastest lap of the afternoon, at 86.06. Why buy them any bigger? – W.B.
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We wish G. P. F. Sykes every success in his new calling – he is leaving the B.A.R.C. to reorganise motor racing in Australia.
Collectors who wish to keep up-to-date require the very fine Tri-ang “Spot-On” 3-litre Rover 1/42nd-scale model (No. 157). with a splendid finish, windows and proper wrap-round screen, seats (even to the parcels’ shelf behind the back seat), steering wheel, lamp, number plates, bumpers, door handles. etc. The wheels are sprung on the Flexomatic system, wrongly called independent. This is a very fine miniature to a sensible scale and chassis such as i.f.s., prop.-shaft, back axle and springs are correctly depicted.
Playcraft reply with a good ”Corgi” Massey-Fergusson 65 tractor with working shovel controlled by two levers (No. 53) – one for the farmers – a realistic Triumph TR3 with screen, prop.-shaft tunnel and instruments, etc. (No. 305) and a topical addition in the form of a l.h.d. Fiat 1800 saloon (No. 217).
Finally, Lesney have brought out a set of painting books featuring their “Matchbox” series to keep the kids occupied while father plays with their motor-car models. The more you buy of these models the more eager will the manufacturers – e to introduce fresh subject, in this fascinating realm of motoring in miniature. – W. B.
Black mark for the Valiant
Having published a road-test of the Ford Falcon “compact” last month, we intended to report on another “compact,” the Chrysler Valiant, in this issue. The Editor duly collected a l.h.d. fully-automatic Valiant and drove in it from the Goodwood Easter Meeting and on to the office next day. That evening he continued to Beckenham, where he was appearing as one of the “brains” at a Michelin Brains Trust before the Southern Counties Sprite Club.
On the way the Valiant’s horn gave up the ghost and outside the hotel the car flatly refused to restart, even when pushed by a bevy of willing, if incredulous, helpers. The Editor was forced to abandon this virtually-new car and accept a midnight lift from John Sprinzel, making his way home in B.M.C. vehicles.
Early next morning he informed the Kew branch of the great Chrysler Corporation of the untimely demise of their new Valiant; they offered no apology, being more concerned over the trouble to which they would be put to retrieve the car. Apparently the battery had gone “flat,” which is all the more remarkable as the Valiant has the much-publicised new A.C.-generator with silicone-diode rectifiers, which exists expressly to obviate such a contingency!
Since the day when he was stranded in Beckenham the Editor has heard not another word from Kew; he offers this explanation to the many readers who are asking why no road-test report on this much talked-about compact has appeared in Motor Sport. – W.B.