Stanley Sears' Trophy meeting

Snetterton,  May 14th

IF you speak of “glorious Goodwood” it is presumably permissible to refer to “scruffy Snetterton,” but at the Norfolk circuit you can enjoy informal racing, run with great enthusiasm and attracting a pleasingly varied entry. Oliver Sear says his aim is to apply the same light-hearted club atmosphere as was found at Brooklands pre-war—a very laudable aim, although it should not be forgotten that at that track you found a tunnel, Paddock shelters, bars, restaurants, changing rooms, weighbridge, etc, from the word go, 54 years ago.

However, there is no doubt about the enthusiasm displayed at Snetterton, which was well to the fore during the Stanley Sears’ Trophy Meeting.

The big event was the 10-lap race for vintage, historic and pvt cars; Mr. Sears sportingly did not put in an entry, although he could have done so in each category, from his famous collection. The pvt category included some very slow cars and a bogus entry, the latter being K Wilson’s SS100 with XK 120 engine. This power unit proved too much for the SS radiator, which boiled over.

Harding’s 1926 ex-Fisher Villiers-blown Amilcar Six and Bergel’s 2.3 GP Bugatti ran with road equipment, in pursuit of the vintage sports-car class, won by the latter, at 70.28 mph. In the race proper Lindsay made a fine start in his ERA “Remus” whereas Day crept and had to brake as the flag fell. But after three laps Day was second and as Lindsay’s lap speed fell from 84.8 to 81.9 mph, the ex-Gerard ERA had no difficulty in taking the lead by lap four and building up a big lead. The other ERAs spaced themselves out, finishing in the order Lindsay, 21.8 sec behind Day, Brown and Waller. Day made fastest lap at 84.98 mph and averaged 83.06 mph. McDonald’s 3/41/2 Bentley went sick in its engine, Morley’s 3/41/2 Bentley sprayed him with water vapour, Ashley’s Frazer Nash, which rides to races in state on a trailer, beat Michelson’s Frazer Nash “Patience” to the pvt plum. Ashley averaged 73.92 mph (best lap, 75.39 mph). Margulies’ 2.9 Maserati stripped something in the transmission going out to the start, so it was trailed to Snetterton in vain.

The first FJ race saw Rhodes’ Cooper-Ford win comfortably at 90.9 mph (best lap, 92.38 mph) from Bill Moss (Lotus-Ford) and Ashmore (Lotus-Ford). Although worried about a patched-up oil pipe Hobbs’ raucous automatic-transmission Elite had no difficulty in winning the 8-lap sports-car race from Shaw’s AC Ace, at 80.46 mph, Sutton’s and Gates’ gull-wing-door Marcos GTs an impressive third and fourth. They dominated the 1,000-cc category and vanquished Hill’s Warwick, Sutton averaging 79.5 to Hill’s 77.76 mph—good for Marcos ! An Elite motored along on its side after an episode at the hairpin, the other Warwick and a TR3A retired and a Twin-Cam MG came to its pit, reminding us once more how much more Jaguar know than BMC about engines of this sort.

Brian Naylor made light work of winning the Sports-Car Race in his 21/2-litre Cooper, at 89.92 mph, Baillie’s Aston Martin second, Chamberlain’s Cooper-Jaguar third, Keons’ little Lola a creditable fourth and winner of its class at 87.35 mph. Even in this brief race there were pit stops and Mitchell’s Lotus 7 retired after drinking a bucketful of water. Incidentally, Naylor’s Cooper carried an oil-cooler on its nose, Hill’s Lotus Eleven had one behind the passenger’s seat.

The second FJ race was a fine scrap between Bill Moss and Rhodes, with Ashmore never far away. Moss won by half-a-length, at 91.26 mph. Ashmore had the near-side rear suspension radius arm of his Lotus come loose and after his retirement following some arms-crossed motoring and a spin at the Esses Attwood’s Cooper-Ford took third place.

At the start of the Formule Libre race Naylor’s JBW with formidable exhaust system sheared its near-side half-shaft on get-away and soon Eden’s F1 Cooper had pulled out a good lead. Eden won at 91.85 mph (best lap, 93.09 mph), with Rhodes’ FJ Cooper second, Major Baillie’s Aston Martin DBR1 third with Attwood’s FJ Cooper clinging to it for most of the race. Bill Moss returned to his old love, an ERA for this race; driving Day’s car, but went straight on up the escape road at the Eases and wasn’t seen again. Wieken’s Jaguar E-type was an absentee from this meeting.–WB.

Miniature news

Lesney have introduced a fine two-storeyed Modern Sales and Service Station for their 00-scale cars, complete with two showrooms, ramp, forecourt, staircase, greasing bay, etc, and a realistic “Home Stores” with openable front door to embellish the roadside scene. Their “Models of Yesteryear” include a horse-drawn fire-engine and they have issued a 2d catalogue of their “Matchbox” miniatures.—WB.


Sgt. MJ Orme, of BFPO, writing in the VWOC magazine : “I must thank Mr W Boddy of Motor Sport for eventually making me realise through his excellent magazine that VWs are unbeatable in their class. I should think he has sold more VWs unofficially than any official salesman.”

Andover traction engine rally (May 13th)

This popular event attracted so much interest this year that, although the venue is a vast meadow, by 3.30 pm the car parks were full. There was an entry of 36 engines, supported by 37 vintage and pvt cars. I was pleased to see the 1928 Foden C-type tractor present that I discovered hauling coal for Camroux in London a few years back and wrote-up for The Model Engineer. It had steamed down from Loughborough using 400 gallons of water and 9 cwt of coal. The last DG Sentinel made had come 60 miles in 31/2 hours inclusive of stops for water, consuming 3 cwt of coal. There were more steam wagons than usual, totalling three Fodens and three Sentinels, Sparrow’s 1916 5-ton Foden being on solid rubber tyres; while Fisher’s 1923 6-ton Foden is taxed as a private car and used for occasional trips to the bank, etc. This year, besides the horse-drawn 1904 Shand Mason fire engine, there was a very effective 1/4-full-size model Wallis & Steevens traction engine, capable of hauling over a ton. Future Traction Engine Rallies include Appleford on June 17th, Alton Towers on July 1st/2nd, Rempstone on July 15/16th, Camborne on July 22nd, Taunton on July 29th and Woburn on August 5-7th.—WB.

Old balls

A woman’s magazine recommends women drivers to hang an old tennis ball at the far end of the garage to prevent ramming the Wall when driving in. How can such drivers park and drive safely On the roads if for garaging they rely on old balls ?

Leather for luxury

The Public Relations Officer of the Leather Institute has had the initiative to send us the following list of cars that have leather upholstery and the advantages claimed :—

Leather has “character,” it looks and feels good. Leather keeps cleaner and wears cleaner than any other covering material. Leather resists the tendency to damage and is kept in a pristine condition by wiping it over with soap and water. Owing to its unique fibrous structure, leather absorbs and “breathes” perspiration. It does not allow perspiration to remain clammily against the back of drivers or passengers. Leather is comfortable at all seasons and no other material compares with it for use over the whole range of climatic conditions. A leather-upholstered car can be more easily entered and alighted from, and facilitates change of position by either driver or passengers. Leather upholstery does not call for the fitment of loose covers and it certainly puts up the value of a used car.

We agree with all the claims made except perhaps that on a fast-cornering car with bench seat cloth upholstery holds the driver more firmly in his place. It will be interesting to see what replies the spokesmen of the plastics and cloth industries have, if they have any at all.—WB.