V.S.C.C. Curborough Speed Trials (May 15th)

The V.S.C.C.’s Midland Section used the pleasantly rural setting of Curborough for this very enjoyable speed trial meeting, which was graced by good weather and a representative entry. Fastest time of the afternoon was made by Cottam in his very original type A Connaught, still using Hillbourne fuel injection and a potent-smelling fuel, in a time of 38.6 sec. For each marker knocked down on the interesting course with its fast I.h. bend, a wiggle entered from a fast l.h. curve and a hairpin, 5 sec. were added to a competitor’s time. This was particularly unfortunate for McCall, Senr. in the ram-intake Lagonda Rapier, who felled at least four ! Fearnley’s T.T. Replica Frazer Nash ran badly after losing a ram pipe, Smith cornered his Fiat Balilla fast but got a marker on his first run, McEwen was going well in his Riley Sprite, and Fowler revved his Le Mans Aston Martin until it wouldn’t rev any more. Butters’ Aston Martin took 94 sec. on its first run, but this included getting out to turn the fuel on ! Mrs. Hogg’s Ulster Aston Martin had rocker trouble, soon rectified, and Sherwood’s Rapier opened the n/s door of its Abbott body, which was restrained by cord for just such a contingency.

After three black dogs had been chased away Morehen’s 1937 2-litre Speed Model Aston Martin appeared, and Barker’s Railton hit a marker, perhaps because of its Axleflex front suspension. Walker made the back tyres of his 4 1/2-litre Bentley whistle a bit but was beaten by the Railton, Toye’s 1933 A.C., which has developed external exhausts in its old age, accelerated well, Lewis-Hall’s very clean “Soda Squirt” was very slow, but Williamson’s 5.7-litre Bentley was quick, if a handful on the corners. Schofield’s sporting “1937” 4 1/2-litre Lagonda was built from spares in 1964, and Wood’s 1936 Rapier was the first one built after Lagonda had ceased to make these twin-cam 1,100s. Griffiths’ ex-Winder Humber Special understeered all the way round the top corner, Robinson was hampered by new bearings. in his Alvis Firebird Special, a car of nondescript conception, of which too many were in evidence, including Woolstenholmes’ i.f.s. Alvis with Speed 25 engine, but Black had driven his beautiful Monza Alfa Romeo down from Liverpool, and Payne’s 1925 S.V. Amilcar was absolutely original, even using grease in its solid backaxle; and the racers were really something, Arnold-Forster flexing the back tyres of Delage II, Moffat terrific and as neat as ever in his Type 35 Bugatti, removing much rubber from its b.e. tyres, but Davenport’s G.N. Spider II retired after flinging the rockers from its o/s cylinder through the Perspex window in the rocker box, through which his mechanic watches on the line to see that oil is flowing. A pity, as this was the car’s first appearance since its Loton Park accident. It has the 1946 f.w.b. H.R.G. chassis, the 2-litre V-twin engine with chain-driven o.h.c., carburetters made from big-bore tubes and Solex bits and twin M.L. magnetos, a Frazer Nash steering box and was on 185 x 15 rear Nylon SP Dunlops on magnesium rims. The fearsome Hardy Special driven by Barton-Hall was in fine form but hit several markers and Holland’s G.N./A.C. and the Chawrer-G.N. shed chains. Rippon drove Moffat’s Bugatti. Kain’s and Neve’s Bugattis were going very well, the former using a new cylinder block. Waine’s 328 B.M.W. had no wings, being in process of a re-build.—W.B.