This years major International Rally for pre-1930 cars and motorcycles was centred on Australia, where there is so much genuine enthusiasm tor the older vehicles and where there is still scope for motoring as it used to be. The support for this event indicates that this is so, for the entry numbered 541, and although a few of the entry numbers were allocated to travelling marshals and officials of the Caltex Oil Company which sponsored the rally, there were still well over 500 old vehicles involved. The organisation of this big happening, which started on April 8th from Sydney and concluded at the Gold Coast, Queensland on April 21st, followed by the usual social relaxations and prize-giving, was handled by the VCC of A. As has been done in previous events of this kind, some of the cars and motorcycles travelled sub-routes, according to their age, these ranging from a total of 1,480 to 1,940 kilometres, in the 16 days on the road. A splendid illustrated programme covered the rally, with the officials listed on a page overprinted on a 1920s Brooklands Paddock scene. The No. 1 entry was a 1900 Gardner Serpollet steam-car, and the Federal Government of Australia entered a 1924 Bean, thus commemorating Francis Birtles’ great transcontinental Australian journeys with this make of car so buck up, Mr. Callaghan! That they are not superstitious down-under is shown by No. 13 being allocated to a 1927 Ariel motorcycle, the aforesaid programme had many pictures of the competing cars, which naturally showed a preponderence of American makes various Model-T Fords, Buicks, and those Chevrolet, Dodge and Studebaker tourers with almost identical radiators. There were rarities, such as a 14/45 Rover, a Vinot et Deguingand, a 1912 Calthorpe and so on, contrasting with the sports Bentley, Vauxhall and other fast cars. The big colour-spread in this programme was devoted to K. Laycock’s 1926 Rolls-Royce Phantom 1 tourer and we note that W. Sanderson had entered his well-known 1914 12/16 sports Sunbeam and K. B. Pritchard a 38/250 (?) Mercedes-Benz, listed as a 1924 car. To go through all the 500 entries is impossible but they included some tine Packards, a Lancia Kappa, L. Dixon’s type 51A Bugatti, Pontiac coupe, Fiat 501 and 509A, pre-war Hurtu, racing versions of Model-T Ford, an Edwardian Hurtu, lots ot Edwardian Renaults, Clement Talbots, numbers of Essex, a Mitchell roadster, many Model-A Fords, a Lancia Lambda, an MG Midget, Austin Sevens, a curious 1921 Mercedes so-called Targa Florio with what looked like a home-built body, G. Sandtord-Morgan’s well-known 1914 RollsRoyce Silver Ghost tourer, a 1921 Stutz Bulldog, SPA, Flint, 15/40 sports Darracq, an American Type 40 Bugatti, 1910 Austin, Ford ‘buses, a Hotchkiss, etc.
We do not yet have the results, but we thought you would like to know that the VCC of A got its big occasion well and truly launched. The programme contained long articles about Burtles’ early trans-continental runs with a Model-T Ford, the famous Australian Edwardian “FiftyBob” Vauxhall, Australia’s first car, and many other interesting historical items. Len Sheen, the Federal President of the VCCA, and Caltex Oil, must have been well pleased with this 1978 Rally. –W.B
The VSCC at Oulton Park
The Richard Seaman Memorial Trophies Race Meeting ot the Vintage SCC at Oulton Park is usually one of the season’s more emoyable vintage-car happenings. It takes place this year, over the attenuated road course, on June 17th, starting at about 13.15 hours. the races, for which entries have closed, will comprise the two Seaman Trophy Scratch events, each over m6 laps, respectively for vintage and pre-194o racing cars, a 20-lap Scratch Race for historic racing cars and the taster VSCC-type cars, an interesting 7-lap Handicap for vintage sportscars in road trim, to which will be added a number of short handicap and scratch supporting races.
So here are all the ingredients of tun with a certain amount ot excitement, laced with the sounds, smells, scenes and “atmosphere” not found at the big meetings. Admission charges are £2 per adult, £1 per child, transfer to Paddock and Grandstand costing an additional £1. Members ot the organising club make their own admission arrangements. This meeting counts towards the 1978 Motor Sport Brooklands Memorial Trophy Contest, for £225 prize money, in which the leader at present is D. J. Dutty’s 3 1/2-litre Alvis-Riley with 31 points, followed by Mrs. Mason (Aston Martin), D. W. Llewellyn (Bentley); S. G. Harvey (Riley), M. H. Dods (AC), D. O. Reales (AC) and H. R. Dunham (Alvis) next, all with 18 points each.
So if you are in Cheshire in June, remember to give yourself the pleasure of seeing the older cars, in action at Oulton Park on the 17th. –W.B.
Model car collectors who are coincidentally enthusiasts for modern endurance racing are well catered tor by Grand Prix Models’ Series ’76-’77 racing car kits. We have conducted “track tests” on three of them, built up by GP Models’ own model builder: the 1976 works Martini Porsche 936/2 Spyder; a 1977 works BMW 320i Silhouette; and a 1976 BMW 3.5-litre CSL Silhouette. The two BMWs make a fine pair. As they are to the same scale, it’s an interesting exercise to compare in detail the two “winged-wonders” which are so difficult to distinguish from each other at a distance on the track. The 320i kit can be had in the tactory Jagerineister colours, BMW Junior Team colours or in the guise of the First National City-backed, IMSA series, .McLarenbuilt car, like our test model. Its detailed transfers are first class. There’s a choice ofSilverstone-winning, Fitzpatrick/Walkinshaw Hermitite colours or Quester/Nilsson Gasser Beer colours for the CSL. kit, which GI’ models warn is not easy to make. As our ready-built example showed, patience rewards with good results. Although visually quite accurate, our Porsche 936 model (the version sans air box) was less satisfactory, with an inherent performance. problem (something to do with the oversize front tyres being locked against the bodywork!) and severe handling deficiencies (the inside front wheel was permanently off the “deck”!). C.R.
Meccano Dinky have produced a i to mm.-long replica of a National Carriers’ heavy-duty, general-purpose van with removable moulded canopy. It has the Ogle-Design of Letchworth cab specially designed for Dinky. No. 383 in the Dinky Toy series, this truck, which carries the lettering of the new “Medallion Guaranteed Delivery”, costs 99p. W.B.