IT WAS with much sadness that we heard that Doreen Evans (as she was in the days before she married, and when she was a very popular, and highly accomplished girl racing-driver) had died in America. Sister of two keen motor-racing brothers, Dennis and Kenneth, of whom the latter was the more active driver, Doreen joined them when the Bellevue Garages stable was formed, driving MGs of various kinds almost exclusively. Tall, attractive, and very slim Doreen Evans looked frail but proved that she had the stamina to drive in long-distance races, being, for instance, one of the all-women crew in George Eyston’s MG team at Le Mans (“George’s young Ladies”), when they successfully completed the course, in a trio of “works” PAs, Doreen, partnered by Margaret Allen, finishing 25th. Her own cars were always immaculately turned-out, in the Bellevue colours, and Doreen drove them with great zest at Brooklands, Shelsley Walsh, where she held the Ladies’s record, and at speed-trials. I remember how she kept going at speed in the torrential rain of the 1934 LCC Relay Race at Brooklands, in which the MG Magnette team of Miss Schwedlier, Margaret Allen and Doreen Evans finished third. She then won a Ladies’ Mountain race at 67 1/2 m.p.h.
In her fast Q-type MG Midget single-seater she won a 1935 March Short Handicap at Brooklands and was third, lapping at 114 3/4 m.p.h., at the Easter 1935 BARC Meeting. Turning to long-distance racing, Doreen was 7th in the 1935 JCC International Trophy Race at the Track, her MG averaging 80.63 m.p.h., and she narrowly missed taking the Class H outer-circuit lap-record before that season was over. She also drove in the BRDC “500”. By 1936 she was driving an R-type all-independently-sprung MG Midget and seemed quite unmoved when it caught fire during the 250-mile International Trophy Race and she had to jump out while the car was still going quite fast. In 1936 Miss Evans married the wealthy American MG enthusiast Alan Phipps and went to live in the States, raising a family, and seldom being seen in England. She is remembered as a very good racing driver, who had a professional approach to racing which so many amateurs, especially the ladies, lacked. Her versatility was such that she also competed in the trials of those days, until racing took precedence, performing creditably for instance, with the Bellevue team of modified ex-racing “Musketeer” MG Magnetics.
E. R. (“Eddie”) Hall
THE sadness continues, with the news from Monte Carlo of the death last month of that versatile, well-organised, and ever-cheerful driver, E. R. Hall, aged 82, the shock more profound because we met him at Shelsley Walsh only last year. He was the 100% motor-racing enthusiast. Commencing in the 1920s with an 8/18 Talbot, Eddie soon graduated to faster things, Aston Martins for instance, one of which he towed all the way from his home in Yorkshire to Shelsley Walsh behind a big Renault he had bought for £30, on a trailer he had made out of Model-T Ford bits.
As the years went on Hall embarked on a more ambitious racing career, aided by his charming wife, beret over her bobbed hair, who controlled him meticulously from the pits in long-distance races. Turning to a 4 1/2-litre Bentley, Hall won a 1930 Brooklands’ Mountain Speed Handicap and, with Dr. Benjafield, drove the car into second place in that year’s 500 Mile Race, at the highest average speed, 112.12 m.p.h. When driving this fast heavy car Hall would sportingly pull it down the bankings to allow rivals to overtake. Hall then went back to small cars, driving an MG Midget into third place in the 1931 “500”, one of the Team-Prize winners. With the blown Midget, Eddie scored a “first” at the 1932 BARC Whitsun Meeting and later he used a supercharged MG Magnette, gaining places in the International Trophy races and winning the 1933 BRDC 500 Mile Race by sheer strategy, running to a pre-determined speed, controlled by Joan Hall, averaging 106.53 m.p.h., after driving without relief.
His many successes have been recorded in these pages at the time. He ran at Donington, taking first places in Midget and Magnette, but he is best remembered for his three second places in the Ulster TTs of 1934, 1935 and 1936, each time setting the fastest race speeds, respectively of 78.40 m.p.h., 80.36 m.p.h. and 80.81 m.p.h. with his Derby-Bentley, defeated only by the handicap imposed on it. In the other Bentley, Hall had finished 12th in the 1930 TT, third with his MG in this race in 1932, and fourth, MG-mounted, in 1933. Hall also came in eighth in his 4 1/2-litre Bentley, with Clark, at Le Mans in 1950. Few amateur drivers raced so professionally as E. R. Hall, than which no finer tribute is needed in his memory. — W.B.
WITH the death at the age of 83 of Charles Follett, sadly another link with Brooklands has been severed. He raced Alvin, Railton, Lea-Francis and Lammas-Graham cars, as recounted after an interview I did with him in 1972 — see MOTOR SPORT for October of that year, pages 1112-1113 — and the Light Sports Railton in particular proved to be a great all-rounder, taking for Follett the Shelsley Walsh sports-car record. He rants in the Brighton Speed Trials, where it made fastest sports-car time, and it was equally at home at Donington and in the longer Brooklands races; it could do a s.s. Brooklands’ lap at nearly 100 m.p.h. Follett ran various kinds of Alvis cars at the Track and won the Torquay Rally in a Speed-20, with his own body-styling, against the “works” entry.
Having opened his London motor business in 1930, Follett was able to have special bodies made for many of the cars he traded-in. He tended to deal in Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Alvis, Daimler, Jensen and Jaguar, on the old-fashioned but still valid principle of fostering the best of the British makes. He sold the business in 1961 but was on the Board of the new Company, before resigning in 1963 to concentrate on farming, which he did with the latest equipment, virtually on his own. His son Patrick was Managing Director of this Company up to 1973. This heavyweight of a man knew the Motor Trade intimately and was a well-known figure in sporting circles, where he effectively combined business with pleasure. — W.B.
W. A. G. (Jim) Goodall ex-Works Director of Morgan Motors died on April 30th after a short illness. Jim represented the second generation of the Goodall family to be connected with the Malvern Company, his father having been Managing Director to H. F. S. Morgan. Peter’s father. Jim was a staunch member of the Morgan team from 1932-1981 and since his early days succeeded in a great many motoring competitions.