CAMBRIDGE AT BRANCHES PARK.
Varsity club’s Successfu’ 1
Speed Trials. events on the road are such a rarity in these days that it was a real treat to get up to an affair like the Cambridge Auto Club’s speed trials at Branches Park on February 21st last. Combined with the usual cheerful atmosphere so characteristic of a varsity event was the presence of some really good motor cars. Old members of the club being able to corn
pete, the interest of the event was increased, and it was evident that the said old members had been doing a little quiet borrowing of motors for the event. ” Ginger ” Llewellyn had acquired Davenport’s V-twin Frazer-Nash for the occasion, and proceeded to clean up the car events with great gusto—great stuff this car !
It would have been a happy thought on the part of the organisers to scatter a few signs round the vicinity to guide lost nfotorists to the scene of action. However, everyone seemed to get there eventually, and start the furious disrobing of the motor that one always hopes is going to knock off a few fifths of a second. The competitors’ enclosure was well laid out with plenty of room for everyone, and was soon littered with temporarily discarded wings, windscreens and spare wheels. There were, of course, some pukka racing cars which arrived in fighting trim, such as R. G. Nash’s single-seater Frazer-Nash, ” The Terror,” which has no been finished off with a very neat body, and looked very at
tractive. Spottiswoode’s Bugatti, which has done so well at Shelsley and elsewhere, was another business-like turnout. The entertainment was opened by the motorcycle contingent, which contained several riders with Isle of Man experience, who put up very polished and snappy performances. Mavrogodato is still faith ful to Scotts, while Muir, Sikes and Cockerell upheld Velocettes. The Velocettes were really excellent, being well tuned’and well ridden. Cockerell’s was somewhat oversize and made fastest time of all vehicles with 19.5 secs., while Muir annexed the 350 c.c. class. ” Mayro’s ‘ Scott was perfectly tuned and
screamed up the course without a miss to the tune that only a Scott can produce. In fact, the general trend of events showed that motorcycling is still going strong at Cambridge while the car element of the club does not seeni to be so strong, with one or two exceptions. Robinson’s old Brescia Bugatti was good, however, and won the Reilly Cup for the fastest time by an undergraduate’s own car. Here is someone who can both tune and drive, so good luck to him when he gets a new motor.
As 3 or 4 runs each were allowed, there was fair opportunity for drivers to rectify defects and get the best out of their vehicles. Llewellyn had a bit of bother with the clutch pedal on his first run, and a new one had to be constructed of tubing at short notice, but when he got going he went to some purpose, and recorded 20.4 secs for the 550 yards course. This was fastest time of the day and a very good show indeed. Nash, on the ” Terror ” also had a little preliminary trouble but eventually he got away satis factorily. His acceleration was colossal, but towards the end of
the run it caught fire and he coasted over the finish to lose fastest time by 1/10th of a second. Fortunately, the car was little damaged, but his new paintwork was rather spoilt. Conan-Doyle ran the famous Frazer-Nash, the
“Slug,” in to third place in the 1500 c.c. class. The car went very well, and if he had only kept his foot down would have gone a great deal better. We rather failed to see the point of the number ” 9 ” permanently emblazoned on the tail ; judging by his performance this was the last thing he required. The same equipage brought “Chitty I,” but although this seemed a good joke at first, the time wasted in playing with it, coupled with the disappointing performance put up on it, soon failed to amuse.
The hangers-on of this particular crowd would also do well to remember that when someone has been good enough to lend their grounds for such an event, a little common politeness to the regular inhabitants is about the least that can be expected in return.
Spottiswoode’s Bugatti was well tuned as ever and beautifully driven, putting up 3rd fastest time of the day, while praise is due to Twist for his fine performance in the 1100 c.c. class on an Amilcar, his gear changing being particularly snappy.
The 850 c.c. was notable for Falkner’s M.G. Midget with a blower. He put up 24 secs., an excellent time for 850 c.c. Charles Brackenbury appeared about half way through the proceedings on his 2,300 c.c Bug., and having refreshed himself at leisure proceeded to get a second in the unlimited class.
This class was, however, carefully segregated from the rather fierce ” 1500’s “which, owing to the Frazer-Nash contingent were liable to upset the calculations of the larger class. Hopkins put up a good show on a very normal 3-seater Nash, his getaway being distinctly the right idea. “
A very neat looking” 4i ” Invicta was entered by Kehoe, but as its driver appeared to regard the event either as a concours d’elegance or a running-in track, the car never had a chance to show its paces. After all, this car can do more than 10 m.p.h.
in low before changing up ! The whole event was ; a thoroughly enjoyable:affair, and the weather really assisted things for once. The Cambridge club are to be congratulated on their efforts to keep alive one of the
most sporting type of motor events, and one which amateurs can afford to take part in. The heartiest thanks of everyone present is due to Mrs. Tonge, the owner of Branches Park, by whose kindness in lending the drive the event was made possible.