Club News, March 1936






Hampshire’s hills were in a beautifully muddy condition on the occasion of the Stafford Clark Cup Trial. Wick proved to be easily the most difficult hill, and only S. Allard, K. Hutchison and G. Ramsey, all driving V8 Fords, came up clean. E. Elgood ‘s 3-litre Bentley was the best failure. A stop and re-start on Oakshott resulted in best time in the big car category going to Allard’s ex-T.T. V8, with a time of 13.6 secs., E Mobbs’s Singer taking 15.2 secs. in winning the small car class.

Hammer Wood Hill developed a big hole about half-way up which naturally filled with liquid mud and made an excellent ” spin producer.”

Parker’s Lancia and S. L. Chappell’ V8 Ford went up fast, however. Dunrcmin proved comparatively simple, as did the first stage of Maysleith Hanger, but seven cars came to rest on the second half of the latter hill.

latter RESULTS

Stafford Cup : S. H. Allard (Ford V8). — Committee Cup : E. Mobbs (Singer). lw First Class Award : G. 1i. Ramsey (Ford V8). Second Class Awards : K. N. Hutchison (Ford V8);

S. L. Chappell (Ford V8).

Third Class Award : E. Elgood (Bentley). Team Award : Allard and Elgood. The annual general meeting passed off very satisfactorily and a small profit exists on the balance sheet despite rather poor Support of social, as opposed to competition, fixtures. Sir Waldron Smithers and Sir Malcolm Campbell have both accepted invitations to become

vice-presidents. A. J. G. Bochaton is now Captain and A. T. K. Debenham is Hon. Trials’ Secretary. Hon. Sec. : K. R. W. Shackel, 61, Eltham Road, S.E.12.


The Coventry Cup Trial will be held on Saturday, March 14th, as an invitation event. The start will be from Greenway Garage, near Bridgwater, at 9.30 a.m., and a unique innovation is that competitors may, if they choose, take their own route between checks. A route-guide showing the suggested route will, however, be contained in the pi ()gramme.

Special tests will be used only to determine trophy winners, and failure in these tests will not involve loss of marks, providing ne involuntary stops occur. No work may be done on cars in an observed section or tim4d-test. Within limits, competitors will be allowed to choose their own re-starting points before each observed section. The Coventry Cup can be contested by members of the Sutton Coldfield, Brighton and Hove, M.G. C.C., Singer M.C.C., J.C.C.and the organising club. Entries, which close first post on March 2nd, are 15s. or 21s. for members of Invited clubs, the fee for a team of three cars being 12s. 6d. extra. Hon. Sec. : H C. Hunter, ” Windyridge,” ‘Wimbledon Common, S.W.19,


Entries for the Land’s End Trial close on March 30th. The fee for car drivers is £2. Competition tyres and solid axles are permitted, but cars must be . in touring trim and chains are barred. There are to be three starting points, one 20-25 miles west of London, one at Stratford-on-Avon, and one at Penzance. The trial proper will start at Taunton, and will embrace such famous grades as Doverhay (motor-cycles only), Lynmouth, Station Hill, Beggars’ Roost, Barton Steep, Darracott, Hustyn and Bluehills Mine. The finish is at Land’s End. The date is April 10th-llth. A few fresh sections may be put in. Full details are available from Mr. Masters, 22, Norland Square, London, N.W.1.


The Enthusiasts Motor Club is a newly-formed body catering for

” genuine enthusiasts.” ‘Trials will be held and communal visits to races arranged. The subscription rates are :— cars 7s. 6d., motor-cycles and tricars 5s., social members 2s. 6d. per annum.

It is possible that a rally for cars of the 1906-100 era may be arranged, a suggestion to this effect being in the hands of the Committee for debate at their next meeting. Hon. Sec. • L. C. Bartram, 104, Banbury Road, dxford.


The Jubilee Cup Trial on February 9th started at Blandford in conditions of hard frost. Incombe Tax, the first hill, stopped only four of the 42 starters, while 31 cars failed on the sticky grade of Atkin’s Alley’s second section. A. C. Westwood pulled up his Balilla Fiat in 7 secs. to win the Brake Test. After the lunch stop Bridge Hill was attempted and, assisted by the frost, everyone got up save J. Dyer, whose Alvis broke its propeller shaft. A stop and re-start on White Sheet gave R. B. Pink the Jubilee Cup, his M.G. Magnette taking 5 3./5 sees. Macdermid’s Magnette was the runner-up in 6 3/5 secs. Vennards was coated thickly with mud, so that those who, noting the frosty weather, had turned up with normal tyres to gain their ten bonus marks, felt somewhat less happy. Everyone who returned a clean sheet

used competition covers. On this hill the V8 Ford drivers, Macdermid (M.G. Magnette), E. Giles (Hillman Minx) and D P. Kirkman (Alvis) were good. Winnicott’s passenger bounced so effectively that he tame down on Mother Earth. Poplar Tree Hill provided more mud and claimed eight more failures.


Jubilee Cup : R. B. Pink (M.G. Magnette). Southsea M.C. Club Cup : S. Curry (Ford V8). Unlimited c.c. Award : S. L. Chappell (Ford V8). Under 1,500 c.c. Award : R. A. Maedermid (M.G.

Magnette). Under 1400 c.c. Award : J. B. Waller (M.G. Midget). Mlle NIIirirrelinri “WV s’

Team Award : R. A. Macdermid, J. E. S. Jones and P. S. Flower (all driving M.G.$), West Hants Club.

First Class Awards : P. S. Flower, C. S. Dewey, M. St. G. Maybury and A. C. W. Soames (M.G.$); K. Hutchison (Ford V8).

Second Class Awards : J. White (De Soto) ; J. E. S. Jones and T. Bryant (M..G.s.); Miss N. Dyer (Riley) ; E. Giles (Hillman Minx) ; A. C. Westwood (I1 at).


The Vintage Sports-Car Club had a day full of incident for their Chiltern Trial on the 16th of last month, as the fog reduced visibility to a minimum in most places, and the sudden thaw after the long frost gave rise to plentiful failures, when only two days previously the organisers had been afraid that no one would fail anywhere. Actually, Crowell and Widmere were only climbed by Allason (Frazer-Nash) although he failed on Maidens Grove from petrol starvation. Crowell seems to be more difficult than ever this year owing to the depth of the ruts, so that Wilbey

(Amilcar) was seen progressing toboggan-like on his sump, and Foxlee (Alvis) left his petrol tank behind, though he managed to tie it on again and continue to gain a first-class award. He also performed outstandingly in the special tests. Other excitements on Crowell were the loss by the routemarker’s Frazer-Nash of all its chains at once in a very dramatic manner, and the departure by 011ey (Cowley) backwards into a very prickly bush.

Chambers was fastest in the acceleration test on Whyteleaf, closely followed by “Tim ” Carson (30-98 Vauxhall) and Toler (T.T. Austro-Daimler). By uncannily skilful driving Chambers, on the Bentley, was also best in the manoeuvring test at the foot of Maidens Grove and Heal (30-98 Vauxhall) won the see-saw on Lewknor, though his time was unofficially improved upon by an observer—performing on foot !

One of the outstanding events of the day was the appearance of Col. Giles on ” Black Bess,”. the 1913 5-litre Bugatti, which caused enormous excitement, though he was delayed so long behind a minor crash at the beginning of the trial that he could not compete.

The entry for the trial was very satisfactory, and the competitors were divided into two classes, the cars of over 2-litre capacity omitting Crowell.


Over 2 Litres Premier Award : M. Chambers (41-litre Bentley). 1st Class Award : A. S. Heal (30/98′ Vauxhall). Under 2 Litres

Premier Award : J. H. Allason (Frazer-Nash); G. F. Foxlee (12-50 Alvis).

The Secretary of the Club is E. Lewis, 31, Rusland Road, Harrow. •


The death of the late King quite rightly resulted in the postponement, or abandonment, of many recent trials. The Match Trial idea between rival clubs looks like developing. The NorthWest London started it by meeting, and beating, a Kentish I3order Team, and were due to meet a challenge from

Sunbac on February 23rd. The useful suggestion that these free and easy events be governed by a rule debarring anyone who has driven for one club in one Match Contest representing another club, especially a challenging club, in another Match event has been made and should be universally adopted. A three-wheeler enthusiast asks, why not apply a Marshall blower set to the Ford-engined Morgan? He has had long experience of an Anzani-Morgan and believes this experiment could be made without exceeding the 8 cwt. tricartaxation weight limit. The result should be V8-ish, and wear of the unfortunate rear cover largely governed by one’s tactics in everyday driving. Anyway, what price a new ” comp.” occasionally, if you can get V8 acceleration for £4 annual taxi

What are we going to do about this? Competitors in the Ringwood M.C. and L.C.C.’s Jubilee Cup Trial encountered flooded roads. They took to the only visible bit of land and the local policeman ” booked ” them for driving on the footpath. Doubtless the competition numbers influenced his unnecessary interest in the position of the cars, but why?

For future reference : this episode happened at Martin.

Whether a good time was had by all at the annual general meeting of the Motor Cycling Club I do not know, but certainly many who have the interests of the. reliability trial at heart were forced into some furious thinking. The purely business side of the meeting resulted in Lionel Martin being elected an honorary life member and the announcement that the treasurer’s report showed a deficit of £98 on a turnover of £3,800. After which the fun began.

First of all M. H. Lawson, who apparently has difficulty in keeping awake when he attempts to drive in the dark, asked that competitors who wished might wash-out the night section in long-distance events and join in after having fortified themselves with breakfast. Tradition, he explained, was no consolation for waking up underneath one’s motor. M. A. McEvoy spoke spiritedly for tradition. And the motion was soundly defeated. Not unexpected, the assembly then got down to a long and vivid discussion about solid axles and comp. tyres and

things. L. W. Jenkinson, who apparently likes writing postcards to people, or who perhaps sought to shorten the argument, asked that a postcard vote be taken. K. N. Hutchison indicated that he doesn’t like to see solid axled cars in trials. W. E. Kendrick, with charming generosity, suggested special awards for those who compete without the aid of faked differentials and prickly tyres.

Someone who evidently does a frequent job as an official, or who has a soft spot in his make-up for these overworked beings, mentioned the difficulties of scrutineering. Someone else, who thinks he knows our manufacturers, believed that if locked axles were allowed when they figured in the standard specification, then special ” diff.-less ” models of existing sports cars would appear at prohibitive prices. This speaker has overlooked the fact that there are not so very many solid axles men about even now, when the conversion is an inexpensive undertaking. And if the special Cars that he visualises would command prohibitive prices, trials folk might spend their extra pennies on an existing very successful, if not lowpriced, marque which always has had a solid rear axle.

The end of it all was that the M.C.C. was commanded to send out P.C.s, by forty-seven votes to twenty-nine, while the ban on solid axles was withheld as a result. And special awards for those who do not stoop to ” comps.” and locked di ffs. (or cannot afford them) were endorsed by sixty-three votes to fifteen.

That finished with, J. Harrison described a pleasant little trial not exceeding 300 miles in length, but when voters realised that he wanted it to replace the ” Exeter;” they did not take kindly to it. His appeal for more special tests, however, gained approval—let us hope they will be tests, and not highspeed curve-swerving through impossible bends marked out with buckets, or clutch-weakening ” acceleration ” funand-games, timed to fifths or a second (?) over six or so yards.

W. J. B. Richardson called the 30 m.p.h. timed section in the ” Exeter ” ” the most dangerous test ever run by the M.C.C.” He is apparently another of these sleepy-drivers. We know an Austin 7 pilot who was placed right next to the Vickers Sheds on the occasion of an M.C.C. One-Hour High Speed Trial, who most certainly does not agree ! Anyway, lots of us think the 30 m.p.h. business Mr. Hore-Belisha’s most dangerous experiment.

Littlewood-Clarke next arose, to try and keep all trade-drivers out of trials. Many members thereupon became sentimental and said that there are some very nice people in the trade. And those who had sore spots, having memories of losing coveted trophies to teams of factory-paid drivers posing as enthusiasts, did not know how to stop this sort of thing, anyway.

The motion was withdrawn — perhaps to some persons’ relief. Some important decisions did eventually result : i.e., that blowers should be handicapped in trials, timed-tests—and presumably compressors, too ; that engine capacity alone should not be the basis of fixing standard speeds for the Brooklands Day Out—which sounds like another job for Ebby ; and that motor-cyclists might be given more encouragement.

This perhaps historic meeting lasted for four hours, so trials ought to improve ! , The Monte Carlo Rally is over, and a fine adventure it was. As usual, several scribes are depressing the bladders of their fountain pens with the intention of telling us that the final tests proved just nothing at all. Certainly funny braking effects and ultra lightweight bodies and such like quite naturally were seen on the Quai Albert Piernier, and even Donald Healey drove , a car which, I believe, is not going into

• immediate production. But those who are really interested have a pretty shrewd idea of the standard cars that won through to Monte Carlo, and admire them for their stamina and performance.

The next event `for those with a weakness for rallies is the R.A.C. affair. It has been argued that this is quite a ” tame ” event. But was it ever meant to be more than just a pretty strenuous drive? When it was originally announced, few competition folk regarded it as anything else, but it has proved immensely popular nevertheless. It is a sort of fashion cum competition event, which attracts all the best drivers and cars. At the conclusion of the drive—or if you like, road-section—they display themselves in picturesque surroundings, where things like Mrs. Petre’s ” lap rug ” are muCh in evidence. A fine entry has again come in. The reversion to distinct first places in the classes is a good move. And if you really are a hair-covered be-man, you can always try to take one of these awards with a 30s. G.N. I

Interest in Edwardian motors is growing. You will remember, unless this is your first copy of MOTOR SPORT, that E. K. H. KarsIake found quite a few of these veterans in good functional order a year or so ago—cars like ” Chitty II,” a Sixty Mercedes, the 1914 G.P. Opel, a Sizaire-Naudin one-lunger, a pre-war Tourist Trophy Sunbeam, and similar fascinating cars that he ” wroteup ” in the ” Veteran Types ” series of articles. It would be good fun if owners of such cars could set out for a simple rally one tine, summer’s cloy. All you want is a suitable venue. Once checked-in, examination of other cars and an exchange of ” trial runs ” would keep things going. One prize should suffice, for the car coming the longest distance. Will club secretaries think it over, please