THE COLMORE TRIAL
BAD WEATHER AND A STIFF COURSE. TROPHY WON BY H. LAIRD (McEVOY SPECIAL)
The Sunbac Club have again been a little unlucky with their famous Colmore Trophy Trial. The event was marred last year by the inclusion of an ” impossible ” hill almost in Cheltenham town itself, as a result of which a lot of delay and congestion ensued. This year the blinding rain and snow rendered the surface of many of the hills much easier, besides making conditions very nnpleasant for competitors. Furthermore, the most interesting hill of all, Fish Hill, near Broadway, had to be abandoned after half the ‘entry had tackled it, as the approach to it became impossible. The decision of the local water company not to allow the cars to cross one of their streams forced the organisers to send competitors to the start via a very muddy slope across the downs. More time was wasted here than anywhere else and the decision to abandon the hill, if unfortunate, was very wise. The winner of the Colmore Trophy
as H. Laird, on his McEvoy Special, a notable feature of the other award winners being the predominance of Singer cars. The Club Team Prize was won by the Sunbac ” A ” Team consisting of N. V. Terry (Frazer NoshB.M.W.), C. A. N. May (M.G. Magnette) and C. D. Buckley (Austin), and the Committee Team Prize by the Autosports 11-litre Singers handled by J. I). Barnes, A. H. Langley and M. G. Billinghatn. The ladies’ prize went to Miss M. V. Milne (Singer). The Fish Inn, at the top of Broadway Hill, was the starting point from which W. S. Whittard and J. E. Orgee were despatched punctually at 10 o’clock at the commencement of their 60-mile drive. One mile from the start was the first test, Fish Hill, with a surface of soil which later got eaten down to a fairly stony base. The gradient was steep with a sharp left-hand bend at the worst point. J. M. Toulmin on his supercharged 939 c.c. M.G. went up very quickly followed by his inseparable companions, J. A. Bastock and R. A. Macdermid, on their Iflitre blown cars. J. H. Summerfield also on a blown Midget and A. W. F. Smith (847 c.c. M.G.) made very good getaways and W. S. Sewell, on his blown Austin Ten, was extraordinarily fast. Charles Goodacre sounded as if he was only running on three cylinders with his new Austin Seven but in spite of this, he just got to the top. T. L. McDonald, one of the Scottish Sporting Car Club team, had the greatest difficulty in getting his Singer to the starting point but once there, fairly sailed to the top. This gives some indication of the state of things at the bottom of the hill after only thirty cars had performed. As time went on, the approach got worse while the hill got easier, until the horses were stationed permanently at the bottom dragging cars to the starting point ! Then came some big stuff. Guy Warburton ‘s; 30/98 Vauxhall had to retrace its steps after getting about half-way, in
contrast to the really violent ascent of S. H. Allard’s T.T. Ford. K. N. Hutchison and S. L. Chappell, both on Fords, made light work of the hill and Denis Evans, needless to say, was also very fast on his trials Magnette, now with a compressor. Then the rain started in earnest and the hill was abandoned. Competitors were, therefore, sent straight on to Stanton H ill which, though narrow, was very easy. On Old Stanway, six Miles further on, a stop and re-start test was held which also held no terrors for the majority. The Autosports team, who were as neat and fast as any, were noticed her to be Using a new typ: of Goodyeav tyre
which, we were told, is marketed as a ” standard ” type. They certainly did not seem to notice the absence of ” comps ” but, of Course, their solid axles must help on a re-start of that
nature. K. N. utchison, whose oldtype Ford V8 coupe is fitted with aluminium heads and a magneto, was very quick on the getaway and H. Laird, who incidentally was running last in the trial, was most impressive As was C. Anthony on the Aston-Martin. Then came. Kineton Hill which, With the exclusion of Fish Hill. was the only tiler stopping element in the trial. The pouring rain was making rivers out Of its rocky grade and a decent ” bag ” of failures was recorded about 40 per cent. of the entry. Those who stopped were reversed down and sent up the bypass, Which is the test hill with the bends used in the Gloucester. Of the early ones to tackle it, the ” Crackers ” team can be noted for their speed with
the blown M.G.s, and Guy Warburton, for his grand ascent on the 30/98: Not. so lucky was Mrs. K. R. Lysley, with a very smart, cream Riley Imp, who • stopped near the top with spin. Miss Astbury • managed it alright with a if litre Singer and Denis Evans and C. A. N. May, . both on Magnettes, romped up. Miss M. V. Milne (Singer). was quick as anybody and very neat indeed through the gate at the bottom. Several Fords did not like this approach and from the top of the hill, it appeared as if there was not neatly enough room for the more modern ” fat ” ones. However, Chappell, Hut chison and Allard of the open car team all rumbled’ up, shooting stones from the back in the
characteristic Ford style. A contrast in types, T. W. Dargue Went up very well indeed on his grey touring Riley and C. D. Buckley (blown Austin Seven) and N. V. Terry (Frazer-Nash-B.M.W.) got up creditably.
A driving test was next on the list after K inefon. This was on the lines of the old Maiden’s Grove test in which a tonipetitor from rest drives forward over cross roads, reverses at right angles, then motors forward again up road two. n this case, the whole operation was tuned by none other than the great ” Ebby ” himself. Unfortunately, times were unobtainable at the time of writing, but the race was not always to the • quickest. Several of the ” racers ” were badly at sea when it came to reversing. between raised banks, while many made up in good driving what they lost in
power. One of the neatest seen was C. M. Anthony, with the Aston-Martin. —4 model of how it should be done. Miss C. Labouchere (11-litre Singer Saloon) misjudged things rather badly ; perhaps she was confused by the efforts
even ” Ebby ” looked twice. Mrs. A. Moss demonstrated her new, very special, trials Marendaz to good effect though she later had the great misfortune to smash some important member of the dutch assembly and cause a certain amount Of delay.
At West Down Hill, a very exciting starting point had been arranged halfway up its impossible looking gradient, but the pouring rain had washed the hill to such goodeffect that the only failure was J. L. Higgins (Frazer-Nash) and competitors moved on to Mill Lane, where an almost similar state of affairs e*isted. E. Lloyd-Jones came to rest on some of the bigger boulders of this long chassis-breaking lane with his supercharged Austin Seven, but nearly everybody else, took the risk of smashed wheels and got to the top fairly easily. Fifteen miles of road work and then come the acceleration test up Syde Hill. Although wet, the -surface was in quite good Condition with a hard base. The A utosports Singers of Langley, Barnes and Bill ingham were in their element but, naturally, faster still were the 14-litre blown M.G. of Bastock and -Toulmin. Syde is a little too narrow for a Ford to do itself justice, but K. N. H utchison and S. L. Chappell certainly motored to some effect, Lastly came G reen way Lane which had also been improved out of all recognition by the rain and caused little trouble to anyone. And so to the finish at the Royal George Hotel, Birdlip, and the 1936 Col more Trophy Trial was brought to a close. With the exception ‘of Fish Hill and Kineton, it had
developed into a fight against the weather, but even so, we think each one of the 127 entrants thoroughly enjoyed his or her day in the Cotswolds.
Colmore Trophy : E. Laird (McEvoy Special, s.).
Club Team Prize .• 5tiul ‘• A ” team (N. V.
Terry. Praier-Nasti (‘. N. May, M.(. Magnette ; C. 1). Runners-Up : Scottish Sporting C.C. Team :
(G. M. Frame, jun.. ; W. K. Elliott, lliley ; T. L. McDonald, singer). Committee Team Prize : Autosports Singers: (J. I). Barnes, M. G. Billinghtim -and A. H. Langley.) Runners-Up : Austin Team : (W. (. c. (Thotinere and W. H. Seriven.)
Shell Cup : A. II. (Singer), Rhode Cup : ‘l’. L. McDonald (Singer). Bernard Norris Cup : I). .liartios
Ladies’ Pri-,e : Miss M. V. Milne (Singer). ” Trial-to-Trial ” Trophy : H. E. Bradley (Singer). Best Performances in International Classes : : T. (‘. Wise ( Cord): : N. V. Te;’ry (Frazer-Nash c. N. :1:o (M.(. .Magnette) ; t; II. E. Bradley (Singer); II AlIlton (Austin): First-Class Awards : l), t;. Evans (M.(1. Magnette) :
G. Warburton (vailxliall) : (Singer). A. G. Imhof (Singer); Toulttain (M.G.. s.): R. M. Andrews (Singer): A. 1.:aulont (Singer) : C. Goodaere (Austin); E. R. Wa?kworth (Singer);
J. A. Bastoek (M.(. .11agnette, S.); H. K. Crawford (M.G., S.); S. E. Chappell (Ford); C. M. Anthony (Astkm-Martin): K. Hutt:W.44m (Ford); A. McGowran (Riley): T. W. Pargue (Riley); P. Snekling (Singer) ; W. K. Elliott (Riley).