U.H. & U.L.M.C.
The annual Cotswold Trial, which has earned a high place as one of the better trials embracing sensible hills and attracting a varied entry, was run off on February 6th. There were thirty-one entries, including A. F. Seroggs (touring Trojan), I. K. Nixon (Austin Seven), J. H. Plevy (Gwymie), G. N. Mansell and C. A. N. May (M.G.$), N. V. Terry (Frazer-NashB.M.W.), J. F. Alexander (12/50 Alvis), P. A. L. Meyratt (1,066 c.c. Ford saloon), A. D. C. Gordon (Ford V8), H. W. Inderwick (Batten-Special), C. L. W. Barker (Jensen), F. I). Gilson (Allard-Special), G. Crowther (Triumph), P. R. Southall (sports 1,608 c.c. Standard), B. D. Goodman (M.G.), W. Boddy (Ford Eight saloon), two Morris Minors, and a 570 c.c. Fiat. On the first hill, Stanscombe, there was a re-start test, in which best car time was made by G. A. Ruddock’s T-type M.G. Nixon (Austin), Gordon (M.G.), Gordon (Ford), Fellows (Wolseley Hornet), Barker (Jensen), Rawlings (Singer), Crowther (Triumph), Boddy (Ford), and Sarginson (Morris) were fail ures. Next came Bismore, an uutimed observed climb which failed Nixon (Austin), and Sarginson (Morris), while the Gwynne retired. It was followed by Mackhouse, where 5 secs. were allowed to cross a line from rest, a test which failed Nixon, Alexander (Alvis), and Gordon (Ford V6). So to the redoubtable Nailsworth, where all the motor-cycle entries, bar Cheshire’s Arid, climbed clean, followed by C. A. N. May (M.G.), Terry (13.M.W.), Meyratt (Ford), Milburn (M.(;.), inderwick (Batten), Gilson (Allard Special), and Russell (Morris), Ham Mill was the next hill, where a timed test was held on the lower reaches, in which best car time was established by May (M.G.). Some rousing ascents were seen, notably Boddy’s effort with the Ford saloon, after a baulk on his first run. The failures were Ruddock, Alexander, Gordon, Rawlings (Singer), Crowther,. Southall, Sarginson, and Lester (Morris). Station Lane was in two sections and everyone failed to negotiate the final bank, save Polden (Triumph motor-cycle) and Head (Enfield motor-cycle). The first section failed Nixon, Boileau (M.G.), Ruddock, Alexander, Gordon, Rawlings, Crowther, and Sarginson. The last named had the silencer of his baby Fiat damaged on Ham Mill, and the engine now sounded unhealthy, while Boddy came up fast and left the road for a small forest at a lefthand bend, but continued to the final rise non-stop. The Jensen had retired with engine trouble and Gilson had blown a gasket on the Allard. Finally, Old Hollow stopped Scroggs, Nixon, Boileau, Gordon, Ruddock, Alexander, A. Gordon, Inderwick, Fellows, Gilson, who eased up as boilim.! water smote him, Rawlings, Crowther, Southall, Burton (M.G.), Boddr, Sarginson, and Lester. In the timed test best car time was made by May’s M.G. So a fast run back to the ” Cotswold Gateway” Completed a very sporting trial with the right sort of hills in a route of 981 miles. Most of the competitors used ordinary tyres and thereby gained five bonus: marks. First-class awards were won by C. A. N. May (M.G.), N. V. Terry (B.M.W.), and A. Milburn (M.G.). Second-class awards : P. Head (Enfield motor-cycle), P. Meyratt (Ford saloon), E. Lloyd-Jones (Ford V8) and W. Russell (Morris). Third-class. awards : J P. Boileau (M.G.), H. Inderwick (Batten), F. Gilson (Allard-Special) and
G. H. Burton. (M.G.). The Hospitals Cup for best performance : J. Polden (Triumph motor-cycle).
The next event will be one of the excellent club Donington meetings on May 21st.
Hon. Secretary : R. C. HOgarth, 42, Torrington Square, London, W.C.1.
FORD ENTHUSIASTS’ CLUB
A driving-test meeting was held at Knatt’s Valley, near Farningham, on ‘February 18th, nineteen competitors being present in spite of arctic weather. Results were based on the average of each competitor’s best run in a parkingbay test, figure eight test and the old Monte Carlo test. The class for Fords up to 10 h.p. was won by P. A. L. Meyratt
(1,066 c.c. saloon). That for Ford V8s went to Soames, driving a V8 two-seater, and the class for other makes to T. L. Allard, driving a special Ford Nine. On March 13th a very ambitions Croydon Rally will be held at the Autodroraes School of Driving, South Croydon, commencing at 12 noon. Various tests, similar to those staged by the J.C.C. at their BrookIands Rally, will be run through, designed to provide an excellent test of cars as well as drivers, and including a 300 yards acceleration test. The event will be divided into classes for Fords and Other makes: and run under Closed
Invitation Permit. Spectators will be admitted for a small charge. Button-hole badges are now available at 1/6 each and distinctive car-badges
at 7/6 each. Membership is steadily increasing and all Ford admirers are invited to apply for details. Subscriptions are 10/for Social Members or Li for full Members per annum ; entry fee 2/6.
Hon. Secretary : S. H. Allard, 15, Millbrooke Court, Putney, S.W.15.
BUGATTI OWNERS’ CLUB
The annual dinner and dance at Claridges went off extremely well. Jean Bugatti addressed the assembly and promised that Wimille should bring the latest G.P. Bugatti over for the first
Prescott hill-climb. Eric Giles then shot into view, in full racing: attire, on one of the model electric Bugattis, and distributed the 1937 prizes. The Club’s ” Blue Book ” of fixtures has now been issued, and extremely interesting data and an identification table of the various Bugatti models are included–Ettore has certainly built a variety of models. The January ” Bugantics ” contains an article on the Night Trial by A. Walsham, who drove a Type 48; the marks for the Victor Ludorum Trophy, won easily by C. W. P. Hampton, with a Type 53; article XIV of the ” Bugatti Cars I Have Owned ” series, describing R. A. Cookson’s cars; a humorous article by Erie Giles ; and an article on. 100 m.p.h. sports-car claims by W. Boddy. Another issue is due this month. The Opening Rally on April 10th will comprise an assembly at Cheltenha,m for lunch, followed by a run to Prescott and possibly timed runs up the hill, followed by tea at the Prescott club-house. Prescott will be ready for the first official meeting on Sunday, May 15th. :3.3-litre Type 57S cars have been ordered by Col. G. M. Giles, C. W. P. Hampton, R. B. Pope, Pearce-Jones and two other members, and Earl Howe is using the Show 57S coupe. Col. Giles’s body will be a Corsica open two-seater, and a closed body for one of the other 575 cars is being
built at the Corsica works. LemonBurton and Arthur Baron will race 3.3 G.P. Bugattis this season.
Hon. Secretary : E. L. Giles, 2, Queen Street, Mayfair, W.1.
A film-show was held at the St. Stephen’s Tavern, Westminster, on January 31st, after the annual general meeting, which was a great success. George Monkhouse, of Kodak Ltd., showed us some of the Mercedes-Betz film, together with some intimate shots of the late Berndt Rosemeyer which were due for dispatch to Germany the very next day. Anyone who is in the least intrigued with modern G.P. cars and the thorough and enthusiastic organisation of Grand Prix races on the Continent cannot fail to be Vastly impressed by this film, much of which is in colour. There are some very instructive shots of Caracciola and other aces cornering and the particular film shown to the E.R.A. Club demonstrated the amazing nervous vitality of Rosemeyer
very clearly. Monkhouse, who drives a fine open 41-litre Bentley, gives a quite inimitable and intensely enjoyable commentary.
Hon. Secretary : S. H. Green, 391, London Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey.
VETERAN CAR CLUB
A nicely produced magazine is now issued quarterly. It deals rather more with the ” museum” side of veteran car ownership than with the practical and adventurous aspect beloved by vintagents. We hope future issues will describe members’ cars in some detail, with particular reference to their place in the scheme of things at the time when they were new cars and notes on any troubles and running characteristics now experienced that correspond with those remembered by the pioneers. The first issue, published in January, contains much interesting, historical material. The Editor is St. John C. Nixon, The Club will hold its Opening Rally and Tilburstow Hill-climb on April 9th ; a Rally and Trial (really a reliability Trial I) on June 18th; the Ramsgate Rally and Speed Trial on July 8t11-9th ; a Rally and Social on August 13th; a Rally and Trial on September 17th and the LondonBrighton Run under the R.A.C. on Nov
ember 20th. The rallies are excellent as a means of showing the excellent condition of these old cars, while providing unlimited adventure for those who crave it.
Hon. Secretary : Capt. J. H. Wylie, :38, West Cromwell Road, Earl’s Court, S.W.5.
I NVICTA C.C.
The annual general meeting was held on January 26th, and twenty members attended, including Alexander, Baxter, Baxter Junr., Blomfield, Boddy, Broadbent, Durston, Dyer, Evans, O’Gormly, Landon, Mauro, Price, Rotherham, E. G. Whale and J. G. Whale, and the ladies— Mesdames Dyer, Landon and Monro. The entry fee was raised to 70/6, making the :annual subscription 21/-. Monro has presented the Monro InterChallenge Cup and O’Gormly and Broadbent a Victor Ludorum Cup. After the business was completed an excellent film show was given, mostly of Invicta and Bugatti Club meetings. The officers elected were as follows :—Hon. Sec. : E. A. R. Landon; Hon. Treasurer : H. J. R. Broadbent ; Hon, Press Sec. : Donald Monro ; Hon. Competitions Sec. : IC. E. O’Gormly ; Hon. Equipment Sec. : T. Rotherham. Committee : Messrs. Dyer, Durston, English, Whale Jour., Blomfield and Jaques. There are now fifty-six members, the latest being
M. B. Howard-Williams, who owns one of the earliest low-chassis Invictas on record—chassis S20. The February” Gauntlet,” in two parts, contained a report of the general meeting, an account of a winter run from London to Barnsley in a 41-litre A-type saloon, a long poem, and an article on the Sabie Game Reserve by D. W. Bishopp. The March issue will contain an account of the Welsh Rally, more Invicta topics and some comments on the Club by W. Boddy. The Welsh Rally seems to have been an interesting and stiff event but it suffered sadly from lack of support. There were seven entries :—Cann (AstonMartin), Landon (1t-litre blown Alfa Roulet)), Campbell (Invicta), Price (Invicta), Monro (Invicta), Dryden (Ford V8), and Kay (Rapier). Landon retired with electrical trouble, Cann for reasons unknown, Campbell ran late and retired, and Monro gave up after having steering and tyre trouble and hitting some sheep. Dryden and Kay were non starters. The only award, a Premier,
went to Price’s Invicta. The Club retains its Inter-Challenge Cup.
Hon. Secretary : E. A. R. Landon, 90, Gloucester Court, Kew, Surrey. Tel. : Richmond 0565.
MARGATE AND DISTRICT M.G.
The classic Wye Cup Trial on February 20th attracted an entry of fifty-one, and
J. B. Thompson’s Ford Ten was the only non-starter. Excellent ascents of Vine Hill, a path up a steeply inclined field, were made by Hutchison (V12 Allard Special), Goodwin (M.G.), Soames (doorless Ford V8 coupe), L. G. Johnson (Frazer-Nash-B.M.W.), Rushbrook (M.G.), Zwick (Rapier), Montgomery (M,G,), Mount (M.G.), Symmons (L.M.B.), Hawk es ( B atten), Baker (Ford Special), Lawson (Singer), Turnill (M.G.), Chard (Ford V8), Mrs. Wood (Singer), Parker (Lambda. Lancia), Lanes (blown T-M.G.), Imhof (M.G.), Smith (Austin)
and Shackel (Ford V8). A surprise failure was that of Allard, whose Allard Special failed low down with spin. At Upintuni, an even steeper pathway up a field, the climbs succeeded a vigorous snowballing party. J. 0. H. Siddall’s T M.G. went early into bottom gear, Picked a good path and got up. Then K. N. Hutchison made one of the most spectacular ascents of anytrials hill we have ever seen, in his V12 Lincoln Allard-Special. Johnson’s B.M.W. was very neat, mostly in second gear, and SoameS in his V8 Ford was very clean and polished, in driving ability if not in motor. Ken Farley got his H.R.G. high up and returned to lend a comp. tyre to Peter Clark who had burst one of his. This H.R.G. failed, high up, likewise
Curtis’s. The V8 L.M.B., the Batten, Wood’s 328 B.M.W. and Baker’s Ford made it, Hemmings’s blown Vauxhall Ten saloon was immense, Burroughs (Ford) excellent and K. G. Moss’s M.G. failed high up. Allard just failed to reach the summit. B. G. Smith, surely the John Bolster of trials drivers, changed to a lower ratio of his double gearbox high up and his tiny Austin Seven, which he drives holding the bodyside with one hand and steering with the other, just failed. Imhof carried spare tyres on the front of his 11-litre special M.G. on some hills to aid steering adhesion and 5 cwt.
of ballast in the back. Only SC14/11eS, Johnson and Hutchison gained first class awards and the ” Tailwaggers team—Hutchison, Allard and Soameswon the ‘ream Prize. Soames was talking of racing a Bugatti at Brooklands and of a hush-hush special and Peter Clark favours a Lancia-f.w.d. Alvis rear-engined job for Shelsley.
The Chill held their Broadley Cup Trial on Sunday, January 30th, over a new area, starting at M’ingham.
In order to make a little variation from the usual proceedings a new method of starting was put into operation at the beginning of each observed section. Two lines were laid down 75 ft. apart, between which the cars were parked. On receiving the starting signal the drivers were required to leave the starting area in less than 6 secs. This innovation produced some surprising results, but the majority of drivers succeeded in complying with the regulations and times as low as 3 secs. were recorded.
The first hill, Park Wood Hill, a short grassy track on private land, proved very easy, and no failures were recorded. The climbs were all very certain and effortless whilst the V8 Fords seemed very slow and impressive.
The route continued to South Alkharn where the muddy surface and the sharp right hand bend defeated all hut three of the competitors, namely J. F. Montgomery, M.G., C. 0. Jackson, M.G., and D. R. Mount, also driving an M.G. • The Special Test in the morning consisted of a Brake Test carried out down
hill on a fairly had surface. Here the fastest times were recorded by J. B. Thompson, Ford Ten, in 11.4 secs., and Mrs. D. I. Broadley, Singer Nine, in. 11.8 sees.
Mount Ararat was the last hill in the morning, causing the downfall of five competitors, and the retirement of D. R. Mount, M.G. suffering from engine trouble. After the Lunch Stop at Kernsey, the route continued through Dover to Great Farthingloe Hill which was divided into two parts and treated as two separate hills. The lower half caused no failures although the surface became badly cut up for the last few cars. The top half of the hill proved much more difficult, only six cars managed to reach the top, and two of these failed to leave the start
ing area in the required time. M. C. Bateman, M.G., had the misfortune to damage his sump which caused his immediate retirement, whilst L. T. Hollingsworth’s Ford V8 came to rest with a rear tyre badly in need of repair.
The next two hills, Combe Hill and Wick Hill, each took toll of the competitors and it would have been difficult to forecast the winner at that point.
The remaining Brake Test, which was a little more complicated than the previous one, again produced some very good times, the fastest being C. 0. Jackson, M.G., in 29.2 secs., and S. R. Seelly, Ford V8, in 30.4 secs.
The whole run concluded at F.lhani, where only one competitor lost marks for failing to arrive on time. PROVISIONAL RESULTS The Broadley Cup: Mrs. D. I. Broadley (Singer
Miniature Cup: C. 0. Jackson (M.G.).
Silver Medal: J. F. Montgomery (MAJ.).
Bronze Medal: J. B. Thompson (Ford Ten).
The Opening Meeting, due to be run off on March 12th, was composed of a long and a short outer-circuit handicap, and a series of 3-lap Campbell Circuit handicaps. There is to be only one Mountain circuit race this season; the scratch Mountain Championship in October. We shall rather miss these Mountain races, which were easy to watch from the Paddock in respect of starts and finishes and which called for very good accelera
tion and braking. But naturally the Campbell course is more interesting to both drivers and on-lookers, The Track will be extremely busy this year, with the Light Car Club’s 250 Mile Campbell Circuit Sports-Car Race, foreshadowed exclusively in this paper, being added to the J.C.C. “200” and International Trophy Races, and B.R.D.C. ” 500.” The 1938 badges display an Auto-Union trend. The Vickers Bridge turn on the roadcircuit, where Lord Howe crashed last year, is being modified. A tea-lawn has been cultivated behind the Club house, steps have been taken to avoid congestion in the Members’ bar, and the Members’ car park will be enlarged. LI season tickets, covering admission to the Public Enclosure for all live B.A.R.C. meetings,
are now available. Our oldest motorcourse always manages to keep abreast of the times. Cars can be taken on the Track on most non-race days for a fee of 10i-. Clerk of the Course : A. Percy Bradley,
A.M.I.M cell , M.I • Brooklands Motor Course, Weybridge, Surrey.
The Harrow C.C. staged a very ambitious Film Show at the British Legion Hall, South Harrow, on February 17th. After a film of the Bavarian Alps and another of the German Autobalmen, which _showed these Wonderful roads to be more winding and undulating than many descriptions suggest, though still ultra-fast, we had the ” Rhapsody in Steel.” that extremely clever and attractive film showing self assembly of a Ford under the supervision of the V8 fairy. An out-of-date Pathe Super Gazette, in which five unfortunate men in a crashed American bomber were described as heroes who had died while serving their country, and S. C. H. Davis introduced Capt. G. E. T. Eyston. Basil T.’yston’s film Of record-breaking on the Salt Flats at Utah was then shown. This is an extremely fine picture, in colour, of a very high technical excellence. The whole story is shown, from arrival of the cars, test runs, the record runs, and the homeward journey embracing Hollywood. The shots from a Lockheed monoplane, and particularly that of a sunset from the air, reach a higher standard than anything we have seen previously on the screen. Eyston provided a personal commentary, in the course of which he omitted all reference to himself, but gave full praise to Denly, who seemed more at home at engine assembly than in the duck-ahooting, in which the party partook for relaxation. Castrol ” R” oil was used in the Rolls-Royce engine of the ” Thunderbolt” and Dunlop Mac. had about eighty tyres to tend. After this Lord Howe, back from his South African victory, introduced George Monkhouse, whom he saw at Monaco clad in very short shorts and a bath towel, having a simply terrific argument with some gendarmes. Clad in more suitable attire Monkhouse gave a truly excellent commentary on his G.P. slides and the magnificent colour film by Kodak, ” Motoring with Mer cedes.” Sonic of his ” stable information ” is quoted elsewhere, but he also said that Lang is the fastest driver to-day, modelling himself on Caraeciola, and in two years should be in the front
rank. Caracciola starts with a visor on top of his helmet and somehow contrives to keep it there, Photographed looking at his rear tyres at 170 m.p.h. at Donington, Brauchitach said ” Yes, that’s the only place where the car was straight ! ” Roaemeyer used his mirror at 140 m.p.h. and Monkhouse wished British road-users would use theirs. He also hoped he could photograph a pukka British Grand Prix team in future. A splendid evening.
Hon. Secretary : Paul Fowler, “The Three Horseshoes,” N rtholt Road, South Harrow.
The recent dismal winter weather has been enlivened by a Saturday on the road and at the always fascinating Track with the Leyland Eight, a run magnificent and memorable in a way that only a really big and fast car can render a short day’s motoring something of more than passing interest. That quick journey in doubtful winter sunshine lost nothing by our having to leave the old Leyland in the Care of P & Ts to have its gearselectors sorted Out, apparently as a result of over-exuberant changing to humour the stop-watch, but curious because the trouble was unheralded by
noise or other signs of bother. A sixcylinder Railton saloon was reluctantly vacated by Weybridge Station, after it had demonstrated its extremely good suspension very convincingly along the aerodrome road, a trip infinitely preferable to that out along the Track to render aid to the Leyland, when P & T’s hack Austin Twelve seemed likely to shake its radiator from the frame and to toss its bonnet over the roof, though, sadly. it did neither of these things. So we slept comfortably enough in a Southern Electric and de-trained at Waterloo to mingle with the mixed Saturday afternoon London crowds, feeling just a little superior to those around us, for only a few hours previously had we not been speeding round Brooklands in the keen air, in a car about which some extremely interesting information had been gleaned ? Then there was a run to the South Coast in a little D.K.W. saloon, all on one’s own to pay an unexpected call on another enthusiast, a nun enjoyable as an unplanned trip with a definite objective. In spite of heavy rain and half a gale that car was driven hard the whole way in a manner that was most satisfactory and Lewes was reached in 72 mins. from the time of passing Croydon Aerodrome, including taking the wrong
tracks. Thereafter the twisting road from Lewes to Seaford was taken in great fashion, slides controlled with gusto on the bends. Leaving in a gale which made steering really tricky we got to Brighton by 6 p.m. and were at Croydon again by 7.1.5 p.m., stopping to make a phone call en route and being treated to one of Crawley’s prolonged hold-ups at its main-road level-crossing. That afternoon’s motoring resulted in a very warm admiration for this little 6 h.p. car, which never exceeded about 55 m.p.h. yet put up these quite respectable averages, on account of excellent roadholding and handling qualities. Amid all this discussion about the badness of our roads, the writer is led to wonder whether there is really so much to worry about when a purely utility car, of very low horse-power and strange to the driver, is able to leave South London and get to the South Coast in less than 1i hours, repeating the proceas in the rain and darkness corning home. On an A utobahn we should probably have averaged 50 m.p.h., have used more fuel, and have wondered why on earth we had wasted time sitting in a car. But until British cheapcars cling to the road like the modern Continental§ there cannot, I suppose, be universal enjoyment of our winding English highways. Incidentally, it is interesting to reflect on how slow drivers annoy one on a trip of this kind, although they probably think they are motoring quite unollensively ; actually you are infinitely safer inn spite of your bustle, because you are alert every mile of the journey. I recall that an old gentleman in a Vauxhall saloon sent me into a frenzy because he crawled through a one-way traffic lane and I nearly wept real tears: when a Ford Ten stalled, in my path at some traffic-lamps and when another Ford Ten maintained a steady 20 m.p.h. in the middle of a main road where 30 m.p.h. was both permissible and safe. It was interesting, too, to See the numbers of cars one passed by pushing the willing little D.K.W. up to 55 m.p.h. on the straights and 60 downhill, although the other cars had engines at least twice the size. It was gratifying, also, that I had such fun in complete comfort and for the expenditure Of so little fuel, Next, a very dilapidated but serviceable Austin Seven two-seater was coaxed to life early one Sunday morning and served to convey the passenger and driver to a garage at which a very fierce V8 AllardSpecial awaited us. A hurried change on the driver’s part into the correct drivingkit and We settled down to a fast run to Oxford, somewhat abashed at seeing the near-side front hub-centre sail away ahead of us in Shepherd’s Bush Road, and rather flurried when we got completely lost between the Great West Road and Uxbridge, having been so intrigued by the masterful 70 m.p.h. bursts along the former narrow but sparsely populated highway, punctuated by vivid acceleration from the Belishalamps, the the rev-counter swinging rapidly up to 3,500 and over with hardly a trace of effort beneath the bonnet, that we turned off far too late. On the familiar CLUB NEWS—continued Uxbridge Road at last, we ran warily through fog, developing a warm admiration for this short compact AllardSpecial, which required no special skill to drive normally, the ignition control being automatic, the gear-shift remote controlled and synchromesh and the water thermometer steady at just below 160°F. Vet, as the mist lifted and the Oxford Road opened out before us, the Allard went up to between 70 and 80 m.p.h. quite naturally, without any suggestion of being forced. We ran slowly through High Wycombe’s seemingly endless built-up area and found a Ford V8 coupe on our tail. It held us as we opened out up the long narrow rise thereafter and was still present at 80 m.p.h., but eventually we gained on it round corners and on acceleration, although not really trying, as we had not become entirely used to the car, which we had only driven a few miles many months previously. Really fast cars should be treated reasonably until you are thoroughly at home with them and it says much for the Allard that in spite of our unfamiliarity with it we could not believe our eyes when we saw the clocks in Oxford, for, including our initial deviations and the stop to retrieve the wheel centre, the average run was in the neighbourhood of 50 m.p.h. from East Putney. After this the remaining twenty miles to our destination at Burford seemed a mere nothing, so a visit was paid to relations, enthusiastic cyclists, who nevertheless displayed great interest in our trim and tidy and vely imposing motor-car. On once more, holding 80 for mile after mile, to hand the car over to its rightful owner, after a trip which had very thoroughly blown away all the cobwebs, particularly the passen ger’s . Here we stalked about the ” Cotswold Gateway” exuding keenness for the Allard, the silent purposeful acceleration of which is typically V8 and most enthralling, although Allard has removed all roll from the suspension, so that the car corners beautifully, the only suggestion of its light weight coming when the accelerator foot is suddenly lifted at
speed. Allard says that the steering is a trifle vague with the big-section front tyres, but as modern steering goes we thought it quite in order. The fascinating aspect is, particularly, the way in which one can roll unobtrusively through towns in top gear without a sound and no trace of pinking, the smart modern appearance sending the police all smiles, cluite belying the fierce motoring of which the car is capable out in the open.
We were at last persuaded to examine the Ford Eight saloon which was to be driven in the U.H. & U.L.M.C. Cotswolds Trial and then back to London. Oil, water and petrol were in order, so we contented ourselves with getting standard time on the now quite famous alarum-clock and tightening the wheel-nuts. Eventually, Hogarth sent us away, in a car which we had never driven before. However it displayed quite reasonable life, cruised at 50 or so on the clock, had a very rigid willing gear-change and was warm to ride in. Moreover, one became gradually accustomed to the changed visibility. After some familiar :going we reached Stanscombe and waited carefully before the check, restrained by the alarum in the cubby-hole, refusing to be misled by others who turned down to the hill. As it happened a considerable delay was in progress and when our turn did come in the restart test I did everything very much all wrong, being unused to the clutch and unaware that the handbrake wouldn’t hold. Enthusiasm rather abated, for I imagined we must fail on every hill after this most learner-like
bit of malhandling. However, we got up the rest of the hill and, conscious that we were last, hurried on hopefully, after generously offering a worried fellowcompetitor in a Morris-Eight a valve cap from any of our wheels only to be informed that they were each quite naked, though not leaking like his own. Bismore caused our utility carriage no pother and by keeping the gas-pedal fully depressed throughout we thoroughly scared a marshal and ourselves at the first right-hand corner of Mackhouse, the Ford entering into the spirit of the thing by bouncing furiously, which just got us over the upper rea.:.hes. So to the illustrious Nailsworth Ladder, where we were respectfully reminded that our little saloon was merely an Eight of less than a litre capacity, with highish gearratios. Lunch we dallied over and then lost ourselves thereafter, so that much rushing about Rodborough and Micklehampton Commons followed, together with a drive up a hill barred by a railway level-crossing that seemed unlikely to open again that day. But at last we came to that very interesting acclivity, Ham Hill, up which, finding no marshals present, we made a rousing ascent, sliding nicely on the stony bends, only to find Marshal Marcus Chambers leisurely removing from the pathway a 570 c.c. Fiat. So down we went again, this time to be timed away, and to complete another successful ascent, not so fast as the previous one, but still, I am told, sensational to behold. Next came Station Lane, where we rushed upways with the engine screaming round, probably far beyond peak revs., to leave the road at a left-hand corner, motor with some velocity into a wood and, when we had re-discovered the throttle-pedal, out again and up onto a ghastly steep bank of churned mud, where the Ford decided to recline, in spite of the driver using its clutch pedal like a pump handle. Thereafter a long run in the failing light of a rather undecided winter afternoon brought us to Old Hollow, approached down a lane running ominously with water. Here we failed on the steep section near the summit and were propelled the remainder of the way by much man-power, and such mechanical horses as we could command, and transmit
through normal rear covers. There remained only the 40 mile run back to Burford at a 28 m.p.h. average, which we did rapidly enough, lamps alight, tired but very well satisfied, rolling phenomenally on the reduced pressure in the back tyres, until a wayside garage inflated them to an immense pressure, as wayside garages invariably do. The run home was quite uneventful, save that the writer was so tired that he imagined that the engine was falling to pieces, when, in fact, it was producing 55 m.p.h. very happily, which state of mind finally resulted in our getting completely and almost inextricably lost in familiar London thoroughfares. Definitely this Hospitals Cotswolds Trial is one of the saner trials, and as a result vastly enjoyable in old or ordinary cars. As another competitor remarked., there are no tree-bordered lanes to scratch the bodywork . . . For our part we appreciated the absence of slime and feel that, with the exclusion of the final rise at Station Lane (there is an excellent way round) and possibly the exclusion of the Ladder, this is an ideal course for a saneminded enthusiast in a normal car. The Ford Eight, too, deserves its meed of praise, scorned though it may be by fast
drivers. It is quite refreshingly lively, runs up to 55 m.p.h., has quite decisive steering, and is very economical, though we used cheap oil and fuel. Moreover, the clutch and transmission took heavy punishment but have shown no weaknesses since. * * * With trials in their present precarious position there is some reason to discuss the attraction of the Rally type of contest, so that the experiences of E. A. R. Landon in the Invicta C.C. Welsh Rally are informative as well as interesting. Landon drove a 1i-litre blown AlfaRomeo, and had had little previous experience of this class of event. Starting from Broadway a few minutes late under a brilliant moon on a cold clear night with half a gale blowing from the west, they drove straight through to Conway, arriving 2 hrs. 13 mins. early over a section with a 28 m.p.h. average. A long, cold wait followed before it was time to check in, when the Alfa refused to re-start and had to be pushed to the check, where it arrived 3 mins. late. The average was easily maintained to Festiniog and the drive to Bala was very pleasant, in spite of slightly icy roads over the mountains, a lot of sheep and a very cold wind. There was sufficient time in hand to take photographs of Lake Bala in the moonlight and to partake of hot coffee from a flask. Thereafter the route became very difficult to follow on account of an astonishing lack of signposts on many of the secondary roads. However, in company with a competing Aston-Martin, Lake Vyrnwy was reached and there was ample time in hand at the Cennmes Road check. A free choice of route via Llanegan to Aberystwyth was permitted and Landon used the main route. He describes this run as one of the most enjoyable he has ever had, over good-surfaced, if bumpy, narrow, and rather sinuous roads in the
growing light of dawn. Over the last 551 miles not a single living thing was encountered and the driver established a personal average-speed record. Alas, fifty miles from Aberystwyth on the return route a burnt-out coil and faulty distributor resulted in retirement and a car had to be hired for the return to London, the Alfa being collected on the following Wednesday.