This Southsea classic, which counts towards the BTDA 1952 Gold Star, was held on February 10th and attracted 48 entries. We believe the organisers considered cancelling it but were told by the RAC that they had no need to do so—We are not taking sides as to whether public-road trials should or should not be held at a time of national mourning, but certainly the RAC can never again suggest that trials in general and trials cars in particular are distasteful to the public. As it was two persons at least, thought the event ill-timed, one being an enraged old lady living at the foot of the Warren, and the other a gentleman overheard to express distaste at the trial’s conclusion.
As an event the “President’s” is excellent, with “real” hills, pleasantly varied, and involving a drive of 331/2 miles in all through some delightful parts of Hampshire.
Old Stonor II and Lythe Farm Right produced little trouble and even the Warren, where an initial hump loses you speed, was comparatively easy except for mud at the right-hand top bend. Here Lawson (Lotus I), Lewis (Ford), Laudet (R.M.), Dees (Dellow) and Denyer (Lea-Francis) failed, but Best’s Austin made ftd, scattering the onlookers. Imhof expended much effort on a good climb, Waring made a fine, hectic ascent, Spence brought the Spence V up very neatly, but Blundell had much spin to defeat and his MRS. boiled. Pike’s EPS was fast although fluffing, and Cuff’s Hells Hammers VI shed its spare wheel. Faulkner’s Paul Special made it look simple and Price’s Clayton ascended fast, whereas Appleton had dreadful moments but, bouncing won the day—or section.
So to Streatham, Beechey Curves and the second special test, after which came Cow Track, where labourers unknown had thoughtfully left a hole for people to gaze into and, less thoughtfully, a new, deep gulley at the start of the section. Into this galley Lawson plopped his lotus at speed, which pulled it up in the best Girling manner. Having proved by his pioneering effort that this was the wrong technique most of those who followed profited and, gently lowering their cars into the slime, kept going to conquer the steep climb beyond. All that is except Lewis, who was too Lawson-like in approach, although subsequently restarting, Atkinson (Ausford), Read (Dellow), Laudet, whose RM. prop-shaft fouled the ground, and Denyer, whose old Lea-Francis failed when nearly up. Cuff had tyres which someone suggested had been inflated with a vacuum cleaner. Curwin’s Austin Seven had too few horses for the hill part, and Cooper’s Austin-Ford only just kept going. By this time Imhof had retired with back-axle trouble and Best with a blown gasket on his blown Austin A40 engine. .
With only Jacob’s Ladder to come Waring, Faulkner and Rumfitt all had clean sheets and Waring had been fastest in the special tests. As all three got up the steep, slippery final section, it was Waring’s day—a good start towards this year’s Gold Star, won last year by Faulkner.
After feasting our eyes on trials specials we rested them momentarily during tbe afternoon on a passing, very early Mercedes tourer and a spectating Ulster Aston-Martin (not forgetting a 1925 Morris Cowley two-seater parked by Jacob’s Ladder). A good day and a good trial.
Results: The President’s Trophy (for best performance) WH Waring (1,196-cc WHW).
The SMC Trophy (for second best performace), RW Faulkner (1,196-cc Paul special).
The Ansell Trophy (for best performance by a member of promoting club): AE Rumfitt (1,172.cc Cotton II).
Team Awards; Southsea Motor Club (Waring. Faulkner and Rumfitt).
First-Class Awards : EC Spence (1,172-cc Spence V): CM Seward (Freakin) ; B Blundell (BBS.); DFH Cotton (1,172-cc Cotton special).