A COMPETITORS’ IMPRESSIONS ON THE LANDS END TRIAL.
THE Motor Cycling Club, Ltd., ought to be heartily congratulated for the wonderful organization of their 17th London to Lands End trial. The marking of the course was, as usual, perfect, and the organization if possible, seems to improve each year.
Public interest in these reliability trials is certainly on the increase, and I do not think that such a large number of spectators has ever before taken such an interest in the performance of the competing vehicles. The Slough Trading Estate was, as usual, the
Or THE GRADIENT.
scene of the start, and a very orderly start it was, too. The weather was perfect, and the run to the breakfast stop at Taunton, was, as usual, uneventful. Even the customary fog could not be bothered to make its appearance. No ” casualties ” were seen until a few miles before Taunton, where one car competitor had the misfortune to blow a cylinder head gasket. After breakfast, which was served at Dellars Cafe, Taunton, competitors returned to the
garage of Messrs. Somerset Motors, Ltd., outside whose premises the restart took place.
The road from Taunton to Porlock was certainly a very good one to take competitors over who are the least bit nervy about the test hills, since it is so undulating and winding that usually ” horses ” seem to drop out of the engine on every mile that is covered. However, our confidence was thoroughly restored this year by the fact that our engine seemed to have suddenly woken up at Taunton and started serving up the “goods.” We had no difficulty in arriving at the Porlock check within our time limit (5 minutes for gold medals), and as soon as re-started, moved on to the first of the testhills” Porlock.”
As usual, a re-starting test was held on this hill, but this year it was much farther up than previously, and was almost on the first bend. Here there were two white lines placed across the road at a distance apart of 10 yards. Competitors were started from the first of these lines, and had to cross the second line within eight seconds, and then continue nonstop to the top of the hill. On arriving at the first line, we were immediately signalled to re-start, and opening the throttle and gently easing the clutch the 1 Riley Engine pulled us away without any sign of distress, and we crossed the second line well within our time limit of 8 seconds, and continued the climb to the top of the hill. This climb is well worth the trouble and energy expended if only for the beautiful panoramic views one obtains from the top, and is brough to a fitting climax by the view on one’s right during the descent
of Countisbury Hill. Entering the check at Lynmouth we were immediately signalled on, and continued our climb of Lynmouth Hill, keeping well over to the right.
We were delayed for a few minutes on Barbrook Mill, and on being signalled on, moved up to the starting line for the climb of Beggars Roost. The re-start here this year was with the front wheels, definitely on the ” gradient” and on being given the signal to •• go ” we began our climb in the first gear, in which we remained until well over the dreaded hump. The surface of Beggars Roost this year was certainly in bad condition, and the crowds on the left so great that few competitors had a chance of missing the hump. These two reasons probably account for so many failures, one in five failing. After climbing Beggars Roost, we found the refreshments at Lyn Cross very welcome whilst waiting for the time to re-start. Now began what is certainly one of the most exciting parts of the run, though I must admit I could not see very much owing to the dust which in some places was so
bad that it was rather like driving through a thick London fog. On arriving at Launceston, we had rather a rude shock when we discovered that we could not have a wash unless we had a 3s. 6d. luncheon, which we certainly did not want, since the whole of the back of the car was literally alive with sandwiches and thermos flasks, etc. However, whilst walking down the main street we espied the matron of the hospital, who seeing our begrimed faces, evidently took compassion on us, when we asked her if she knew where we could have a wash, and very kindly showed us into the hospital, where we had the best wash ever.
On arriving at Perranporth, we once again accepted the kind hospitality of Mr. D. M. Healy, and moved on for the last test hill of the trial, Bluehills Mine.
BLUEHILLS MINE. The hairpin on this hill was in very bad condition
R.A.C. TOURIST TROPHY RACE.
A number of interesting entries have been received during the past few days for the R.A.C. Tourist Trophy Race in Ulster on 17th August. Mr. Stanley Woods, the famous racing motor cyclist has entered a Lea Francis. Mr. Woods has already won the motor cycle T.T. Race on two occasions, but this is his first appearance in an international car race. Col. Warwick Wright and Mr. Edouard Brisson have each
entered a Bearcat model Stutz; Captain A. G. Miller has entered two cars—an Austro Daimler and a Lombard, Dr. J. D. Benjafield and Mr. Headlam have each entered Alfa Romeos; Mr. T. Thistlethwayte a supercharged Mercedes, and one of the new Ford tourers has been entered by Mr. J. E. Coulter of Belfast. The following countries are already represented in the Race :—Great Britain, France, Austria, America, Italy and Germany.
THE STRAIGHT–EIGHT HILLMAN CAR. 50,000 Miles on Test.
The introduction of the Hillman Straight-Eight at Olympia last year came as so great a surprise that one might well be excused forthinking that its tests had been of a cursory nature. But in point of fact, the first Straight-Eight was made nearly a year before and was subjected to a rigorous road test of no less than 50,000 miles, in England and on the Continent, before the manufacturers even decided to put it into production.
When therefore the Hillman Straight-Eight was exhibited it was no experimental model, for each minor fault had been found and eradicated before the Show model was made.
This Hillman strikes a new note in British motor cars, for its performance is remarkable and its price is reasonable. The Saloon types, for instance, cost but £485, complete with Triplex glass, Dewandre brakes, etc.
this year, since previous competitors had dislodged so many stones, and we had some little difficulty in getting round without hitting the stones which stick out. Once clear of this we changed up and continued the climb, which, but for the surface, could not be called stiff. After leaving Penzance we cornmenced what I always consider as being the most difficult part of the course. The road from there to the finish being very narrow and winding, and the light usually being poor about that time nothing of interest took place, however, and we checked in to time at the Lands End Hotel. It would not be fair to finish this article without reference to the 1Llitre Riley, which has 62,00 miles to its credit, is a 1924 model, and was taking part
in its third Lands End trial. It had plenty of power in hand on all the four test hills, and showed no signs of distress during any part of the run.
A.J.S. RACING ARRANGEMENT.
We learn with interest that Mr. R. M. N. Spring, who has achieved a large number of successes at the Brooklands and Montlhery tracks, together with his rider Mr. A. W. Denly has joined the A. J.S. racing department, and will look after their interests on these tracks.
Mr. A. W. Denly will therefore this season be riding A. J.S. motor cycles in eyents at Brooklands and klontlhery. Mr. Spring is also co-operating with the A. J.S. racing department in connection with motor cycles for the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Races, and all track events.