A “FOLLOW MY LEADER” TRIAL
FRAZER NASH enthusiasts, resident in villages or towns on the LondonBedford or Coventry roads in particular, or any roads leading to Buxton probably enjoyed themselves on Saturday, March 18th because Nashes in ones, twos and threes were converging from all quarters on Buxton, the rallying point and headquarters for their first Club Trial. It had been snowing heavily during the week and while the cars were being marshalled into starting order outside the hotel there was a brief fall of snow, a
taste of what the crews were to have later in the day. There were 26 Nashes entered —a goodly entry remembering the proximity of the Land’s End and the fact that various Nash owners were prospecting the Devon hills and others were preparing their mounts for the Easter classic.
The interesting thing was that several of the Nash owners who had entered had never competed in a trial before—the Club certainly gave them a good baptism! Lytton Slack, Eyam Bank, Winnath Gorge and Jenkins’ Chapel is a pretty good start !
Phillip (” Porky “) Lees, a member of the Northern Committee of the Frazer Nash Car Club (who had organized the show) was the leader.” Arriving at Litton Slack, Lees went for the gradient manfully but was forced to return, then H. J. Aldington roared round the corner by the cottages only to conie
to a standstill right at the top. In fact they all got to about the same spot more or less, somewhere round the top corner. F. B. Robinson made a gallant effort and had the honour of getting up further than anyone else, while Mrs. Needham also put up an extraordinarily fine effort. The hill was in an appalling condition, and it is very doubtful indeed whether even competition tyres and low gears could have got anyone up that day ! After about ten or twelve Nashes had tried it, it was put to the others that they could either try or “call it a day,” cut out the hill from the point of view of awards and carry on to Eyan Bank.
Eyan Bank is quite a good hill—not particularly difficult, but there is rather a tricky corner to negotiate, and. then comes the last bit of gradient. Like all the other hills the surface was most unpleasant by reason of the weather • conditions of the past week—the sun had melted the snow and the cars soon reduced the surface to a glutinous mess.
Most competitors got up but the climbs varied. Hopkins climbed well, three up in his 1931 Colmore model as he did on all the other hills. Berry stubbornly edged his way up through the mud almost but not stopping, picked up revs, and finished at speed. Cundey (the Club Secretary) made an excellent climb with his 1925 Nash.
Mrs. Gripper and Mrs. Needham seemed to be indulging in a friendly rivalry on the hills. They both made very fast climbs of Eyam Bank.
The next, Wirmats, is quite long with a severe gradient and a number of quite bad cross-gullies.
The hill was quite difficult, particularly as the track was very badly defined and narrow. The Club was undaunted, however, and everyone went up the hill and came hack to watch the rest. Someone in the crowd near the top was heard to remark that Phillip Lees looked like a Polar explorer about to claim a new piece of Arctic territory for the Empire—a remark which seemed rather apt. The gaunt mountain sides covered in snow, lack of vegetation and the gorge apparently cleft out of the rocks was quite awe-inspiring in the snow and to see Lees muffled up in many layers of clothing, wearing his fur hat and Wellington boots, standing on a point of vantage up the rocks and clutching a
Union Jack (which he used to start the cars) in the snowstorm, at least rather supported the idea behind the remark.
At the next hill, Jenkin’s Chapel, Mrs. Needham made an excellent well-judged climb and took the hairpin quickly but quietly and with absolute confidence— short chassis T.T. Replica in the Needham family colours—grey and blue !
H. J. Aldington made a clean and quick ascent. Tweedale’s black and chromium sixcylinder T.T. model, came up very quickly
to the hairpin and fairly tore round, although he rather hit banks and things in the process and rocketed away to the top. Obviously the ” six ” has tons of power—this was very obvious earlier on when he attacked Litton Slack.
So the climbs went on—Mrs. Gripper in her long chassis Colmore model—more difficult to get round than a T.T.—came up well, got round most of the hairpin taking to the bank, but whereas others continued and came down on the road again she pulled up, probably thinking she could not get round and might damage things up front.
The premier awards (for climbing all hills non-stop) are cigarette lighters duly engraved and a miniature Frazer Nash badge, mounted on the other side—the two claimants for a “special award” (failure on all hills) have the same but with the addition of a certain fruit engraved thereon !