BUGATT1 OWNERS’ CLUB
The opening rally on April 5th took place at the ” Haycock,” Wansford, 83 miles up the Great North Road, and was very well attended. Especially welcome was the President of the Club, Lord Howe whose racing and parliamentary engagements seldom allow him to take the chair. His 38/250 Mere. the famous car which Caracciola drove in the 1929 T.T. still never fails to inspire admiration. Eighteen Bugattis, three V8 Fords, two Invictas, an Aston Martin, a huge Isotta, a Lancia, a 14/40 Delage, an Alfa-Romeo saloon, a Morris Twelve, a Vauxhall, an Auburn, an old-school Bentley, an M.G. Midget and two litre Lagondas completed a representative collection of cars
outside the ” Haycock.” Col. Giles attended in his impressive 3.3-litre Bugatti, but his brother had oil-pressure trouble and the 1913 chain-drive Bugatti ” Black Bess ” had to stay at home in London. J. Lemon Burton, Donald Monro, J. S. Steele, J. D. Aylward, L. G. Bachelier, W. Boddy and many other well-known members were present. After lunch a cross-word puzzle had to be solved, which gave the clue to the teastop. The prize for the first person to arrive went to A. P. Good (4i-litre Lagonda) while A. Dubar was awarded the appearance contest, having arrived in an immaculate Grand Prix.
The next event is the Monte-HonitonCarlo Rally on May 17th, and provision is being made for those who wish to compete in the speed hill-climb at Honiton but not in the road-section. Last year this ‘event was won by K. W. Bear (Bugatti). Hon. Sec. : E. L. Giles, 2, Queen Street, Mayfair, W.1. Tel. : Mayfair 4701.
THE VINTAGE SPORTS CAR CLUB
On March 20th the Sussex Trial was held, but support was at low ebb, probably because many members had made an effort to get to Donington on the previous day, where the Club Team, composed of Marcus Chambers’ special 4i-litre Bentley, Tim Carson’s hybrid 30/98 and Bowler’s 3-litre Bentley, was running in the Stanley Cup Meeting. Rain made the hills a tough proposition in the Sussex Trial, only Kirkman’s 12-50 Alvis climbing Begley Farm, possibly due to his passenger’s precarious position on a structure of ironmongery way out beyond the car’s back axle—and possibly not. Incidentally, Meccano, Ltd., claim 7 to ’70 as the age-limit for constructing with Meccano and may like to inspect specimens of such construction embodied in this Alvis. WindsorRichards (Vauxhall 30/98) beat the next best car by no fewer than 8 secs. in the acceleration test on The Quell, and was also very fast up Blackhorse Hollow, where Kirkman, again, was outstanding. A Frazer-Nash lost its oil-pump, an M.G. suffered clutch slip, and 011ey’s rather wondrous, bull-nose Morris-Cowley scored some creditable failures. WindsorRichards gained the Premier Award,
Kirkman the First-class Award, and W. J. Styles (M.G. Midget) took the only other prize. Ten ran.
An Easter Bulletin, running to 5A foolscap pages, contains some interesting information and is written in a pleasantly breezy, if not very serious, style.
A list of members and their mounts is in course of preparation and should make interesting reading. Mr. T. G. Moore, of MOTOR SPORT, has joined as an associate member as has E. K. H. K arslake, who is still running the singlecylinder, 1908 Sizaire-Naudin, described some time ago in one of his always entertaining ” Veteran Types ” series of articles in this journal. Robertson Roger, with a 130 m.p.h. blown, 4i-litre Bentley four-seater, M. Rook with a 1913 Bugatti, presumably an S-valver, Donald Monro with a modified 1929 4ilitre Invicta, Forrest Lycett, who owns two Bentleys—the 8-litre and a red label 3-litre tourer, Miss Barbara Marshall, whose Anzani-G.N. ” Annie ” is very well known, and Toni Rolt, who has a deuble carb., double ignition, V-twin G.N., are prominent members. Forrest
Lycett has presented a magnificent annual award for the member making the best aggregate performance, of which Monro is the initial holder.
Members can now become associate members of the Betchworth Sports Club for a subscription of six pennies.
The next event is Speed Trials at Aston-Clinton on Sunday, May 17th. Hon. Sec. : E. T. Lewis, 31, Rusland Road, Harrow, Middlesex.
THE LIGHT CAR CLUB
The Relay Race, which is the sixth race of this series, will be held at Brooklands on May 16th. This year, for the first time, all sizes of cars can compete. Non-members will be charged 3s. 6d. admission to all enclosures bar the Fork, children 2s. Cars to course, 5s. ; motorcycles and tri-cars, 2s. (3d. A car park outside the grounds is available : cars, 2s. 6d.; motorcycles and tri-cars, is. ; cycles, 6d. Admission to the Fork stand and enclosure, behind the pits and relay-paddock, costs 2s. 6d. extra, children, Is.
Most of the well-known teams, and many newcomers, have entered.
SCOTTISH SPORTING CAR CLUB
The two-day trial in the Highlands was extremely well organised and proved most enjoyable. There were no fewer than fifty-one entries, yet at the end of the second day, only two, Keith Elliot, driving a Riley, and G. Murray-Frame, who was handling a Singer, retained clean sheets.
R.P.M. MOTOR CLUB
The trial held on April 5th attracted twenty starters of which only one failed on Whitfield Brow and one at Coldberry
Mine, while there were a further three failures at Summer Lodge.
G. A. Hutchinson (M.G. Magnette) made best time in a special test, with R. T. G. Craig (Ford Ten) and J. F. H. Olsen (S.S.1) as runners-up.
The winner proved to be J. M. Edney (P-type M.G. Midget) with D. 0. Gilbert (Ford V8) and D. K. Roberts (Riley) next in order. G. A. Hutchinson, D. K. Roberts and R. T. G. Craig won the Team Prize.
KENT AND SUSSEX L.C.C.
The popular series of speed trials which this club stages on Race Hill, Lewes, near Eastbourne, will recommence on May 9th, starting at 2.30 p.m. There are classes for touring, sports, super-sports and racing cars, divided on a capacity basis, a FrazerNash class, and a handicap. Entries dose on May 4th, at 7s. 6d, each for members and 10s. each otherwise. Invitations embrace the Brighton and Hove, J.C.C., Frazer-Nash and Bugatti
Owners’ clubs. Clerk of the course : H. V. Warren, 51, Ringwood Road, Eastbourne.
GENERAL NOTES these notes after back
Penning these notes after getting back from the Land’s End Trial, it is not easy to disguise enthusiasm for this classic M.C.C. event, and it is very easy to understand why Jackie Masters secures such a big entry year after year. The Land’s End is something of a test for
even the present-day motor car. The hills are real hills, with rough but not freak surfaces, and severe gradients. As such, they are infinitely superior to the slime-lanes that we are obliged to use in trials run within 100 miles of the London area.
Then there are many sections in the Land’s End which, though they are not observed, represent a very severe ordeal to a car that is being driven fast to catch up on the time schedule, which is bound to go to pieces somewhere even with the best organisation in the world. For instance, Porlock, with its present-day surface, is not deemed worthy of observation, yet I noticed that after the climb many cars were boiling, some of them badly.
Then the drop down Countisbury, with frequent stops and the competitors in single-file, is quite a test for braking systems. Between Hartland and Bude is a very severe section and again from Bude to Hustyn competitors are presented with some really stiff going.
There is also the point that, apart from the 326 miles of the trial, most competitors return home the same weekend, so that the motor is asked to do a pretty strenuous 600-700 miles or more before getting back to the home garage. The M.C.C. deserve full marks and more for the organisation. The routecard is hardly necessary, for the direction
signs are easily read, large and sensibly placed. DeHers served an excellent breakfast, the waitresses being extraordinarily cheerful after their prolonged spell on duty.
The only serious delay was before Lynmouth Hill, and so far as we were concerned we made up all but a quarterof-an-hour by the meal-stop at Bude, while those with slower motors were able, by foregoing a meal at this point (and who feels like lunch at 6.30 and after in the evening, with Bluehills as yet unclimbed?) to check-in practically on time at the finish. The only criticism concerns lack of accommodation at Land’s End for the late-numbers, but the run back to Penzance is not too long, and here there was ample accommodation. The interest taken by locals, and the enthusiasm of the R.A.C. and A.A. men, not to mention the extra police on point duty work, remains a pleasant memory of a truly enjoyable and wellstaged event. Which makes it all the more regrettable that out of five leading papers purchased on Sunday morning, not one gave any space of note to the trial, though each one emphasised the sad fatality to a motor-cycle competitor. And the Monday papers put in the usual head-lines about road-racing, etc., which even a non-motoring public cannot find of any great interest and often scorn as inaccurate. Some day sub-editors of our great dailies may come to realise that the public as a whole is motor-minded nowadays. It is high time that they did ! Yes, the Land’s End was a splendid event, and it is easy to understand the eagerness with which competitors were talking of the ” Edinburgh,” ere the great Easter event was completed. Perhaps if we had fewer small trials and even greater support for the M.C.C. classic events, many problems that now concern trial organisers would lose their potency.
Though the Land’s End attracts interesting entries from the viewpoint of those interested in modern cars generally and new models in particular, the enthusiast who attempts to get through on an antique motor is still with us. This year there was one really elderly Frazer-Nash, while Jarvis’ Darracq, a Vernon-Derby, Haward’s famous Bayliss-Thomas, a most amazing Rover, the old-school Bentleys, and several 30/98 Vauxhalls were amongst the veteran contingent. It was not only the old cars, either, that provided a spice of adventure.
The driver of one very modern .1i-litre saloon, as he filled up his steaming radiator for the nth time, told us that he might just manage a ” bronze,” but it would be a difficult task ! We, who had romped up everything, reminded him that a ” bronze ” is often to be valued more than a brace of easily-gained ” Premiers ! “
Apart from the beautiful country embraced by the trial itself, these holiday events allow one to get in quite a decent tour and yet be back at Brooklands for the Bank Holiday Meeting—given a rapid and reliable motor. In our own case we left Penzance, refreshed by a good night’s rest, at mid-day on the Sunday, and joining up with a fellow competitor, ran over Dartmoor to a late lunch at Torquay.
The magnificent rugged country around Dartmoor was shown up to perfection by a driving snow-storm ! After lunch we ran via Lyme Regis to Bournemouth, to stay the night with friends. And leaving by 10.30 the following morning we got to Brooklands in what would have been ample time to see the first race, had not the meeting been abandoned on account of the impossible weather conditions. Thus, apart from the excitement of a classic trial, our memories of Easter, 1936, embrace views of a shimmering blue sea, lapping the shores of tiny, secluded bays, seen from a cliff road hundreds of feet above, of big westceuntry seaside towns alive with holiday makers, of bleak moorland scenery seen through a driving blizzard. . . . A good holiday ! And no attempt was made at time-cutting and two full nights’ rest were taken. The car which took us through this trip was a 30 h.p. Ford V8 saloon, driven by L. M. Ballamy. Ballamy had fitted a Marshall supercharger, and as blown V88 are regarded as somewhat experimental, a few notes should not be a waste of space. The big Marshall blower is mounted directly above the V of the cylinder blbck and, it draws from a downdraught Zenith carburetter. Drive is by dual-belts from the crankshaft and the dynamo is now mounted on a platform beside the blower and’ driven by a separate belt. Lubrication is from the engine circuit and the boost pressure is 2 lb. per sq. in. towards maximum revs. This L.M.B. Ford also has independent front suspension, Andre telecontrols on both axles, and a Columbia two-speed rear axle, these being modifications featured in normal L.M.B. V8 cars, of which R. J. B. Seaman and Whitney Straight are users. Incidentally, the Ford fired for the first time in blown form at 12.30 p.m. on Empire Trophy Saturday and it was straightaway driven hard to Donington and back, only Howe’s Mere. passing it in the 260-mile journey. It was given a Brooklands test before the Land’s End trip and Ballamy expects to get 100 m.p.h. when the correct jet and choke combination to prevent starvation has been discovered. Four persons were carried on the Easter trip and we got clean up every hill and had no trouble of any description. The telecontrols and special suspension assisted when fast cornering was the order of the day, and the blower justified its presence on observed hills and in special tests, and it also increased speed up long main-road gradients. No doubt full use of the 2.9 to 1 top gear on main roads contributed to a fuel consumption
throughout of 15 m.p.g. For the trial section Dunlop Sports semi-competition covers were used on the rear wheels. The Ford V8 has always been an attractive proposition to many sportsmen and I predict some interesting competition this season amongst the specialised versions. The 1936 L.M.B. V8, selling at £295 unblown, is one example and there are the Batten-Special, JenzenSpecial, and others. Certainly these cars retain their tune after any amount of full-throttle driving and there is something to be said for riding through in a closed motor, albeit your enthusiast will disagree strongly ! *
The Exmoor Trial of the Cambridge University A.C. was run in typically free-and-easy style and was grand fun. Tan Steps stopped M. W. B. May’s Alvis, and on Doverhay, 0. M. Williams’ ancient Rover failed and Brian Twist’s A.G. ran out of fuel. Southern Wood, a new hill, accounted for Dr. Waters (Singer), and in the acceleration test on the cliff road near Hunter’s Inn, best time was made by Andrew Fairtlough’s blown A.C.
PROVISIONAL RESULTS : K. M. Pettcr (M.G.
Barton Trophy : K. M. Pettcr (M.G. Magna).
Premier Awards : K. M. Petter, OVer Bertram (A.G.); A. C. Fairtlough (A.C.s.); W. M. B. May (Alvis).
Second-class Awards : Hon. .T. C. C. Cavendish (Ford V8); H. G. Conway (A.C.); R. E. Tongue (A.C.); B. :P. W. Twist (A.C.).