THE SEVENTH R.A.C. RALLY
AN SS OUTING—MORGAN, WOLSELEY, ASTON-MARTIN, TRIUMPH, SS AND FORD V8 SHARE THE HONOURS–SENSIBLE FINAL TESTS—INTEREST AS PRONOUNCED AS EVERRILEY TAKES THE TEAM PRIZE
WELL, the seventh R.A.C. has come and gone. It was a signal success. Even though there Was a compulsory night stop this year, and the weather broke just before the start, so that a cold and cheerless wind greeted the arrivals at Blackpool, the joy of running 1,000 miles in competition manner and of converging on a popular seaside town for three instructive final teats had an enormous appeal, not only to the 255 entrants, of whom 237 started, but to the quite appreciable crowds which watched the tests during the Thursday evening and the Friday morning. An excellent running commentary by John Dugdale and the provision of time-boards in view of the onlookers were greatly appreciated. Last year we criticised the nature of the final tests which decided the Rally, on the grounds that they were a jumble of car-test and driving-skill contest. This year the R.A.C. provided really worth-while tests, for which they deserve full marks, and which we sincerely hope will figure in. future rallies. After examination on arrival drivers had to switch off and put the gear-lever into neutral. At the word ” go ” from Ebby the driver got going, accelerated over a quarter-mile of straight road, being timed over this section, and then had to pull up in at least 80 yards. This is obviously a firstclass test of easy starting, acceleration to reasonably high speed, and powerful
well-balanced braking. Details of how the Harrogate and Leamington entrants coped with this test, as observed by our reporter on the spot, appear below, with the best times made in each category. On the Friday morning the first test was a reversing-into-bays manceuvre, to appeal to those skilful in such tests. The beat times, Class by class, were made by G. H. Goodall (Morgan 4/4), B. W. Fursdon (Wolseley Ten saloon), C. M. Anthony (Aston-Martin) and J. F. A. Clthigh (Riley), who tied, M. Newnham (Triumph), J. Harrop (S.S.) and D. Impanni (Prazer-Nash-B.M.W.).
In the next test the cars accelerated over 320 yards, negotiated a narrow chicane and accelerated 130 yards to the finish, after which they were required to come to rest in 50 yards, again a splendid test of all round abilities. Performances in this test are reported below. The road section is never difficult for Modern cars, and barring some rain weather conditions were entirely favourable. Hollister Pass and Bylch-y-Groes were negotiated by the two separate contingents and neither was difficult. The only cars to lose marks on the road section were J. H. Beeton’s Riley Nine (8), Lady Mary Grosvenor’s Riley Twelve (16), R. M. Sanford’s Fiat BaliIla (14), Miss Hhusworth’s Vauxhall Fourteen (4), L. P. Jaques’s A.C. (44), J. G. Pig& LeschallaS’s A.C. (28), and Count Heyden’s Delahaye (7). A Frazer-Nash-B.M.W. crashed, Mrs. Cole’s Singer broke its axle, Morris-Goodall changed the rear back-plate of the Aston-Martin’s brake to remove an offending stone, ‘W. A. McKenzie had to cope with a leaky fuel tank on • his Triumph, while ‘Westwood’s Black Diamond Fiat suffered certain jet troubles, Broadley’s Singer Ten stopped on Hollister with a choked !et, and Miss Burton’s ‘Vauxhall Ten also came to rest on this section. Otherwise the road section was almost devoid of incident and, indeed, Col. Rippon allowed his chauffeur to drive his palatial Dahnler. But that is not to suggest that all the lure of the Rally—queer garments, colossal anxiety over trifling details, special navigating arrangements, odd meals at odd hours, Triumph Dolomite gained 910.6 marks, beating Newnharn’s Triumph by 1.8 marks. J. Harrop’s SS scored most marks of all, 923.4, in the big open car class, beating I,. G. Johnson’s Type 55 Frazer-Nash-B.M.W. by 2.4 marks. In the large closed car class Derek Loader was triumphant with his 1933 ” Jabberwock ” trials Ford V8 coupe, with 916.4 marks, beating Walter Norton’s sister Ford V8 by 1.8 marks. The marques -which stand out in deserved prominence in our most important Rally are thus : Morgan, Wolseley, A ston-Martin, Triumph, SS, Ford, M.G., Austin, Riley, and Frazer-NashB.M.W. Then the Manufacturers’ Team Prize was won by the
and divers other adventures—was absent. Actually, six starters failed to check in at Blackpool, and three did not succeed in getting through the tests, leaving the results to be contested amongst 228 ears. To these results we must now turn, for out of the mass of figures and text which the Rally produces, the makes of car and the names of the successful drivers are what matter when all is over and the Rally has taken its place in history. There is no outright winner, the Classes being accorded equal importance. In the group for open cars up to 10 h.p., C. H. Goodall’s Morgan 4/4 beat all comers, with 908.4 nitrks. The runner-up was J. F. May’s M.G., 4.2 marks behind. In the class for closed cars up to 10 h.p., the honours go to 13. W. FursdOn’s by no means young Wolseley Ten saloon, with 908.4 marks, beating Hadley’s Austin Big Seven by 5.2 marks. Of the 10 to 15 h.p. open cars, C. M. Anthony’s famous Aston-Martin came through with 921.4 marks, vanquishing Clough’s Riley by a mere 0.6 of a mark. In the equivalent closed car category A. L. Pearce’s
Riley Team, entered by Messrs. Auty and Lees Ltd., and composed of Clough, Beetson. and Mrs. Hague, with 2,747.6 marks. The runners-up here were the remarkable ” Jabberwock ” Ford V8s, driven by Messrs. Loader, Norton and Koppenhagen, and entered and prepared by the Beecholme Motor Co., under J. Eason-Gibson, who will be pleased to perform similar magic on other Fords. They lost by 4.8 marks. The other important award was the Club Team Prize, won by the Junior Car Club team, composed of the aforementioned Beecholmetuned Ford V8s, so that Loader, Norton and Koppenhagen had a considerable picnic. Their driving was the talk of the town. There were two ladies’ prizes, one for open cars and one for closed cars, won, respectively, by Mrs. Hague’s Riley and Miss Bailey’s Rover. Also, there were the starting control prizes, won by Clough’s Riley from Glasgow, Harrop’s SS from Harrogate, Anthony’s Aston-Martin from Leamington, Johnson’s Frazer-NashB.M.W. from London and Wood’s Bentley from Torquay. The Coachwork Competition was held on the Saturday. There is insufficient space to report it very fully (April was a busy month) but this must in no Way be taken as an indication that we disregard its importance. The Premier Awards went to Colonel Rippon’s Daimler Straight Eight in the class for four-door closed cars, to Amy Monism’s. 41-litre Bentley in the class for two-door closed cars, to Donald Healey’S new Triumph Dolomite in the open car category, and to Lord Waleran’s V12 Lagonda in the class for drop-head coupe:3. The class winners were Morgan, Vauxhall, Hillman, Opel Olympia, Triumph, Rover, Lanch.ester, Triumph, Rover, Triumph, S.S. 11/1.G., .Alvis, Jensen, Delage, Bentley, Bentley, Daintier and Lagonda V12, respectively. Colonel Rippon’s Daimler was finished in ivory and upholstered with pale blue leather and fitted with a host of accessories, .many of them electrically
operated. The Bentley had a James Young biscuit-coloured folding head body with special semi-folding doors. The new standard production Triumphs were greatly admired, and Lord Waleran’s V12 Lagonda was most appealing as a blue open tourer with very dignified treatment of wings and waistline.
Looking back on this year’s Rally, very few unpalatable thoughts prevail, and, as usual, the R.A.C. organisation was beyond reproach and h model of how these things should be done. The splitting of the entry in two for the compulsory night stop apparently eased the difficulties of accommodation at Largs, but did not have quite the same happy effect so far as the Tenby contingent was coneerned. It is interesting that sonic people still went to the very limit to get round the regulations, such as using freak quickstarting devices, or running open twoseaters as closed cars by merely raising the hood. Westwood’s Fiat carried a very sketchy closed body. The very great interest in the Rally by manufacturers and concessionaires is truly encouraging, and in this respect it is notable that thirteen actual manufacturers entered teams out of h total of sixteen teams, including two Continental firms—Citroen
and Fiat. Drivers looking for cars should note the names of these entrants, as listed in the programme. The Citroens were purposely handled by quite ordinary persons, and not by paid-to-be-proficient ” dicers.” In spite of all one had heard about Blackpool, it is a very excellent centre for the conclusion of the Rally and, in general, strikes one as a well planned respectable town, at all events as presented on wintery April days. The light railway running along the promenade interested us more than the Fun Fair.
The final tests, as we have said, embraced quite high speeds, which is the whole secret of making such tests any sort of a means of judgment of car performance. Seldom can cars have been called upon to brake so viciously as in the first test, but although Mrs. Wood’s B.M.W. struck the finish banner pole and the ” Jabberwock ” Fords spun right round, fortunately no one found the outjutting stone wall on the off side of the braking area.
Our impressions of Friday’s second test follow, reported at length in the hope that such detailed observations will be of interest to competitors and their friends. In conclusion, it is certain that those interested in sports-type cars will take a greater note of the Morgan 414, Aston-Martin, Riley and 31-litre S.S. 100, and those who require high-performance closed ears greater interest in the Wolseley, Triumph and Ford marques, as a result of the results of the 19:38 R.A.C. Rally.
THE LAST DAY
As we have said the final of the finals consisted of a 320 yard sprint, negotiation of a difficult chicane, varied according to class, and a 130 yard sprint to the finish, followed by a 50 yard braking area, arranged on Middle Walk; an excellent test of performance. At times the flimsy barriers blew over as a driver passed, which could be disconcerting. Best time of all was made by E. P. Ayes, driving J. Willing’s ex-” Bira ” Delahaye, in 29.2 secs. It was one of the most polished runs we have ever seen in this sort of contest. H. E. Bradley (SS) did next
best in 29.8 secs. In Group II C. M. Anthony (Aston-Martin) was fastest in
31.4 secs. and Goodall’s Morgan 4/4 did 83.8 secs. in Group I, against Greenhalgh’s 34.2 secs. with his ‘f-type M.G. C. H. Cooper’s Rover was very good, Bain’s B.M.W. neat with good acceleration and Cardew changed down noisily with his Wolselev 25, which picked up well. Hickman’s big Hudson was steady until braking at the finish, when it turned broadside, Round’s B.M.W. was well
driven and unflurried, Cansick’s Morris was good, gears crunched in, but Mrs. Wisdom approached carefully with the S.S. and was thereafter very rapid. Leigh’s old Darracq and Heath’s Humber were both slow, and Loughborough crunched his B.M.W. ‘s gears home on a steady run. Cooper’s Rover was very fast indeed, Mrs. Bennett’s Bentley displayed beautifully silent acceleration, after careful negotiation of the obstacles, and Whalley with the Ford punched the ratios home to find really fierce acceleration. Jones (Darracq) was fierce, with a snaky stop, Searle (Rover) careful, Heath’s other Humber neat and Estler’s big Alvis excellent. Exeter’s Bentley approached slowly and was notably silent, Amy Johnson’s Bentley, was rather slow, and Edward’s Railt031 used plenty of pavement on a neat, rapid run. Gregory, with his Big Six Bentley, was truly excellent, gears crunching home, while Koppenhagen worked furiously at the Ford’s tiller, turning completely
round at the finish. Mrs. Collinge’s SS was good, and Lee’s 2-litre M.G. revved excessively and had a crumpled rear wing. Mayer’s Wolseley was slow, but Tom Knowles’s futuristic Peugeot was neat and Loader’s famous ” Jabberwock “Ford had simply immense pick-up. Hathaway’s drophead coupe Jensen was particularly nicely handled, a 2-litre official M.G. was slow, and Buckley’s Austin rolled through most effectively. Hunt was neat, going close to the pylons In his Jensen, Sewell’s Austin was inclined to bounce, and a male driver of Miss Fay Taylor’s Opel Olympia drove neatly with nice acceleration. Watkins, his passenger in the rear seat, showed his Wolseley to have fierce accel eration, Crouch’s Daimler was very good, and Graham got his Humber away well
after sorting out the gears. Stone’s Triumph, with faired tail, was neat, likewise Rhodes (B.M.W.) and F. S. Barnes (Vauxhall 25). Maclean (Ford V8) used all the available pavement, Miss Aspinall’s Wolseley, with male pilot, was slow, but Tudhope took his Hudson through in a clean sweep with excellent getaway thereafter. Mrs. Cotton (Delage) was good to watch, Duckworth blew his Talbot’s horn. Marshall’s B.M W. was fast, but Don Impanni missed his B.M.W.’s gears, momentarily appeared to select reverse, but made a fine recovery. Dr. Whitelaw’s 2-litre M.G., using its direction indicators, was very neat and quiet, and HoDing’s Bentley, with transparent, plastic roof, was very carefully
manceuvred. McEvoy brought his Ford V8 in fast and drove very well indeed. Hammond’s SS, much dirt on its rear panels, was neat, Walter Norton’s wonderful l933 Ford V8 had vivid getaway and was most imposingly handled, and Lord Waleran’s V12 Lagonda was both neat and dead silent. Jay’s SS was neat, Brookfield’s 2-litre M.G. possessed vigorous acceleration in spite of a queer noise in the transmission, and Mrs. Wood’s Type 328 B.M.W. was untidily handled. Robertson handled his big Alvis very nicely, Col. Rippon crawled through the chicane mindful of his coachwork, picking up well, and then the WillingDelahaye treated us to a marvellous exhibition, racing exhaust note, tail slide and black tyre marks, inclusive. Willing’s SS, driven by a lady, was also excellent. Webber swung his Lanchester Twenty in neatly. Hetherington braked his SS early and the passenger’s door opened momentarily. Grant was determined but untidy, his Alvis Twenty nearly hitting an obstacle, Daniell’s 4f litre Lagonda also only just cleared and then Tommy Wisdom (SS 8i-litre) did a model run, notably careful at the turns. Droogleever’s elderly O.M. was neat, but Pane spoilt a rapid run with his T.T. Frazer-Nash-B.M.W. by missing his gears. Ballantine’s RaiIton, complete with lady mechanic in white helmet, also missed its gears, but made a good recovery, and Miss Streather (SS) of the loud exhaust, was cautious. Hasluck’s big Packard just got through the acute chicane, Rodney Walkerley did immense steerage with his Ford V8, Clegg’s Railton was excellent, and Tause, of Scottish headgear, was good in a 2-litre M.G. Count Heyden’s closed Delahaye, very smart, made an excellent showing, while Wild’s SS was so wild that the front tyres flexed alarmingly. Dr. Squire was neat, working mightily at the Terraplane’s tiller, Rinimel’s SS was very well handled, McCallum’s Alvis asked for lots of pavement, but Matthews (SS) spoilt a fast run by striking a pylon. B. D. Matthews (SS) was neat, Lieut. Ross swung his Alfa-Romeo through in solid, old-school style, Robinson made a model run in his big Delage, and Smith hesitated momentarily in finding his B.M.W. another gear. Pige-Leschallas was neat and steady with his A.C., Bradley going for second fastest time, displayed once again the purposeful SS acceleration, Newsome (SS) was untidy in contrast but equally effective in acceleration through the gears, Miss RowanHamilton (Talbot) and Crawford (Jensen) decided on caution to miss the barriers, and Jaques (A.C.) was slow, his radiator losing water. Hugh Hunter swung his B.M.W. through with no mistakes, Sanford (Fiat), in a wondrous shirt, was clean, Miss O’Neill (Triumph) steady, and Cooper’s Rover only just cleared the pylons. Ouvry(Rover), Knight (Singer) and Miss Himsworth (Vauxhall Fourteen) were all slow and Haworth (Triumph) used his indicators. Clay’s Singer was very slow, Miss Dobson’s Rover steady, likewise Kerr’s Wolseley Fourteen, but Halstead (Wolseley) was wild and fast. Collett’s Citroen took it very wide, tyres squealing, Hulme’s Lancia Aprilia was ly and went through well, the wind, not the
car, scattering the barriers. Parkin’s old Rover, cared for by Rovers, was outstanding, and Newnham’s Triumph made a most polished run, save for gearbox: protests. C. Mann’s Aston-Martin accelerated well, F. S. Barnes (Singer) was extremely good to see, Jones (Singer) changed down before the ” S ” and got through in a clean sweep, Rhodes (Aston-Martin) had wheel spin as he opened up, Michael May in a modern Alvis saloon was neat, Snaking under powerful application of the anchors,. and Maidens (Rover) missed his gear but lost little time over that. PeytonBurbery (Morris Ten) was neat but a gear-chipper, Norton Bracey (Standard Nine) found his hands flung from the wheel under castor actien, -and Langford owett
neat and Fothergill’s Triumph Fourteen came out wide to accelerate briskly. Alaska’s Wolseley was clean, Mrs. Dudley’s Rover Twelve, with male driver, neat, Burden’s Rover swervy, and Sunley’s Citroen (No. 185) spirited, going wide. No. 136 Citroen (drivers’ names do not appearin the official programme) was good and lively as to exhaust note, Horn’s old Wolseley Twelve neat, and Mitchell’s Riley carried spare cans of Esse) in the tail. Jack Hobb’s Triumph Fourteen coupe, hood up, was neat, running as a closed car, Wilmott’s Rover was steady and inclined to pink, and Westwood ‘s comic-bodied Balilla sports Fiat ” saloon ” crackled through rapidly. F. Moseley ‘s Armstrong-Siddeley Fourteen made a clean silent run, Miss Roper’s Triumph accelerated well .after most careful swerving of the Curves, Miss Musgrove’s Morris Twelve was nicely handled and quiet, Rastrick (Triumph) was good and returned an excellent time, but Dunham’s Rover Fourteen was slow. Dr. Glynn-Morris’s smart Standard Twelve saloon was neat, Bicknell’s Opel, rolling, was also well driven, a 2-litre M.G., No. 114, was good, Wells (Triumph), passenger in the rear seat, got away fast, and Sanford (Fiat Balilla) braked vigorous fouled a pylon. Miss Milne (Singer))
braked heavily and was slow, Broadley (Singer) contrived to erect an indicator,. Harrison (Ford Ten) was steady, and Norman Garrard (Talbot Ten) was fast,. snapping in his gears and almost sliding; against the sandbags in leaving the “S.” King (Talbot Ten) was good, ditto. to Cade’s Morris Ten, but the Vauxhall: Ten was slow and Cadet Morris came out wide with his Hillman Minx. Hadley’tz Big Seven Austin rolled and needed much wheel work, Kendall’s Morris Ten was. good, Kiddie (Austin) cautious, while Fursdon rolled the wonderful Wolseley through very fast. Huxley (Singer) stalled. his engine but recovered, Wise (Talbot Ten) employed heavy braking and brisk acceleration, Thornton (Standard) was. fairly good, Beet on (Riley) slow, and Goodrich (M.G.) good. Brockbank banged his B.S.A.’s gears in and went away well, if noisily, u es t( T type M.G.) experienced an awkward front wheel slide and then drovemost 11«liely, revs, going up and up, and H. V. S. Morgan’s Morgan was very excellent, while Goodall’s Morgan lost radiator water on the fastest run in this. clas4. These notes apply to performances through the obstacles themselves