West Of England M.C. Spring Trial
Some of the hills in this event had-to be cut out as being too difficult, but good fun was had nevertheless. Butler’s “Ophelia,” Evans’s T-M.G., Tolman’s and Buncombe’s T-M.G.s managed the difficult first section or Little Silver and here Cleave’s H.R.G. and Hutchison’s V8 Allard got up all the sections. Price (Ford V8) was another who managed it. Then Bishop’s 850-c.c. M.G. showed us how, although he failed on section two. Cotton was equally difficult to climb, success being confined to Parker’s Allard, Butler, Evans, Tolman, Cleave, Price and Hutch. The first special test saw f.t.d. made by Huthison, Tolman and Cleave being 0.2 sec. slower. Then Cleave won the second test, Hutchison and Tolman being bracketed for second fastest. A Riley saloon now put paid to the remaining four sections by becoming bogged on Upper Brooke, Imhof also breaking his Allard’s gearbox here and abandoning the car. Mrs. Anning ambitiously arranged 22 observed hills, but wisely decided to call it a day as dusk came on. Hutchison took the Kennedy Trophy, Cleave’s H.R.G. was best under 1 1/2 litres, Parker’s Allard, 20 marks down, took the big-car award, and Bishop’s M.G. the Vigers Clip. Butler gained the M.C.C. Cup, and the Taunton M.C. won the Team Prize. Some of the marshals, alas, let their club down — and marshals are important people.
750 Club Aldershot Trial
In spite or brilliant sunshine this was a very stiff and interesting trial, for which we must thank the untiring Holland Birkett. Incidentally, his names for the various sections and tests were a study in themselves! Soggy Wood was a level sea of mud, and the outstanding bits of negotiation were those of Denyer and the veteran Lea-Francis, and Whittet with his V8 Ford Special. Most of the others failed through going too fast and/or using too much throttle, including Potter, still finding his way about his Allard. Appleton’s white Allard was an exception, using brute force to get through — some day someone will want to put a complementary “bar” on this make, as happened to the Zenith “Gradua”! Next came Soft Soap, followed by a very tricky up and down hill section called Hutch’s Hairpin. Here Mallock’s Austin Seven broke a half-shaft, but later continued. Chiles’s late-type 4-speed Austin 2-seater made a very valiant attempt to climb the up-hill and Challands’s cut-down Riley Nine got up clean. Denyer, too, showed how good are vintage cars in trials, but Potter, over-revving and slewing his Allard round, failed. Appleton was very rapid and the other Allard got its driver up. Davies. with a Type 55 B.M.W., was very neat, although his passenger all but fell off the rear of the car. Dog Leg failed most of the small cars, with its tricky right-hand bend, but Humphries’s neat, black Cozette-blown Austin Ulster Special, with a horizontal Vertex magneto and big oil filter side by side under its radiator cowl, roared lip the hill. Challands obviously knew his car; Gabitas, whose Ford Ten tourer had had a bad time everywhere else, made the hill look easy; the B.M.W. was excellent, as was Denyer. Brandon’s T-M.G. was good here. A restart through a watersplash followed and Whittet made a beautiful job of this. Analysing the trial, Soggy Wood failed ten, Trident one, Soft Soap two, Watersplash three, Hutch’s Hairpin twelve, Dog Leg five. Stop and Go nine, Cydepath two and Good Earth seven. Lots of drivers, Mallock included, rushed fearfully fast at all the water sections and unsuitable cars were the Ford Ten, Grosscurth’s Frazer-Nash Six, and a Fiat 500. The first timed test saw Brandon’s M.G. clock 25.4 sec., next best being the Ford in 25.1 sec. Brandon was again best in the second test, in 21.6 sec., followed by Roberts (Singer) in 23.4 sec. Whittet’s Ford, which before the trial had been losing one bank of cylinders, now suffered more severe ignition trouble. Parker’s Allard won the trial by a mark from Denver’s old Lea-Francis, with Appleton’s Allard third and Davies (B.M.W.) fourth. In the up-to-850-c.c. class Chiles’s Austin Seven was first, easily beating the Austins of Yeats and Mallock. A very well-run and enjoyable event.
The Berkhamstead And D.M.C. And C.C. Winwood Cup Trial
Another classic — but dry weather rendered all three hills, Painsend, Bank Farm and Hawridge, non-stoppers. So the event was decided on the tests, in which Measures (T-M.G.) was fastest in the first, in 148 sec.; only C.A.N. May (Morgan “4/4”), Tooley (M.G. Magna) and Pentony (M.G. Midget) managed the reversing test and everyone succeeded in the stop and restart. Pentony took the Winwood Cup, Measures, in his first trial, the Visitors’ Cup. and the N.W. London M.C. took the Team Award, their team comprising Hutchison’s Allard, which broke a tappet, Price’s V8 Ford and Measures’s M.G. Hutchinson and Burroughes’s V8 Ford took “firsts” and Sanderson’s PB-M.G. and Moore (B.M.W.) second-class awards
Brighton And Hove M.C. Spring Cup Trial
This event suffered from a small entry and fine weather. the hills being so easy that the awards were allocated by the special tests. It was another Allard victory, Silcock’s V12 winning outright, losing not a single mark. The Drewitt Trophy and the first-class awards were withheld. Hollingsworth’s blown Ford Ten lost eight marks, and Mungean’s Opel, Sykes’s Wolseley Hornet and Chandlers Ford Ten, ten marks each, all getting second-class awards.
B.D.C. versus The Police
The go-ahead Bentley Drivers’ Club held a contest, consisting of a number of driving skill tests, against the Police at the Hendon Police School on April 7th, by courtesy of the “cops.” In the skid-pan test Norris beat the Police by one point – as Forrest Lycett has observed, the old Bentleys just couldn’t be made to slide enough. In the end the Police won by 140 points to 102, getting well away in the reversing test, although beaten on up-hill restart, skidding and parking. The Police used Wolseley, 4 1/2-litre Lagonda and 4 1/2-litre Bentley cars.
Vintage S.C.C.’s A.G.M.
This was extremely well attended. The club has some £200 in hand and no liabilities. Membership is up to approximately 350, 130 new driving and 17 associate members having been elected recently. The committee was re-elected almost en bloc, S. C. H. Davis and Laurence Pomeroy were established as vice-presidents, and Forrest Lycett was asked to continue as president for 1946. Harry Bowler said hoped-for fixtures were a speed trial at Madresfield on July 27th and a Prescott hill-climb on August 31st. Mrs. Choate presented prizes to Windsor Richards and Heal, but Cutler, Denyer and Potter were not present to receive theirs. Anthony Phelps, editor of the club’s “Bulletin,” and Dr. Ewen were proposed for the committee. Vincent Square was filled with pleasing cars, including Dr. Ewen’s “14/40” Delage, an 8th Series Lancia “Lambda” coupé which brought Whittet, Joan Passini and Birkett from Bagshot, a Meadows Frazer-Nash occupied by Jenkinson and Pat Whittet, an Anzani-Nash belonging to John Hay, with Boddy as passenger, Phillip Turner’s aged A.C. Anzani, Tubbs’s D.K.W., Peter Monkhouse’s Alfa-Romeo, Heal’s all-weather Sunbeam, Windsor Richards’s S.S., Rivers-Fletcher’s “12/60” Alvis, a f.w.d. Alvis, McCaw’s open Talbot from Darlington, a Le Mans Bentley, Pomeroy’s “3.3” Bugatti, Peter Clark’s Le Mans H.R.G., etc. — we hope we have attributed the right cars to their rightful owners! Clutton, Phelps, McKenzie, Hutton-Stott, Choate, Ashwood, Taylor, Marcus Chambers, Yeats and many other personalities were present, apart from Lycett, Bowler, McCaw and Secretary Carson at the “top table.” And plenty of wives, girl-friends and blondes attended. Good party !
Scottish S.C.C. Half-Day Trial
Woodcockdale failed the entire entry for this event, but three special tests were the deciding factor. Watson’s McCulloch Special, a twin centrifugally-boosted V8 Ford, won the over 1,400-c.c. class, with Grant’s S.S. and Ross’s Humber runners-up. The under 1,400-c.c. class went to Elliot’s Morris Ten saloon, with Couper’s M.G. and Dewar’s Sunbeam-Talbot next in order of merit
In the Darlington and District M.C.’s Summer Lodge hill-storm on April 7th, Richmond’s H.R.G. won the car class, Hammersly’s M.G. being second.
Bugatti Owners’ Club Opeing Rally
This was held near Ripley in magnificent weather on April 14th, and the car park was soon full of Bugattis and other good motor-cars. There were plenty of “family men’s” Bugattis, like the “Airline” 57, Bear’s 57 saloon, Pomeroy’s Type 49, Hampton’s supercharged Type 46 saloon and Continental Cars’s Type 57. Also faster stuff – Hindes brought the magnificent road-decked “3.3” G.P., Giron his well-used and docile “2.8” G.P., Craig his “4.9” and Williams his somewhat modified Type 43. There were also a G.P., Birkett’s practical rather than elegant 4-seater Type 38, the glistening Type 57S “Suzanne,” Rodney Clark’s very perfect 1913 “Black Bess,” and Mrs. Hampton with the equally-immaculate 1910 Bugatti. Apart from Bugattis, three Alfa-Romeos, two Invictas, the Crowther’s four Lancias, Roland’s “Ulster” Aston-Martin, a pre-1914 Siddeley (unnecessarily equipped with “period” hats), a huge open Speed Six Bentley, a Type 540K Mercédès-Benz, Hay’s Anzani Frazer-Nash, Cook’s ex-McKenzie 4 1/2-litre Bentley, Stunner’s open white Isotta-Fraschini, an open Rolls-Bentley, Bean’s not-so-slow Riley Nine saloon, some Alvi and a sprinkling of tin ware were amongst those present. Hindes told us he was police-pursued three times on the way down, merely because his rear number wasn’t painted on a transverse flat-surface, which makes one wonder whether the British Empire is about to follow the Roman! George Harris Cup for hest-kept Bugatti, any age: Hampton (1910 Type 13). Jacques Cup for best Invicta: Wynmalen (1936 4 1/2-litre). Scuderia Prize: Crowther (Lancia stable). Treasure Hunt: 1st, Birkett; 2nd, Landon; 3rd, Williams.