F1's got talent
…And some of it’s due to Red Bull spotter Helmut Marko. But 40 years ago…
Hants and Berks M.C. Blackwater Trial
A fairly happy-go-lucky event divided into saloon and open-car classes this trial was rendered unexpectedly difficult by the thaw. The entry, as seen assembled at the start at the “Ely,” was a varied one in spite of this being a closed event. Denyer blotted his copybook on Good Earth, unexpectedly coming to rest in his famous Lea-Francis, but Yeats and Birkett roared up in special Austin Sevens. It looked a close thing between Dyer’s special shortened Riley Nine and Len Parker’s V12 Allard on its usual under-inflated rear tyres, and the special test above The Glade decided it, Dyer being half-a-second faster than the Allard driver. Davies did very well to win the saloon class in his Ford Ten, beating Buckler’s sister car by 15 marks and Arklay’s vintage “14/40” Delage by 25 marks. In the open-car class Dyer beat Parker by that half second, both having clean sheets on the hills. Birkett’s Austin Seven was 3rd, and Denyer’s Lea-Francis 4th.
V.S.C.C. Eastbourne Rally
For the second time this year the V.S.C.C. were favoured by fine weather when they organised their Rally and Concours d’Elegance at Eastbourne. 26 entered and there were two non-Starters: Edwardian cars firmly, vanquished the vintage types — moderns were not allowed in this event.
Most competitors encountered floods and torrential rain on their way, but by the time they reached the first control at the Race Hill, Lewes, the weather had improved and the course was dry. C. Slater (1930 Alvis) had come through snow-drifts and had been forced to make long detours because of impossible roads on his long journey from Carlisle. After passing through the control competitors were faced with an acceleration test over a distance of some 300yards. J. Fairman (1930 4 1/2-litre Bentley) put up the best time (14.48 sec.) with Peter Clark (1929 3.3-litre Bugatti) second (14.9 sec.) runners up being Mertens (Bentley), 16.15 sec., Wyer (3-litre Sunbeam) 16.97 sec. and Cook (Bentley), 17.16 sec. Several Edwardian cars were also competing in the Rally and the Performance of the 1908 T.T. winner, the 5.8-litre Hutton driven by Marcus Chambers, astonished many people. His time was 18.29 sec. Just as the control was closing L. Taylor arrived with his 1911 Model 60 Stanley steam car which he had driven from Somerset. He, covered the timed distance in 722.6 sec.
Following a prescribed route over the Downs, competitors next had to negotiate an observed section called “Witching Waves,” which stopped seven cars, many Edwardians getting through where younger vehicles failed. After a brief run the cars arrived at the second control on the sea front at Eastbourne. The route through the town had been, clearly signposted by the Borough Council in conjunction with the A.A. After signing off, many drivers set about washing and polishing their cars in preparation for the Concours d’Elegance that was to take place on the Sunday Morning. Even the watches of the night and the grey hours of early morning saw considerable activity by some of those taking part. Dr. Ewen borrowed a car to return to London to obtain a spare low-tension magneto for the 1908 Itala which had broken down near East Grinstead. Carter-Jones had to search the Eastbourne garages for a 710 by 90 beaded-edge tyre for his 1924 “Redwing” Riley, said to be the specially built machine that V. Gillow drove at Brooklands. It is certainly much shorter and lighter than the standard model of the same date.
As the cars arrived on the sea front for the Concours d’Elegance they made a fine spectacle with their polished brass and nickel gleaming in the bright sunshine. Even those who had driven through the road section of the Rally were scarcely outshone by the competitors who had elected to appear only in the Concours. Outstanding amongst the latter was S. E. Sears’ magnificent 1912 Rolls-Royce which had no difficulty in carrying off the first prize for the best-kept Edwardian car. W. H. Stout’s smart 1927 3-litre Bentley was awarded the corresponding Vintage award. Marks were given for age, mechanical condition, state of the coachwork and closeness to original specification.
Following the Concours d’Elegance competitors took part in a Fast-Slow test on a short hill near by. Cars had to be driven as slowly as possible over a distance of approximately 100 yards and then accelerate over a similar distance. The difference between the times for the two parts of the test formed the basis for the marking. The slow-running capabilities of the Vintage cars showed to advantage in this test, Slater’s Alvis putting up the best performance, taking nearly a minute and a half to cover the slow section. Lord Strathcarron’s 1930 1,750-c.c. Alfa-Romeo put up the next slowest time, 69.6 sec. Fairman’s 4 1/2-litre Bentley made the quickest time in the second half of the test in 7.0 sec. Dr. Ewen (1908 Grand Prix Itala) and Peter Clark (3.3-litre Bugatti) tied (7.4 sec), as did Cook (Bentley) and Mertens (Bentley) in 7.8 sec. The event was watched by a crowd of several hundred spectators. The Borough Council and the Eastbourne police both collaborated With the V.S.C.C. in helping to make the Rally a success.
Best Performance: M. Anderson (1911 Rolls-Royce). Runner-up: M. Chambers (1908 Hutton).
Best Vintage Car: C. Slater (1930 “12/50” Alvis).
Best Bentley: W. Cook (1930 4 1/2-litre).
Smartest Edwardian: S. Sears (1912 Rolls-Royce). Runner-up: R. Dawkins (1911 Renault).
Smartest Vintage Car: C. Slater (Alvis) Runners-up: W. Cook (Bentley) and P. Clark (Bugatti) (tie).
N.W.L.M.C. Team Trial
The N.W.L.M.C. ran its famous Team Trial in Somerset on April 6th, following the “Land’s End,” from which many competitors had returned. 16 teams were entered, representing 12 clubs. Underhill proved a real stopper, Price getting highest in his V8 Special. Here Imhof’s Allard hit a tree and subsequently had to retire with a broken torque tube. His team (N.W.L.M.C.) was unlucky as Appleton’s Allard retired with steering gear failure. Potter’s Allard also experienced steering trouble, but he was able to finish. French used a queer method to defeat wheelspin in his Austin Seven, sitting in the back after fitting an extended steering wheel and driving on the hand throttle. Morgan’s Riley “Sprite” lost its centrifugal clutch in spectacular manner at Carpenters, bits and pieces being retrieved from neighbouring fields. They talked of Len Parker’s Allardian ascent of this hill long after he had gone on to Bagboro’. Here, incidentally, the local police hadn’t been told of the trial — rather a pity, as they were willing to be sporting about it. On Truckwell, a wet, sticky-in-places hill, a T-type M.G. failed. Price climbed easily, as did Pilkinton’s M.G., but Wilde’s Railton Special failed and then charged wildly from bank to bank in turning. Flather (M.G.) and Scales (M.G.), had no bother, Hankins did a fast climb in the C.W.8, and Best (M.G.) came up very fast, front wheels frequently air-borne. T. C. Harrison, touching the banks at times, made a vivid ascent in his Riley “Sprite,” Phillips in his Fairley was really excellent and G. Holt’s M.G. never faltered, his passenger bouncing up and down, as she had done in the “Land’s End,” like a ventriloquist’s dummy. R. Holt’s M.G. was also clean, Welfare just bounced his Austin Seven up, and then Dyson’s Austin “Nippy” failed in section 1. Wadsworth was polished in his Ford V8, a Jeep got up, and Butler climbed splendidly in “Ophelia,” his passenger in a bucket seat in the back of the car. Evans’ new car was very sure, Birkett (Austin Seven) almost stopped in section 1, but recovered skilfully, Potter’s Allard raced up, and Barton’s Morris, valves clattering, was grand, even with two fewer “bouncers” than it had carried in the “Land’s End.” Tolman’s M.G. ascended steadily, Campbell’s Morgan 4/4 failed in section 2, Wharton was getting real revs, from his Ford Ten-engined Austin, and Bold (Riley) was skilful and sure. Whitefield used lots of r.p.m. from his M.G., Small’s M.G. came up fast, his girl passenger shutting the door en route, French’s engine died away in section 2, but Len Parker came up easily. Cleave blipped his wonderful Morris Ten up, a 328 B.M.W. came up with much steering-wheel work, Buncombe’s M.G. sounded sick and hit the bank but climbed well, while Fitzwater (M.G.) believed in revs., his girl passenger kneeling backwards on the seat, apparently praying. Several competitors got to Truckwell after the back marker and were retired in consequence.
Winning Team: Bristol Motor Cycle and Light Car Club drivers: G. W. Best, T. C. G. Butler and C. C. Evans. Marks lost, 16 (Evans lost only 3). Runners-up: S.U.N.B.A.C. drivers: K. Wharton, L. Parker and C. L. Bold. Marks lost, 17. Best performance by a Reserve driver: G. S. Scali, marks lost 17. Best performance of the day: C. C. Evans.
Results of Special Tests: Special Test 1: D. Flather, time 13 2/5 sec. Special Test 2: Stirling Moss, time 17 3/5 sec. (driving for the Harrow Car Club in place of G. Pentony). Special Test 3; T. C. Harrison, time 30 4/5 sec.
Pau Formula Grand Prix
Connell drove his 16-valve Maserati in this race, and “Bira” an E.R.A. The former retired after 14 laps and “Bira,” after holding 3rd place, fell out after 37 laps. Pagani’s 1 1/2-litre Maserati won by 3 1/2 miles from Levegh’s new unblown 4 1/2-litre Delage, at 51.94 m.p.h. Louveau’s Maserati was 3rd, ahead of the Delage cars handled by Archard, Etancelin and Chauboud.
S.S.C.C. Highland Threedays Trial
This was a very tough event indeed, and in the end the winner of the if class proved to be Page’s 1,287-c.c. M.G., while the over-1 1/2-litre class was won by Watson’s 4-litre Watson-Special. Page, Wilson and Stevenson (J2 M.G.) won the Team Prize for the S.S,C.C. Two Austins, two M.G.s and an Allard retired.
Bristol M.C. & L.C.C. Organisers’ Trial
In this event best performance was made by W. J. Ashby’s M:G., while Joe Fry was runner-up in his Lancia “Aprilia.”
750 Club Aldershot Trial
The 750 Club’s Aldershot Trial was run off over a very stiff course, in beautiful, if non-trials, weather. The timed special test with which the event concluded was arduous in the extreme.
Up to 1,300 c.c.: 1st.. Yates (Austin-Ford); 2nd, Pearson (Morris); 3rd, Davies (Austin Seven).
1,300-3,000 c.c.: 1st, Welfare (s/c Austin Seven); 2nd, Denyer (Lea-Francis) 3rd., Best (M.G.). 3
Over 3,000 c.c.: 1st, Potter (Allard); 2nd, Appleton. (Allard); 3rd, McAlpine (Allard).
Cofton Hackett Speed Trials
F.t.d. was made by Parnell’s E.R.A., but the course record was not broken. B.O.C. Opening Rally
Held at the N.R.A. Pavilion, Bisley, this event was well attended the cars ranging from such diverse types as Dr. Ewen’s 1908 Itala – going better than ever, with a new l.t. magneto now in use-and new-member Tom Cole’s very transatlantic Buick. Lemon Burton won the George Harris Cup for the best-kept Bugatti with his “Royale,” Heal the Scuderia Prize with his Sunbeams, Wynmalen the Invicta Prize, and Crowther’s Lancia a new award for the best-kept car of any make. Chiltern C.C. Daw Cup Trial
The Daw Cup was won by Richards (R.L.F. Special). Hancock (Singer) and Wadsworth (Lagonda) took 1st class awards, Silvester (Ford V8) and Ingram (Standard) 2nd class awards and Pratt (Riley) the saloon-car prize.
Bristol M.C. & L.C.C. Roy Fedden Trial
Owing to the intervention of an A.C.U. motor-cycle trial in the same area it was necessary to concentrate the “Fedden” course and a route was devised requiring two circuits of a 28-mile course. There were four observed hills (each climbed twice) and two special tests. Test A, the primary test, was an “L” shaped forward and reversing test, and B was of the straightforward acceleration order. There were fifty-seven entrants of whom eight were non-starters. The event was held in beautifully sunny weather. The two-lap course scheme worked well and competitors’ interest was maintained as three of the hills had never been used before. The recent dry spell somewhat upset the organisers’ ideas and in the main the wear and drying sun rendered the hills easier on the second circuit. All the same, only two competitors recorded clean sheets, namely, K. Wharton (Wharton Special) and C. C. Evans (“Daisy”).
Old Sodbury (in six sections) was easy on the first circuit, but a small stream had “mysteriously” visited the slopes when competitors reached it for their second attempts. The early numbers then found it extremely difficult to even reach the first section, but as time went on and the water dried out, the hill became much less hazardous.
The grassy slopes of Widden caught many napping on the first run, with R. W. Phillips in his Ford-Ten-engined Fairley making a notable climb. In the second run C. C. Evans (“Daisy”), K. C. Delingpole (H.R.G.), C. A. N. May (Ford Special) and G. W. Best (M.G.) all made outstandingly good ascents. A. W. Morrish (M.G.) failed in the last section.
The start of Wortley (Circuit 1) was located in a farmyard and only three cleared the first section. For the second circuit the start was moved and thereafter little trouble was noted. The six sections of Newington brought about only a round dozen failures on the first circuit and here again the start was moved for the second runs. In the latter, providing cars were “bounced” out of the heavy mud at the start, little trouble was experienced. About half the entry failed there notable among which were J. H. Appleton and G. N. Mansell in their Allards and J. Buncombe (M.G.). A similar fate fell to A. T. Daniel in one of the ex-Cream Cracker P.B.s, Who had a bad day generally. A stalwart climb was made by W. M. G. Marshall (“18/80” M.G.) who was ably assisted by his three passengers. W. A. Cleave (Morris) and K. Wharton made excellent showing, as did G. Coaker and R. W. Faulkner in their Jeeps.
With two clean sheets at the close the final result depended upon the Special Test times. The Roy Fedden Trophy then went to K. Wharton with 14 4/5 sec. in Test A against C. C. Evans’ 15 sec.
Roy Fedden Trophy: Best performance of the day, K. Wharton (Wharton) 1,081 c.c.
Alexander Duckham Cup: Runner-up, C. C. Evans (“Daisy”) 1,991 c.c.
Daphne Trophy: Best performance car not exceeding 1,100 c.c., J. S. French (Austin) 747 c.c.
Club Cup: Best performance car 1,100 c.c.-2,500 c.c., K. J. Murton (H.R.G.) 1,496 c.c.
Basil Barber Memorial Trophy: Best performance car exceeding 2,500 c.c., D. W. Price (Price Special) 3,922 c.c.
J. H. King Cup: Best performance by Club member, K. Wharton (Wharton) 1,081 c.c.
Team Prize, James Shield: West of England Car Club Team, B. Ellis (B.M.W.) 1,911 c.c., K. J. Murton (H.R.G.) 1,496 c.c., W. A. Cleave (Morris) 1,086 c.c.
Class Awards – Class A, up to 1,100 c.c.:1st Class, W. A. Cleave (Morris) 1,086 c.c.; 2nd Class, C. L. Bold (Riley) 1,089 c.c.
Class B, 1,100 c.c. to 2,500 c.c.: 1st Class, G. W. Best (M.G.) 939 c.c., C. W. Yates (Austin) 1,172 c.c., E. Ellis (B.M.W.) 1,991 c.c., R. W. Faulkner (Willys Jeep) 2,198 c.c., C. S. Dewey (Willys Jeep) 2,198 c.c.
2nd Class, H. B. Woodall (Wolseley Ford) 1,172 c.c, R. W. Phillips (Fairley) 1,172 c.c., T. C. G. Butler (“Ophelia”) 1,296 c.c., V. S. A. Biggs (H.R.G.) 1,496 c,c., A, Coaker (Ford Jeep) 1,983 c.c.
Class C, Over 2,500 c.c.: 1st Class, L. Parker (Allard) 4,400 c.c., K. B. Steadman (Hudson) 4,168 c.c.
2nd Class, M. Wick (Allard) 3,917 c.c., C. A. N. May (Ford Special) 3,622 c.c.
The Cisitalia Race in Cairo
The first one-make race for Cisitalia cars, in which crack-drivers were invited to compete, held at Cairo in March, was a very exciting happening indeed. Two 25-lap heats and a 50-lap final were run off over a tricky 1 1/2-kilo. circuit. Cortese put it across financier Dusio in the first event, beating him by 6 sec. and averaging over 60 m.p.h.
Taruffi, driving very nicely, dominated heat 2, which he won by 24 sec. at nearly 62 m.p.h., from Ascari, after Louis Chiron had lost some plugs. Serafini was 3rd.
H.M. King Farouk started the final and Taruffi just led Dusio into the first turn, but before long Ascari, hailed as a new ace, had worked his way from a bad start into 4th position. At half-distance Taruffi led from Cortese with Dusio 3rd, but wily Cortese grabbed an opportunity in this close-fought race and got past Taruffi after 33 of the 50 laps. Taruffi then experienced rocker-gear trouble and in the end Cortese won at around 62 m.p.h., Ascari finishing 13 sec. later, ahead of Taruffi, Dusio and Tardini. It seems that Chiron broke a back-axle, and Serafini had rocker trouble, while Brivio and Lurani had to give best to the ex-motorcycle boys. King Farouk gave a special cup to Cortese.
The gate money wasn’t up to expectations, so Dusio cancelled the Heliopolis and Alexandria fixtures and led his Cisitalia performers to S. America via Barcelona.
…And some of it’s due to Red Bull spotter Helmut Marko. But 40 years ago…
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