The London M.C. Little Rally (April 13th)
This year the Little Rally, which is so popular with novices and those seeking a not-too-strenuous afternoon’s sport, was purposely restricted to a route of about 70 miles in Hampshire lanes, starting and finishing from the useful headquarters of the Queen’s Hotel, Farnborough, the cars being conveniently parked beside it on an Aldershot parade ground.
Entries were limited to 179 and the list was filled so quickly that 12 reserves were accepted. The tests were generously marshalled and a police-car kept an eye on the orderly proceedings. The Mostyn Special looked rather like a DB3S and had disc brakes all round, i.f.s. by transverse leaf-spring and wishbones, and an Austin-Healey engine with Marshall supercharger belt driven from the back. Bray’s T.E.S.T. 1 was Ford Ten-powered, with tranverse leaf-spring i.f.s. damped by Newton struts. Leighton drove a Lotus.
A white-coated policeman and a big notice, “Caution — Motor Rally,” protected the exit from Blenheim parade ground on to the Portsmouth road, reflection of the thoroughness with which this event is organised.
A simple reversing and braking test in the parade ground took place before the road section. Miss Reeves stalled the engine of her Austin A40 and handled it clumsily, Major Swickard (U.S.A.) was neat in his l.h.d. M.G., Tommy Trinder made a fool of himself in a Triumph TR, hitting a marker and going the wrong way, but laughed an heartily as the audience, and Miller indulged in wheelspin in his Ford Zephyr. Odoni handled his Ford Zephyr really well. Lyle Cameron (Standard Eight) was jerky and Thompson (M.G.) took it carefully. We were disappointed not to see B. I. Ped and A. Charlie drive No. 13, their 13-c.c. Trudge Special.
The second test was a matter of accelerating and reversing at a fork, but we were too disgruntled to observe it, having just discovered that a double line of power pylons, joined by a single line at right-angles, has advanced over one of the finest areas of rural N.E. Hampshire, to its total ruination — the march of subtopia is quickening and seemingly nothing will stop it.
Hastening away from this sacrilege, we came to test three, a brief burst of uphill acceleration followed by a brake test. Sydney Allard, in his well-laden Allard saloon, not competing, did a rousing 5.5 sec. which we believe no competitor approached, although an M.G. had done 6.2 sec., and Edmondson’s Triumph TR, changing to second, 6.4 sec., Smith’s Ford Zephyr 6.6 sec. Harris’ Minx had a duo-tone finish which didn’t originate from the factory(!), Haydon’s M.G. MGA possessed a loud exhaust note, Scraggs M.G. overshot the braking line slightly, Ballisat’s Triumph really spun its wheels, to clock 5.6 sec., the first really to “have a go,” and Waddington tried to set his tyres alight under braking (7.4 sec.). Brightman’s Jaguar VII stopped too soon, Field’s Austin A40 took off very slowly, but the Mostyn and T.E.S.T. 1 were exceedingly impressive. Dent’s Jaguar overshot the line, the Borgwards of Seigle-Morris and Collings were both outstanding, Stewart’s M.G.-Ford was neat, Gold got his passenger to time his run and Patsy Burt in a very smart Renault Dauphine (all the ladies will be buying Dauphines now that the Queen has one) tried to dice off in neutral. Excellent runs were done by Horn (Doretti), Wilsdon (Triumph), Martin (Triumph), Parham (Bristol), Taylor (Jaguar), and Lanfranchi (yellow Healey Silverstone) — no relation to the Brooklands Alfa-Romeo driver.
A downhill brake test, water-splash-cum-test and, for some, quite a Grand Prix to get in on time, completed a good rally in delightful weather, marred just a shade by a considerable delay at the crossroads-test.– W. B.
London Trophy: R. B. James (Triumph TR2).
Club Trophy: C. W. Yates (896-c.c. D.K.W.).
Lawson Trophy: J. McAndrew Uren (1,172-c.c. Ford).
Breakheart Trophy: T. W. Barn (1,172-c.c. Buckler).
Novice Award: L. C. Bellsham-Revell (Swallow Doretti).
American Trophy: C. A. McKenzie (Austin-Healey).
Coupe des Dames: Lady Kimber (1,172-c.c. Ford).
Up to 1,499 c.c. (open): J. H. Palmes (M.G. TC).
Over 1,499 c.c. (closed): J. Casewell (Austin).
Over 1,499 c.c. (modified closed): R. J. Smith (2,261-c.c. Ford).
Motor Sport Silverstone Trophy
The next meeting to count for the Silverstone Handicap Trophy will be the Eight Clubs race meeting on June 1. The programme will consist of a series of five-lap handicap and scratch races, the 30-minute high-speed trial and the Motor Sport Handicap Trophy qualifying race.
The Gosport A.C. Speed Trials, Eastney (April 14th)
Speed trials in the old tradition, over a ¼-mile of slightly curved road beside the harbour, were held in April sunshine. Some interesting cars competed. There was the Cripps Special with Marshall-blown 1936 Chrysler engine in a 1933 Chrysler chassis with Ford back-end and 700-18 back tyres. The Grenfell Special, now driven by Croot and Moss (J. E.), and Farquharson’s Allard sported Ardun heads. Mann’s Cooper 1,100 had a streamlined tank above the engine. Clinkard’s Equipe Maritime Alvis had a 4.3 engine with chain-driven Villiers supercharger, a combination of Speed Twenty and 4.3 back axle (3.8 to 1), drilled Alvis brakes, coil-spring i.f.s of which only the bottom wishbones were Alvis, Morris-Oxford rack-and-pinion steering, ¼-elliptic back springs with radius-rods formed from push-rods from a marine diesel engine and bodywork ex-the Whitehead E-type E.R.A. It ran to 4,500 r.p.m. but didn’t sound too well.
Very much in the sprint tradition was Croot’s C.D./Mercury, which has a V8 engine amidships in a tubular ladder frame, the driver being accommodated in the nose. Cooling is by surface radiators on each side of the engine box, petrol is carried in a minute cylindrical tank on the near side of the frame and blown up by bicycle pump before each run, and the drive goes through an exceedingly short prop.-shaft, the gearbox being Ford, with push-pull selection of middle and top ratios. The front axle is Morris Eight, as is the crab-track coil-sprung back axle, which carries 5.50-18 Avon-shod tyres. A motor-cycle battery lives between the feet of the intrepid driver and initial getaway seems entirely satisfactory!
Moss and Good shared the E.R.A. “Remus,” which tended to misfire, and Brewer had the ex-Seaman/Billy Cotton 1½-litre Jamieson-blown black E.R.A. beautifully restored, but its new owner must keep the revs. up higher on get-away. The Gosport course presented a problem, as top gear is too high, yet to select third before the finish is to over-rev. Pierpoint ran the ex-Whiteaway H.W.M.-Alta, with revised nose cowl, but it seemed difficult to get off the line. The gear-change of the Petty 500 seemed to call for great concentration, Roscoe changed up at the left-hand bend by the start in his blown 1,220-c.c. Cooper, Atkins’ DB3S snaked at the bend, as did Cliff Davis’ Lotus-Bristol, which beat all the “specials,” using its Goodwood 9.3-to-1 compression-ratio. His technique was to use plenty of power, controlling wheelspin by skilful throttle-work, for the vital start, where a ¼ -mile sprint is won and lost.
The Richmonds drove the Rapier Special, with two-stage Marshall supercharging and twin rear tyres, but it misfired. Patsy Burt had brought her Dauphine for them to use as a course-patrol and her sports Cooper-Climax. Sheila Park made a notably clean start in her Ace-Bristol with blanking-cowl over the grille, Slay’s Emeryson 500 with megaphone exhaust was nicely turned out and Donald Monro’s Invicta lent a vintage flavour. — W. B.
Fastest Time of the Day: W. J. Roscoe 14.20 sec.
F.T.D., Sports Cars (non-s/c.): F. C. Davis (Lotus-Bristol) 14.43 sec.
F.T.D., Saloon Cars: J. Burke (Porsche) 17.06 sec.
F.T.D., Saloon Cars up to 1,200 c.c.: R. Heatley (Ford Anglia) 20.13 sec.
750 Formula: N. E. David (Austin) 19.73
1,172 Formula: E. Broadley (Lotus) 17.42 sec.
Class 1 (Saloon Cars up to 1,750 c.c.): 1st: J. Burke (Porsche) 17.06 sec.
Class 2 (Saloon Cars, 1,750 c.c. to unlimited): 1st: J. Webb (Jensen) 18.68 sec.
Class 3 (Sports Cars up to 1,500 c.c.): 1st: E. H. Broadley (Lotus) 17.42 sec.
Class 4 (Sports Cars, 1,500 c.c. to 2,700 c.c.): 1st: K. N. Rudd (A.C.-Bristol) 15.40 sec.
Class 5 (Sports Cars, 2,701 c.c. to unlimited): 1st: G. Burton (Bentley) 16.18 sec.
Class 6 (Sports/Racing Cars up to 1,500 c.c.): 1st: Patsy Burt (Cooper) 15.46 sec.
Class 7 (Sports/Racing Cars, 1,500 c.c. to unlimited): 1st: F. C. Davis (Lotus-Bristol) 14.43 sec.
Class 8 (Racing Cars up to 500 c.c.): 1st: R. Mayne (Cooper) 15.86 sec.
Class 9 (Racing Cars, 501 c.c. to unlimited): 1st: W. Roscoe (Cooper) 14.20 sec.
If you wish to give your friends a unique present, Messrs Kirby Squibb & Simpson, Ltd., Engineers, of Westergate Works, Fontwell, near Arundel, have produced a very artistic set of mirrored mats depicting various vintage cars. They are made with an infused ceramic process which renders the image impervious even to rough wear, and although made of glass they even stand up to being dropped. They are priced at 36s. for a set of six, the vintage models being a 1896 Peugeot, a 1900 Buick, a 1903 Mercedes, a 1903 Standard, a 1905 Vauxhall and a Ford 1906.