Itala Trophy Race won by Tozer’s 1927 Amilcar Six. W. J. Bodington (1932 Twin-cam 2.3-litre supercharged Alfa-Romeo) wins Motor Sport Trophy qualifying race
A record crowd of about 8,000 braved a cold wind to watch an excellent V.S.C.C. Silverstone Race Meeting on April a sure indication that if the Minister of Transport does anything to injure vintage motoring he will find himself unpopular and unvoteworthv with the public as well as with the cars’ owners.
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The meeting opened with the usual One Hour High Speed Trial, results of which are tabulated hereunder:
751 – 1,100 c.c.—Qualified: Mayhew (1930 Riley Nine), Kehoe (1929 Riley Nine), Berting (1929 Riley Nine), Winder (1923/8 Humber), Hurlbatt (1928 Riley Nine), Dancer (1928 Salmson).
1,101 – 2,000 c.c.—Qualified: Sim (1929 Alfa-Romeo), Barber/Scharaff (1927 Frazer-Nash), Winder (1926 Frazer-Nash), Archdale (1924 Aston Martin, Davie/Brown (1926 Alvis), Arnold-Forster (1925 Frazer-Nash).
2,001 – 3,000 c.c.—Qualified: Noble (1930 Alvis). Vessey (1926/8 Lancia).
Over 3,000 c.c.—Qualified: Howell (1930 Type 46 Bugatti), Douglas-Reid (1924 30/98 Vauxhall).
Some nice, original vintage cars ran in this High Speed Trial notably Howell’s big Bugatti saloon, going splendidly, the Vauxhall which shed its fire-extinguisher, Winder’s very nice 1926 Anzani Frazer-Nash with original narrow-track front axle, the long-tail twin-cam Salmson and various 12/50 Alvis and “Brooklands” Rileys. Perhaps the most pleasing of all was Archdale’s side-valve Aston Martin four-seater, entirely original even to beaded-edge tyres.
The first five-lap Handicap was led for two laps by Moores’ somewhat-modified blue Ulster Austin Seven, until the back-markers came through, Ashley’s 1930 Frazer-Nash winning very easily from a 1932 Frazer-Nash driven by Gibson, with Quartermaine’s well-known 30/98 Vauxhall third.
There followed a five-lap Scratch Race in classes which Bradley’s 4-1/2-litre Bentley looked to have in hand until its old rival, McClure’s 4-1/2-litre Bentley pipped it on the run home. Hollis’ two-seater 3-litre Bentley—original, at all events externally—retired.
Excitement quickened with the 1908 G.P. !tala Trophy Race for Vintage Racing Cars, over 10 laps. The cars lined up on the grid made an imposing cross-section of motor-racing history. No fewer than four Amilcar Sixes were present, Rowley had his fabulous V12 2-litre 1924 Delage, on methanol fuel, Howell his equally fabulous 16-cylinder 4-litre Maserati, now in sports trim, a costly but desirable link with the past, for which a rebore of both eight-cylinder blocks had been completed and a new blower-shaft (at a cost of £70) fitted. The field was completed by Kitchener’s 1928 F.W.D. Alvis which finished second in the T.T. of that year, the A.C. Nash and Barnard’s ex-Dixon Riley Nine Special, running at present with a compression-ratio of only 7 to 1. Alas, Davenport’s V-twin G.N., McClure’s fast Bentley, McDonald’s Bentley and the 1910 Fiat were non-starters.
Tozer’s splendid little Amilcar led away but the Delage closed with it, these two going past the pits side by side on lap four, the Delage leading laps 5 and 6. Then its complicated power-unit began to falter and Tozer re-took the lead, to win at 69.7 m.p.h. Rowley kept second place and had lapped at 71.47 m.p.h. Howell, cornering wide at Woodcote, kept the big Maserati in third place until oil pressure dropped and he wisely pulled in two laps from the finish, allowing Clutton, in the other Ecurie T.N.C. Amilcar Six, to come home in that position.
The five-lap Edwardian Handicap was spoilt by non-runners, the Zust and Fiat being absent, likewise the 1908 Itala which has new rims and tyres but no spokes in its wheels. So Clarke’s typically Edwardian 25-h.p. Talbot strove to fend off three pre-1915 T.T. racers, Neve’s Humber winning in a bunched finish from Jack Sears in the T.T. Sunbeam, both of whom passed the Talbot at the last possible moment.
The finest race of the afternoon was unquestionably the 10-lap All-Comers’ Scratch Race. Five E.R.A.s, the two faster Amilcar Sixes, the Spero 3-litre Maserati which Jack Sears was trying out, the ex-Mary Grosvenor 1-1/2-litre blown Alta, Hayward’s ex-Kennington 6C Maserati, Mudd’s 1933 2.6 Alfa-Romeo once driven by Chiron, Mallalieu’s splendid twin-cam Type 51 G.P. Bugatti, now back in correct supercharged form, Lockhart’s K3 M.G. Magnette single-seater, Hill’s 1934 T.T. NE M.G. Magnette and Lyne’s Amilcar Six made Silverstone sing with nostalgic sounds. W. F. Moss led all the way in the ex-Broad E.R.A. “Remus,” power-sliding out of the corners, on an impeccable drive, at a race-winning average speed of 78.31 m.p.h. Hull, driving another team-E.R.A., the 2-litre ex-Wharton car, got within 5 sec. of Moss, but fell back on lap six, so that Sears, who seemed to find the ex-Bira 3-litre Maserati rather a handful and had dented its tail, got into second place. When Little’s fast Alta went sick Waller, sliding his corners in the ex-Carson E.R.A. once raced by Scribban and Shawe-Taylor, became third, in which order they finished. Waller, indeed, made fastest lap, at 79.96 m.p.h. and Clutton’s Amilcar secured the vintage award, although a lap behind the bigger place men. The 6C Maserati, very smart, was fourth.
After Mrs. Moizer had led for three laps in a s.v. Surbaisse Amilcar, Mayhew’s Riley Nine came up to win the next five-lap Handicap at 58.78 m.p.h., Begley’s rare Gough-engined Byfleet II Frazer-Nash second and the lady-in-the-Amilcar, looking back to see what margin she had over Kleiman’s Riley, third—just.
Faster cars came out of the seventh race, another five-lap Handicap, which, after Hull’s E.R.A. had retired, had a stirring finale, because as Chapman’s E.R.A., the car once owned by Lloyd-Jones, crossed the line the winner, with Wiener’s E.R.A. behind him, and Mallalieu’s Bugatti in third place, the 3-litre G.P. Maserati, handled now by Sowman, and Moss’ E.R.A. came pelting past a bunch of slower cars, the E.R.A., which had out-accelerated the Maserati at the start, just beating the Italian car into fourth place. Sowman had the compensation of fastest lap, at 80.85 m.p.h.
Thirteen cars next lined up for the five-lap Motor Sport Trophy Qualifying Handicap. The race was slowed when Kemp overcorrected a skid at Woodcote Corner and rolled his Manx-tailed M-type M.G. over, the driver lying unconscious beside the wreckage until an ambulance could be brought onto the course. Through it all Bodington’s 1932 twin-cam blown 2.3 Alfa-Romeo won at 62.59 m.p.h. in a close finish from Halkyard’s 1923/8 4-1/2-litre Bentley, with Bill Mason’s delightfully-non-cut-about 1930 4-1/2-litre Bentley tourer third. The others qualifying for the Final are Hollis’ 3-litre Bentley, Noble’s six-cylinder Alvis that was once a truck, and Ainsworth’s 4-1/2-litre low-chassis Invicta. The next Motor Sport qualifying race will take place at the Eight Clubs’ Silverstone Meeting on June 7th.
Running only slightly late in spite of Kemp’s calamity, the day’s sport concluded with a final five-lap Handicap, which Barry Clarke’s Edwardian Talbot led until swamped by the later starters, the Alta spoiling its chances by broadsiding and Begley’s 1935 Frazer-Nash winning from Kehoe’s “Brooklands” Riley Nine and Gibson’s Frazer-Nash.
This has been a splendid day’s sport—and sport is the operative word, for V.S.C.C. racing is untainted by commercialism. Another V.S.C.C. Silverstone Meeting will be held on July 26th, and Northern enthusiasts are catered for by the V.S.C.C. Oulton Park Meeting on June 28th. Finally, a word of praise for the informed commentary on the competing cars by J. W. Broad, who is the best commentator for this sort of work we have ever listened to.—W. B.
First 5-lap Handicap: R.W. Ashley (1930 Frazer-Nash) … 64.02 m.p.h.
Second 5-lap Handicap: E.J. Meyhew (1930 Riley Nine) … 58.78 m.p.h.
Third 5-lap Handicap: G. Chapman (1934 E.R.A.) … 72.50 m.p.h.
Fourth 5-lap Handicap: H.W. Begley (1935 Frazer-Nash) … 57.66 m.p.h.
Edwardian Handicap: K. Neve (1914 T.T. Humber) … 59.26 m.p.h.
5-lap Scratch Race: D.G. McClure (1928 4-1/2-litre Bentley) … 67.13 m.p.h.
up to 1,100-c.c.: H.R. Heap (1930 Riley Nine)
1,100 – 1,500-c.c.: B.E. Brown (1930 Frazer-Nash)
1,501 – 3,000-c.c.: M.D. Hollis (1923 3-litre Bentley)
1908 G.P. Itala Trophy Race: J.C. Tozer (1927 Amilcar Six) … 69.70 m.p.h.
Handicap Winner: C.E. Lyne (1926 Amilcar Six)
10-lap All-Comers’ Scratch Race: W.F. Moss (1936 E.R.A.) … 78.31 m.p.h.
Vintage Award: R.G.H. Clutton (1927 Amilcar Six)
“Motor Sport” Handicap: W.J. Bodington (1932 2.3 Alfa Romeo) … 62.59 m.p.h.
Wales has its rally
Following National Rallies in England and Ireland, Wales has its National Welsh Festival Rally, sponsored by The Liverpool Daily Post, from May 8th to May 11th. The rally starts from Llandudno, Warrington, Kenilworth, Bristol and Cardiff, following a 1,000-mile route through South, West and North Wales after converging on the first-named town. The finish is at Colwyn Bay. On May 10th, where tests will he held. Entries have closed