Berthon and Mays

Author

admin

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Sir,

It isn’t often I would correct Rivers Fletcher on motoring topics but I must show him the black Bag and his number when he states Raymond Mays refused to carry Peter Berthon as passenger in the Southport sand races.

In “Split Seconds” Mays describes the 1928 100-mile race at Southport and refers to Berthon’s discomfort at 120 m.p.h. after he last his goggles and had no aeroscreen either. Ironically this race produced a tragic example of what Mays feared could happen to a passenger on the right-hand corners when May Cutiliffe’s Sunbeam rolled twice throwing out the crew the second time round, her father riding passenger was killed.

In the race Malcolm Campbell’s 1 1/2-litre Dclage led for 70 miles with Mays’ Vauxhall Villiers lying second and the Sunbeam third. But then the Delage was retired with axle trouble. Came drama — as the motor scribes used to say — the Vauxhall went on to three cylinders but Berthon said “keep going”. The Sunbeam was closing rapidly and approaching a corner Mays says “the Sunbeam shot by at terrific speed” and overturned when May Cunliffe locked over, he attributed this to the front wheels sticking in the ruts. Conjecture may be idle, but from photographs it appeared the Sunbeam took too wide a sweep thus building up a bank of sand at the tvs rear wheel.

Having won the 1428 race Mays returned in 1929 for the 100-mile and again carried a passenger, presumably Berthon. On this occasion they both wore crash hats. After an early struggle with Thistlethewaite’s Mercedes and Dan Higgins’ Talbot, the Vauxhall retired with misfiring. A photo in the pits before the race shows a mechanic with all the jets out for inspection, so retirement was Nrhaps anticipated. No mention ctf this race is made in “Split Seconds”. Again a car rolled at a corner but this time Percy Stephenson put his 747 c.c. Austin back on its wheels and continued.

Whilst making his “Pit Stops” Rivers also referred to the grotesque modern bone dome inflicted on Vintage and Classic drivers. Not only do they look absolutely dreadfulbut they are dreadful to wear. For a start they are far too heavy for an old-car driver, 6 or 7 lb. of weight thumping your nut as the car bounces from bump to bump. stuck out in the airstream, is hardly conducive to comfort.

The bone dome is constructed for F1 drivers and is no doubt splendid for demolition work on wire fences, fence poles, and various bits and pieces that tend to fly off F1 machines. Weight is no problem as the driver lies on his back with the helmet propped up against a padded cell. If you roll a Vintage car you will, with luck, stay with it holding the steering wheel and perhaps be baled out if it rolls twice. Whichever occurs you do not want your head to receive a clout from the road akin to a blow from a sledgehammer — which is what the bone dome trunmitts. A lighter helmet with absorbent properties is needed, a view confirmed by Stirling Most writing in Autocar for January 21st 1978.

Hampsthwaite, Yorks.
Anthony Brooke

Related articles

Related products