Redex Economy Run
Traditionally, the Hants & Berks MC ran another Economy Run this year, much in the former format, thanks to sponsorship from Redex, who in return injected 5 c.c.-per-gallon of their upper-cylinder lubricating additive into the fuel tanks of the 40 competing cars. This was no petrol-conserving dawdle. The route of more than 1,000 miles took in the Wrynose Pass in the Lake District and much hard going in Wales, and the weather, especially over Shap, played its part, with strong biting winds and icy roads. The average speed was quite rally-like, too, 0.5 m.p.g. being forfeited for every minute late at Controls.
We went to see the drivers arrive at the Llandrindod Control, where the helpers in the chilly night included Nancy Mitchell and Joan Johns. There was a reminder that this was no freak economy run as competitors used their engines right up to the parking slot in the Metropole Hotel’s big car park, coasting and other aids to fuel conservation being disallowed, under observation from young officials riding beside each driver. We could obtain no information of any kind from the Redex young lady in the hotel, so contented ourselves with watching the way drivers came in. Joe Lowrey, trying unsuccessfully for an Index-of-Efficiency win with an automatic Jaguar XJ12 HE, refused heat to his passengers, as this might raise the fuel thirst of his big engine. He must have used skill in taking the car through difficult, narrow terrain, not losing any time, but his 21.66 m.p.g. was bettered, by 0.79 m.p.g., by an XJ-S HE auto.
The class winners were Mrs. Lowrey’s Mini City (63.94 m.p.g.) — a sort of domestic situation! — a Talbot Samba GL (61.85 m.p.g.), Talbot Samba GLS (52.56 m.p.g.), and a Vauxhall Cavalier SRi (46.78 m.p.g.), the smaller Samba winning from a Maestro 1.3 HLE in spite of a lateness-penalty not shown above. It is a happy thought that anyone reasonably proficient and not having to hurry quite as Margaret Lowrey, had to, should be able to better 60 m.p.g. in a modern Mini; she beat a Metro 1.0 HLE that lost points on schedule but attained an actual 64.27 m.p.g.
A memory of how the late Holland Birkett used to run the Mobil Econdmy Runs for the Hants & Berks MC was there, his Memorial award being won on merit by the Samba GL. — W.B.