True to tradition, the VSCC lightcarists, joined by a number of Edwardian brethren and the Collings’ veteran Mercedes and Darracq, journeyed to Mid-Wales on April 7th / 8th for their DTs, trial and annual dinner. Out of a full entry of 50 drivers and half-a-dozen reserves, eight were using b.e. tyres, 24 scorned the new-fangled FWB, and 19 placed their faith in Austin 7s, of which one saved weight by dispensing with Upholstery and another had hydraulicallyapplied anchors. There were some non-starters, both the junior Diffeys running big-ends on their 9/20 Humbers en route, and when the junior Blake’s A7 broke down at Oxford the family Lancia Theta, giving it 12 summers, towed it home rather than continuing to Llanwrtyd Wells. It was good to see three GNs present and Alec Stevens, son of one of the Directors of AJS, keeping Keith Hill’s two-seater of that make company with his 1930 saloon. Ivor Phillips had his well-known Jowett in its original grey paint. Bryon had changed his Riley for a rakish two-seater 1916 Model-T Ford with 1919 engine, the smartest car present was Carlisle’s 9/15 Renault, and Georgina Whiting was persevering with her 1921 7.5 Citroen. DTs are not for reporting in detail, but one noticed Jackie Lock doing great things for Woman’s Lib in her A7, Mandy Collings driving the 1904 Darracq with great competence, and Thorpe even trying for tail-slide turns in his long 1930 Swift Ten tourer, from which the wheel nave-plates had been sensibly removed. The Threlfall’s BSA seemed a trifle put out by its tendency to understeer, and its front wheels adopted some horrifying angles, Cartwright’s Riley 9 tourer was spitting back and was too long for a clean run through Test 1, and even Jenny John’s A7 needed to reverse, and like Batchelor’s Cowley, quenched its motive power. Pipkin got his A7 so wound up that he had to give it a touch of the brakes. Five tests were disposed of in the Abernant Lake Hotel grounds, but rowing, a feature of last year’s frolics, was mercifully dispensed with. Best performance in the tests was made by Seymour Price’s 1929 A7 Chummy.
Guest speaker at the Dinner was Owen Wyn-Owen, who spoke of “Babs” and told some splendid, if unprintable, Welsh jokes, after Winifred Boddy had presented the 1983 prizes.
Dry weather made the Sunday trials hills easy for most. Paul Bullett overturned his A7 without damage to driver or car on Section 1, Peacop had his Morris Minor well wound up, and Annabel Jones was making very effective use of her 1927 replica GE Cup Model A7 that was on its first appearance, the same type of car that Tony’s father began his motoring with. It was bad luck that Moores’ Jowett failed near the very top of the second of the Llwynbarried sections but very nice that Pam Arnold-Foster did best in the Trial, with her 1921 GN. The Llwynbarried Trophy for best overall performance went to Roger Thorpe with the Swift, his first ever award, deservedly won. — W.B.