Light Cars in Wales

On March 30/31 the VSCC Light Car Section held its Welsh Week-end in kind weather conditions that made the Sunday trial, with observed-sections organised by Seymour Price, reasonably easy. But first came a Scenic Run, and the dinner, with balloonist Robin Batchelor the guest-speaker. Convoys of A7s, Gwynne 8s, Trojans, GNs and Edwardians paced the Welsh lanes, with Marcus Croome’s 1904 Wolseley lofty enough for its driver and passenger to look not only over the hedges but over two-storey buildings, and it was less obtrusive, than some of the younger cars.

The trial consisted of eight hills, including a new discovery, “Penyffnnon Boric”, that rose almost upright, a good test, especially of reversing down. Previously used sections followed and at Llwynbarried trees and tree stumps had to be negotiated, to add variety to the grass gradient. Lack of steering-lock caused failure for the Edwardian Buick 28 and Marion B10, the Talbot Simmins and Wendy Cooksey’s Morris Minor, but Jane Woodburn in the 1925 sports Gwynne 8 just managed to cope with this problem.

Leslie Wheeler’s smart Morris Cowley with discs on its wheels stopped about halfway, and Riddle failed to score because his GN decided to ignore the twists. Ian Walker’s 1923 G8 just made it, as did Winston Teague’s GN Legere, and among the better ascents were those of the little 1911 Singer Ten, John Stammers’s Riley 9 tourer and Paula Thorpe’s Chummy A7. Chloe John won the award for best driver under 23, in her 1930 A7. But it was the Trojans that were dominant, climbing slowly and surely as they always did, to give Christopher Piercy’s 1927 Utility tourer the overall award, closely followed by Miss Pat Stocken’s 1924 Utility model.

After lunch at the Bell Inn at Llanyre the assembly dis-assembled, another unique occasion concluded — rather a pity that trailers were in evidence, when driving home in an early small car should be part of the fun? Chris Gordon had brought his £100 Carden to keep Mark Longmone’s New Carden company and Batchelor had his Rollo, suggesting that perhaps a cyclecar sub-section may be needed… Other interesting cars included Charmian Skinner’s stark GN with four-push-rod Salmson engine, John Harris’s 1930 Fiat 514 tourer from Turin’s “American” period, a contrast to Paul Baker’s Fiat 501, the 1914 Humberette, the Deemster and Hancock’s 9/20 Humber wire-wheeled fabric saloon. W B