OUT LIKE A LION
APPALLING WEATHER CONDITIONS AT SOUTHSEA SPEED TRIALS, WHICH CONCLUDED TEE 1937 SPEED SEASON. FASTEST TIME BY ARTHUR BARON (2.3 BUGATTI) The 1937 season of speed events went out like a lion on October 23rd, when a gale and torrential rain swept the exposed field in which was situated the course used by the Southsea M.C. for their post
poned speed trials. Nevertheless, in spite of these highly unpleasant conditions the meeting was started at 1 p.m. instead of 2 p.m. and. run through to schedule, without acddent, by 5 p.m. Much of the credit for the organisation goes to D. P. Kirkman, a member of the Southsea and Vintage Clubs and owner of a cut-down, single-carburetter 12/50 Alvis, who worked very hard to make a success of the event. Last year’s course was not available, nor did the local town council offer big money prizes this time. The course, as has frequently been the case since the use of public roads was wisely banned in 1924, was of ” circus-like ” aspect, the straights being too short and the bends too acute to provide a real test of car performance and driving skill. To purists like ourselves this seemed sad, but there is no denying that a deal of fun is to be had from these smaller meetings, which is why events like gymkhanas and treasure-hunts continue to flourish. And drivers definitely liked
the Southsea course. Timing was by hand (stop watch) and the broadcasting rather inadequate, but typed results sheets were issued to competitors at frequent intervals and the sliminess of the competitor’s paddock was manfully overcome.
Fastest time of the day went to Arthur Baron with the ex-Howe 2.8 G.P. Bugatti, beautifully stark in unpainted condition, though it will soon be repainted. It now has a Wilson gearbox. Baron got wheelspin everywhere, but displayed fine acceleration down the 200 yard straight, visibility hampered by water-spray, and took the bends cautiously, clocking 49.5 secs. John Bolster put up a wonderful display, making a policeman hop at the first corner, and snaking furiously to the finish, where ” Mary’s ” throttles stuck open and she only just pulled up in time, burning out the clutch in the process. Result : second fastest time in 51.3 secs. Third fastest time went to P. R. Monkhouse in a T.T. M.G. Magnette, who arrived late in the afternoon and did a useful run in 51.7 secs. Hunter’s Type 328 Frazer-Nash-B.M.W., much. admired, clocked 52.2 secs., and Clive Windsor-Richards’s 30/98 Vauxhall, with subdued exhaust note, 53.6 secs. Mud on the course rendered the corners extremely hectic and the first nine drivers either turned round, swung into the barriers, or ran out of the road at the first corner. Rogers controlled his Montibery M.G. well, the driver of an S.S. 100, which had real Jaguar-skin upholstery, Gordon Brettell’s famous Austin Seven, and a number of M.G.s being equally good. Wilkes turned his G.N. round twice, Poore spoilt a very good run with his blown M.G. in the same way, and Sumner used the escape road on his first run with the Sumner-J.A.P. Peter
Clark turned three-quarters round at the fatal first bend, driving Marcus Chambers’s single-seater Austin, but went decidedly better with his own H.R.G. Miss Redfern drove her H.R.G. very well indeed, sending the revs, up to the sky on the indirects, and between runs sheltered beneath an umbrella, which many envied her. Burness drove the 2-litre G.P. Sunbeam and several interesting motors were competing, including some comic, cut-down 12-50 Alvis and a Riley with a Triumph Super Seven body. An Aston-Martin lacked acceleration but Bagratouni’s blown Alfa-Romeo was much admired. Several people seemed to forget to pump up adequate pressure, not surprising as they were soaked to the skin and frozen, and the day went to those who treated the bends with great respect, as instanced by Baron, Bolster, and Brettell, the lastnamed carefully blipping the Austin round. We believe this little car is now for sale. Quite a number of spectators turned up and bravely withstood the elements. The Southsea M.C. deserve congratulations for staging a very good event. Unfortunately the road is on a building estate and is unlikely to be available next season. We believe that gate-money went to charity. Two of the three policemen present were sufficiently undamped to ask for results at the conclusion (we are investing in police capes and helmets
for the coming winter trials season I).
Fastest Time of Day : A. Baron (2,300 c.c. Bugatti, S.), 49.5s.
Fastest Sparta-car: P. R. Monkhouse (1,430 c.c. M.G.), 51.7s.
Fastest Sonthsea Member : M. W. Sheppard (1,292 c.c. M.G.), 55.3s. Sports-Cars
Up to 850 c.c. Unsupercharged : A. G. Sanderson (M.(4.), 59.3s.
Up to 1,100 0.0. unsupercharged and 850 c.o. supercharged : B. Rogers (747 c.c. M.G., S.), 54.6s.
Up to 1,500 o.c. and 1,100 0.0. S. : P. R. Monkhouse (1,430 c.c. M.G.), 51.78.
Up to 3,000 c.c. and 1,500 c.c. S. : P. R. Monkhouse (1,430 c.c. M.0.), 51.78.
Unlimited : P. It. Monkhouse (1,430 c.c. M.G.), 51.7s. Racing-Cars
Up to 850 o.o. : M. Chambers (Austin), 58.2s. Up to 1,100 0.0. and 850 0.0, S.: B. Rogers (747 c.c. M.G.), 54.6s.
Up to 1,500 c.c. and 1,100 c.c. S. : B. Rogers (747 c.c. M.G.), 54.68.
Up to 3,000 0.0. and 1,500 c.c. S.: J. Bolster (1,992 c.c. Special), 51.3s.
Unlimited : A. Baron (2,300 c.c. Bugatti. S.), 49.5s.