Report of Recent Events
V.S.C.C. Bisley Meeting
Another worthwhile Vintage S.C.C. meeting was held at Bisley on October 12th, when the assembled cars were almost as interesting as the tests in which they subsequently took part. Three cars obviously well in the running for the Concours were Abbott's immaculate 1904 Mercédès, Richards' early "12/50" Alvis tourer with incredibly-polished engine (having, however, two S.U.s instead of the original Solex) and Leonard Taylor's very-perfect "hip-bath" bodied Gwynne Eight with correct-section tyres. Peter Clark brought his family in an immense and imposing Big Six Bentley Utility, Bill Dawkins attended in the majestic 1911 Renault landaulette with its elaborate telephone system between passengers and the driving menial, and a fresh Edwardian was Bland's 1914 Studebaker 2-seater, its self-starter said to drive through a chain and free-wheel and its carburetter at the rear, feeding through a sort of "reversed-S" manifold. Others present were the open Alfa-Romeos of Bremner and Ching, an Alfa-Romeo saloon, Gahagan's Type 37 Bugatti, the Lancia "Lambdas" of Dacre Stubbs (soon off to Australia), Jane and Wrigleys, the ltala, the ex-Hill Hispano-Suiza, Jesty's comfortable old Humber, and examples of Bentley, Lagonda, Lea-Francis, etc. There was also a 2-litre Ballot with a foot out of its chassis, to which a 4-seater body from a "12/50" Alvis had been cleverly adapted. Entries were correctly confined to pre-1931 cars. The fist test was the famous V.S.C.C. slow/fast, choice of gear now being permitted for the accelerative section. A business of reversing into bays followed, which we consider unkind to aged transmissions, and then everyone went off for a Concours and tea at the N.R.A. Pavilion. The ltala in action was a centre of attraction and results are as follows:
Cars up to 1 1/2-Litres: 1st, Major Dove (1927 Lea-Francis) 27 marks; 2nd, L. Taylor (1923 Gwynne Eight) 25 marks; 3rd, D. E. Smith (1928 Aston-Martin) 24 marks.
Cars Over 1 1/2-Litres: 1st, C. R. Abbott (1904 Mercédes) 34 marks; 2nd, J. Bland (1914 Studebaker) 27.5 mark; 3rd, J. Sanderson (1927 Delage) 27.1 marks.
G.P. of Lausanne
Luigi Villoresi's, 16-valve Maserati won this race, taking 2 h. 49 m. 30.4 sec. to complete the 181-mile course, while Wimille did a prodigious drive in a Simca-Gordini to come home second, only 63.7 sec. behind the winning Maserati. Jean-Pierre's average was 63.48 m.p.h. De Graffenried's Maserati was well behind, in 3rd place, with Chiron's 4 1/2-litre monoposto Lago Talbot 4th. Villoresi recorded fastest lap, at 67.85 m.p.h. Of the British drivers, Whitehead's B-type E.R.A. finished 6th, and Heath's E.R.A., also a B-type, but with i.f.s., 7th. Actually, these cars were still running when the flag fell, having completed 72 laps. Parnell had a "works" Maserati, but retired after 42 laps (race distance was 90 laps), and Hampshire, in Parnell's E-type E.R.A., ceased motoring after 38 laps.
Berkhamsted & D.M.C. & C.C. Bossingham Cup Trial
K. E. O. Burgess' Allard, luggage and tyre-inflating cylinder aiding wheel grips, won the Bossingham Cup in this classic event. Dry weather rendered most of the sections easy, so that the special tests largely decided this good, olde worlde trial of 58 miles, which attracted 37 car entries. Burgess was outstanding in the Bellingdon test, clocking 10 sec., whereas Best's PB M.G. and Vincent's 847-c.c. M.G. in the opposite class and tying for best time, needed 11.8 sec.
Bossingham Cup: K. E. O. Burgess (4,000-c.c. Allard).
Cup for Best Performance by Member of Promoting Club: (Over 1,500-c.c.), K. E. O. Burgess; (Under 1,500-c.c.), E. B. Kay (1,496-c.c. Riley).
First-Class Awards: (Over 1,500-c.c.), M. Wick 4,000-c.c. Allard), L. Potter (3,950-c.c. Allard); Under 1,500-c.c.), C. W. Yates (1,172-c.c. Austin); C. P. Taylor (998-c.c. M.G.); J. V. Vincent (847-c.c. M.G.); G. W. Best (939-c.c. M.G.).
Second-Class Awards: (Over 1,500-c.c.), L. Parker (4,438 Allard); K. McAlpine (4,400-c.c. Allard); (Under 1,500-c.c.), P. H. Hunter (1,172-c.c. Austin); D. S. Wood-Dow (1,074-c.c. H.R.G.); F. Morrish (1,498-c.c. Fraser-Nash); D. Murkett (939-c.c. M.G.).
Team Awards (Teams of three), L. Parker, D. Murkett and G, W. Best; (Teams of two), A. G. Pine (1,009-c.c. Standard drop-head coupe) and C. W. Yates (1,172-c.c. Austin).
V.M.C.C. Royston Speed Hill-Climb
Fastest time of the day for a vintage machine was again put up by S. A. Johnson with a 1928 O.H.V. Norton at the Vintage M.C.C.'s second speed hill-climb at Royston. Johnson shared honours with K. Weeks, who rode a similar machine of 1926 vintage in the 500-c.c. vintage class, with a climb in 16.6 sec., but running in the standard machine class he got his time down to 16.2 sec., which compared very favourably with the course record of 14.6 sec. set up by I. B. Wicksteed on an alcohol-tuned "Tiger 80" Triumph. S. A. Johnson was also the only competitor in the 250-c.c. class and his walkover was more literal than was expected because his unique Sheffield-Henderson was dogged by mechanical trouble and could only manage 26.0 sec.
M. Gover's O.H.C. Velocette proved to be the best 350 with a final run of 16.4 sec. after no less than four runs at 17.0 sec., and in the unlimited class A. J. Bonnett's S.S. 100 Brough Superior got down to 16.6 sec., which was too quick for Wicksteed's Royal-Enfield twin. With a sidecar on, however, Wicksteed easily beat A. H. Johnson's 500-c.c. O.H.V. Matchless outfit.
250-c.c. Vintage Class: 1st, S. A. Johnson (248 Sheffield Henderson), 26.0 sec.
350-c.c. Vintage Class: 1st, M. Gover (348 Velocette), 17 sec.; 2nd, equal C. E. Allen (349 A.J.S.) and J. A. Welch (349 A.J.S.), 17.4 sec.; 3rd, M. F. Walker (346 Sunbeam), 18.2 sec.
360-c.c. Standard Class: 1st, I. B. Wicksteed (349 Triumph), 16.4 sec.; 2nd, C. E. Allen (349 A.J.S.), 16.8 sec.; 3rd, M. Gover (349 Velocotte), 17 sec.
500-c.c. Vintage Class: 1st, equal S. A. Johnson (490 Norton) and K. Weeks (490 Norton), 10.6 sec.; 2nd, L. F. Bovingdon (490 Norton), 17.6 sec.; 3rd, R. Bovingdon (490 Norton), 17.8 sec.
500-c.c. Standard Class; 1st, S. A. Johnson (490 Norton), 16.2 sec.; 2nd, K. Weeks (490 Norton), 16.6 sec.; 3rd, L. F. Bovingdon (490 Norton), 17.8 sec.
Unlimited Vintage Class; 1st, A. J. Bonnett (980 Brough), 16.6 sec.; 2nd, I. B. Wicksteed (990 Royal-Enfield), 18.8 sec.; 3rd, L. J. Moon (976 Brough), 22.6 sec.
Unlimited Standard Class: 1st, A. J. Bonnett (980 Brough), 17 sec.; 2nd, I. B. Wicksteed (990 Royal Enfield), 18.2 sec.; 3rd, L. J. Moon (976 Brough), 23 sec.
Sidecar Machines Class: 1st, I. B. Wicksteed (990 Royal-Enfield side-car), 20.6 sec.; 2nd, H. Johnson (498 Matchless side-car), 22.4 sec.; 3rd, R. T. Rigby (493 B.S.A. side-car), 26 sec.
Challenge Event, Six Fastest Class: 1st, S. A. Johnson, 16.2 sec.; 2nd, M. Gover, 16.4 sec.; 3rd, equal C. E. Allen and A. J. Bonnett. 16.6 sec.; 4th, J. A. Welch, 17.2sec.; 5th, K. Weeks, 18.2 sec.
V.S.C.C. of A. Castlereagh Speed Trials
In this V.S.C.C. of Australia event the class winners were: Dent's vintage Austin 7, 24.3 sec.; Todhunter's J2 M.G., 21.9 sec.; Dent's vintage Frazer-Nash, 21.4 sec.; Ward's TB M.G. tying with Pease's TB M.G., 19.5 sec.; Rizzo's Riley Special, 17.4 sec.; MacKinnon's vintage Frazer-Nash, 20.5 sec.; Snow's B.M.W., 19.0 sec.; Jeffery's vintage Studebaker, 19.0 sec.; Reed's MercurySpecial, 16.4 sec.; Bland's Ford V8 Special, 16.9 sec. Reed was declared winner of the N.S.W. 1947 Sprint Championship.
Ulster A.C. Veteran Car Contest
This event, 5th of the series, attracted 16 entries, from an 1898 Mors to a 1914 Model-T Ford. First prize in the appearance competition, in which age of car and period garb of car was considered, went to Clark's 1903 Peugeot, with Haughton's 1898 Mors runner-up. Ten cars lost no marks in the road section, so a handicap hill-climb decided the event, the winner being a 1913 Talbot. A 1905 Riley was 2nd and a 1911 Renault 3rd, while the M.M.C.-Renault-Talbot team took the Team Prize. Other makes competing were Clement, de Dion, Martini, Wolseley and Swift — all pre-1905.
Dublin University M.C. & L.C.C. Kilternan Speed Hill-Climb
The results of this event, held September 6th, were:
Cars Under 1,200-c,c, (Scratch): 1st, F. D. Smyth (10-h.p. Ford), 61.88 sec.; 2nd, C. F. Lindsay (Ford. 8), 64.76 sec.; 3rd, A. R. Scott (Ford 8), 65.22 sec. Winner's speed, 48.48 m.p.h.
Cars Under 1,200-c,c, (Handicap): 1st, C. Martin (D.R.A.) (22 sec.), 49.20 sec.; 2nd, W. Leeper (Singer) (16 sec.), 50.00 sec. 3rd, W. M. D. Montgomery (Singer) (16 sec.), 50.40 sec.
Cars Over 1,200-c.c. (Scratch): 1st, N. S. Robb (M.G.-V8), 61.46 sec.; 2nd, C. S. Porter (H.R.G.), 65.55 sec.; 3rd, R. B. S. Le Fenn (L.E.R.A.), 66.00 sec. Winner's speed, 48.81 m.p.h.
Cars Over 1,200-c.c. (Handicap): 1st, D. O'Clery (M.G.) (19 sec.), 49.18 sec.; 2nd, A. M. Johnson (M.G.) (19 sec.), 51.16 sec.; 3rd, C. Vard (M.G,) (19 sec.), 51.40 sec.
Cars Open Handicap: 1st, D. O'Clery (M.G.) (19 sec.), 49.18 sec.; 2nd, C Martin (D.R.A.) (22 sec.), 49.20 sec.; 3rd, W. Leeper (Singer) (16 sec.), 50.00 sec.
Cars Open Scratch : 1st, H. Graham (M.G. supercharged), 58.32 sec.; 2nd, D. H. Kyle (M.G. supercharged), 60.22 sec.; 3rd, N. S. Robb (M.G. V-8), 61.88 sec. Winner's speed 51.44 m.p.h.
Hants & Berks M.C. "Point-to-Point"
Beautiful weather on October 5th made searching for clues in the Hants and Berks M.C. Point-to-Point most enjoyable, the course embracing some of the fascinating lanes and by-ways that abound in the Alton-Basingstoke area of Hampshire. Although one Austin 7, driven by a girl, lost its entire exhaust system and a Riley saloon detached its silencer, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Mrs. Willis waded knee-deep in a canal to find one clue, while Eric Brandon, having taken his new 1 1/4-litre M.G. to the wrong end of a mile-long canal tunnel, was heard trying to persuade racing-driver John Cooper to swim through it. Clues were based on ordinance survey references painted in unlikely spots, aided by code words. Kennington abandoned his Morris to bask clueless in a field for a while and Jane and his Lancia found themselves back at the start shortly after leaving! A stark "12/50" Alvis with big-port head, external exhaust system and downdraught carburetter appeared to be doing well, its girl passenger working energetically with the driver in map-reading and clue discovery. But it was Joe Lowrey, his 1,100-c.c. H.R.G. now endowed with air intake holes in the side of its bonnet, that came home first with a fully completed and correct score card. The runners-up were Buckler's Ford and Arklay's Austin 8. Usually we rather scorn treasure hunts and the like, but this event had the merit of embracing fine scenery and interesting territory.
Y.S.C.C. Thothorpe Airfield Circuit Racing
Heroic persistence by the Hon. Sec., T. C. Wise, at last wore down the resistance of the eight H.M. Ministries which stand in the way of permission to use this Government land, and the Y.S.C.C., at short notice, staged a full day of racing round the 1-2-mile course on the runways. The weather was fine but cool, and there were 159 entries, comprising 64 different sports. and racing cars, divided among 10 different classes. The P.A. system helped greatly with the task of keeping the ball rolling, and with priming the hundreds of spectators who had magically become aware of this unadvertised and free display. Capt. A. M. Mallock's troops were on duty, and saw his versatile blown 747-c.c. Austin win the 1,100-c.c. sports class, first race of the day. This was of 6 laps, as were all others except the handicap for racing cars, which was of double distance.
The class for 1 1/2-litre cars was run in four heats. T. C. Harrison's Riley "Sprite" won heat 1, Shillito's H.R.G. heat 2, D. H. Smith's H.R.G. heat 3, and Gee's T.T. Riley heat 4, and these four met in the final, where, after a most exciting duel, Harrison beat Gee by several lengths. The 2-litre class had largely the same entry, plus Tyrer's very rapid B.M.W., a couple of "Specials," and Brown's A.C. Harrison (Riley) and Gee (Riley) won their heats and held a matched final, where Gee had the last word. Mallock's Austin ran with a nominated driver in this event and provided the only untoward incident of the day, when it over-turned on to its side on one bend, bounced miraculously back, and then went haymaking in the direction of the hangar before resuming the race undaunted. The big sports class was also run in three heats and a final. In the first heat Wise's C.W.8 beat Appleyard's Jaguar 100, Shaw's Allard, and Hepworth's Alfa; in the second the Tyrer-Harrison duel was renewed, this time with the result reversed, Whittaker's Railton being 3rd. In the remaining heat Gee's very rapid Riley rather eclipsed its opposition, and the three winners then ran it off, the placing being 1, Tyrer (B.M.W.); 2, Gee (Riley); 3, Wise (C.W.8). In the Allcorners' Handicap, the handicapping was rather impromptu and unduly generous, and Phillips (Fairly), with a lap start in 3, could have won on a bicycle. Pilkington (M.G.) was second, and Buck (Alvis) third.
In the 1,100-c.c. racing class French, driving Mallock's Austin, won from Reynold's R-type M.G.
In the 1,500-c.c. race, Slater's E.R.A. beat Harrison's E.R.A., and Holt's H.R.G. in heat 1, whilst in heat 2 Gee's Riley won from Reynold's R-type. Slater repeated his success in the final. In the next class there were several retirements and Slater (E.R.A.) won from Buck's "2.3" Bugatti, but in Class 4R, there was a spirited race, Harrison (2-litre Riley, ex-Gerard) winning from Tyrer's B.M.W.
In the All-Comers' Handicap for racing cars, Harrison's Riley, the scratch car, was rapidly running up through the field when a loose exhaust system lost him about 5 minutes, which he could not make up, and Needham (Riley "Sprite") won from Wadsworth's H.R.G. with Slater (E.R.A.) third.
As a members' day this was a huge success, and even all the spectators seemed highly delighted, though they were cooped up into one restricted area, and had few amenities.
Obviously, there is a huge public waiting for any chance to see real motor-racing.
Prix de Leman
This 1,100-c.c. race held at Lausanne, over 120 1/2 miles, saw the Simca-Gordinis again soundly trounce the Cisitalias. Bira won at 64 1/2 m.p.h., his Simca-Gordini a mere .3 sec. ahead of Sommer's. Taruffi's Cisitalia, a lap to the bad, was 3rd, followed home by Loyer's Cisitalia, Prince Igor's Simca-Gordini, Wuest's Cisitalia, Trintignant's Simca-Gordini, Robert's Cisitalia, Schell's Cisitalia and Schmocker's Simca-Gordini. Sommer broke the lap record, but had to spend 34 seconds at his pit, securing the exhaust pipe. Two races were also held for Swiss drivers, Patthey's Nordec-supercharged M.G. winning the under-1,500-c.c. race from two other M.G.s, Studer's Alfa-Romeo the big car race from two B.M.W.s.
Modena Sports-Car Race
This event ended disastrously when Bracco's Delage ran into the crowd. The race was stopped, and awarded to Ascari, whose new, secret-they-say 2-litre 6-cylinder Maserati was leading at the time, with his team-mate, also in one of these intriguing Maseratis, 2nd. Faster lap was made by Cortese in the 2-litre V12 Ferarri.
Scandinavian Sports-Car Race
This race, over 67 miles, was run off at Gardermoen airfield before a crowd of over 40,000 spectators. Heiek's M.G. won the 1 1/2-litre class from a Lancia Aprilia and another M.G. The 2-litre class went to a Citroen, which beat a B.M.W., and the over 2-litre class was won by Pahl's "4.9" Bugatti, from a Ford V8 and a Mercury.
Bristol M.C. & L.C.C. Chappell Cup Trial
Twenty six entrants left Hinton Charterhouse and made for test "A," an acceleration test. Here Onslow Bartlett (Mercury) made the best time, 4.0 sec. Despite the large rock outcrops on "Mount Pleasant" six kept clean sheets, the Allard of Ken Burgess being outstanding. "Clandown" followed and all but Buckler, in his very naked Buckler Special, bounced successfully over the deep-rutted surface.
"Pendown" caught out half the entry and proved to be the most interesting hill. It was just car-wide, had steep banks on either side, a stream ran down the middle, and there was a water splash at the bottom. The big cars listed heavily as they mounted the off-side bank, but all except Mallom (Jensen) lost no marks. McAlpine, Appleton, Potter and Burgess (Allards) and C. A. N. May and D. W. Price (Ford Specials) made fast, lurid ascents. Cyril Butler (Daisy) had some anxious moments, but made the grade. W. A. Cleave (Morris) made a first-rate climb, as did J. Grout in his Austin-Ford Special. The hill worsened as the stream became diverted into the wheel tracks, and although A. W. Morrish . (M.G.) got through the most difficult section, lack of ground clearance was his undoing near the top. The course was certainly at its worst when G. W. Best made his climb, but with sheer determination his M.G. swayed and bounced to the top.
In test "B" (the L-shaped reversing variety) C. C. Evans (Ophelia) and A. W. Morrish (M.G.) each clocked 7 sec. but, having lost marks elsewhere, this only helped towards class awards. "Uplands" was bone dry and dead easy and only caught out one entrant, but by this time four competitors had retired.
Chappell Cup: G. W. Best (M.G.).
Club Cup — Class 1: W. A. Cleave (Morris).
Club Cup — Class 2: T. C. G. Butler (Daisy).
Club Cup — Class 3: O. Bartlett (Mercury).
First-Class Awards: D. W. Price (Price Special), K. Burgess (Allard), A. W. Morrlsh (M.G.).
Second-Class Awards: C. C. Evans (Ophelia), McAlpine and L. Potter (AUards).