Reports of Recent Events, November 1949
V.C.C. Northern Rally
Results of the Veteran C.C. Southport event on September 17th are now to hand. Seventeen veterans and 24 Edwardians entered, of which 14 and 23 started. Ten veterans and 11 Edwardians lost no marks. On formula Eyre’s 1902 Napier won the former class from Hunt’s 1902 Century and Davenport’s 1901 Progress, while the Edwardian Class was won by Taylor’s 1911 Stanley Steamer from Wilson’s 1911 Arrol-Johnston and Abbott’s 1911 de Dion. Major Gardiner’s 1899 Locomobile took the prize for the oldest car. Class winners in the acceleration test were: Davenport (1901 Progress), Hunt (1902 Century), Gregory (1904 Darracq), Abbott (1904 Mercédès), Rowe (1911 Swift), Hampton (1910 Bugatti), Neve (1914 G.P. Humber) and Taylor (1911 Stanley). The speed test was won hands down by Neve’s Humber, in 18.0 sec., the class winners being the same as before except that Abbott’s 1911 de Dion beat the Swift and Skinner’s 1910 Rolls-Royce the Stanley. There was also a Relay Race, won by Hampton’s team.
Tenby M.C. Lydstep Speed Hill-Climb
Another Lydstep took place on September 17th, a very large crowd attending, for motor sport seems to have caught-on well and truly in Wales. F.t.d. up the half-mile course was made by E. J. Moor’s Wasp 500, in 34.17 sec. Forty entries were received, including five from lady drivers. The prizes were generous and next year the Tenby Club hopes to stage a closed invitation event and to invite the 500 Club, as their course is particularly suited to 500-c.c. cars. 1950 meetings will be on Easter Monday and in September.
Racing Cars up to 500 c.c., Unsupercharged:
1st: E. J. Moor (Wasp 500) … 34.17 sec.*
2nd: J. W. Cox (Cooper) … 35.72 sec.
3rd: J Bossisto (Arengo) … 36.52 sec.
* Record for the hill.
Sports Cars, 501 to 1,100 C.C., Unsupercharged:
1st: G. T. Davies (Singer) … 43.92 sec.
2nd: G. C. Johnson (Singer) … 44.38 sec.
3rd: O. H. J. Davies (Morris) … 46.82 sec.
Sports Cars, 1,101 to 1,600 c.c., Unsupercharged:
1st: O. H. J. Davies (Davies Special) … 38.22 sec.
2nd: J. McKie (“TC” M.G.) … 42.80 sec.
3rd: D. Lawton (Austin) 48.41 sec.
Sports Cars, 1,101 to 1,501 c.c. Supercharged, and 1,501 to 3,000 c.c. Unsupercharged:
1st: K. Wharton (Wharton Special) 36.39 sec.
2nd: J. W. Cox (Dellow) 37.01 sec.
3rd: (G. D. Waldron (Dellow) … 37.77 sec.
Ditto, Ditto, with Lady Drivers:
1st: Mrs. P. Waldron (Dellow) … 41.71 sec.*
2nd: Mrs. S. Edwards (Ford Special) 43.22 sec.
3rd: Mrs. R. B. Lowe (Dellow) … 43.94 sec.
* Ladies’ record for the hill.
Sports Cars Over 3,000 c.c, Unsupercharged and Closed Cars:
1st: G. N. Mansell (Allard Special) … 37.48 sec.
2nd: K. Wharton (Ford V8) … 39.88 sec.
3rd: A. S. Bassett (Riley) … 41.44 sec.
“The Lt.-Col. Howells” Cup (F.T.D.-to be won outright). – E. J. Moor (Wasp 500), 34.17 sec.
“The Harold Styche” Challenge Cup (fastest time by a lady driver). – Mrs. P. Waldron (Dellow), 41.71 sec.
“Evans and McDowall” Challenge Cup (fastest time by a racing car up to 500 c.c.). – E. J. Moor (Wasp 500), 34.17 sec.
“Alec Munt” Challenge Cup (fastest time by a standard model production closed car). – K. Wharton (Ford), 39.88 sec.
“Victor Morris” Challenge Cup (for the best constructed sports car or competition special, made, owned and driven by a competitor resident in Wales). – O. H. J. Davies (Davies Special).
“Mrs. Victor Morris” Cup (for the lady driver who gains most points for start, gear-change, cornering and stop-judged by Mr. Victor Morris). – Mrs. S. Edwards (Ford Special).
Run off at Queensland on September 18th, John Crouch’s Delahaye beat 27 other starters, winning at 82.5 m.p.h. from Gordon’s supercharged “TC” M.G. and Rizzo’s 1 1/2-litre Rizzo-Riley. The distance was 150 miles of a 4.8-miles airfield circuit.
News comes from America of a National “hot-rod” meeting at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah. The cars were electrically-timed, it is believed over 1/4 mile, and the two-way speeds make staggering reading. The Xydias-Batchelor So-Cal Speed Shop Special, with all-enveloping bodywork and L-head Mercury engine, did 189.745 m.p.h., its best one-way run being at 193.54 m.p.h., and with Ford engine clocked 156.4 m.p.h. Fastest sports car was a Kurtis Kraft with all-enveloping body which did 142.515 m.p.h. (h’s that, Mr. Rankin!) It really does make you think, for these speeds, from what are basically production L-head engines, are not far short of the speeds at which sprint International class records stand, albeit over the rather longer distance of a flying kilometre.
Bentley D.C. Firle Hill-Climb
The results of this speed event on September 25th were:
1st: F. H. Howarth (4 1/2-litre Lagonda) 31.40 sec.
2nd: A. L. Pitts (4 1/2-litre Bentley, s/c) 31.74 sec.
3rd: W. G. Smeed (4 1/2-litre Bentley, s/c) 33.62 sec.
K.B.C.C. Stafford Clark Cup Trial
This Kentish Border C.C. event embraced six observed sections and two timed tests. It was contested by 15 entrants and, due to the abnormally dry summer, nine lost no marks.
The Stafford Clark Cup (best performance of day). – A. E. Day (Mercury Special).
First-Class Award (runner-up). – M. H. Lawson (H.R.G.).
Second-Class Award. – A. W. Richards (Richards Special).
Third-Class Award. – G.M. Boyce (Batten Special).
S. & H.M.C. Shann Cup Trial
The Sheffield & Hallamshire M.C. ran this trial on September 25th especially for ladies and novices. Fifteen started, 14 finished the 30-mile course in Derbyshire, and the premier honours went to 18-year-old Edward Harrison, T. C. Harrison’s son.
Shann Cup. – Edward Harrison (Harford).
Ladies’ Cup. – Mrs. D. G. Flather (B.M.W. Special), (also second in general classification).
Award for Third Place. – Mrs. R. C. Wingfield (Morris Special).
Award for Fourth Place. – Mr. M. Venables (Singer).
Award for Fifth Place. – Mr. E. H. Boot (Boot Special).
Souvenier Award. – Mr. A. Kemsley (Riley).
West Hants and Dorset C.C. Knott Cup Trial
This was held on September 25th over a 10-mile course on the tank testing ground at Bovington, Dorset. There were 28 entries, and remarkable to relate, they all started.
Leslie Onslow Bartlett’s “feet and inches” system of marking was used. In this the distance between the point where a car stops on a hill and the top, is measured, and the object is to complete the trial with the minimum distance un-climbed.
Special tests were included in the event of ties, but there were none, and the trial was decided on hill performance only. The hills were measured beforehand and marked at 30-ft. intervals so that there was practically no delay caused by the measurements being taken. The measurements were taken when the car came to rest, not necessarily from the point of failure, and many people had difficulty in holding their cars. It was noticeable how much better drivers were at this in the afternoon than they had been in the morning.
On the morning section Heather Hill provided the greatest difficulty, a two-foot deep mud patch at the bottom stopping everyone. K. E. O. Burgess’ climb of Cracker included several excursions into the undergrowth but was successful.
In the afternoon, Sherman’s Delight was deleted, its 1 in 0.5 gradient being considered rather much even for a trials special. L. Parker’s rear-engined Parker Special made a good attempt at “The Bowl,” though on Heartbreak it seemed likely to fall over backwards. Gallow’s Hill remains unclimbed despite attempts by Burgess and Faulkner, who both got to within 30 feet of the top. The trial finished at Bovington. Camp. Two noteworthy performances were those of J. Readings, whose shortened Lancia “Lambda” was third, and Miss Marshall, who drove consistently neatly to make best under 1,500-c.c. performance.
Knott Cup. – K. Burgess (Allard).
Visitors’ Cup. – R. Roberts (Allard).
Ship Cup. – R. Faulkner (Mercury).
Over 1,500 c.c. Award. – J. Readings (Lancia).
Under 1,500 c.c. Award. – Miss Marshall (Hunt Special).
First-Class Awards. – Fitzwater (Riley Special), F Shanks (Dellow), Biggs, (Ford Ten), Price (Price Special), Tolman (Betsy).
Second-Class Awards. – Cotton (Cotton Special), Spence (F.M.W.), Clayton (Clayton Special), Whitefield (Ford Ten Special).
Inter-Team Award. – Bristol M.C and L.C.C.
This second S.C.C. of America sports-car event, which promises to become an annual, and, it is hoped, International, race, took place under perfect weather circumstances and drew most unexpected crowds, which have been estimated torange between 50,000 and 100,000.
In order to pave the way for a more orderly procedure in the selection of entries with regard to International F.I.A. rules, it was decided to seek official sanction from the American Automobile Association, which is the custodian for the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile. This sanction was duly obtained, and it is now known that the A.A.A., upon observing the manner in which the club conducted itself prior to and during the races, had lodged official notification in Paris that the third Watkins Glen annual sports car race is to be run on September 23rd, 1950, as an International Calendar Event, the only one in the U.S. besides the Indianapolis “500.”
It was rumoured that the great Chinetti would take part in the race, but last minute travel difficulties prevented him, and so the lone Ferrari entry, which did so well in the early part of the Bridgehampton Race, was entered and driven by its owner, Briggs Cunningham. George Weaver, in his Type RI 2,950-c.c. V8 Maserati at last overcame his perpetual jinx and won the first race, the Seneca Cup (four laps, 26.4 miles, Le Mans start), at an average speed of 66.8 m.p.h. He was unable to restart in the big race, as apparently his brakes wore out.
There was nothing surprising in seeing Cunningham’s Ferrari come in second, but the fact that Sam Collier came in third in a supercharged “TC” M.G., and was only ten seconds behind him when he crossed the finish, is worthy of comment, from the point of view of both the driver and his efficiently-tuned car.
The great surprise came in the big event, the so-called Sports Car “Grand Prix,” when Sam’s brother, Miles Collier, sneaked in ahead of Cunningham’s Ferrari, which he was trailing by ten seconds on the lap before the last. Collier’s entry, which basically is a Riley with a Ford V8 power plant, averaged 68.46 m.p.h., which compares with 68.7 m.p.h. set up by Frank Griswold in his winning Alfa-Romeo in the 1948 race. Amazingly good driving was displayed by the British entry, Tom Cole, Jr., who came in fourth in his H.R.G., only two minutes and 28 seconds behind the winner.
Of technical interest were: the new de Dion rear-axled Allard powered with the Ardun-Ford o.h.v. 4,000-c.c. engine; the “Mile Miglia” 1,087-c.c. F.I.A.T.; and the 10-to-1 compression o.h.c. Crosley “Hot Shot,” which, with its 780-c.c. engine, outpaced the unsupercharged M.G.s but, as was expected, blew up its inadequate transmission after two laps in the first race. Not participating in the race, but much in evidence, was a new “XK120” Jaguar, which was admired by all.
Seneca Cup Race (4 laps-26.4 miles):
1st: George Weaver (Maserati), (66.3 m.p.h.) … 23 min. 53.0 sec.
2nd: Briggs Cunningham (Ferrari) … 24 min. 6.6 sec.
3rd : Sam Collier (M.G,. s/c) … 24 min. 16.7 sec.
4th : George Roberts (Bumerc) … 24 min. 32.8 sec.
5th : T. L. H. Cole, Jr. (H.R.G.) … 24 min. 35.4 sec.
Class G winner (750-1,100 c.c.): A. Pompeo (F.I.A.T.).
Class F winner (1,100-1,500 c.c.): T. L. H. Cole (H.R.G.).
Class E winner (1,500-2,000 c.c.): Sam Collier (M.G., s/c).
Class D winner (over 2,000 c.c.): George Weaver (Maserati).
Grand Prix Race (15 laps – 99 miles):
1st: Miles Collier (Ford-Riley), (68.46 m.p.h.) 1 hr 26 min 46.0 sec.
2nd: Briggs Cunningham (Ferrari)… 1 hr 26 min 51.8 sec.
3rd: George Roberts (Bumerc) … 1 hr 26 min 51.9 sec.
4th: T. L. H. Cole, Jr. (H.R.G.) … 1 hr 29 min 14.1 sec.
5th: John Fitch (M.G.), flagged at 14 laps.
Class G winner:Class F winner: T. L. H. Cole (H.R.G.).
Class E winner: Louis Turco (Alfa-Romeo).
Class D winner: Miles Collier (Ford-Riley).
(Cunningham voluntarily classified the Ferrari into Class D, instead of Class E, in which it normally would belong.)
Czechoslovakian Grand Prix
This event, over 20 laps, or 220 miles of the Masaryk circuit at Brno, was a victory for that popular British driver, Peter Whitehead, whose 1 1/2-litre G.P. Ferrari took 2 hr. 48 min. 41 sec., an average speed of 78.72 m.p.h. Less than a minute later Etancelin brought home his LagoTalbot, and third place went to Cortese’s Ferrari. Some 350,000 people watched the racing and, unfortunately, some of them were involved in a nasty crash when Farini’s Maserati went straight on at a 70-m.p.h. corner; Parnell’s Maserati did the same thing, hitting Farina, who had got out of his car, and “Bira’s” Maserati went out of control at the same place. Other retirements involved Murray (Maserati) with fuel starvation, and Chiron’s Maserati with clutch trouble.
For your records, the other finishers were: Levegh (Talbot), Louveau (Maserati), Claes (Talbot), Carini (Maserati), Rosier (Talbot), Sojka (Tatraplan), Vicek (Magda), and Dobry (Frazer-Nash), in that order. In practice Farina lapped at 80.6 m.p.h., and best lap in the race was made by “Bira,” at 82.29 m.p.h.
The Brno Cup sports-car race was won by the well-known driver Treybal, who averaged 69.8 m.p.h. in a 1 1/2-litre Gordini-Simca, comfortably beating Sojka’s 2-litre Tatraplan and Dobry’s Frazer-Nash. The other Simcas ran a bearing, dropped a valve and overturned, respectively, but Treybal’s reached some 185 m.p.h. Class winners were:-750 c.c.: Sutnar (Aero Minor); 1,100 c.c.: Netusil (Skoda Tudor); 1 1/2 litre: Treybal; and 2 litre: Tatraplan.
British stock cars, according to the Malaya Tribune, practically swept the board at the Singapore M.C. road-race meeting at Johore on October 2nd, while “specials” and American cars “blew-up” all round the course. C. O. Jennings (“TC” M.G.) won the 1 1/2-litre race from Chia Eng Quee’s 1,098-c.c. Wong Silver Arrow, with S. Theraviara’s “TC” M.G. third. The Johore Formula I Grand Prix was won by Jennings, with J. A. Milne’s 3,750-c.c. Milne Special second and Theraviara’s M.G. third.
Brough 500-c.c. Races
Coldham’s Cooper with Aston’s sprint J.A.P. engine, won the scratch race for 500-c.c. cars at Brough on October 2nd at 57.8 m.p.h. from the Parker-Special, with Moss’ Cooper-J.A.P. third, after a bad start. Reece (Cooper-J.A.P.) won the handicap final from Parker, with Dryden’s Cooper-Norton third. Coldham made fastest lap, at 58.6 m.p.h.
750 Club Wrotham Cup Trial
Forty-three entries were obtained for this event, held in Kent on October 2nd. The dry weather had a remarkable effect, for all the competitors climbed Fleur-de-Lys and Coldharbour clean, save Miss Logsdon (L.M.C.), who retired, while there was one failure only on the Hump and two on Boxley Warren and Robin Hood. Seven competitors lost marks on Polyfleld, however, and the trial was decided by the special test.
Wrotham Cup. — W. F. Mead (Allard), 200 1/2 marks.
Best in Opposite Class. — H. Birkett (Austin Seven), 200 marks.
Walsingham Cup. — R. E. Lang (Austin Seven), 198 1/2 marks.
Team Prize. — Messrs. Brown (V8), Mead and Hancock (Allards), 598 1/2 marks.
First-Class Awards. — Frost (Allard), Appleton (Allard), Hancock (Allard), Richards (Austin).
Second-Class Awards. — Yeats (Yeats Ford Ten), Cotton (Cotton Special) , Lawson (H.R.G.), Helm (Helm Special), Day (Mercury).
Hagley & District L.C.C. Autumn Trial
This event was held on October 9th. Nine hills, most of them new, caused a crop of failures in spite of abnormally dry conditions. Only five competitors, J. W. Cox (1,172-c.c. Dellow, s/c), R. B. Lowe (1,172-c.c. Dellow, s/c), L. G. Evans (1,172-c.c. Dellow, s/c), H. Roberts (3,622-c.c. Allard) and P. A. Atkinson (747-c.c. Austin), were “clean” on all hills, Atkinson’s performance with an old unblown Austin Seven being particularly meritorious. In spite of an easy schedule many competitors lost marks on time and few succeeded in achieving “bogey” in the acceleration test.
Cutler Trophy. — J. W. Cox (1,172-c.c. Dellow, s/c), no marks lost.
First-Class Awards. — R. B. Lowe (1,172-c.c. Dellow, s/c) and H. Roberts (3,622-c.c. Allard), both lost 10 marks.
Second-Class Awards. — F. D. Lawton (1,125-c.c. Austin Special), P. A. Atkinson (747-c.c. Austin) and L. G. Evans (1,172-c.c. Dellow, s/c), all lost 15 marks each.
G.P. du Salon
Held on October 9th, this race at Montlhèry was a procession of Talbots after a first-lap crash had eliminated three cars including Whitehead’s Ferrari. Sommer won at 92.88 m.p.h. from Schell and Meyrat.
Harrow C.C. Walton-on-Naze Rally: W. E. Edgar (Morris Minor).
Taunton M.C. Allen Trophy Trial: R. W. Phillips (Fairley).
B.A.R.C./Y.S.C.C.Wilson Trophy Trial: E. B. Wadsworth (Ford Special).
Hants and Berks M.C. Night Navigation Rally: M. Lambert (“TC” M.G.), Cemian C.C.
Harking back to the last issue and our remarks about the V.S.C.C. Prescott Hill.. Climb, we wish to state that the tabulated results given were correct, so that the fastest sports car was Hern’s supercharged Amilcar Six (51.1 sec.), and best time by a non-supercharged sports car was by Arklay’s A.C. Six-engined Frazer-Nash, in 54.33 sec., not, as we stated, by Webb’s “30/98” Vauxhall.
Incidentally, Radburn’s V.S.C.C. Silverstone entry was his “push-pull” Salmson, not a twin-cam car as we wrongly imagined.