Successful Bristol M.C. and L.C.C. Speed Trial Along the Sea Front. Butterworth (A.J.B.) Coasts Over the Line to Make Fastest Time Unsupercharged. McAlpine’s Course Record Unbroken.
Photographs will be found on centre pages – Motor Sport copyright.
Last year the ambitious Bristol M.C. and L.C.C. persuaded the Weston-Super-Mare Corporation to allow them to organise a speed trial along the 1/2-mile of the promenade road. A very enjoyable meeting resulted, at which Ken McAlpine’s ex-“Bira” Maserati made f.t.d. in 21.10 sec., and Butterworth’s A.J.B. was the fastest non-supercharged car.
This year (October 8th) the event was improved by allowing two cars to run together, one on the road and one on the promenade itself, both roads curving to the right and the shorter radius of the sea-side road being adjusted by staggering the starting lines. Electrical timing was used and drivers were timed from the signal to go, which resulted in several false starts, C. A. N. May being one who found this system, as opposed to starting when you wish, a strain on the leg muscles. The promenade got rather slippery and the bumps at the far end of the road itself somewhat tricky.
An excellent entry came in and the Corporation gave full co operation, including an excellent luncheon for the Press, to which Christopher Jennings came by steamer, disembarking at one of Weston’s piers. The same course had been used for motor-cycle racing the previous weekend and for cycle contests the week-end before that. Some residents object to the road being closed, but if such meetings show a profit the rate-payers are satisfied and it is hoped to get an International date next year. The late date, incidentally, is deliberate, as Weston aims to extend the holiday “season.”
Certainly the whole meeting was run off with a pleasing balance of efficiency and good humour and the Paddock was conveniently adjacent to the start and to the Grand Atlantic Hotel, where most of the competitors stayed and where there is ample garage space.
The times were slower this year and McAlpine’s course-record stands, Fry, who was fastest, being .03 sec. too slow to equal it. The only complaint concerns the weather, which was somewhat oppressive and which deteriorated into torrential rain half-an-hour after the last run. It may be some consolation to drivers and spectators who got drenched on the way home to learn that Motor Sport, in the sternsheets of the Butterworth Bentley, also suffered, a hot bath being taken at about 3.30 a.m. on the Sunday after divers adventures, and our notes from which this report is compiled being still sodden on the Monday! Reminscent of the final Prescott meeting last year!
The Paddock revealed much of interest and the usual earnest toil, watched with awe, over a paling fence, by Weston’s early-morning citizens. Scott-Russell produced a Lombard chassis powered with a 4 1/2-litre s.v. Chrysler “Kingston” engine with an oil-coil attached to its head. Harrison, Bishop and Garnsey had R-type M.G.s, Wilkins, Lafone and Lant Q-types, mostly very noisy, particularly Wilkins’,
Tony Rolt, attended by Freddie Dixon, had the Alfa-Romeo dual superchargers back on his Alfa-Romeo. Instone was airing another new “special,” the rear-engined Djinn with J.A.P. engine and transverse suspension, while Lones had a new Tiger Kitten, comprising the first of the new Iota chassis with very ingenious stressed-rubber rear suspension and his well-known 496-c.c. J.A.P. engine. The whole car weighs under 500 lb. Wally Hassan was helping Moor, whose Wasp 500 with Manx Norton engine arrived behind his Perkins-Velox, a smart “30/98” Vauxhall two-seater, diesel powered, while Lt.-Col. Arengo’s J.A.P.-engined Arengo 500, with an astonishing framework round each wheel, was handled by Bosisto. Andrews’ Duesenberg was present and S. Hartwell brought the Blomfield Type 37 Bugatti with stub-exhausts and a vast “power-bulge” on the near side of the bonnet concealing a supercharger. Parnell was there, but did not drive, and other regretted absentees included the Emeryson 500, the 1 1/2-litre Wharton Special, Ansell’s E.R.A., Bell’s 1 1/2-litre E.R.A., presumably yet again rebuilt, Poore’s Alfa-Romeo and a B-type E.R.A. entered by H. Cosh. In the Paddock was the first “XK” Jaguar to be delivered to a private owner in this country.
Class I – Up to 500 c.c.
The “500s” produced a great tussle, Parker’s Parker-J.A.P. doing 27.34 sec. and Tipper in the diminutive Monaco-Norton 27.6 sec. on their first runs, while Moor’s Wasp made a magnificent getaway, to clock 27.71 sec. Lones found he couldn’t locate top gear, and, going over the line in third gear, took 28.2 sec. Obviously, these positions were likely to alter on the second runs, and they did. Tipper, in vast leather helmet, got the Monaco really motoring, and pipped Parker, while Moor, after work on the Wasp’s magneto, improved on his first run sufficiently to wrest third place from the now-much-faster Tiger Kitten.
1st: C. J. Tipper (498-c.c. Monaco) … 26.42 sec.
2nd: D. Parker (497-c.c. Parker-Special) … 27.34 sec.
3rd: E. J. Moor (499-c.c. Wasp) … 27.47
Class 2 – Over 500 c.c. and Not Exceeding 1,100 c.c.
By far and away the fastest car in this class was the Freikaiserwagen, ably handled by Joe Fry. On its first run it not only beat its class rivals, but made f.t.d. on a magnificent run in 21.13 sec., the rear suspension taking an immense load as the little blue car snaked away and the engine reaching 6,000 r.p.m. some way from the finish, Fry crossing the line at some 130 m.p.h. David Fry missed his first run because he was busy installing a higher gear-ratio, fitting a sprocket with two teeth fewer, so that everyone awaited the next run with immense enthusiasm. Alas, a float-chamber connection came adrift, setting up fuel starvation, and the revs. wouldn’t go above 5,800 this time. Joe Fry finished, as he said, in a pool of methanol, a run lasting 22.31 sec. Later David Fry took his run, clocking 22.38 sec. But the Freikaiserwagen had done its job and went away triumphant. Dowson made a fine effort in the smaller Lightweight Special, taking third place.
1st: J. G. Fry (1,097-c.c. Freikaiserwagen) … 21.18 sec.*
2nd: D. H. C. Fry (1,097-c.c. Freikaiserwagen) … 22.38 sec.
3rd: J. M. P. Dawson (748-c.c. Light weight Special) … 28.63 sec.
Also ran: Hartwell (Cooper-H.R.D.), 24.88 sec.; Instone (Djinn), 25.2 sec.; Heath (Heath-J.A.P.), 26.0 sec.; Turner (Turner Special), 26.2 sec.; Fergusson (Cooper-H.R.D.), 27.08 sec.; Lafone 28.09 sec.; Lant (M.G.), 28.32 sec.; Wilkins (M.G.), 29.72 sec.; Lomax (M.G. “J3”) 30.09 sec.; Bishop (M.G.). 34.59 sec.; Mrs. Woodall (Woodall), 34.8 sec.; Martin (Austin), 37.6 sec.; Harrison (M.G,), F.
Class 3 – Over 1,100 c.c. and Not Exceeding 1,500 c.c.
David Hampshire had the Parnell B-type E.R.A. going really well to win this class, taking it off the line carefully and going fast everywhere else. Norton’s Alta ans Richardson’s R.R.A., the latter spinning its wheels merrily, both beat Murray, who stalled the engine of his Parnell 4CL Maserati on his first attempt and made a ragged start thereafter. Joe Fry’s Maserati had gearbox trouble and failed to run.
1st: D. Hampshire (1,500-c.c, E.R.A.) … 23.73 sec.
2nd: G. W. P. Norton (1,496-c.c. Alta) … 24.47 sec.
3rd: G. N. Richardson ( 1,488-c.c. R.R.A.) 25.26 sec.
Also ran: Murray (Maserati), 26,4 sec.; Hartwell (Bugatti), 27.03 sec.; Bradnack (B.R.A.), 27.8 sec.; Sims (Stafford Special), 30.6 sec.; Buncombe (H.R.G.), 31.8 sec.; Seargeant (Bugatti), 38.4 sec.
Class 4 – Over 1,500 c.c. and Not Exceeding 2,000 c.c., Non-supercharged
Tyrer’s special B.M.W. dominated this preserve of the smaller unblown cars, just beating Wyer in Folland’s Type 166 F2 Ferrari, the latter rather reluctant to start on its portable battery. The Caesar Special was consistent if slow, being brought up to the boil to warm the oil, the radiator then being drained and refilled with cold water before the start. Newton’s “Le Mans Replica” sports Frazer-Nash did not disgrace itself. Goodfellow’s 1,750c.c. Alfa-Romeo had large rev.-couater and speedometer, its drophead top tied down and non-standard things in its engine.
1st: G. Tyrer (1,971-c.c. B.M.W.) … 25.33 sec.
2nd: Wyer (1,996-c.c. Ferrari) … 25.39 sec.
3rd: W. G. Toole (1,767-c.c. R.L.B.) … 25.95 sec.
Also ran: Way (B.M.W.), 26.0 sec.; Newton (Frazer-Nash), 26.4 sec.; Pitt (Frazer-Nash), 26.52 sec.; Taylor (Caesar Special), 28.0 sec.; Goodfellow (Alfa-Romeo), 38.4 sec.
Class 5 – Over 2,000 c.c.
McAlpine made a great effort to regain his laurels, and increased his time on his second run from 23.1 to 21.37 sec., retaining his lead from Allan Arnold’s special Type 55 Bugatti, but failing to beat Joe Fry in Class 2. Rolt, his Alfa-Romeo very hot on the line, was third and no one else got close to these three, the nearest being the A.J.B. Butterworth, however, suffered very bad luck, for a rod broke when he was scarcely over half-way up the course. He put the clutch out, forgetfully let it in again, found the engine solid, and coasted in, passed obviously by McAlpine. Nevertheless, he clocked 24.6 sec., retaining the Grand Atlantic Challenge Cup for fastest unsupercharged time which he won last year. [I was towed down in the A.J.B. behind a 4 1/2-litre Bentley by Butterworth the previous evening and feel sure we did 200 m.p.h. most of the time! – Ed.]
1st: K. McAlpine (3,015-c.c. Maserati) … 21.37 sec.
2nd: J. Allan-Arnold (2,300-c.c. Bugatti) … 22.01 sec.
3rd: A. P. R. Rolt (3,442-c.c. Alfa Romeo) … 22.19 sec.
Also ran: Butterworth (A.J.B.), 24.6 sec.; Hukins (35B Bugatti), 24.64 sec.; Lloyd-Jones (Triangle), 25.4 sec.; Matthews (Jaguar), 25.89 sec.; Mansell (Allard Special), 26.73 sec.; James (VI2 Sunbeam), 26.8 sec.; Garnsey (Bugatti), 27.4 sec.; Scott-Russell (Lombard Special), 30.6 sec.; Andrews (Duesenberg), 30.8 sec.
So ended a very enjoyable WestonSuper-Mare meeting, with Fry in charge of the Grand Pier Trophy. The Club Cup for fastest B.M.C. and L.C.C. member went to McAlpine. The six fastest cars were: J. Fry (Freikaiserwagen) … 21.13 sec.
McAlpine (Maserati) … 21.37 sec.
Allan-Arnold (Bugatti) … 22.01 sec.
Rolt (Alfa-Romeo) … 22.19 sec.
D. Fry (Freikaiserwagen) 22.38 sec.
Dowson (Lightweight Special) … 23.63 sec.