This year’s Vintage S.C.C. Welsh Rally attracted an excellent entry of 45 vintage and Edwardian cars and one veteran — W. C. Hughes’ 1904 Clement-Talbot.
The first “section” of the trial held on the Sunday was a straight climb up a lane and along a grass track. This proved easy and failed no one except J. Benbow’s 1928 Fiat tourer. B. B. Whitehouse produced a delectable 2-litre Ballot saloon and picked a good path, W. L. T. Winder’s 1924 Humber with 9/28 engine ascended quickly, C. B. L. Harding’s 1927 12/50 Alvis actually indulged in a tail-slide, and H. Spence climbed fast in his special, stark Lea-Francis.
J. M. Hinchcliffe effected a smart piece of downward cog-swappery on his 1925 Austin Seven Special, Harry Bowler blipped up his 1929 4 ½-litre Bentley, M. R. Lovell’s passenger made full use of the flexibility of Austin Seven back springs for bouncing purposes, while Peter Binns came up steadily in his well-known, and nice, O.M. All three Trojans — of Miss Stocken, Nigel Arnold-Forster and A. F. Scroggs — not only ascended in typically sure fashion but proved very nimble at getting through a particularly tricky gate after the end of the long observed-section. Miss Stocken had a short blue 1924 chummy-model, Scroggs his “G.R. Special.” L. L. Beavis’ “beetle-backed ” 1929 Riley Nine was steady, likewise L. J. Wickham’s 1929 “beetle-back” 12/50 Alvis, but J. Wheeler’s 1922 Bugatti was slow. Shortly after this section Harding’s Alvis was reported to be seen sans the top of its gearbox while its owner peered within.
Two very choice sections followed, necessitating negotiation of deep mud and then long climbs of gradients said to reach about 1 in 2 at the summit. The Trojans proved adept at getting through the mud, as did B. E. Brown’s 1930 Frazer-Nash with “Straight” front axle and replica T.T. Replica body. At the top Scroggs’ Trojan unfortunately slid into a tree and came to rest. No one climbed all the way, but. J. D. Roberts’ 1930 Austin Seven got into sub-section 5 and Arnold-Forster (Trojan), Spence (Lea-Francis), Brown (Frazer-Nash), Winder (Humber) and Lovell (Austin Seven) as far as sub-section 4, the last two putting up very fine performances. M. A. L. Coote’s 1925 Diatto had retired with nasty noises, and Barnard’s 1922 Fiat was also a retirement.
After lunch and a chance to admire such “additional” vehicles as a white 40/50 Rolls-Royce tourer with wooden artillery wheels (and John and Mrs. Bland in the back), an imposing blue Phantom Rolls-Royce, a 16/55 Daimler tourer with unbelievably small brake drums and the traditional faint oil-haze, and a very fine long-chassis 7/17 Jowett two-seater, we repaired to the fourth hill, known as Snatcher.
This was steep but not too slippery, with an S-bend just after the start and a stop-and-restart operated by Anthony Heal (who had motored down in his very nice twin-cam 3-litre Sunbeam) near the top. Unfortunately the hill was in difficult mood and after repeated failures a torrential rain-shower did not help matters and the section was cut-out. Not, however, before Arnold-Forster and Spence had proved it to be quite climbable, restart and all, when cars like the high-geared Bugattis of D. Webb, a keen Canadian Molsheim-believer with a fine 1924 Brescia, and J. Wheeler, and Sam Clutton’s E-type 30/98 Vauxhall had found it impossible. — W. B.
Rally: Class I: Special Award: S. J. Skinner (Rolls-Royce).
First-Class Award: J. K. Blarney (Belsize).
Class II: Special Award: H. Clarke (Alvis).
First-Class Awards: E. K. Poynter (Lea-Francis). A. J. Ayers (Jowett).
Trial: Special Award: H. Spence (Lea-Francis).
First-Class Awards: W. L. T. Winder (Humber). J. D. Robert. (Austin), B. E. Brown (Frazer-Nash).
Second-Class Awards: N. Arnold-Forster (Trojan), P. Binns (O.M.). H. P. Bowler (Bentley).
Third-Class Awards: R. Noble (Alvis), E. S. Easton (Lancia).
Meritorious Award: A. F. Scroggs (Trojan).
Light Car Award: M. Lovell (Austin).