Another VSCC "Welsh"

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Over the weekend of October 10th/11th the Vintage SCC held another effective piece of entertainment for its members, embracing Concours d’Elegance, driving tests, a road section, and the Welsh trial, attracting a total entry of 93. In the trial the most popular car was the Austin 7 (16), closely followed by 14 30/98 Vauxhalls, the former make augmented by a Heavy 12 and a 20, the latter by a 14/40 and a non-starting 25 h.p. For the first time for some years, the Concours assembly in Presteigne was abandoned in favour of one at the “Norton Arms” in Knighton, at which town the tests took place in the vehicle-park of F. W. McConnel Ltd. The driving tests and “beauty show” culled the usual entry with some additions. An impressive newcomer was Bigland’s 1928 sleeve-valve Model-56 Willys Knight saloon, a local car in absolutely immaculate and original order, recently imported from New Zealand. Driver and passengers wore very convincing Bonny and Clyde garb but we saw no evidence of sawn-off machine-guns. The car has the authentic mascot unpainted wooden-spoked wheels, a long central gear lever with ivory knob, rear-parlour curtains, covers over its headlamps, and over the tyres are by Firestone – very convincing! In spite of its sleeves it smoked no more than Hancock’s truly majestic Daimler, which now carries a useful rear trunk over its slatted petrol tank. Lee’s 1927 fabric-bodied Grand Prix Salmson had an enormous rev.-counter which appeared to he inoperative, its driver really had a go nor was Tim Llewellyn hanging about in the 1926 3 / 4 1/2-thre VDP-bodied Bentley, doing the tests becau. his 1929 4,-,litre was not ready for the trial.

Rosemary Burke’s timed “Waterlily” test was hard on the cars differentials and human biceps, but others who took it fast included Cartwright’s Riley 9 two-seater, Reeve, using the steering lock of his two-seater Lancia Lambda to good advantage as last year, he was penalised for late arrival, as did Batt and Howarth in their Lambdas, and the 9/20 Humber tourer of Dighton Diffey, the latter’s carrying a large L-plate. In contrast, Price decided that care was the ploy in his shapely 2LTS Ballot fabric saloon, but Leybourne-Needham did well in his high Morris-Oxford Sports, its number plate suggesting MA-Oxon, and Macmillan was good as ever in his Rolls-Royce, after having to ease up at one pylon. The Daintier had to reverse once, as did Glover’s 12/50 Alvis beetle-back, which went quickly thereafter. There were five more tests and meanwhile the trials contingent were tackling the five Saturday hill-sections. Having sniffed at the tests. Col. Gresham’s 14/40 Vauxhall decided its clutch wouldn’t like them and non-started.

Seven more trials sections had 1st be tackled on the Sunday, but in spite of much recent. torrential Welsh rain, conditions were, in general. not ton difficult. For instance, Devil’s Elbow. where I watched first, saw most of the competitors clean all 25 stages, but Pilleth 1 was muddy and rutty, and a deep cross-ditch developed about u third of the was up and soon proved a “stopper” to mani. of the cars. However, it was possible to get almost to the end of the observed section, out of sight of those watching lower down, as proved by Spence in his Lea-Francis Special, Moffatt in the Bug.’ who put air into his tyres and then carefully straddled the ditch, and two of the 30 99 set disappeared from vime. l’iers-Hall in alloy-bodied Ulster Austin also got far up alter,, had been cranked-up. Others who got well up included Hirst in his 12 50 Alvin. Barker’s ex-Adnams Austin 7 with bonnet strop and oversize rear tyres, May’s fabric-bodied Frazer Nash Fast Tourer. Harper. driving ar Austin 7 instead of his racing Morgan 3-wheeler and David Marsh in his 30/98, all three rear-seat occupants bouncing. whereas his brother’s Wensurn 30/90 scarcely cleared the ditch. likewise Phillip, Alvis Special with three exposed exhaust pipes. its clutch .p eradicated after failure to leave the ftrt at Railway, an earlier section.

Price’s Chummy Austin went well. after earlier tyre trouble, Barwell’s 30 98 stormed away, gears whining, and stopped far up. seemingly misfiring a little, and both Ghosh, in the earliest 30/98 of them all, and Tonkin’s 9/20 Humber, were in this “almost” category as were Garland and Beebee in the, 30/98. John Rowley was looking very well but stopped all too soon. It transpired that Ghosh’s 30 98 oases three cylinders, as a valve had broken in his 1919 engine. So his performance was all the more commendable.

Those whom the ditch stopped numbered Blake’s Boulogne Frazer Nash, Gray’s 30/98. Which sounded as if it was misfiring a trifle but almost cleared it, Sudjic, using lots of revs with his long-distance Grand Prix Salmson. Keith Hill in the AJS with Robert Giles in the dickey. Gordon’s aero-screened Austin Chummy, Tony Jones, blipping his 30/98’s throttle, Lemon’s 1923 30/98, Dyer’s alloy-bodied 1925 Frazer Nash Fast Tourer. etc.

Less fonunate were Parker’s fabric saloon Austin 7. in spite. of using the grass verges. Winders Humber, in spite of big rear “boot”, and White’s Riley 9 Special. in spite of sideways bouncing. Joseland’s Frazer Nash Fast Tourer wasn’t fast on this occasion. Barry Clarke, courageously using his 1913 Singer 10, almost got to the ditch but Fenner’s Riley 9 Special stopped low down, as did Jeddere-Fisher’s E-Type 30/98, Jeremy Collins among the “bouncers”. Hulford’s 1.715 c.c. Alvis TG Special ceased forward motion vers. early. but Baxter’s Model-A Ford, making odd noises. Threlfalrs ditto, Knill-Jones 12/ 50 Alvis two-seater and Coombe’s 14 40 Vauxhall got a bit further. Hill’s OM would scarcely look at it, however, that was only one section and the results are what matter — see below. Mostly the big entrv stayed clear of serious [rouble, apart from Adnam’s Peugeot-JAP which failed to reach the Saturday start near Hay-on-Wye due to multiple mechanical misadventures and Cecil Bendal whose 30/98 lost its electries after the finish. — W B.

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