VSCC Welsh Weekend
THE Vintage SCC went to Wales, as it always does in October, for a road trial ending there, driving tests, a Concours calegance, and its two-day Welsh Trial (12 “sections” in all), ffir the tougher pre-1931 cars. Entries had fallen from 93 last year to 70. We feared at first that tlie depressed financial climate must at last be curbing the activities even of the affluent vintage movement, but were relieved to learn that the event had inadvertently been missed out of the last two issues of the Club’s newsletter — which shows the need for publicity. Advertisers, please note!
The road event is now a poor shadow of its former endeavours, for then you mimed marks for Er mileage you could pack into 24 hours or so before checking-in at Prestigne, route deviations being notified by telegram. Whether the VSCC decided that British Telecom earns sufficient already, without additional reimbursements, or thought that as old cars are getting older every year they should not be subjected to such strain (watch their race meetings and that cannot be valid) or that the thing was just too complicated, we don’t profess to know. The fact remains that competitors now have to cover only 100 miles in the 24 hours prior to signing-on at Knighton, for the beauty-show, and DTs, the latter now called “Autotests”. All rather sad, to one who used to think the “Welsh” represented high adventure, in an aged motor, before the war. . . .
A round dozen essayed the seven 1982 tests, after a Brescia Bugani had decided its clutch wasn’t up to it, and a Samson and a Lancia Lambda had failed to turn up. Davies drove his dignified AC sedately, Diffey his Humber rather differently. Price, using his Ballot in lieu of his Rolls-Royce, displayed a wide turning circle, Glover used his beetle-back Alums hard, Knight was extremely good in his OM, which you could distinguish from Hancock’s OM because it has its handle-brake Instde, and MacMillan had substituted a DISS Delage which he has been rebuilding over 16 years, for his more familiar Rolls-Royce.
Longden drove a Firestone-shod Model-A Ford coupe with a roll-up back panel to its hood, so that the inmates can be sociable to inferior beings riding in the dickey — also useful in driving-tests (this makes at least five active Model-As in the VSCC, we think). Ron Sant had to reverse before the line in Test-2, and the absolutely splendid 1925 Daimler RI-6-30 Hamshawe limousine of C.
B. Hancock needed momentary work beneath the bonnet in the middle of Test-3.
The Sunday part of the trial seemed lc effect more mechanical mayhem than usual. First we followed two Cup-Model Austin 7s, to Cwmheyope. Coming into Knighton, we saw Collings’ 1913 Zust being towed away, it having succumbed to clutch trouble, and we heard that the Speed Six Bentley from this famous stable also broke down later. In Knighton, for the traditional lunch break, Dowell’s big Sunbeam was seen towing-in Harper’s MG Midget, which had also lost its clutch, in its first trial. Hewson, in the other M-type Midget, blew a head gasket, White’s Riley 9 shed three teeth from its crown-wheel and a 12/50 Alvin sheared its magneto-drive. Jane Arnold-Foster was a non-runner, due to mysterious carburetter maladies possessing her Austin 7.
Pondering on the entry in Knighton, we noted that Barker’s Austin 7 Chummy had a cylindrical fuel tank and a battery in its rear compartment, that Barry Clarke’s metal A7 saloon had a spare wheel in that position, R. N. Parker’s A7 saloon likewise, while W. B. Parker’s fabric A7 saloon hfid two spare wheels on the back seat. When we were young, before the Pill, this place in an Austin 7 was reserved for young children. As we were thinking about this, a very Royal-looking Daimler glided silently past the muddy rabble parked at both sides of the road. Almost inunediately afterwards loud noises, as of g-unfire, were heard. For a moment we feared the worst . . . until Ghosh hove into view. his 30/98 Vauxhall having shed its exhaust-pipe and silencer. Another shock we had was coming upon a 1922 ‘FT Vauxhall stripped for racing. We were not imagining things, it really was there. It turned out sobs the one built up from parts supplied by Tony Brooke after Raymond Mays had finished with them, and it has No. 5 engine in a new replica chassis-frame. But it was quite a shock (albeit a very pleasant one) from which we have scarcely recovered; some will leave the results to tell the rest of the story. — W.B. DI.legamle sed,D, Clas, Awaul I hthl CI. Award Mt, A 1.1.31,,, Sactioa and Trial: Film Clahh Awdrds: l’ATI:itiwkr Tr”‘ D Kuper (Nem.. 1,ophy I,h I t. 1.11101.111 D II. tinhp,11 itt,,