VSCC Welsh Trial

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Mud and Hills

The VSCC held another highly successful Welsh Two-Day Trial, with the usual 100-mile run in, on October 10-11, although heavy rain beforehand made the seventeen hills difficult.

In the starting-area at Presteigne, focal point of the first of these events back in 1939, 24 of the 83 cars entered were A7s (of the usual variety, from Chummy to Ulster, and including Gunn’s Taylor two-seater, this bodywork indicated by a T incorporated in the radiator badge) although three of the A7s and Hewson’s MG were non-starters. The 30/98s were out in strength, Monro’s wicker front seats surely not for weight-saving?

Saturday’s hills were new, among them Lower Litton, a long lane with difficulties at the summit and other sections beyond it, but a convenient return track down a field. Some delay was caused here when F Collins’ Alvis Silver Eagle ruptured its petrol tank, flooding the road with fuel. Contreras’ Riley 9 tourer also broke here and had to be towed away. Stanley Mann was trying out a small modern “Cozette” blower and SU carburettor on his A7 Chummy, a variation on the semi-downdraught carb theme.

On Sunday, water cascading down the gulley-like Lloyds stopped most of the early runners, so Rides’ 41/2-litre Invicta earned well-deserved applause, as first to “clean” it. Otherwise, to get to marker 19 was highly meritorious — attained by Tony Jones, Harcourt-Smith and Seymour Price, in A7s, Ghosh’s 30/98, Collings’ 1903 Mercedes(!) and Wickham’s Alvis.

After this it got easier, and “cleans” were scored by Mrs Reynolds’ 41/2 Bentley finishing in a cloud of steam, Painter (Salmson) without hurrying, Hamish Moffat (T13 Bugatti) perhaps the most spectacular, Barry Clark (A7), Carlisle (Trojan) very sedately, Winder 8/18 Humber which is a very old hand at this Trial, Parker in his Chummy and another 30/98.

Pilleth One was easy but the new Pilleth Four far from it. Jones’ slab-tank A7 was misfiring here and punctures were being mended. Refreshments, toilets and the usual free car-park were generously provided at Pilleth Farm. Hicklings’ Dodge 4 had been an outstanding performer, looking all set to win Class Two, in spite of competition from the Collings’ stable.

Jeddere-Fisher’s 30/98 had been repainted ready for the forthcoming Australian Vintage Rally and now resembles a mobile bath-tub, and Jim Whyman was exercising his newly-acquired Alvis Silver Eagle. Rodney Felton’s Brescia Bugatti finished one of Sunday’s hills with a rear wheel flying free, reminiscent of Raymond Mays at Caerphilly in 1924!

It was a truly first-class event, after much prior hard work from the President downwards, and where else could you see Austin 12/4 saloon and 16/6 tourer competing against sports Austin 20, two-cylinder Jowett and GN? WB

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