” THE TERROR ” FAILS BY 2/5ths OF A SECOND
VON STUCK’S RECORD AT SHELSEY REMAINS UNBEATEN.
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCES BY R. G. J. NASH, NOEL CARR, R. T. HORTON and R. MAYS. THE Amateur Shelsley is so notorious for pouring, drenching rain that Londoners were not a bit surprised on September 3rd to awake to the sound of rain beating against their windows. The sky looked hopeless, an endless procession of grey, waterlogged clouds,
without a single break. Around London it did not stop raining until the middle of the afternoon, as the M.C.C. people at Brooklands will readily testify, but at Shelsley the last drop of rain fell at 8 o’clock in the morning, and for once the road was dry throughout the whole meeting. Nothing exciting happened in practice on Friday, except that Raymond Mays had the very bad luck to find that the gearbox on his Villiers Supercharge had packed up just as he arrived at the hill, and that Glegg was unable to make any practice runs owing to the non-arrival of his specially ordered” dope.” Incidentally, Glegg’s new machine, “Dorcas II.,” is quite a departure from the usual Shelsley “special,” having front wheel drive and twin wheels in front—and what is still more unusual for a car of this ilk, a body
The first climb on Saturday was made by E. R. Hall, whose M.G. Midget with twin rear wheels was deceptively fast. Hall handled the car with complete absence of fuss, and made a model climb in 50 1/5th seconds, a time which proved to be the fastest of the day in the 850 c.c. racing and sports classes. The rest of the small cars followed, but none were as good as Hall, although R. F.
Turner made a -neat climb on his supercharged Austin Seven in 52 2/5th secs.
Class II., up to 1100 c.c., produced the well known machine-gun sound of the Shelsley “specials,” first up the hill being R. V. C. Bolster, whose G.N. seemed to have some compression and got off the mark very well. Unfortunately, he missed a gear change on the straight, so that his time of 55 seconds was not the best he was capable of. That unique “animal,” the Bolster Special in which the driver sits, or rather reclines within horrible proximity to a whirling mass of chains, then essayed the hill and after intense concentration on the part of the driver succeeded in recording the really fast time of 49 1/5th seconds. Then “Dorcas II.” was on the line. At the start the engine was revved up to 6,000 r.p.m., and the car looked as though it would go well. Half way up, however, the engine became loose on its bed, and to complicate matters still further, the valve timing slipped. The result was a time of 72 seconds, and the postponement of a real test of the car’s performance at Shelsley until next year. The next climb, by E. J. Moor on his “Wasp;” was again marked by engine trouble, in this case valve rockers changing their name to ” rockets ” and flying
skywards at high velocity. The reputation of the ” Specials” was still further tarnished when both J. W. Bishop and C. R. Instone had difficulty with their gear change. Horton had clutch trouble with the ” Special” at the start, and stalled, while Anderson’s supercharged ” Akela II.” was in a bad temper. The class closed with two clean climbs by ladies, Mrs. Dinsdale (Singer Nine) and Mrs. Harold Goodwin (Riley “Gamecock “). First up in Class III. was T. G. Moore (Frazer-Nash), whose time was 53 3/5th secs. Capt. Davis had got the 1f-litre Delage to function better than at the ” Open ” climb in July, and drove up in 50 3/5th secs. The first really fast climb however, was by J. L. Burton (11-litre Bugatti), who handled the car with his customary skill and clocked the excellent time of 47 4/5th seconds. A few moments later, he was eclipsed by A. F. P. Pane, on his ” Nurburg ” Frazer-Nash, who climbed in 47 2/5th secs. Pane is generally recognised as one of our neatest drivers on corners, and
i s methods a r e distinctly reminiscent of the manner of well known Continental drivers. The acceleration of the FrazerNash between the corners was most impressive. Fothringham’s Bugatti, by virtue of a very loud—but pleasant—exhaust note, looked faster than Pane, but his time was actually 4/5ths of a second slower. J. D. Jevons followed, and readers of ” Bugantics ” this month will be glad to learn that for once the Shelsley ” Imp ” gave the ” Snag ” a break, with the result that Jevons made a splendid climb in 46 3/5th secs. A good ascent was made by R. H. Eccles on
a very standard ” unblown ” Frazer-Nash, his time of 53 seconds, with two up, being remarkable. Then came the “Terror.” The crowd on the hill heard on the loud speakers the sharp bursts of the exhaust note as the little Frazer-Nash came to the line. Then, with a roar, it was away, and in a moment they saw it flashing up through
the trees to the first bend. With perfect judgment Nash slid the car round, accelerated
away, round the next corner, and so to the finish. His time was 44 2/5th secs.-2/5ths of a second slower than Earl Hcwe’s Bugatti in the “Open.” The class closed with a very fine ascent by A. W. Von der Becke, whose Becke Powerplus Special gave an impression of terrific power. Von der Becke was as clever as usual in handling the little red
car, and recorded the excellent time of 46 4/5th secs.—in spite of a broken clutch withdrawal arm. The two-litre class opened quietly with a mediocre climb by W. K. Faulkner (2-litre Bugatti) in 55 3/5th secs., but excitement once again reigned when it was announced that Noel Carr was about to come up. Driving with that confident spirit which always makes him worth watching, Carr made a magnificent climb, overshadowing all his previous attempts at Shelsley by returning a time of 43 3/5th secs. The exhaust note of his Bugatti had
the genuine calico tearing sound which denotes perfect tune, and the machine seemed possessed of immense power. The 3-litre class was won by L. G. Bachelier on a 2.3-litre Bugatti, in 50 seconds dead, while a good performance was made by Miss Barbara Skinner, daughter of Mr. Carl Skinner, of SAT. Carburettors, on a Morris Special. The next class, up to 5-litres, was fought out between Invictas and 30/98 Vauxhalls, and provided one of the very best climbs of the whole meeting. Raymond Mays
was easily the fastest of the bunch, and. broke the sports car record for the hill with a magnificent climb in 45 3/5th secs. In consideration of the fact that the record had been held by Earl Howe with his 7-litre supercharged Mercedes-Benz, Mays’ performance with his ft-litre ” unblown ” 1nvicta was all the more remarkable, and was a tribute not only to the wonderful acceleration of the car, but also to the uncanny skill of the driver.
The first half of the programme closed with a very fine ascent by N. W. Gardiner, on the 5-litre Delage racing car with which he has competed regularly this season at Brooklands. High, over-geared and built expressly for track work, the car is not easy to handle at Slielsley, and the driver made a very good show in clocking only 50 2/5th seconds. After a brief interval those cars which had qualified for a second run, i.e. sports cars recording under 60 secs., and racing cars under 55 secs., made heroic efforts to better their times. E. R. Hall, however, was so confident that his time of 50 1 /5th secs. on the twin-rearwheel Midget would not be beaten that he did not trouble to have a second attempt. As it turned out, he was quite right, for although Turner (Austin) improved his previous figure by 4/5th sec., the Midget was a comfortable winner. R. V. C. Bolster had a troublefree run this time with his G.N. and made a good ascent in 52 3/5th secs., but he was still nowhere near his brother, whose “Bolster Special” galloped up the hill in the amazing time of 48 4/5th secs. The first surprise came from R. T. Horton,
who had got over the Horton Special’s troubles and made a very fast and well judged climb in 44 4/5th secs. Many people seemed able to improve slightly on their previous figures, Davis (Delage) and Burton (Bugatti) both being a little faster, but Pane gave a striking exhibition of consistency by clocking exactly the same time, 47 2/5th. secs. Fothringham had been experimenting in the paddock with sacks of sand to try and keep the tail of his Bugatti firmly on the
ground, but when he had finished his ballasting operations he found he had left uncomfortably little room for himself. However, this little difficulty settled, he attacked the hill, and went so well that he knocked 2 1/5th secs. from his first time. Once more the “Terror.” The crowd fully realised that so far Noel Carr had made fastest time, and that here was
Dick Nash’s chance to wipe off this defeat. With grim determination Nash kept his foot down for a sickening length of time before braking for the corner,which he took in almost a “broadside,” recovered with great skill and shot away up to the finish. Had he beaten Carr’s time? was the question on everyone’s lips while some of us dared to hope that he had beaten Von Stuck’s record for the hill. Then the announcer spoke, and we learnt that Nash’s time was 43 1 /5th secs., only twofifths of a second longer than Stuck’s record, and fastest time of the day so far. Only one machine could possibly hope to beat Nash, namely, Noel Carr’s Bugatti, and the crowd found it difficult to maintain interest in other cars which continued to climb in a creditable fashion. At last he was announced as being on the line, and soon we heard the car-splitting note of the dark red Bugatti coming nearer through the trees. Then we saw that Carr was really ” out for blood,” and he approached the corner at a terrific pace. He braked as hard as he could, but he had left it too late, and with a bump the Bugatti landed heavily against the bank,
and nearly turned over. Carr was quite unmoved, and after the Bugatti had been gently lowered to road-level he set off once more. By this time the breakdown van was half way across the road, but Carr just missed it and roared away to the top. No more excitement happened on the remainder of the runs, Bear and Bachelier, both on Bugattis, doing better than before,
while Raymond Mays was 2/5ths of a second slower.
And so the 1932 Shelsley Walsh Hill Climbs are over, and Hans von Stuck’s record for the hill has not yet been beaten. There still seems a certain amount of doubt as to whether the hill will be lengthened next year, and in view of the interesting state of the present record, we feel that little will be served by a longer course unless a really considerable increase in length can be obtained.
PROVISIONAL RESULTS. Up to 850 c.c.
Sports.-1, E. R. Hall (M.G. Midget, S), 50 1/5 sees.; 2, R. F. Turner (Austin, S), 51 3/5 secs.
Racing.-1, E. R. Hall (M.G. Midget, S), 50 1/5 secs. ; 2, A. Issigonis (Austin, S), 56 3/5 secs.
851 c.c. to 1,100 c.c.
Sports.-1, Mrs. Harold Goodwin (Riley), 66 1/5 arcs.; 2, Mrs. J.E.Dinsdale (Singer), 67 3/5 sees.
Racing.-1, R. T. Horton (Horton Special, S), 44 4/5 sees.; 2, J. V. Bolster (Bolster Special), 48 4/5 sees.
1,101 c.c. to 1,500 c.c. Sports.-1, A. F. P. Pane (Frazer Nash, 5), 47 2/5 sees.; 2, R. H. Eccles (Frazer Nash), 53 sees.;
3, T. G. Moore (Frazer Nash, S), 53 2/3 secs.
Racing.-1, R. G. J. Nash (Frazer Nash, S), 43 1/5 sem. (fastest time of the day) ; 2, T. S. Fothringham (Bugatti, 5), 46 secs.; 3, J. L. Burton (Bugatti, S), 46 1/5 secs.
1,501 c.c. to 2,000 cc.
Sports.-1, W. K. Faulkner (Bugatti, 5), 55 3/5 sees.; 2, R. B. Taylor (Morris-Cowley), 59 4/5 secs. Racing.-1, N. Carr (Bugatti, S), 43 3/5 sees.;
2, R. A. House!! (Bugatti), 51 2/5 secs.
2,001 c.c. to 3,000 c.c.
Sports.-1, I,. 0. Bachelier (Bugatti, 5), 49 3/5 sees.; 2, I. Waller (Alvis), 54 3/5 secs.
3,001 c.c. to 6,000 c.c.
Sports.-1, R.. Mays (Invicta), 45 3/5 secs. (record for a sports car) ; 2, A. H. L. Eccles (Invicta), 53 secs.
Racing-Same as above.
5,001 cc. and Over. Sports.-None.
Racing.-1, N. W. Gardner (Delage), 50 2/5 secs.
M.A.C. Cup, for Best Time by a Lady Driving a Sports Car.-Miss Barbara Skinner (Morris Special), 56 3/5 secs. M.A.C. Cup, for Best Time by a Non-trade Driver with a Car Driven by Him or Entered by a Nontrade Owner for Any Races in the 1930-32 International Calendars.-A. F. P. Vane (Frazer Nash, S),
47 2/5 secs. M.A.C. Cup, for the Team of Racing Cars Making the Best Aggregate Time.-Bugatti Owners’ Club, 136 2/5 secs. (Noel Carr, 43 3/5 sees.; J. D. Jevons, 48 3/5 sees.; J. L. Burton, 46 1/5 secs.)