ALL RECORDS FALL AT BRIGHTON SPEED TRIALS
FASTEST CAR TIME MADE BY R. L. SHUTTLEWORTH (MONOPOSTO ALFA-ROMEO), ECCLES (31-LITRE BUGATTI) AND JOHN COBB ON HIS RECORD-BREAKING NAPIER-RAILTON, THE RUNNERS-UP
For the past four years Brighton has shown its -appreciation of the thrill of racing motor-cycles and cars by allowing the enterprising Brighton and Hove Motor Club to hold speed-trials on the half-mile
straight of the Madeira Drive. This year the meeting was a greater success than ever, with star performers and particularly rapid ears. Raymond Mays made first bid for fastest time with a speed of 78.26 m.p.h., then this was brought up to nearly 79 m.p.h. by A. 11. L. Eccles on his 3.3-litre Bugatti. This figure seemed likely to stand to the end of the meeting, but in the last run for the six fastest cars John Cobb came near it with 78.44 m.p.h. on the 23-litre Napier-Railtein and Shuttleworth set a seal on the proceedings with the astonishing speed of 79.41 m.p.h.
Fernihough’s speed of 88.7 on a solo Brough-Superior motor-cycle will give further material for the bikes versus cars acceleration controversy, and only a Mere Or an Auto-Union could have rivalled this performance.
Proceedings opened at 10.30 a.m., the sports-car classes being run off in the morning. There was a strong inshore wind blowing, and spray from the waves kept dashing over the far end of the course. The Brighton and Hove class was won, very easily by A. S. WhiddingtOn (6-cylinder Era-ter-Nash) with a .speed of 55.56 m.p.h., Rodney Gardner on another Frazer-Nash being second. The 1,100 c.c. urisupercharged cars were unexciting (AI the broad stretch of the Drive, and it was not until the class for unliinited sports
cars was reached that things started to look up. From the entries one would have picked Forrest Lycett’s Bentley which has an 8-litre engine in a 4-litre chassis, as a certain winner, but for some reason it did not run, and the class was won by Allard, driving one of the Fords which ran in last year’s T.T., and with which he beat up Strang’s streamlined Hudson by a useful margin. Powys-Lybbe’s veteran Alvis once more
played to advantage to gain a third place. The ladies were given a class to themselves, and after that Miss Blathwayt celebrated her engagement to J. C. Elwes by beating him in the
850 c.c. supercharged class. Elwes got going in a much better fashion in the 1,100 c.c. class, and on his J4 Midget actually held Geoffrey Taylor on his Alta, but the latter car got away after the first 50 yards and won easily. In the next class, for which the limit of 1,650 c.c. was rather mysteriously chosen, there were two cars which had taken part in this year’s Monte Carlo Rally, Ridley’s blown Triumph, which
was driven by Miss Joan Richmond, and Parkinson’s blown 1,287 c.c. Magnette. Both of these ran quite N,vel 1 , but A. F. P. Fane carried off the honours without much difficulty on his Shelsley FrazerNash, which of course is fitted with two blowers; after gaining a second place in the unlimited class, he returned to Brooklands to take part in the High Speed Trial.
The unlimited class opened with L. G. Bachelier on the line in his smart biscuit-coloured 2:3 BUgatti, which naturally rushed away from Mrs. Hugh Jones’s 1,750 Alfa coupe. Then came a pair which promised something of interest, Major Gardner in a very handsome S.S. Mercedes-Benz and Forrest Lycett on the 8-litre Bentley. The Mercedesfor some reason refused to play, and Lycett shot down the course in a cloud of smoke to record the fastest time of the day SO far, 65.69 m.p.h. Whalley’s supercharged Ford was IT1 k ing its first appearance and disposed of Beadle’s 44-litre Delage, while Elwes pitted his Midget with some success against Miss Richmond’s supercharged Auburn, and crossed the line with 200 yards to spare.
The luncheon interval never comes amiss even At the most interesting race meeting, and this time it was specially welcome as a chance of getting away fi om the Public Address announcer, whose advertising ” puffs ” were nearly as tiresome as those which issue from Radio Normandie or Radio Paris. It was a pity too that cars of more evenly matched performance could not have been sent off together, but last-minute
entries and cars which are temperamental about starting undoubtedly add to the difficulties of the organisers in an event of this sort. Rain fell during the interval, but the sky was clear again by two o’clock. A racing-car class for ladies was the first event, and this was closely contested between Miss M. Dickson, driving Cormack’s new 11-litre Alta, and Mrs. Eccles driving the Eccles Special. Miss Dick
son won by 1-5 second. The bravest person in this class was undoubtedly Miss Skinner, who made her debut in John Bolster’s ” Mary,” controlling the savage little vehicle with the greatest skill. Talking of bravery, however, the palm should be awarded to the unfortunate passengers in the sidecar event which followed ; most of them made the trip lying stretched out like corpses in the slipper bodies, with their faces turned down wards.
There were only four runners in the 850 c.c. racing class. Mrs. D. G. Evans on a Montlhery Midget easily disposed of an Ulster Austin (admittedly the latter was not blown), but Pat Driscoll adequately upheld the honour of Longbridge with a run at 66.67 m.p.h., which sufficed to gain him first place there and a third in the 1,100 c.c. class, getting well away from Clayton’s Amilcar.
The Appleton Special, which consists of a Riley engine in a Maserati chassis has now been supercharged, and fitted with a smart single-seater body, and ran to such effect that it secured second place. Ashton Rigby tore off at a great pace from Carr on a Singer, but to his dismay the Magnette cut out 200 yards before the finish, but by this time he had gained such a lead that the Magnette was still first over the line, so Rigby came in first on ” free-engine.”
Andrew Leitch was one of the few exponents of the good old twin-cylinder, and clad in a bright red juniper piloted the car-shattering Poppet II over the half mile at an average of 60.81 m.p.h.
Fastest of all was Hartwell on an M.G. Magnette, which raced down the course in perfect tune to accomplish the halfmile in 26.2 seconds. The Eccles Special oiled a plug, so there was no chance of comparison. The 1i-litre class had quite a Shelsley flavour about it, opening with the 1,500 c.c. tvvin Davenport Special, now owned by G. FT. Symonds, and the three FrazerNashes with which R. J. G. Nash has been associated, the Terror, the Spook, and the Union Special. The Spook, seemed oppressed with its nickname and refused to function properly, and the Terror was suffering from clutch slip judging by the smell. Dick Nash made a splendid run on his latest Special which is fitted with the new Frazer-Nash engine and two blowers. Cormack, on the new 1:1-litre Alta was matched against Davies on the old 8-cylinder Delage, finishing a comfortable hundred yards ahead, his time of 25.6 seconds by an odd coincidence being identical with that of the Union Special. The best duel in this class was one between Driscoll on an Austin, and Hartwell on the Magnette. The cars raced down the course abreast for most of the way, the little white car picking up 20 yards in the final stretch,
resulting in a triple tie with Nash and Cormack. Harvey Noble, on a 2-litre Bugatti, and Bolster, on twin-engined Mary, opened the 3-litre class. At first Bolster held the supercharged car but then the front driving chain broke, and he finished six
lengths behind. Gangster sounds from the starting line proclaimed that the old Villiers supercharger, with which Cummings annexed the Lewes record a week betore, was on the line, with Shuttleworth on the 2.9 Monoposto Alfa as rival. The Villiers sulked at the critical moment, and Shuttleworth got away with deceptive smoothness to record 74.38 m.p.h., the fastest yet. Other good performances in the 3-litre class were those of Capt. Taylor, driving L. 2.3 Bugatti belonging to Embiricos,
which clocked 72 m.p.h., Cormack (1litre Alta), who did 71.43 m.p.h. Esson Scott (2-litre Bugatti), who beat the starter in recording 72, not forgetting R. J. G. Nash, who improved his time on the Union Special to 71.43 m.p.h. The last runner in the 3-litre class was Raymond Mays on the 2-litre E.R.A. Getting away with his accustomed skill, and snaking as he changed gear far down the course, covered the half-mile in 23 seconds. This time, which was equivalent to 78.26 m.p.h., beat Campbell’s record set up in 1932 by 2 m.p.h. and was easily the fastest time of the day so far. Unfortunately, he damaged his gear-box during the run, and after its first appearance the car was seen no more. It remained then to see what the unlimited class could do. Charlie Martin opened proceedings with his 2.3-litre Bugatti to the tune of 73 m.p.h., a figure which was also attained by Shuttleworth on the Alfa-Romeo. The next pair on the line provided a striking contrast. One was Cumming’s Villiers, massive and box-like and fitted with a new radiator cowl, and Lindsey Eccles’ sleek black 3.3 litre Bugatti. The clamour of the Villiers completely. drowned the Bugatti’s boom,
but Eccles was lengths ahead in the first hundred yards. Once under way, however, the Villiers showed some of its Shelsley form, and leaving behind smoking wheel marks recorded 75 m.p.h., while Eccles, a hundred yards ahead had set up the fastest time of the day, 22.8 seconds (78.95 m.p.h.).
Forrest Lycett was again impressive on the 8-litre Bentley (67.16 m.p.h.) and Abecassis got away with some wheelspin on the ex-Bertram-J.R.D.C. Delage, and averaged 72 m.p.h. Other good figures were: Taylor (2.3-litre Bugatti) 70.87 m.p.h., Cormack (Alta) 71.43 m.p.h., and Esson Scott 72.58 m.p.h. and Harvey Noble 70.89 m.p.h. both on 2-litre Bugattis.
There was a hush as John Cobb’s Napier-Railton, which was burbling.
gently through the short exhaust stubs, was pushed to the line. Would its 23litres of engine prevail against Eccles’ performance on the 3.3 Bugatti? Cobb was taking no chances with the tyres or the transmission, and getting away smoothly nevertheless put up the very useful speed of 76.27 m.p.h.
The motor-cycles then took over the arena, and Eric Fernihough cleaned up the 250 c.c. and 350 c.c. classes at increasing speed, leaving the 600 c.c. class to Bickel!, whose supercharged Ariel had all the attributes of a scalded cat ! Fernihough returned to the fray with his Brough-Superior, and raised the unlimited solo record by no less than 7 m.p.h., to 87.38 m.p.h. The racing cars, or those of them which were still fit to function, then returned for second runs. The first few cars showed no improvement, and the Villiers stalled on the line amidst clouds of smoke. The next pair, Martin and Shuttleworth, seemed likely to provide some fireworks, and Martin in anticipation wheeled the Bugatti well over to the inside of the starting line so as to avoid the slippery patches already worn on the tarmac. Martin made a marvellous get. away, leaving long
streaks of rubber behind the car and actually led Shuttleworth by two lengths for most of the way. The Alfa drew abreast in the last 80 yards, and the two cars achieved a dead heat at 75 m.p.h.
Allard on the T.T. Ford improved his time to 63.87 m.p.h. beating Whalley on the supercharged machine, while Mrs. Petre on her newly acquired supercharged Riley (ex-Raymond Mays) managed only to attain 62.94 m.p.h.
The principal awards of the day were two cash prizes, £30 for the motor-cycles and £100 for the cars, and the fate of these was decided in the two final events, for the six fastest two and four-wheelers. Beam timing was employed, with a portable ” shoe ” contact at the start instead of a timing strip.
All the motor-cycles were impressive, but no one could touch Fernihough, who streaked away into the distance without a check or a wobble, and put up . the amazing time of 20.27 seconds (88.7 m.p.h.).
The Napier-Railton was the first of the six chosen cars, and Cobb, now bett-Taware of how his monster behaved with a standing start, got away more rapidly, snicking in second in the car’s own length and rumbled off to the finish to clock 76.27 m.p.h. Eccles’ speed of 78.44 m.p.h. still stood.
The next to challenge it was Shuttleworth, and this time he gave the car throttle right from the start. The wheels spun for the first fifty yards, then the lithe green car darted forward like an arrow. Hardly had it crossed the finishing line when the announcement came79.32 m.p.h.—a wonderful run. Charlie Martin and Cummings on the
Villiers then took their turns. Martin was kept waiting rather a long time on the line, and in his excitement let in the clutch with a jerk. There was a scrunch and the car came to rest. ” Stripped bottom cog,” said the driver laconically and got out. Cummings had trouble with his clutch and was slower than before. All eyes on Eccles then to see if he
could win back Fastest Time. Bottom gear on the Bugatti was giving trouble and had to be held in mesh, but in spite of this made a fine get-away and shot down the course to the tune of 78.3 m.p.h.
The meeting thus ended with Fernihough and Shuttleworth ” Victores Lutlorum,” and the cheques were duly handed over by the Mayor of Brighton from his dais on the course. It had been a splendid day’s racing and a lucky one too. On the Sunday torrential rain began to fall, and in the gale which followed the Drive and the buildings behind it
I” Sports Cars.
Brighton and Hove M.C. Members only : 1, A. S. whiddington (1,660 c.c. Frazer-Nash), 65.56 m.P.h.; 2, R. Gardner (Frazer-Nash), 60.28 m.p.h. ; 3, Tie between R. W. Collins (M.G. Magnette) and E. R. Stafford (M.G. Magnette), 49.18 m.p.h.
1,100 c.c. unsupercharged : 1, .Miss. J. Williams (M.G. Magna), 50.56 m.p.h. ; 2, M. P. Tenbosch (Balilla Fiat), 50.00 m.p.h.; 3, G. E. Taylor (Alta), 47.12 m.p.h.
1,500 c.c. unsupercharged : 1, G. Bagratouni (M.G. Magnate), 53.25 m.p.h. ; 2, N. J. Lines(FraserNash), 52.33 m.p.h. ; 3, Tie between G. Welson (Frazer-Nash) and J. Ogle (Bugatti), 52.02 m.p.h.
Unlimited unsupercharged ; 1, S. H. Allard (Ford V-8), 01.64 m.p.h. ; 2, R. M. Strang (Hudson Terraplane), 58.44 m.p.h. ; 3, A. Powys-Lybbe (Alvis), 57.32 m.p.h.
Ladies Class : 1. Miss j. Williams (M.G. Magna), 51.72 m.p.h. ; 2, Miss M. D. Patten (Alvis), 49.72 m.p.h. ; 3, Mrs. Ashton Rigby (M.G. Midget, P-type), 37.81 m.p.h.
850 c.c. supercharged : 1, Miss Peggy Blathwayt (M.G. Midget .14), 59.60 m.p.h. ; 2, J. C. Elwes (M.G. Midget J4), 56.60 m.p.h.
1,100 c.c. supercharged : 1, G. Taylor (Alta), 61.64 m.p.h. ; 2, J. U. Elwes (M.G. Midget .14), 60.81 m.p.h. ; 3, Miss 1′. Blathwayt (M.G. Midget 34), 60.40 m.p.h.
1,650 c.c. supercharged : 1, A. F. P.Fane (FrazerNash), 63.38 m.p.h.,; 2, G. Taylor (Alta), 61.64 m.p.h.; 3, .1. C. Elwes (MG. Midget, J4), 60.40 m.p.h.
Unlimited supercharged : 1, Forrest Lycett (8litre Bentley), 66.18 m.p.h. ; 2, A: F. P. Pane. (14-litre Frazer-Nash), 63.83 m.p.h. • 3, Tie between J. C. 14.1Iwes (M.G. Midget J4) wit’ L. G. Bachelier (2.3 Bugatti), 61.22 m.p.h.
RACING CARS. Ladies’ class (unlimited c.c.) :1, Miss M. Diekson (14-lit re Alta 8.), 67.16 in.p..b.; 2, Mrs. Roy .Eeeies
(1,084 c.c. Eccles Special S.), 66.67 m.p.h.; 9, Miss Peggy Blathwayt (M.G. Midget 34), 62.50 m.p.h. 850 c.c. :1, L. P. Driscoll (Austin S.), 66.67 m.p.h. ; 2, J. C. Elwes (M.G. Midget J4), 60.81 m.p.h.;
3, Mrs. D. G. Evans (Montilicry M.G. Midget S.), 55.21 m.p.h.
1,100 c.c. :1, G. Hartwell (M.G. Magnette K3 S.), 68.70 m.p.h. ; 2, R. S. W. Appleton (Appleton Special), 68.12 m.p.h.; 3, L. P. Driscoll (Austin S.), 67.67 m.p.h.
1,500 c.c. : 1, triple tie between A. J. Connack (14-litre Alta. S.), L. P. Driscoll (Austin S.) and R. G. J. Nash (14-litre Frazer-Nash Union Special S.) 70.31 ni.p.h.
3 litres : 1 Raymond Mays (2-litre E.R.A. S.) 78.26 m.p.h.; 2, R. 0. Shuttleworth (2.9 monopost° Alfa-Romeo S.), 74.38 m.p.h. ; 3, C. E. C. Martin (2.3 Bugatti S.), 72.58 m.p.h.
Unlimited c.c. First run : 1, A. H. L. Eccles (3.3 Bugatti S.), 78.95 m.p.h. ; 2, John Cobb (23litre Napier-Railton), 70.27 m.p.h. ; 3.8, E. Cummings (3-litre Vauxhall-Viiliers S.), 75.00 m.p.h.
Unlimited c.c. Second run : 1, John Cobb (23litre .Napier-Itailton), 70.27 in.p.h. ; 2, tie between R. 0. Shuttleworth (Alfa-Romeo) and C. E. C. Martin (Bilotti), 75.00 m.p.h. ; 3, A. J. Connack (14-litre Alta S.), 71.43 m.p.h.
Run for the Fastest Time of the Day : 1, R. 0. Shuttleworth (Alfa-Romeo), 79.41 m.p.h. (record) ; 2, John Cobb (Napier-Railton), 78.44 m.p.h. 3, A. H. L. Eccles (Bugatti), 78.30 m.p.h.
Solos upto 250 c.o.; 1, Eric Ferri/hough (246 c.c. Excelsior jap) 05.22 m.p.h.
350 c.c. ; 1, Eric Fernihough (344 c.c. Excelsior Jan), 68.7 m.p.h.
Solos up to 600 c.c. ; 1, C. B. Bickell (409 c.o. Ark! S.). 76.92 m.p.h.
Unlimited Solo ; Eric Fernihough (996 0.0. Brough Superior .1:4p), 87.38 rn,p,ii.
Unlimited Sidecar ; Erie Fernihough (996 c.c. Brough Superior Ja,p), 75.00 m.p.h.
Special Class : Eric Fernihough (996 c.c. Brough Superior Jap), 88.7 m.p.h.