THE VINTAGE SPORTS-CAR CLUB
The Vintage Sports-car Club Speed Trials at Howard Park Hotel, Aston Clinton, on Saturday, August 31, was an enjoyable affair. Everyone seemed to know everyone else, while the organisation was of the unobtrusive kind which gets things through quickly with the minimum of fuss, so that everybody was able to have second runs, despite the large entry.
The gravel surface, which became increasingly cut up as the day wore on, gave a considerable advantage to cars with solid axles, so that although A. Baron (s/c., G.P. Bugatti) was almost certainly the fastest car present, in the absence of R. J. G. Nash (non-starter), he suffered considerably from wheelspin, despite double rear wheels, and had to cede fastest time to C. R. Instone on the G. N. ” Martyr ” at 18.7 seconds. In a desperate effort to regain the honours on his last run Baron had the bad luck to break a valve.
The very light specials snaked wickedly right up the course, and considerable respect was felt for the drivers, who sat in such close proximity to their unprotected chassis over the scattering gravel.
The opening run was made by Lt.-Col. J. Clutton, on his beautifully kept 1910 Fafnir, as being the oldest car in the club, and another (competing) veteran whose acquaintance one gladly renewed was the original ” razor-blade ” AstonMartin, driven by j. M. Wintour.
The lady drivers handled their motors with judgment, and fastest was Miss M. Wilby, on her 14-litre Frazer-Nash. Mrs. Carson had a nasty moment when one of the head-lamps left her 30-98 Vauxhall.
Competition was very rife between the numerous members of the ” chaingang ” present, and they took the first three places in the 1,500 c.c. sports class, besides a three cornered tie for first place in the a-litre class.
Fastest time of the day by a “vintage” car (i.e. over 5 years old) fell to D. Monro on his 44-litre Invicta at the creditable figure of 21.2 seconds.
The Frazer-Nash Car Club (one of the invited clubs) afterwards held a highly successful party at the Howard Park Hotel, and the results (reproduced below) were announced during the evening. Class B. Sports Cars up to 1:500
G. H. Walker (Fraser-Nash), 21.3s. 2, Miss M. Wilby (Frazer-Nash), 21.5s. 3, I. 0. F. Peters
(Fraser-Nash), 21.6s. Special award for first Vintage car driver, J. Ogle (Bngatti), 22.2s.
Class C. Sports up to 3,000 c.o.-1, Tie between G. H. Walker, I. 0. V. Peters, J. Fmnival (FrazerHashes), 21.3s. Special award, first Vintage car, J. G. Clarke (Fraser-Nash).
Class D. Sports Cars up to 5,000 c.c.-1, S. H. Allard (Ford V-8). 19.9s. 2, D. “Nfonro (Invicta), 21.2s. 3_, K. Hutchison (Jensen Ford V-8), 21.7s. First Vintage car driver, D. Mourn.
awn F. Racing Cars up to 1.500 c.c.-1. A. Baron (Bugatti S.), 18.8s. 2. C. R. Instone ((1. N. Martyr), 19.6s. 3, P. F. Jucker (Frazer-Nash S.) 21.3s. First Vintage car driver, J. Ogle (Bugatti).
Class (I. Racing Cars up to 3,000 0.0.—I, A. Baron (Bugatti S.), 19s. 2, C. It, lostone (0. N. Martyr), 20.3s. 3, H. P. Bowler (H.P.B.), 23s.
Class H. Racing Cars up to 5,000 e.e.-1, 4.1. R. lnstone (G. N. Martyr), 18.7s. 2, A. Baron (Bugatti S.), 19.2s. 3, D. Monro (Invicta), 21.5s.
Class I. Handicap.-1, E. It. Crowther (FrazerNash). 2, Tie between G. It. C. Sumner (G. N. Gehenna) and ’17itn Carson (Carson Special). Cup for Fastest Run of Day.—C. R. Instone (G. N. Martyr), 18.7s. Cup for Fastest Run of the Day by a Vintage Sports Car.-1). Monro (Invieta), 21.2s. Cup for Fastest Run by a Woman Driver.—Miss M. Wilby (Frazer-Nash), 21.5s. Cup for Fastest Run by a Frazer-Nash Car.–P. 10. Jucker, 21s. Cup for Fastest Run by a s.v. Anzani Fraser-Nash.
THE ALV1S CAR CLUB
The :1k:is Car Club are holding Speed Trials on Sunday, October 20, in the private drive of Howard Park Hotel, Aston Clinton, starting at 2.30 p.m. There will be classes for all types (f Alvis cars, at an entry fee of 5s. per class. The course will be approximately 400 yds. long to be covered from a standing start. Any Alvis owner interested apply to the Hon. Secretary for the meeting :—M. W. B. May, Ashburton House, Send, Surrey, as soon as possible. Entries definitely close October 16. Prizes for F. T. D., fastest pre-1932 car, and for each class.
NORTH-WEST MOTOR CLUB
Regulations have now been received for the Inter Club Team Trial to be held on Saturday, October 19, 1935, for the
” Sporting Life ” Team Trophy. This event is for teams entered by any recognised club driving four wheeled cars f any capacity. Entries may be made up to October 12, but not after that date. In the case of a club entering two teams a nomination
may be transferred between the teams up t:) 11 a.m. October 19, provided a good reason is advanced.
The start will be near Hartland, North Devon, and will be approximately 50 miles in length.
The Hon. Secretary is Mr. C. V. Wells, 86, High Road, Tottenham, London,N.17.
THE GREAT WEST M.C.
The Thatcher Trophy Trial has been fixed for Sunday, November 17, the start and finish being at the Royal Saracen’s Head Hotel, Beaconsfield, Bucks. It will be open only to members of the organising club.
Hon. Secretary, Mr. Chas. J. A. Curd, 30, Denehurst Gardens, Richmond, Surrey.
BUGATTI OWNERS’ CLUB The last event of the Owners’
The last event of the Bugatti Owners’ Club was held on September 7,—the speedtrials at Lewes. S. E. Cummings, driving the 2.9-11tre, supercharged Vauxhall-VilHers, made a most sensational run up the course, establishing a new record with a time of 18.13 seconds. A. H. L. Ec cles took his ” 3.3 Grand Prix Bugatti up in 18.81 seconds, thereby gaining the Percy Fawcett Challenge Cup for the best performance by a member of the club. John Ogle won the cup which is contested annually by owners of Bresciatype Bugatti cars, his double-carburetter, modified Brescia, which now has a twoseater body and is reputed to be most
reliable, clocking 27.21 seconds. Col. Giles’s new ” 3.3 ” Type 57 aroused great admiration. The next event is on October 13. The provisional announcements state that it will consist of a One-Day Trial incorpora
ting some interesting hills in Wales, where new ground will be covered by most of the competitors. A simple Rally is being arranged on Saturday, October 12, to an hotel just over the border, where competitors can stay the night preparatory to starting the following morning.
The Bugatti Club always run very good events and this Welsh Trial promises to be extremely interesting. Incidentally, there are still a few Bugatti owners who are not members, and they will gladly be sent particulars on request.
The Percy Fawcett Challenge Cup (fastest Bugatti) : A. H. L. Eccles, 18.81s.
The Brescia Cup (fastest Brescia-type Bugatti) : J. Ogle.
Class Awards. Touring Cars : R.. M. Strang 4,168 c.c. Hudson), 24.6s. Sports Cars up to 1,500 c.c. : Miss Blathwayt (747 c.c. M.G., S.), 24.35s. 1,500 c.c. to 5,000 0.0. : J. K. W. Baines (2,261 c.c. Bugatti), 24.10s,
Racing Cars. Up to 1,500 c.o. : F. R.. G. Spikins (972 c.c. Spikins Singer Special), 22.68. 1,500 0.0. to 5,000 c.c. : S. E. Cummings (2,996 c.c. Vauxhall Villiers, S.), 18.13s., making fastest run of the day.
Handicap Event: Miss Blathwayt (747 c.c. M.G., S.), 23.68. (received 7.5s.).
Novices’ Event : J. M. Wintour (1,490 c.c. AstonMartin), 29.5s.
Good trials are on the way. The M.C.C. have their Sporting Trial on October 5, the Standard Car Owners’ Club their Cotswold Trial on October 12, (with a dinner to talk it all over on the 18th), and the Sydenham M.C. are running the Spa Trophy Trial on October 12-13. Then we have the MidSurrey A.C.’s classic Experts’ Trial on October 26, and the Brighton and Hove M.C. Chandler Trophy Trial the follow
ing day. The never-to-be-missed Inter’Varsity Trial is on November 2. The controversy relating to normal v. comp. tyres, and standard v. solid axles continues to rage in trials-circles. It is interesting that when the Kentish Border people barred comps. but allowed solid axles, the premier trophy went to a supercharged baby-sports car which had a normal axle and ordinary section, Dun lop 90 ” covers. And a lot of rain had rendered the hills very tricky, which all goes to show what a skilful driver can do with ordinary tyres on a light
weight motor. The Light Car Club tried the experiment of having three classes in their Buxton-Buxton trial, thus dividing competitors into those with normal tyres and axles, those with either comp. covers or locked axles, and those with both comps. and locked axles, the tests varied in severity in each case.
Some people think that it is hard on the ” chain-gangsters ” to class them with the locked-axle gentry, but One doubts whether the Frazer-Nash drivers worry very much themselves, so long as solid axles are not barred completely.
What is not so fair is the .practice of putting, say, an 850 c.c. car into the “over 1i-litres ” class, because the small car is fitted with a supercharger. A fairer scheme would be to ban comp. covers on blown motors in trials where such tyres are normally permissible. Some useful entries have recently been lost because drivers of blown small cars will not run against V8s, though they would willingly compete against 11-litre cars with comp. tyres and solid axles.
A simple rally, either counting as a separate competition or for a few marks only, is a good preliminary to a trial starting well away from London or the club’s home town. It is surely preferable to an uninteresting main-road run, members being able to start from their own homes, while it is still possible for members who can only just get away in time to reach the start, to run in the trial proper. The Bugatti folk are trying something of the sort on October 12-13, after flaying run two rally-events earlier this year.
Not everyone shines in, or enjoys, “freakish” driving-tests, and trials organisers would do vell to try a few “realtests,” such as timed acceleration tests over appreciable, up-hill sections, in forthcoming events. One imagines that at Olympia earnest trials-men will keep a special look-out for sports cars having ample provision for carrying twin spare wheels shod with comp. covers, having easily detachable wheels not masked by the wings, easy-toreach shock-absorbers, and really good driving positions, in respect of both com
fort and visibility. Cars which give satisfaction on all these points are going it; be big-sellers amongst clubmen in 1936.
After Shelsley there are still two more sprint events. The Sporting OwnerDrivers’ Club has speed-trials on October 5, the Kentish Border C.C. is arranging a hill-climb near London on October 13.