RAYMOND MAYS ONCE AGAIN MAKES FASTEST TIME AT SHELSL EY
LADIES’ RECORD TO 43.A SECONDS. SENSATIONAL CLIMBS BY BOBBY KOHLRAUSCH ON MRS. PETRE LOWERS
TEE MAGIC 1Y11DGET
If the Autumn hill-climb at Shelsley Walsh was less exciting than some of those in the past, it is only because of the high standard of entries and organisation achieved by Mr. Wilson and the Midland Automobile Club on previous occacions. There was less of the ” big stuff,” not a single Maserati or AlfaRomeo, the course was in places still damp after the heavy rain of the day before and there were certain delays in proceedings, though the most tedious of
them was unavoidable. On the other hand the runs of Raymond Mays on the 14-litre and 2-litre E.R.A.s, C. E. C. Martin on his 2.3-litre Bugatti and the German driver Kohlrausch, not to speak of Mrs. Petre on the supercharged Riley, were worth coming a long way to see.
At former meetings sports, as distinct from racing, cars used to occupy a considerable proportion of the Shelsley programme, and a good deal of dis-satisfaction was caused by thinly disguised racing cars furnished with hood and wings and lamps running against obvious sports-cars in full touring trip. On this (.-easion i he 11 .A.C. got over the difficulty by insisting that sports-cars should comply with Tourist Trophy regulations. Unfortunately under these rules supercharged cars are barred, and as a consequence the sports-car climbs were almost all rather lacking in interest. The Autumn Meeting seems to bring forth a prolific crop of ” Specials ” mostly with a basis, if not a large proportion of the good old G.N. The Davenport Special, for three years Shelsley record-holder
t he fastest of them all, was there. The Grasshopper, the Wasp, Breyer’s in gen io Morgan-G. N.. not to speak of the Martyr and the Shelsley Special, all added their clamour to the sounds from the paddock. The most extreme example of the G.N. cult was the Shipton Special which carried a 1928 6-cylinder 0.M., between its longerons, while in a more
ofcssional vategory \ ;is 1.(al)on-liortor Grand Prix Bugatti, which had a bored out 3-litre engine in a G.P. chassis. As has been sr,id, there was rather a
lack of 2.3 and 3-litre racing cars. One of the cars entered but not arrived was the 3-litre Pescara with Zanelli as driver. and the only foreign ” ace ” who had come over was Bobby Kohlrausch, now
the owner of the Magic Midget, on which he had fitted a neat little racing body not unlike those used on the ” R ” type cars. His comment on the hill was just what one expected. “I like it very much, but it is too short, too easy. In Germany our hill-climbs are ten kilometres long, if not more.” Heavy clouds had been in evidence all morning, but the true Shelsley enthusiast is undeterred by this sort of thing and takes his favourite vantage point on the hill protected with waterproof and heavy
boots, with the knowledge that he has a complete change of clothing down below in the car. Conditions seemed better as zero hour drew near, and when No. 1, A. N. L. Maclachlan (supercharged Austin) took his place on the line, there was nothing worse to contend with than the somewhat tricky surface at the line and some dampness at the Kennel Bend. Col. Loughborough’s traffic signal starting-device lit up, changed to “go” and the little Austin, now stripped to a skeleton chassis rushed up the slope and rounded the Kennel Bend in an inspired broadside. Taking the S-bends in equally masterful fashion he rushed to the finishing line to record 46.8 seconds, which was an encouraging start. Pat Driscoll was on the little white single-seater Austin on which he has several times won this class
Unfortunately over-revving during practising had cracked a cylinder block, and with a new one fitted the night before his prospects seemed less rosy. He made a good start in spite of a fair amount of wheels.pin and screaming up the hill with rather less than his usual pep completed the climb in 46 seconds. On a second run he clocked exactly the same figure. His team-mate Goodacre followed with a supercharged Ulster model, and after a fine get-away made a competent climb in 48.4 seconds. Next came a bunch of M.G.s headed by Kenneth Evans on his blue-painted ” R ” type. The independent suspension seemed to help his wheel grip on the Kennel Bend and he roared up the slopes in fine style. his time being an even 47 seconds. D. G. Evans on a similar car lost at
least a second at the start and recorded 49.4 seconds and Connell, also on an 49.8 Sec-lands. Miss Skinner was next on a supercharged MontlhOry. Full of determination to win back the Ladies’ Record, she let in the clutch at 5,000 r.p.m. and lost some time with wheel-spin, and did well
to climb in 48 seconds. Then came a brief interval as the first cars were sent down the hill, making use of a bye-pass which made it unnecessary to return over the starting line. Meanwhile Kohlrausch’s white M.G. had been pushed to tne starting line, and if the crackle from the short exhaust stubs was anything to go by, the car was in remarkably good fettle.
Not losing an instant when the starting signal changed, he shot up the slope, 5 seconds to the time-keeper’s box we made it, and rounding the Kennel Bend without any signs of easing up, roared up past the crossing to the S-bend. Here he had to brake heavily, but the car picked up without a falter and he battered round the top bend and up the finishing line in 45.8 seconds, beating Driscoll ‘s time by 1-5 sec4.md.
He was followed by Miss Doreen Evans, holder of the Ladies’ Record, who like her brothers was driving a Monoposto Midget. She lost a little time after the start but made a fast and steady climb in 46.4 seconds, 4-5 seconds outside her record. ElWes (Montihery Midget) was rather slow as a result of leaving the line at 7,000 r.p.m. climbing in 51.8 seconds, while Tongue was almost too fierce half-way up the hill but got his car under control to finish in 47.6 seconds. Roy Eccles led off the 1,100 c.c. cars with his Eccles Special, which is a supercharged Lagonda Rapier. It seemed to find the gradient rather steep (time 52 seconds) while Breyer on the Joystick Special crackled up in 57 seconds. Richard Bolster brought up his Special in an even 49 seconds, particularly good after an initial skid. Spikins on a supercharged Singer Nine with a light-weight aluminium body knocked 4-5 seconds off that, though the little car flexed visibly going up to the S-bend. Then the clamour of Dorcas II Glegg’s front-wheel (now four-wheel) drive V-twin filled the loud speakers. Glegg made an excellent start but nearly came to grief on the first
corner through missing his gear. He made an era tic course to the top of the hill in 57.2 seconds.
Next came two Le Mans Singers. The one driven by Barnes which was the only sports-car in the 1,100 c.c. clasS; Barnes made a slow start and toured up to the tune of 65 seconds, virile S. C. H. Davis, none the worse for his accident at Ulster, made a polished get-away and taking the Esses with a look of grim determination ran ,home in 52.8 seconds. Miss Skinner, less dashing than usual, took her supercharged Morris Minor, which bounced rather unsteadily through the bends, to the top in 50 seconds, while Mrs. Eccles (Eccles Special) clocked 54.4 seconds. Now for something a little brisker, Ashton Rigby on his bright red M.G. Magnette, complete with twin wheels. A goodish start, really fast round the Kennel Bend and steady ‘through the S-bends he put up one of the better times
se far, 47.2 seconds. Pat Maclure was trying a new sensation on the V-twin Martyr, which he brought up in 52.6 seconds i while Carlmark’s Special did not live up to its name of Skol, suffering from ill-health half way up. There were two fast cars to conclude the 1,1:00 c.c. class, Appleton’s Special, which consists of a Riley Nine engine, now fitted with a Zoller compressor, in a Maserati chassis, and Hall’s Magnette. Appleton gut away in splendid style but the engine cut right out for a second at the Kennel Bend. Then back it came with a will and Appleton went on to make a polished climb in 46.6 seconds. Eddie Hall is too Old a hand to make a mistake on Shelsky. From a perfect start he roared up tk• hill on a steady course, eased up and swung round the lower part of the S-bend, turned on the power and shot to the .finishing straight, a performance which was greeted with applause. His time
Was 46.4 seconds, which was the fastest in the class but nearly a second shower than Kohlrausch.
Profiting possibly from his previous sheisley (..sperwtice at the wheel of the Becke Special, von der Berke speedily got his T.T. Riley unstuck and handled his car firmly through the bends, to secure the time of 49.4 seconds, stout work on an unsnpercharged car. Fane on an unblown Nash did 52.2 while Jucker on a supercharged model clocked 49.2. There was a hush of expectancy as the E.R.A. was pushed to the line and burst into strident life. Could Mays do his stuff with an injured arm on a nottoo-dry surface? His start was perfect, no wheelspin, yet he was a fifth of a second faster than Kohlrausch over the first thirty yards. Up the 1 in 7 slope he rushed, still doing 80 m.p.h. at what had been the braking point for all the preceding drivers. However he knew what he was about, and braked hard just in time, and with a touch of throttle was round the top bend and shooting up to the liaishing line at a rare speed. His time of 41.2 seconds was easily the fastest yet, and the crowd showed their appreci Newsome, who is the present owner of the Becke Special, is another Shelsley veteran. He made a quick climb with sonic crabbing on the bend, making a time of 46.8 .seconds. Miss Richmond made an excellent start on her super cnarged. 1,232 c.c. Triumph and was applauded for her cornering—time 54.4 seconds. Then came another lady on a very different type of car, Mrs. Petre on the ex-Mays supercharged Riley. The car just leapt away from the start and its throaty roar could be heard at the S-bends by the time it was at the Crossing. It looked rather a handful on the first of the bends, but as soon as •Mrs. Petre got it straight she put her foot firmly down
and shot off to the finish to the tune of 45.2 seconds, beating Miss Evans’ record by .2 seconds.
Cormack scored a neat 47 en his Alta, then came a brace of supercharged Bugratis, Whatecwts was unaccountably slow, but Day-Dewdney made an excellent start and came shooting up to the bends with supercharger wailing, quite a rare sound nowadays. He had an awkward moment through the bends but held it and went on to record 48.4 seconds. He was followed by an expert of long standing, R. J. G. Nash on the Union Special, the latest of his semi-Frazer-Nash creations. Evidently fearing wheel-spin, Nash had let his double rear tyres right down and had some difficulty in taking the first S-bend, hut such was the acceleration of the car that he finished his climb in 45 seconds. The Davenport SpeCia Was ‘a shade of its former self and came up in 53 Seconds. Following this was jucker’s Frazer-Nash
driven by Mrs. Millington, formerly Miss May Cunliffe. She was fast on the Kennel Bend and took the first of the Esses so fast that she almost hit the bank. Keeping her foot hard down however she straightened out and made a firstclass climb in 48.8 seconds. Then another lady with a Nash, Miss Allen with -Tim Davies’ ” black single seater, which was fitted with twin rear wheels. First she stalled the car and then made a false start but finally got up in 51.4 seconds. Once again there were two fast cars to conclude a class, Fane’s single-seater blown Nash and Hall’s blown “N” Magnette. Earle’s car sounded magnificent through the speakers and was obviously going very quickly by the time it reached the corners. Fane slung it round in fine style though he seemed uncertain about his gear and charged up the slope and round the final bend. Hall who ran later was off the line like a rocket but swung wide half way up the hill. He hit the bank with a resounding crack, but his impetus carried him on and he recovered in time to take the bends. His
time was 46.2 seconds which was 1-5 better than 1:am’s attempt.
” Freddy Dixon is on the line with his two-litre Riley ” and with this announcement those standing near the S-bend involuntarily moved back from the sandbags. He made a perfect start, was outstandingly fast at the Kennel Bend and took the Sbends without the trace of a skid. His time was 45.6 seconds. Von der Becke followed on the 500 Miles Race Riley and took precisely the same time as Freddy. John Bolster was 1-5 second faster than Mays as far as the announcer’s box and with the car well under control completed his climb in 46 seconds. Now for the 2-litre E.R.A. A fine getaway, the usual roar up to the S-bend, but this time Mays braked early and was steadier on the first of them. Even so the car hopped in the air as he accel
crated up to the second bend, but he had the situation well under control, shaving the second corner to cross the line in 41 seconds, just a fifth faster than with the smaller car. Esson-Scott followed. His all-black 2-litre Bugatti was in good tune and climbed to a time of 44.8 seconds. Marendaz, pipe in mouth, clocked 57 seconds.
There were only three racing-cars in the 3-litre class, all 2.3-litre Bugattis. Charlie Martin was the first to go and the healthy sound from the loud-speakers was soon followed by the car itself. He braked just at the right moment for the first bend, slashed in a lower gear and tore away round the second bend without a trace of wheelspin or unsteadiness.
His time of 42.8 seconds had been bettered only by Mays on the E.R.A.s and the spectators were not slow to show their appreciation of the run. A. G. Bainton, the driver who crashed in a sensational way last year, seemed to have got the feel of the hill this time and piloted his car, which was fitted with twin rear wheels, to the top in 44 seconds
without any incidents, while A. C. Dason, on Lord Howe’s old car clocked 47.8 seconds. Of the sports-cars Charles Follett handled his lengthy .Alvis Speed Twenty, which was fully equipped, with great skill, making good use of the synchro-mesh gear-box. He climbed in 54 seconds, but was beaten by PowysLybbe on the T.T. Silver Eagle which got down to 51.8. Eccles made a good start on his 3.3litre G.P. Bugatti and was steady on the top corners. His time was 44.6 sec onds. Lemon-Burton who followed him was less skilful. He braked heavily for the first of the corners, and the car swung round, hit the sandbags and faced the direction it had come from, all before one had realised what had happened. The only Vauxhall entered was the twoseater driven by Ronnie Hughes, who
made a straight-forward ascent in 53.2 seconds.
Fords and Railtons now dominated the class. Hillcoat on the low and smartlooking Jenson clocked 52.4 seconds, Whalley with his supercharged car 54 seconds, Platt with a saloon put up 60 seconds, while Allard on one of last year’s T.T. cars was excellent in 50.2 seconds. Marker who was driving a new type of Railton with a tiny four-seater body raised the time by a whole second, and it remained to see what Hall could do on his T.T. Bentley. He came up to the corners at a speed so fast that it seemed impossible to get round, but the car responded magnificently as he swung over the steering wheel and roared away to the finish in 46.4 seconds. Very nice too.
There was a spot of sunshine during the tea interval, and after Freddy Dixon had shown off his T.T. Riley, all was ready for the second half of the programme. Maclachlan more dashing than ever lowered his time to 45.8 seconds, actually beating Driscoll, and Goodacre ‘improved to 46.6 seconds. Kenneth Evans on a fine run clocked 46.4 and brother Denis 47.6. Hoping for further excitements one of the spectators opposite ‘ the bends started to climb a tall tree and was rewarded by seeing Connell turn clean round at the corner without touching anything. Kohlrausch made a possibly false start but was away without anyone being able. to stop him. He touched the bank on the way up but kept his foot hard down, and rounding the top corner crossed the line in 43.6 seconds, Was that a run or was it? Just to, make sure he was given a third run, on which he was equally fierce, his time being 44 seconds. Miss Evans who was on her mettle to recapture the Ladies’ Record’ from Mrs. Petro fairly ” trod on it ” up, through the bends and snaked away up the finishing straight touching a bank on
the way. Time 44.8 seconds. Other improvements in this class were :—Mrs. Wisdom on Driscoll’s Austin 48 seconds, and Tongue 47.4 seconds.
In the 1,100 c.c. class most of the second runs also showed an improvement. Eccles did 48.8 seconds, Breyer on Joystick 55 seconds and Davis (Singer> 51.6 seconds.
Spikins on the supercharged Singer danced about on the bends but actually got down to 47.6, a creditable effort. Glegg provided plenty of excitement on Dorcas, especially when one of the driving chains came off and she reverted to become three-wheel drive.
On the first runs Appleton was a ‘fifth of a second behind Hall, but great things were expected of him. He made a perfect start, gathered speed all the way up the hill and took the bends carefully, his full power showing as he raced. up the last stretch to the finish. His time was 44 seconds. Hall was lurid on the Kennel Bend and as fast as Appleton up to the Esses. Here he seemed to oil a plug, which was reflected in his time of 45.4 seconds.
Raymond Mays was once again the star-turn of the 1i-litres. First came the sound of the exhaust on the loud-speaker, Continued on page 569.