CLUB NEWS, October 1936



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A very unusual event was arranged recently for the amusement of members of the Bristol M.C. & L.C.C. known as the Mendip Grand Prix de Tourisme. A contest was staged over unfrequented Mendip roads. The course was roughly tri angular in shape, with two fast undulating legs joined by a twisty section, in the best road-racing tradition. The lap distance was 4-5 miles and the ” race” was run over eleven laps or some 50 miles. But instead of speed being the decisive factor,

drivers were only required to average 33 m.p.h., but they had to make eleven calls at the pits as and when pits fell vacant, when different tests were performed and timed, the time taken being added to each competitor’s deficiency on schedule, if any. Just before 8.15 p.m., drivers, many clad in overalls and helmets, took their stand opposite their cars, and the starter dropped his Union Jack at 3.15 sharp. The entry list had been limited to twenty, ranging from a 4-litre Bentley to an old Jowett. Ordinary cars also competed. As soon as a pit fell vacant someone was ready to rush into it, and sonic people had rigged up elaborate devices to facilitate quick work. Cars with stud-fixed wheels received a bonus over those having knock-off hub-caps, and mostly the former scored. During the contest a 3-litre Sunbeam refused to start, an M.G. Midget would simply not jack-up, and one of the Jowetts did any

thing but humour its driver. The chequered flag appeared shortly before 4.55 p.m. for A. Langfield’s Brooklands Riley, J. F. Kinnersley’s M.G. Midget being second and K. B. Steadman’s M.G. Midget third. The team-prize was won by a team of Brooklands-model Rileys. While the Bristol M.C. & L.C.C. is to be congratulated on having staged a very novel and undoubtedly entertaining event, we find it difficult to eulogise to any greater extent than over freak contests of less novel conception, and in these days of strong anti-motoring propaganda feel that general adoption of such contests would be highly deplorable.


The annual drive to Brighton was held this year on Sunday, November 15th. At the time of writing Hyde Park is mentioned as a possible new startingpoint. Some half-dozen newcomers are expected to run, of genuine pre-1003 vintage, as well as the regular entry. Please, if you follow in a modern car, give the old-timers all the room you can, and ask your friends to do likewise. This is a great event which no enthusiast ever misses. If anyone is in need of a car we know of a 6 h.p. front-entrance tonneau Rover, said to be 1900 vintage and in running order, for sale at about

£18. The rally held on September 20th was won by S. Wright (1901 5 h.p.

Humber) who came 857 miles. E. S. Pitchford (1902 Oldsmobile) was second, with 301 miles.


Address is now changed to 12, Queen’s Gate Terrace, Queen’s Gate, London, S.W.7. Telephone : Western 0092-3.


In connection with the proposed racing circuit at the Crystal Palace a club has been formed. At present the entry is 5/and the annual subscription 5/-. Details from : H. N Edwards, 12, Queen’s Gate Terrace, London, S.\’ .7.


The annual Welsh trial for the Giles Challenge Cup and other awards will be held on October 25th, the Course covering 150 miles. No competition numbers will be used. The night trial takes place on November 21st, during which month another issue of ” Bugantics ” will be published. Six new members were recently eleeted. Hon. Se”. : E. L. Giles, 2, Queen

Street, Mayfair, W.I. Mayfair 4701.


Open speed trials were held at Wetherby Grange Park on September 20th. nearly 2,500 spectators attending. Cummings won the Denny Cup for best time by a member and the Gunter and President’s Trophies for best time of the day–30 2 secs.—after which the Vauxhall-Villiers swerved seventy yards past the finish, it is believed due to a punctured tyre, and in the next fifty yards struck a tree, rebounding three times on to the road. Cummings stepped from the considerable wreckage shaken but uninjured, and while being given a lift back to the start in Lycett’s Bentley, suggested that as Brighton ” came off on the following Saturday the Villiers engine should be dropped into Lycett’s car ! It is now a matter of history that the VauxhallVilliers was somehow repaired in time to establish best car time of the day down at Brighton. B. J. Moor got his G.N. ” Wasp ” .going well, and M.G. cars were much in the limelight. Class winners were as follows

RESULTS : .1. Miller 42.5s.

850 c.o. sports-cars : .1. Miller (M.G.) 42.5s.

850 c.c. blown and 1,100 c.c. sports-cars : S. Blackwood (Austin) 4.2s.

1,100 c.c. blown and 14-litre sports-oars: G.

Bagratm (M.4L Magnette) 35.4s.

14-litre blown and 3-litre sports-cars : W. Currie (Lea-Francis) $8.48s.

3-litre blown and 5-litre sports-cars: G. Warburton (Railton) 34.85s.

Racing-cars : 850 c.o. Sho and 11-litres : E. J. Moor (Wasp) 33.88.

11-litre We and 3-litre : G. Mangoletsi (LeaFrancis) 36.38.

ii/e and Unlimited : 5. E. Cummings kvauxnail-‘1 infers) 5i.43.


At the hill-climb at Kilternan on September 19th, R. J. Gallagher made a record climb in 46 secs. (51.9 m.p.h.) driving a Ford V8 engined U.S.R. with Bugatti chassis. J. Smith was second fastest with a blown Austin 7, tying with M. Barrington’s 1 Hare Frazer-Nash. The winners were as follows :—

RESULTS Scratch Event : R. J. (3.6-litre

Open Scratch Event : R. J. Gallagher (3.6-litre U.S.R.) 46s.

Up to 14-litre Handicap : David Yule (972 e.e. C.M.Y., 8.) 49.4s.

Open Handicap : David Yule (972 c.c. C.M.Y.. 8.) 498.

W. Peel driving a hybrid Fraser-Alvis, managed 48.2s., which put him second in the scratch event.


Fifty-three entries were received for the J.C.C. Lynton Trial and there were forty-four starters. Doverhay proved difficult, but twenty-eight cars managed to climb it, the Earl of Essex (FrazerNash-B.M.W.) and Bracey’s M.G. being outstanding, as was Chappell’s Ford V8. Poor Dr. Grizuston experienced an unusual trouble, his Triumph shedding the top water-hose, but undaunted he walked up the hill with a new hose and five

gallons of water and continued. Only seven cars got up Yealscombe and Widlake was the star-turn, not a single competitor getting up. The Earl of Essex’s FrazerNash-B.M.W. and Chappell’s V8 Ford reached the highest point.


Tong Cup : Miss K. Taylor (M.G.)–best lady. Duni:combs Cup : Earl of Essex (Frazer-NashB.M.W.)—best first attempt.

First-class Awards : The Earl of Essex (B.M.W.), Norton Bracey (M.G.), H. R. Winnacott (FrazerNash). T.. K. lloldaway (Austin), R. E. Rushbrook (M.G.), Miss K. Taylor (M.G.), S. H. Allard (Ford V8).

Second-class Awards : N. A. Prince (Singer), K. S. Cooper (Ford), Mrs. M. Wilicocks (M.G.), F. C. N. Day (M.G.). Miss Y. Morel (MA).). S. L. Chappell (Ford V8), M. W. gherpard (M.G.). F. Crane (MA).).(M.G.). R. Peaty (Ent yet.N ash).


Very unfortunate weather conditions marked the last meeting on Southport sands. In the morning, flying kilometre trials were run off, in the course of which three cars bettered 100 m.p.h. H. J. P. Williams, driving a blown 1,087 c.c. M.G., averaged 100.76 m.p.h., Adrian Conan Doyle, with the 11–litre twincam Bugatti, recorded 107.54 m.p.h. Billy Cotton, driving the old 150 m.p.h. 18.3-litre V12 cylinder ” Blue Bird Sunbeam, returned a rousing 121.57 m.p.h. It will be remembered that this Sunbeam was driven at Brooklands in the early post-war days chiefly by K. L. Guinness, when it was just a very stark exceedingly narrow monster-engined track car. Campbell took it to Farm) Island, and several times took the land speed record with it, establishing the latter figures at

Pendine. He added the streamline cowlings, long tail and streamline handbrake lever which the car now carries. The results of the afternoon’s racing were as follows :—

as :— RESULTS 850 : P.

850 ex. straight mile : P. Stephenson (Austin), 1,100 c.c. straight mile •

-tcp.tenson (Ansi-in). 1i-titre straight mile :A.M. t_70n:in Doyl?•

straight mile : 1′. Stephousot, (Austin).

Unlimited : Slephenson (Austin).

Five-Lap Race : Warburton (Riley Nine) 53.08 m.p.h.

Fifteen-Lap Race : W. Jackson (Riley Niue) 52.77 m.p.h.


The team trial was run off over a difficult course in N. Devon on October

3rd. At Hatherland four miles from the start, nine out of twenty-seven got up. H. B. Shaw (Wolselcy ‘Hornet) recorded a failure which put the Kentish Border C.C. team early out of the running, though Bochaton’s McEvoy and Pitt’s Frazer-Nash-B.111.W, did well. The same fate overtook most of the other teams, and the Fiat team failed as

a whole. Even ‘Warburton’s Railton and Hutchinson’s special Ford VS failed on this gradient, sheer gradient combined with a mud-patch being accountable. A. S. Whiddingtongot up quite a way with his Frazer-Nash but lost a chain later in the day. This left the M.G. Car Chit) Team victorious in all that followed, and provisionally J. M. Toulmin, J. A. Baatock, R. A. Maederrnid, and J. E. S. Jones are the winners, with the Kentish Border Team as runners-up. The ” sellingplate ” rule is discussed in the General Notes below.


The Bentley Drivers’ Club was formed last April and we are informed that sonic seventy owners of old-school Bentleys have joined since. The club’s president is Capt. Woolf Barnato and the vicepresi lents are Oliver Bertram and Forrest Lycett. New members are always welcome. The club is running a two-lap outer-circuit race for members at the closing B.A.R.C. meeting.


The trials season has now well and truly opened, and club secretaries are busy searching for hills which motorcars can climb, but cannot climb at all easily, and which are not too difficult to find, yet are situated far from civilisation, These mortals even pray quite hard at times for rain.

One of the most interesting happenings just now in the trials universe has been the selling-plate rule introduced by the N.W. London M.C. for their team trial. ‘This rule specifies that “each nominated driver must complete and sign a declaration that he is the owner of the car which he will drive in the trial, and address the secretary of the meeting an unconditional offer to sell the aforesaid car to the .secretary at the catalogue listprice, provided the offer is accepted, within forty-eight hours after the start of the trial. The list price shall be deemed the Catalogue price of the standard vehicle of .same make and horse-power with the addition of a sum not exceeding 10 per cent. to cover extras and/or improvements . . .” In the first place, we feel quite sorry for the secretary—or his bank manager. Seriously, the rule, aimed at keeping

special cars out of the trial, seems quite useless, because owners of two or three year old trials motors, unless possessing an abnormal affection for their ears, will gladly sign the declaration, for even with a beautifully worded advert. in the back of MoToR SPoaT, resulting in a beneficial private sale, they could scarcely expect to get catalogue price plus that 10 per cent. for all the naughty extras. And unscrupulous works can always render motors special for favoured clients and withhold the bill, so the same applies here. Apart from which, did the secretary really feel prepared to be so nasty as to enforce the rule, had very special motors run off with all the big awards ? I have turned up the entry list and it. seems: as much as usual. Certainly every effort that is made to eliminate nonstandard motors deserves success, but in the end it will probably be found that only stern scrutineering will work the oracle, when special chassis modifications could be eliminated even if secrets underneath the bonnet go unspotted. When wandering round the Stands at Olympia with future trials in mind let US look for certain important aspects in sporting-cars. For instance, is accommodation provided for carrying two comp.”-shod spare wheels, not to mention provision for water-tight stowage

of the luggage and kit ? wheels come off their axles, when shod with ” knobblies,” without fouling the wings ? Does the screen fold flat and if so, is the wiper drive-box out of your line of vision ?

Is there a decent cubby-hole in the dashboard for those inevitable odds and ends and your favourite pipe ? Can you see a plug on the dash for the route-card reading-lamp, and Will the door-pockets accommodate a woodbacked route-card ? Can you easily See both front wings ? Do you feel like staying in the driving-seat all day and half the night ? What is there underneath for the boulders to hit and rub along ? How mach weight assists the rear wheels to bite ? Can fuel, oil and water-levels be checked easily when your

fingers feel like bits of iron ? Ditto all plugs ? How long will it take you, do you imagine, to unship the brace for hammer) and jack when the luggage is all aboard ? Does the jack fit, anyway ? And so on . . . Ask these questions at every stand at the show where they have

anything resembling a trials car. The salesmen will love you. And when you find one who is truly polite through it all, you may, if you like, conclude that his firm have evolved the foolproof :car for your particular form of week-end amusement.

But do not forget to notice how many knuckles you graze in releasing the handbrake and steering to both full-locks. Where will on put the competition numbers ? And does the hood . . sorry, of course, I ant writing this for MOTOR SPORT. During the past two months I have been in rather a reminiscent mood and the last few weeks have contributed a few more ” experiences.” There was the run up to Shelsley, when two friends

with a very stark Brescia Bugatti and another friend with a very modern small trials car elected to run up in company with my Talbot Ten. Brescias always seem to contribute to .one’s reminiscences, and. true to tradition, this ex-ample broke up a front hub near Broadway, its occupants being saved from a possibly sticky end by frantic waving On the part of the lady on my left.

Vce. ill our superior motor-car, went ahead to the first garage, where a very large man produced a very ancient Humber full of milk churns, which seemed in danger of departing from the interior at any minute via the wildly flapping doors. However, in the Humber he came to ” ‘ave a look at ‘or.” The rain was now doing its stuff in the best Hollywood style and the Bugattisti lost all interest in their motor and gladly climbed into the Talbot, ‘which with hood and all side-pieces erect, was immensely Cosy. So to Shelsley.

Late that night we at last located the Brescia and were surprised to find it again on all four wheels. It subsequently transpired that our garage-man was an ex-S.F. Paige mechanic, and he had much enjoyed making a test run on the Bugatti. His bill was another surprise. Thence to London, near to which the Brescia’s tail-lamp disappeared so rapidly that we thought it had gone off the road. my own foot being flat on the floor at the time. The Bugg:it:ifs company did not seem to agree with the moderns, for late the following night the Talbot cast away the more vital parts of its silencing system in an effort to emulate the Molsheim exhaust note, while I heard subsequently that the other driver, making his way home on the Sunday, had had dire trouble through his motor eating one of its supercharger vanes. The very next Sunday a certain insignificant Austin Seven left London about S a.m., bound for the West Country and a certain barn wherein was rumoured to stand an early racing-car. It was regrettable that we took a wrong turning at the commencement of Salisbury Plain, following a tank track that soon became ‘a mere grass-grown path, because time

was previous. It was still more unfortunate that when we ran out of fuel I turned off all the juice in mistaking the main tap for the reserve tap. The garage to which the decrepit Singer Junior towed us had displayed a notice advising us that service was their motto, and the Morris breakdown lorry bore the inscription “we get you out.” Certainly they somehow convinced us that we needed a new coil . . Two miles down the road, in heavy rain, au R.A.C. guide found that petrol tap. So to the village near Langport, with failing lights and no screen wiper, where we found the barn and the old car, which turned out to be a 20-24 h.p. Darraeq of about 1910 vintage, mounted on blocks, a flat belt running from its off rear Stepney to a corn-cutting machine. The reversed ” Ds ” on the badge which graced the tarnished brass radiator puzzled us at first, but the faded licencedisc revealed the marque and also the information that the old car had been in use on the road as late as 1980. A brief Continued on next page interview with the farmer’s son elicited the cheering news that we might one day soon be allowed to remove our discovery from distant Somerset without too much L s. d. changing hands in the process. That man would have made a very good salesman, for, warming to his task, he assured us that ” ‘ E’s been runnin’ years now on paraffin and we did nOthin’ to ‘lin to make ‘lin digest it.” There remained nothing to do but to go back to London, which a terrific thunderstorm made as difficult as -possible, our little saloon frequently hitting solid masses of flood water, while the lightning constantly destroyed driving vision and showed the road to be the happy haunt of numerous frogs and toads. A stop at the garaw at Lobscombe Corner to effect a wonthrful repair to the overworked screen wiper was of little avail, because water was streaming down both sides of the screen, so that we reached London with it propped open. The Austin finally made a most exciting skid off the tramlines in Hounslow High Street— the only bit of road visible in the flood. That ” day’s” motoring came to an end at 3.30 a.m. on the Monday and later the driver wondered why on earth the engine would not start, forgetting that he had removed the earth-lead from the

ignition system before going to bed to render the car thief-proof.

The next Saturday was spent remaking the acquaintance of the Frazer-NashB.M.W., its owner, a well-known competition driver temporarily without a driving licence, having a disturbing tendency to vacate the motor whenever the loud-pedal was well and truly depressed. And the following Saturday we did many things, as detailed under the heading “A Vintage Day ” elsewhere in this issue. This goes to show what good fun can be had by an ordinary enthusiast with quite ordinary cars. And there is all the winter before us . . .