Club News, October 1937
At the meeting of the General Council of the R.A.C. the following were appointed to act as stewards during the ensuing twelve months :
Lord Cozens Hardy ; Rt. Hon. the Lord Weir of Eastwood ; the Hon. Sir Arthur Stanley ; Rev. E. P. Greenhill; Mr.
M. G. W. Burton ; Mr. G. J. F. Knowles ; Lord Sempill ; Sir H. B. Shackleton ; Mr. Percy Short ; Lt.-Col. J. Sealy Clarke ; Sir Algernon Guinness, Bart. ; Mr. M. O’Gorman.
Once again the Brooklands Automobile Racing Club will serve racing fare for Motor Show visitors at Brooklands on October 16th. This meeting, the last racing of the 1937 season, is unique, in that long and short outer-circuit races, races over the Campbell Road Circuit and Mountain races will all figure in the afternoon’s racing, which commences at 2 p.m. The big event will be the Mountain Championship over 10 laps, all cars starting from scratch. The first prize is L40 and the Kathleen Drogheda Trophy, at present held by Raymond
Mays (E.R.A.). The Siam Mou.utain. Race over 10 laps is another important race, restricted to 11-litre cars and handicapped on a class basis, 750 c.c. getting 20 secs. start and 1,100 c.c. cars 15 secs. start, from the 14-litre cars on scratch. The winner receives £30 and the Siam Challenge Cup and replica, all the trophies having been presented by H.R.H. Prince Chula of Siam. The first prizes for the other races are £25. The meeting should see some very intense racing, and Raymond Mays and “B. Bira ” will undoubtedly renew and complete their great duel. An innovation is 5/admission, which includes admission to the Paddock—students of design please note. Cars may be parked for 2/6 or brought to course for 5/-. The Mountain Championship will again be broadcast by the B.B.C. Take plenty of coats !
Full details from : The Secretary, the B.A.R.C., Brooklands Motor Course, Weybridge, Surrey. Telephone : ‘Weybridge 1220.
An informal Rally to “The Pheasant” at Winterslow, near Salisbury, on September 19 attracted about fifteen members, including Rivers-Oldmeadow (41-litre Le Mans Bentley), Morris-Goodall with Watkins-Pitchford as passenger (AstonMartin), Marcus Chambers with Mrs. Fee Carson as passenger (Bentley), the Wrigleys, A. S. Heal and party (30/98 Vauxhall), L. G. and Mrs. McKenzie with W. Boddy as passenger (1914 Alphonso Hispano-Suiza) and F. Lycett (Bentley). After lunch on impromptu treasure hunt was organised by Marcus Chambers, well-dined vintagers vigorously seeing lambs’ wool in the surrounding fields. Membership continues to rise steadily and this exclusive body is now on a very
sound footing indeed. Another, more ambitions Rally may be arranged this month, possibly in conjunction with the Veteran C.C., and the Cotswold Trial is due on November 28th. Another Bulletin is due this month and excellent binding cases, pric( 2:1; each, are available for the preservation of these inimitable publications. The Northern Section of the club is progressing satisfactorily. The annual subscription is 12/6 for full membership and 7/6 for associate membership, entry fee 5/-. Hon. Sec. : T. W. Carson, ‘”Ihe Phinnix,” Hartley Wintney, Hants.
The Bugatti Owners’ Club will hold another Welsh trial on October 24th, with sensible but severe hills and provision for a stop at the more beautiful scenic parts of the route. The September issue of ” Bugantics,” as always beautifully produced, contained an article of great interest on the Monaco G.P., an account of ” Bugatti Cars I Have Owned,” by Capt. Moscardi, and a report of the HalfDay Trial.
Hon. Sec. : E. L. Giles, 2, Queen Street, Mayfair, W.I.
The annual ladies’ outing known as the ” London-Exeter ” is scheduled for October 23rd. The trial will start and finish at Paignton and there will be four hills entirely new to W.A.S.A. trials. The fifth observed section is to be our old friend Simms Hill. Bed, breakfast, and dinner at the Palace Hotel, Paignton, will be available at 15/6 inclusive. The annual general meeting will take place on November 25th at 11.30 a.m. at the Club’s premises, 2, Hamilton Place, Park Lane, W.1.
The M.C.C.’s annual Sporting Trial is scheduled for October 23rd, starting from the Palace Hotel, Buxton, at 9 a.m. The route is to be kept secret, until the day of the trial. At the conclusion of the trial, a dinner, dance and film-show will be held at the Palace Hotel, every competitor receiving a ticket for himself and his, or her, passenger. Extra tickets cost 7/6 each. Entries close on October 11th, and competitors must have joined the M.C.C. before October 2nd. Entry fees are 10/for solo motor-cycles, 15/for combinations and tricars, and 25/
for cars. Team entries 7/6 or 15/for car teams. Full details are available from : The Secretary, J. A. Masters, 22, Norland Square, London, W.11.
FORD ENTHUSIASTS’ CLUB
The Club had a special enclosure at Douington for the convenience of members and their friends attending the Grand
Prix. Membership is steadily growing and a series of social events and trials are in course of formation. Hon. Sec. : S. H. Allard, 15, MIlbrooke Court, Putney, London.. S.W.
BERKHAMSTED M. C. & C. CLUB
The following are the provisional results of the speed hill climb held at Dancers End, near Tring, on Sunday, September 5th : RESULTS Class A (850 0.0. Sports-Cars)
1. A. G. Sanderson (847 c.c. M.0.), 32.18.
2. K. C. Jarvis (747 c.c. Austin), 32.4s.
3. F. M. Whitty (847 c.c. M.G.), 36.5s. Class B (850 c.c. Rasing-Cars)
1. B. Rogers (747 c.c. 11.G., S.), 29,4s.
2. J. R Wvidhart (84s c.c. M.G.), 29.6e. 3, C. E. W. Robins (747 c.c. Austin), 32.18. Class C (1,100 c.c. Sports-Cars)
1. R. 11. Cook (995 c.c. Fiat), 30.5s.
2. K. C. Jarvis (747 c.c. Austin), 31.98.
3. A. 0. ‘Sanderson (847 c.c. M.G.), 32.2s. Class D (1,100 c.c. Racing-Cars)
1. E. G. M. Wilkes (1,086 c.c. Wilkes!.G.N.),_286.
2. E. .1. Haesendonck (847 c.c. M.G., 8.), Z8.7a.
3. B. Rogers (747 c.c. M.G., S.), 28.8s. Class E (1,500 c.c. Sports-Cars)
1. C. D. Claridge (1,496 c.c. Fnaer-Nash), 27.9s.
2. A. C. Hess (1,496 c.c. H.R.G.) and A. B. S. Curtis (1,496 e.e. H.R.G.), 29.4s. Class F (1,500 0.0. Racing-Cars)
1. E. G. M. Wilkes (1,086 c.c. Wilkes-G.N.) 27.5s.
2. A. C. Hess (1,496 c.c. H.R.G.). 27.9s.
3. 0. D. Claridge (1,406 e.e. Frazer-Nash), 28.6e. Fastest Time ot the Day :
E. 0. M. Wilkes (1,086 c.c. Wilkes-0.N.), 27.5e.
GENERAL N OTES
Being of the opinion that those who scribble about motor-cars and how they are driven should themselves sometimes ” dice” in public, quite apart from an enthusiasm for motoring that outweighs one’s enthusiasm for motoring journalism, and having prevailed upon Mr. Godfrey to lend me an H.R.G., I entered for the Bugatti Owners’ Meeting at Lewes. Accordingly, on the Friday evening the works at Tolworth were relieved of the very first example of the H.R.G. marque, a car now rather ” rattly ” and a trifle noisy under the bonnet, which is excusable when you reflect that it has had over 20,000 miles of demonstration and competition work imposed upon it with very little servicing attention, being used between times as the works hack—and enthusiastic makers of cars like this are not as a rule light as to throttle-feet whim going about the country. And, as a matter of fact, the old blue H.R.G. was rather hurriedly built of scrap materials, having none of that care bestowed on it which is given to production jobs, though it is quite standard, except for a possible conservation of about an inch in the wheelbase, and a smaller radiator area, which results in the maintenance of an efficient temperature rising of 95°C. in main-road motoring but which is apt to prove embarrassing in trials or hilly going, hence the larger cooling surface on II. R.G.s you buy. The outstanding impression was the entirely carefree manner in which an H.R.G. tackles a speed-trial. I was given no spare plugs, very few instructions. On the Friday evening I drove lazily about London town, revelling in the use of a ” real” gearbox, the fierce acceleration and crisp exhaust note, the little car going up to sixty on any derestricted bit before you had thought about extending it. The H.R.G. handles beautifully, but you have to work and there isn’t a trace of ” pansy ” about it. That it could be thus driven, then” diced” down to the venue, there to be handled by a complete novice still with the same plugs and no preparation beyond getting it thoroughly hot, putting 23 lb. of air in the Dunlops, checking the amount of Cleveland Discol in the tank and lowering the screen, to clock 27.6, 27.9, 27.8, and 27.4 secs., is, I think, highly satisfactory. Especially as, novice-like, I did all manner of silly things, such as forgetting to lower goggles and easing momentarily to do so, getting far too much wheelspin on the first run, and so on. The clutch tended to stick, but the gear-change stood up to the most brutal handling, top being engaged at well past 4,000 r.p.m. right by the finish, and always the willing Meadows engine started on the starter and idled like a touring unit. Nor did it seem to want much of the Discol I had bought it, while oil and water levels were never even checked. And when it was all over we ran back to the works in great style, our exuberance tempered only by the lack of lighting, and we left the H.R.G. more enthusiastically than ever, so that even this hard-used example was overlooked all its faults— no car is perfect—even the ingenious anchorage of the rear wings, which were mainly held down by the spring trunnion
grease-nipples! While the H.R.G. is in the land we can postpone ordering that white racing helmet . . . Thus the reflections of a very tired and dirty enthusiast as he departed into the night, clutching armfuls of scarves, helmets, goggles, and the numbers, regarded more with pity than envy by the other inmates of the L.P.T.B. bus that conveyed him homewards. Actually, the day had not been devoid of incident, because, although the H.R.G. behaved impeccably, our companion car, a re-built Brescia Bugatti, shed a front wing with horrible ferocity a few miles from the start, which entailed driving it without front wings. A road congested with long-distance walkers, one of whom was occupying the white line on a blind. bend (!), and an altercation with a particularly observant policeman near Lewes
made us late at the venue, and after tea the Brescia elected to crack-up its final drive, one of the Very original parts, so that we had, perforce, to crawl home not exceeding 40 m.p.h., though that suited our combined lighting arrangements more than admirably. And going .clown, when we did crack in approved racegoing fashion, I was truly glad to be at the wheel of a ” real ” if modern motor, and not in something which the Brescia might have made seem very tame and to look so very silly. The next week-end was Shelsley, which usually means adventurous motoring even to spectate. This time we left early by train for Brighton on the Friday, there to meet a 1923-4 Austin Seven that is absolutely true to type save for larger tyres—and the spare carries a cover of
the original economic proportions. In this exceedingly interesting vintage baby we commenced our long run, and it says much for the owner’s work of restoration that the brakes are admirable and that we did a good ” 12 amps” at times— which is how we judged speed, as the big brass speedometer, like the oil-gauge, just didn’t. Not that that worried us, for we lunched at Newbury and then continued through a depressing Swindon, until, not too late in the chilly and autumnal afternoon, we made the beautiful old town of Cirencester and penetrated further into Gloucestershire, which always makes the writer a trifle sentimental, partly because of the scenery, partly because of the sense of accomplishment, if you have journeyed there from London or further south in a vintage or other exciting motor-car. So through Cheltenham and Tewkesbury to the Shelsley country, whereupon things like Clutton’s Bentley and John Bolster’s 30/98 Vauxhall reminded us that practice had barely finished. That night we put up at a small farm, exchanging motoring tales with an M.G. driver and his helpers, the Austin resting in an outhouse with their hack Rover saloon, a well deserved rest, for it had done the 200 mile journey in something like 7i hours, running time. Next day there was the leisure of the whole morning in the Paddock and, after the meeting, an exploration, regretfully brief, Of the beautiful town of Malvern, in the failing light. We put up, most comfortably, in Cheltenham, returning on the Sunday to a teeming, wet and miserable Brighton without motoring incident, if one excepts meeting an air-cooled Rover Eight, an old Beardmore, an Austin Seven the same age as our own, and, in Oxford, a blower 4i Bentley, the last-named resulting in an instant stop, that an impromptu form of worship might be performed. It was all such very good fun, and makes one speculate enthusiastically as to what curious means will be employed to attend the next Shelsley. The “500,” both practice and to see the race, involved journeys to the Track in a £135 Opel ” Cadet ” saloon, a car of surprising smoothness and a rather astounding top-gear performance, while, in another direction, it prompted the observation that, if this country knows as much as any about making sportscars stick to the road, and. if America gave the world really supple springing,
certainly it has been left to Germany and the Continent to combine these two characteristics. The day following the Brooklands classic there was a surprise journey to Winterslow, near Salisbury, with L. G. McKenzie in a Type 15T 1914″ Alphonso” Ilispano-Suiza, to attend the Vintage S.C.C. Rally. Arrangements were made at the very last moment and London’s Sunday morning traffic facilities hardly co-operated, but we duly arrived at the big garage at Victoria to find the Hispano’s engine warming up, its hood having been erected without difficulty once the crankaction of the master-sticks had revealed itself, while we were glad to note the unobtrusive club badge above the big, squat radiator. By 11 a.m., we were away, revelling in the low speed of the old T-head motor, the quietness of the straight-bevel rear axle and the glorious howl of the indirects as ” Alphonso ” got rapidly into his stride, a howl heard. above the rising beat of the motor. Alas, the best of mechanisms can be rendered inefficient by a speck of dirt and half-way along the Great West Road our not unrapid progress was hampered by fuel starvation and we progressed only at a crawl, quite appalling explosions rendering the comparative stillness of the arterial surroundings—whereupon passing fug-box occupants grinned at us, wondering why we must come out in so antiquated a vehicle, little knowing that we would not have changed places with them at any price and only with a post-war edition of our own marque with reluctance. Egham Hill was our complete undoing, but McKenzie would not give in and we eventually made “The Phcenix.” Here a rapid examination of the autovac system revealed nothing amiss, but the trouble had diminished, so, although the Vintagers had by now undoubtedly reached the coffee and cheese stage, we continued, not the least exciting part of it being the apparent absence of fire-extinguishing appliances and the impossibility of hurried exit from the doorless tonneau with the hood up ; indeed, my view of the road was restricted to a few square feet forwards. We had several more stops to punch the autovac and, lo, just before Winterslow the dirt got clear and ” Alphose ” recovered all his horses. We ” dined ” alone at ” The Pheasant ” in state at 3.30 p.m., a fleeting glimpse of Heal’s 30/98 Vauxhall being all we saw of the Vintagers until back at “The Phoenix.” Afterwards we went for a leisurely tour of deserted Wiltshire roads, in the sun with the hood down, and might for all the world have been back in 1914, motoring for pleasure, proud of the breed of our car, but giving little thought to its sporting aspects. Back on “A 30” [Please turn to Page 415]