A VINTAGE DAY AT BROOKLANDS
ELGOOD’S 4k-LITRE BENTLEY AVERAGES 110.3 M.P.H. FOR AN HOUR DURING M.C.C. HIGH SPEED TRIALS. SIR LIONEL PHILLIPS’S LEYLAND-THOMAS DOES 106.7 M.P.H. THIS year’s M.C.C. Members’ Day at Brooklands was a vintage day with a vengeance. Two one hour high-speed trials were held round the outer-circuit. These are extremely instructive events, offering excellent competition to ordinary owners. The cars need. not be strictly standard, but as they have to run equipped with hood, wings, lamps, spare wheel and horn, and to carry a passenger, the purely racing element is successfully eliminated. Although competitors are required to beat the Club’s set speeds and not one another, the whole thing becomes, in actual fact, very nearly a race. Of recent times additional interest has been lent by the existence of the Baddeley Trophy for the car covering the greatest mileage in excess of 100, during the hour run. Last year Elgood’s Bentley and. the Leyland Thomas tried hard for this award but were defeated by the weather conditions. This year these cars were again the lions of the meeting. It is
highly interesting to note that whereas this year the J.C.C. only received fortyfour entries for their Hour Trial with artificial corners, the M.C.C. got in fiftyseven entries for their simple outer-circuit runs and held two car trials, apart from the trial for motor-cycles. In the first, all eyes were on WoodJug’s fast Talbot and Sir Lionel Phillips’s huge black Leyland-Thomas, which latter car was exclusively written up in MOTOR
SPORT last February. On acceleration the Talbot led, but soon the Leyland settled down to faster lappery. The driver scorned a helmet, and drove remarkably well, going close to the edge at times when overhauling slower stuff at the Fork, to raise a cloud of dust, but actually holding a lower course on the Members’ Banking than Wooding. The old Leyland, virtually a 1920 design by the genius Parry Thomas, was most imposing as it thundered across the Fork, to hit a very nasty undulation each time it took the banking. The passenger seemed to have a tough ride, keeping both arms behind his head for a while and finally lying down to it. On one lap a length of rag flew from the Leyland’s cockpit. After 20 mins. the Leyland was well out of sight of the Fork before the Talbot had left the Byfieet. Wooding was controlled by a time-keeper at the pits. The outcome was that the Leyland just lapped its rival and averaged 106.71 m.p.h. on a truly great run, as healthy as ever at the end. The Talbot, a ” 95 ” model which was once a saloon, did 103.22 m.p.h. and Bolton’s open 8f litre S.S. 100 managed 94.62 m.p.h. Of the others, Davis (T-M.G.) retired, Whiddington’s Frazer-Nash-B.M.W. overheated somewhat, and FotheringhamParker’s Ford V8 went splendidly. Smithies went round steadily in his 746 c.c. M.G., choosing a sane path at the Pork, and the tabulated results tell the high lights of the run. For the second One Hour run a very big field. lined up, with Aldington’s white Type 328 B.M.W., Mrs. Aldy. as passenger, and Elgood’s vintage 44.-litre Bentley anxious to take the honours from the old Leyland. The mass start was immense, and Elgood got past Aldy inside going onto the Members’ Banking. Thereafter the Bentley, which had faired dumbiron cover and pointed tail and no front brake drums, lapped a real racing pace, right on the rim of the banking. Aldy. held a lower, and rather slower, course, the B.M.W. running beautifully. Regrettably, Briggs’s 4k-litre Lagonda was a non-starter. Bennett’s blown lflitre Alta was noticeably fast, but Gerard’s so-nearly-racing lflitre Riley, its crew in full kit, even to body belts, had two
stops to change plugs, a trouble which slowed it last year. Johnson’s blown PB M.G. mis-fired, Truett’s S.S. 100 smoked, and Clare’s PA M.G. lost its blower belt and toured. Burton’s 3-litre Talbot was just a shade faster than Silcock’s Jensen across the Fork, where Watson’s new 12/70 Alvis slowly overhauled Andrews’s T-M.G. Peter Clark was going nicely in the Le Mans H.R.G., Mrs. Clark wearing a smart helmet and visor. The Ford V8 engined L.N. Special, with neat cloth cockpit panels, was very rapid, though it boiled at the end, and Goodall’s 4/4 Morgan, its crew in crashhats as a sop to tri-car times, slowed after 40 mins. running. Whalley’s Ford V8 saloon went great guns, but Ripley’s S.S. saloon wasn’t much slower. Tyrer’s Rover saloon was highly impressive, and Jacobs, who rode Singer motor-bicycles at Brooklands before the War, was lapping steadily in his slightly non-standard open 1k-litre M.G., protected by Lambert aero-screens. Perring, wearing a rugger scrum cap for some unaccountable reason,
eventually heard his blown Talbot Ten making queer sounds, and the Jensen retired because a discarded fan tail punctured its fuel tank. Towards the end it became a question of whether Elgood could lap the B.M.W. and this he just did, the Bentley roaring round. with valances vibrating and light scintillating from its polished tail. The average was 110.3 m.p.h., a wonderful show, conclusively winning the Baddeley Trophy, and very much faster than the previous best hour run by a sports-car, when Hess’s T.T. Lagoncla did 104.4 m.p.h. under R.A.C. observation, a recreation upon which the R.A.C. now frown. The other Premier Award winners deserve equal honours. There was also a series of one-lap and two-lap races, of which the most impressive was that won by R. D. Gregory’s 61-litre Bentley saloon which, with its screen wide open and its rear window removed, thundered round from scratch to win the fifth two-lap event from Peter
Clark’s H.R.G., at 86.62 m.p.h. Then there were flying lap trials, in which Crozier’s L.M.B. V8, zip-fasteners done up, made best time at 96.71 m.p.h.—very quick indeed.
These High Speed Trials are excellent events, and we commend them to amateur enthusiasts and builders of ” specials ” as something at which to aim next year— those who have recently written to us bewailing the lack of events in which they can participate seem to have overlooked these hour runs, and the equally excellent club days at Donington ; they at least stand a sporting chance of going home in their own cars after these meetings, which is so much less likely to be the case after a full-distance amateurs’ road-race.