The M.C.C. Silverstone Meeting

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ON September 8th, the Motor Cycling Club ran very slickly through a long programme, comencing with its popular One-Hour High-Speed Trials, in which passengers are carried—-and how the girls and boys enjoy it! The first car race was a Five-lap scratch contest, Wood’s XK120 leaving the issue in doubt only when he went off the course at Stowe on the first lap. He quickly regained the lead and won from Partridge’s Jaguar and a very determined D’O. M. Taylor in another XK 120. The first Five-lap Handicap looked like a runaway victory for Elwell-Smith’s vintage Aston-Martin, very nicely handled, but Williamson’s 4 1/2-litre Bentley made it in the last lap, Heath’s blown M.G. retaining third place. Partridge’s XK120 spun when a brake locked and Major Bailey shot straight off the outside of Stowe in his Bentley saloon, in the path of Taylor’s XK 120, whom, however, St. Christopher protected. Another Fivelap Handicap followed, notable for the sad demise of L. Gibbs’ Riley when leading the field by a big margin on lap 3. He was coming down Hangar Straight at 5,000 r.p.m. in the 4 to 1 top gear when the Riley’s Merlin crankshaft broke, knocking off the sump and smashing practically all the engine. As some compensation, Mrs. Gibbs kept her “Le Mans” H.R.G. in front of Wilcocks’ fast push-rod 3 1/2-litre Jaguar, the Barrow Special, shared at this meeting between father and son, finishing third.

A 15-lap Team Relay Race was then fought out between five teams of three, the vintage Bentley team completing their habit of winning these team races, although the excitement was intense as young McKenzie’s 3-litre just crept over the line on two cylinders, a petrol pipe having broken, to win from Biggs’ 2 1/2 Riley roadster of the Jaguar-Lea-Fancis-Riley scratch team.

The Winners’ Five-lap Handicap, combined with the last of the MOTOR SPORT Trophy races, saw Chapman’s Bentley again in winning form, the issue never in doubt, although, to catch the earlier starters he had to average nearly 69 m.p.h. Reverting to the High-Speed Trials, these provided all the interesting episodes and comparisons expected of these excellent events. Best time was by Woods’ XK 120, with 67.39 miles, Taylor’s XK 120 being fastest in the second, with 67.16 miles, equalled by Douglass’ big Vincent in the motor-cycle “hour.” Wilcocks’ Jaguar 100, McDonald’s 4 1/2-litre Bentley and O’Neill’s white Jupiter were very impressive, the open Sunbeam-Talbots steady, while Valls coped bravely with an Austin A90 which cornered fast but abominably. Goldthorpe, with attractive girl passenger, got a fine move on in his blown Morris Minor tourer, hood and sidescreens erect. Kay drove a rare “Shelsley” Frazer-Nash, Kenyon an  “H.M. Bentley rebuild” 4 1/2-litre Bentley, Hughes a smart cream “Le Mans” Morgan 4/4. Gibbs in his “Le Mans” H.R.G. and Betty Stapleton in the ex-Horsfall Aston-Martin certainly wasted no unnecessary time through the corners. Reg Harris, the champion sprint cyclist, drove a Riley Sprite very neatly, crew and car impeccably turned out, but had trouble near the end. We welcome him to car competitions. The Nancy Mitchell-Gott-Richmond H.R.G.s had a fine scrap. Even in this “trial” some drivers overdid it; both Allards having “moments”, Jacobs’ XK 120 going about face and Allott’s H.R.G. likewise on its last lap. The blower noise from Hill’s “J3 ” M.G. was inspiring, but Hedges’ blown 1,750,c.c. Alfa-Romeo boiled. Amongst the motor-cycles E. J. Wood thought he was in Australia, footing his Triumph round Stowe, but Goddard, on the 197-c.c. Ambassador, was delightful to watch—and to hear I