On September 4th the Bentley Drivers’ Club held their fifth Hill-Climb Meeting at Firle, high on the Sussex Downs, near Eastbourne.
With over seventy entries, about half of which were Bentleys, the meeting had plenty of scope. McKenzie’s 3-litre Bentley started the ball rolling, and of the 4½-litre models George Burton in his modified three-carburetter job made very good time (31.11 sec.) in spite of having to change gear with his left arm, having broken the other when cranking the car. Basil Mountfort and his wife vied with each other, the latter was a second or two slower although both made very clean climbs. In the class for larger models A. N. Hewett produced his rebodied, long-stored 8-litre, Gregory his 6½ with the small ex-W.D. rear tyres, and E. Lusty appeared but had Autovac trouble owing to the steepness of the hill.
Next on the line were post-1931 Bentleys. Lord Ebury played the game well with the Abbott-bodied, ex-Sutherland 3½-litre car (31.50 sec.) and Stanley Sears made an effortless climb in a sleek grey “Continental.” In the “other makes” classes K. Rolfe sped up in 33.66 sec., which was most commendable, his 1,100 Fiat Special looking very handsome in its cream livery. D. Elwell-Smith in the Aston Martin ex-team car was fast, but the same could hardly be -said of the 11.9-h.p. Lagonda of Mr. and Mrs. Audsley, the latter wearing a “sad expression” as she made gear-grating noises on her second run, although the car purred happily up the hill in 65 sec. Most remarkable in the following set of cars of up-to-2,600-c.c. capacity was the Lotus-B.M.W. of W. S. Perkins. This looked like a standard Lotus but had a big bump on the bonnet to accommodate the larger engine; the car had plenty of power and with a good getaway on the second run Perkins put up 29.06 sec., bettered by only three other cars.
Two unusual cars present were the round-fronted Ford V8 Special of J. G. Tullis, with protruding dynamo and carburetter, and A. Godsal’s Cadillac-Allard with automatic transmission and Italian-looking streamlined body. Best times in this over-3.500-c.c. class were by R. de Larrinaga in 27.93 sec. driving the J2R CadillacAllard and Dr. G. E. Pinkerton in the H.W.M. in 28.97 sec. S. R. Hill-Smith went mountaineering on both banks at the first bend its the 4½-litre Lagonda, still making 36.19 sec. on his second run; W. F. Watson also made a dignified ascent in the 1913 Rolls-Royce. Fastest time of the day went to Gordon Parker in the supercharged 3½-litre S.S.-engined Jaguara in 26.98 sec., which broke the previous record. J. M. Perkins in the same class for unlimited supercharged cars went up easily in 30.43 sec. in the supercharged Ford V8-engined Bugatti,