VSCC Cadwell Park Meeting

As for the past two years since 1976, Vintage SCC wound-up its racing season at ‘hi twisty but accommodating circuit in Lincoln shire, where the Club is given a warm welcoml by the circuit owners and the Press is notably well-treated. In fine weather a very enjoyabll afternoon’s racing was run-off expeditiously an’ with no real accidertts. It opened with a 5-lap Scratch Race in whicl the Club President, James Crocker, go comfortably away from the field in his Lagonda Rapier, with Cranage’s MG Magnette holding second place and Nickalls being fortunate indeed that the race wasn’t any longer, because his Rapier finished trailing smoke and sounding as if a valve had bitten a piston. Hurst was fourth, in Edmondson’s noisy ex-Bellevue Garage MG Midget. Hudson’s 2-litre Aston Martin brought out the yellow flags after it had spun into the bank at The Mountain Bend. Hamish Moffatt brought out Wall’s Type 3513 single-seater Bugatti and had no difficulty in winning the John Holland Trophy Race in it, lapping at 69.1t on his fastest circuit, and leaving Footitt unexpectedly far behind in the eight laps of this scratch contest, in the AC/GN Cognac. The Bugatti smoked on one lap and was obviously in trouble, confirmed when Hamish switched-off immediately after crossing the finish-line. Even further behind came Stewart’s 44-litre Bentley, taking third place from Nick Mason’s immaculate and calico-tearing Type 3513 Bugatti. Odell’s sand-racing side-valve Riley went head-on into the bank at Barn Corner, perhaps trying to get to Skegness, but luckily without apparent damage. The first of the 4-lap Handicaps was then won by Whittaker’s fabricbodied Chrysler, from Nigel Hall’s big Lagonda and Whale’s Frazer Nash Interceptor. Clifford’s V8 Riley Special took to the verge. The 12-lap All-Corners’ Scratch Race was obviously going to be the fastest on the card. Macpherson got away first at flag-fall, because Bruce Hallord applied too much power to the back wheels of his Lotus-16. But thereafter Halford just ran rapidly away from the field, setting quickest lap Of the day at 75.84 m.p.h. and winning at his ease, with absolutely no-one else in sight. The Cooper-Bristol that had shown him how to start was second, and a very fine drive by Moffatt in his 2-litre ERA secured third Place, and the Pre-War award, about which Bill Morris in the 14-litre ERA Flanuman could do nothing. After this not very exciting race (Halford had lapped Mann’s ERA after ten laps) we had a 5-lap Handicap for the Chain-Gang. It was a convincing victory for Freddie Giles in the GN Salome, which got round at 62.65 m.p.h. and held off lan Stirling’s Nurburg Frazer Nash and Clicott in Smith’s Anzani ‘Nash. Giles then increased his average-speed in this 1929 hybrid ON from 58.37 to 62.67 m.p.h. in winning the next, 8-lap race, for the Spero Trophy. Indeed, he had no bother in running clear of Barbet’s Riley in this scratch contest, in which Edmondson was a poor third in the MG. Freddie had also sewn-up the Handicap, but the Voiturette Trophy went to Martin Eyre’s Ulster Austin. Fountain’s Riley indulged in a series of alarming spins coming down to the starting straight but the following cars avoided it.

Now came the race we had really come to enjoy, the Williams Monaco Trophy to-lap Scratch Race for two-seater GP cars. Hopes of a Bugatti winning, as Grover Williams had at Monaco in 1929 and as Kain did at Cadwell last year, were reduced when the latter was announced to be non-starting with piston trouble and when Conway Junr. stalled the engine of Hugh Conway’s Type 3513 on the grid. That left Mason to defend Molsheim honours and he drove determinedly, although having to hand-pump the fuel tank all the way. Chris Mann was, however, running right away with it, in his Monza Alfa Romeo in which he beat the Bugattis in this race in 1976. Mason had passed David Black’s Monza Alfa Romeo on the opening lap but Black went by him on lap four. That was it! Mann, quite unchallenged, and Black backing-up this Alfa Romeo victory, with Mason third. Far, far behind, the Peterkin Maserati and Conway’s Bugatti ran badly, but the old Straker Squire was circulating nobly. Mann made fastest lap, at 66.12 m.p.h. The Trophy was presented to him and taken on a lap-of-honour. Two more 4-lap Handicaps concluded a pleasant but hardly inspiring meeting, the first won by Hewson’s slab-tank 1933 MG Midget, in a canter, from Chile in Hudson’s Aston Martin and DoltOn’s blown 113 MG, the pace leisurely, as can be judged by a fastest lap of only 59.8.7 m.p.h. by Bolton with the winner averaging just over 484 m.p.h…. The final race was a tribute to lone-hand John Howell, whose scruffy-looking supercharged twin-cam 3-litre Sunbeam, which one might have expected to have blown-up years ago, held off Hall’s 44-litre Lagonda that had started ten seconds behind it. Gilbert’s Alvis Special was third. During the day Mann, Hall and Giles had all increased their points in the MOTOR SPORT Brooklands Memorial Trophy Contest, whereas Duffy had not scored (he lost by only two points) and Hine could not try to improve on his Position, because Llewellyn’s Bentley was out of action (see BDC Silverstone report). Mann won, from Hall, with Hine and Giles equal third, the Trophy and money-prizes being presented by my wife, with champagne by the VSCC, amid much hilarity as we all tried to Persuade Freddie to toss Harvey for the thirdplace cheque…. Another great VSCC racing year was over and how nice to see all those valuable cars being raced instead of trying to beat their neighbours in some Concours d’Elegance.