The VSCC at Madresfield

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THE VINTAGE SCC again held driving-tests and a beauty-show at the erstwhile speed-trials venue at rustic Madresfield Court, near Malvern, on September 7th. It was a day out in the sunshine, watching leisurely tests among a concourse of interesting cars. Even the Clerk-of-the-Course obliged, by arriving in the touring GN once used by Harbutt, the plasticine maker. It is the i.o.e. model with the single headlamp and has had only two owners since being laid up in 1927. Beside that cyclops-lamp it has an ingenious rear-view mirror incorporating a gradient-meter and a thermometer.

Space precludes reference to more than the first test, an acceleration braking and reversing manoeuvre combined, Cookson in his 12/60 Alvin took his gear-changing slowly. Brian Gray got his Chummy Austin moving quickly, Noott had a 3-litre Bentley with cycle-type mudguards and slab fuel-tank the brake-lining rivets of which sounded to be eating up the brake drums, and Ghosh’s 30/98 hoodless Vauxhall entertained us by juddering its back axle when called upon to reverse smartly and stalling its motor when required to progress in a forward direction. Knight performed a neat run, in his very spick OM, even its sump being notably span. Mrs. Cherrett’s 1 1/2-litre smoky Alfa Romeo reversed cautiously, Heath’s Ulster Aston Martin disturbed the Sunday quiet. Colquhoun started slowly but was neat, in his 2-litre Lagonda, Elsom’s Frazer Nash fast, while Beebee’s Lea-Francis positively raced, even a stalled engine being rapidly rectified by a quick jab of the thumb on starter-button. Shaw’s Marendaz Special was quiet and neatly conducted. Cann had his Aston Martin really moving, stopping it on sliding back wheels, Smith’s MG did an unhurried run, Hescroffs 16/80 AC was slow to reverse at first. Widgery crunched the cogs of his Vernon-Derby which sports an external exhaust system and an “F” plaque, and the Hall Frazer Nash was delayed by dogs reluctant to go into their kennels.

Watson’s Armstrong Siddeley Fourteen coupe, top folded, was as sedate as expected. Millham did everything exactly right, in his Lancia Augusta, and Roger Collings was having, for him, a slow day, by using his Edwardian Darracq, which his brother was driving in his first VSCC competition event, and getting in reverse more quickly than the car’s owner!

It sounds trite to remark that Price’s Rolls-Royce 20/25 was extremely quiet, but it was, Gausen’s off-white 12/70 Alvis tourer was all closed up and it anchored with protesting brakes, Richardson’s Talbot 75 motored itself too far in the reversing thing, Donovan’s fine Sunbeam tourer was suitably sedate, Wood’s aged Riley coupe executed a neat run. exuding fluid from below, and Brotherton drove his Lea-Francis coupe fast. Beebee now appeared in a Chummy Austin, being very quick, Sturgess couldn’t locate first gear in his Austin 7 and reversed slowly, whereas John’s Austin 7 put up a very fast, polished performance. Bourne’s Rolls-Royce 20 was carefully conducted, and Taylor’s Rolls-Royce 20/25, with polished wheel discs, was very much in the BC-in-the W tradition.

Mellish had brought one of his several Crossleys (there was another in the car-park), a rare competitor was Stote’s I.h.d. 5.7-litre Cadillac tourer, Wickham stalled his 12/50 Alvis on the reverse, Edwards had LM21 Aston Martin out again. Neale had this test completely right, with his Frazer Nash, but the most modern can competing, Malyan’s 328 Frazer Nash BMW, stalled its engine, the starter proved useless, and it had to retire. Walker brought the only other Edwardian besides the Collings’ Darracq, his great 40/50 Royce tourer, which did well, emitting slight squeals from its clutch, and, the VSCC officials being gentlemen, the test was kept open for Kettel’s 1880 MG while repairs were effected to a broken half-shaft. — W.B.

Results 

Class 1, Standard Sports Cars: First Class:  B. R. Beebee (Lea Francis) & D.R. Smith (MG), Second Class: M. R. Elsom (Frazer Nash) & D. R. Hescroff (AC), Third Class: J. P. Ghosh (Vauxhall), P. Harris (Vauxhall) & R. S. Kettell(MG).

Class 2, Standard Touring, Saloon and Light Cars: First Class: J.A. Milham (Lancia), Second Class: E. Widgery (Vernon Derby) & N. M. Taylor (Rolls-Royce), Third Class: R. V. Watson (Armstrong Siddeley) and N.S. Skilbeck (Austin).

 

 

CORRECTION

The car incorrectly captioned as a Hampton, on page 1512, is, in fact, the very rare, First World War Herbert light-car, used at that time by RFC pilot, “X” — W.B.

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