V to C Miscellany (2), October 1986

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To give credit where credit is due, it should be noted that at the last VSCC Shelsley Walsh hill-climb, in accordance with the rules pertaining at that venue, only one main award was given to each competitor, so that although FTD was made by Bruce Spollon in ERA R8C, in 35.47 sec, he was not shown as having won his class.  Spollon’s time was just 0.01 sec quicker than Felton’s class win in his Alfa Romeo. 

***

The Riley Register has already booked the same venue as used this year for its 1987 Coventry Weekend.  The class winners in this year’s event were R.S. Harris’ 1930 dhc, A.M. Kirby’s 1937 Big-Four Kestrel Sprite, C.E. Wiles’ 1938 Lynx, P. Nunn’s 1930 Mk. IV tourer replica and the Gillow Special in the Concours d’Elegance, the overall winner of which was Kirby’s Kestrel Sprite.  The winners of the trophies were Kirby, Leigh with his most original 1930 Monaco, Harris as best novice in a dhc, McCarthy in the best Monaco not entered for the beauty show, and Rowe’s 1930 tourer that was liked most of all by the Guest of Honour. In the driving-tests Ryder’s 1932 March Special won the open-car class, Beedham’s 1933 Kestrel the closed-car section, and Mrs Buckoke’s 1935 Lynx led the ladies. The Register’s AGM takes place at “The Parlors Hall Hotel”, Bridgnorth, on October 4th.

***

The MCC will run its 64th Edinburgh Trial on October 4th, open of course to cars and motorcycles of all ages, the Observed Sections including Millstone Edge, Bamford Clough, Litton Slack, etc, the first-named being tackled by the first competitor at about 11.15 am.  Entries have closed but marshals may still be required.

***

It is good to see a Government Department taking an interest in history. The Ministry of Defence announces that. to further the study of RAF history, the Royal Air Force Historical Society is being formed. We know that many of our readers are interested in early aeroplanes and this Society will be open to all who have sympathy with the Society’s objects. The opening meeting is at the RAF Club on October 20 at 6 pm, and the Hon. Secretary is Grp. Capt. H. Neubroch, OBE, FBIM, of 19, lvinghoe Road, Bushey Heath, Watford. WD2 3SW

***

CRIBARTA, the organisation which is trying to save historic buildings associated with the Motor Industry, announces that a survey of the Swallow, SS and Jaguar plant at Coventry has been carried out and that it is checking on Wappenbury Hall, home of the late Sir William and Lady Lyons, which Sir William bought in 1936, as a place related to social history. Lord Montagu has drawn attention to the projects to the IIE. which has commissioned the Ironbridge Trust/Birmingham University to survey motor-car plants, those in Coventry having been surveyed last April.

***

The AM Magazine, official organ of the Aston Martin OC, is a very high-class publication, with masses of fine photographs of recent events but a good deal of history also, the Summer issue containing the first part of an account of the early days of Lionel Martin, the Aston-Martin initiator, who raced Singers before WW1, a recall of the 1922 Spanish GP (run in November!), in which Count Zborowski’s twin-cam Aston-Martin finished second to the winning Talbot-Darracq driven by K. Lee Guinness, and a discourse on the subtle differences in the camshafts of the Feltham cars.

***

The Crossley Register used some interesting pictures in its current Newsletter, such as those showing Crossley tenders towing dismantled fighter ‘planes through London at a post-WW1 demonstration, perhaps in the Lord Mayor’s Show, Crossleys used by Royalty during their visit to Manchester in 1917, and six early Crossleys lined up outside the factory. There are also large pictures of the four different body-styles that were available on the 25/30 hp RFC chassis in 1922, namely the “Chester” limousine-landaulette, the “Buxton” saloon-limousine, the “London” two-door coupé, and the “Manchester” tourer. Not only that, but road-test reports on the 1931 Ten and 1935 1-1/2-litre Crossley saloons are reproduced, the latter from the pages of Motor Sport, there are hints on maintaining the Regis models, and much more besides. The Register’s oldest car is a 1909 40 hp limousine once owned by Marie Lloyd and there are 19 other pre-1920 models on its books. Which reminds us that at this year’s very wet VSCC Prescott, Weld ran his 2-litre Crossley, beating a 12/50 Alvis and a 2-litre Lagonda, with a climb in 72.33 sec.

***

A book is apparently pending about the life of Prince “Bira”, to complete the story so ably covered by his cousin Prince Chula in 1947 and the author seeks contact with anyone who worked for “Bira” between 1948 and 1955 and wonders what became of Reg. Williams who worked on Maserati 250F No 2504 and who was said to have gone to the Argentine with the Owen Maserati early in 1956. Letters can be forwarded.

***

At the Bentley DC’s Concours dElegance at the prestigious venue of Kensington Gardens the best vintage Bentley was judged to be the 3-litre entered by Karl Astrom and the best Derby car the 3-1/2-litre owned by Roger Slater. In a repeat of a TV interview with the late Lord Boothby, MP, he referred with obvious pride to the 6-1/2-litre Bentley he had once owned and to which he returned on one occasion to find that a scruffy RAF Air-Mechanic had opened the bonnet and was gazing at the engine — it was T. E. Lawrence, of course, whose life Boothby had no hesitation in debunking.

***

Steaming, the magazine ot the National Traction Engine Club, which Club all steam-enthusiasts would be well-advised to join (address: 14, Charles Street, Market Harborough, Leics.) had the expected very interesting content in its Summer number. One article was about some ot the vehicles used by the Box Family, of heavy-haulage fame.  These included the 100-tonner solid-tyred Scammell low-loader of 1928, and they also had a Model-T Ford van and, which should interest the Bean CC, a Vulcan car.

***

At the MAC National Meeting at Shelsley Walsh Julian Ghosh achieved a personal ambition by getting Tony Brooke’s Vauxhall-Villiers up the hill in under 40 sec, his ascent, in fact, taking 39.41 sec. The old car was in the same form as when Raymond Mays raced it in 1928, before it had the reinforced chassis frame; Mars’ time with the car in 1928 was 48.0 sec. Incidentally, while on the subject of Shelsley Walsh, when Neil Corner brought his 1939 V12 Auto Union to the famous hill earlier this year it was for a series of demonstration runs to recall the appearance there of Hans von Stuck and a V16 Auto Union in 1936, and no times were credited to him, but it can now be revealed that his best ascent, up a course he had never driven before, was in a time of 38.0 sec. — W.B.