An August Assembly

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Although it was not the last VSCC race this year, the August meeting at Cadwell Park retained its delightful atmosphere, rare sunshine filtering through the trees of the scenic and hilly circuit where BBC cameras were stationed — but only for the motorcycle event of the Bank Holiday Monday. Unfortunately the major event, the Williams Trophy, was curtailed after an alarming accident stopped what had been a terrific race, though thankfully it was less serious than it looked.

Out of the action before racing started was Dick Summers’ MG KN, with a new 1500cc alloy block which had proved very rapid but then lost compression on one cylinder, denying Martin Stretton his drive.

Eight laps for the Spero and Voiturette Trophies started the proceedings, and Johnathan Giles had the Morgan/GN at all angles to keep tabs on the Legends Rapier of David Fletcher-Jones. But mechanical fate intervened, side-lining Jones on lap three, and handing Giles a healthy lead, and the Spero cup. Behind, Peter Hornby (A7) scooped the Voiturette Trophy away from Wills’ Brooklands Riley.

A vast field of Frazer Nash and chain-driven GNs was promised, but a third of them failed to appear on the grid for the five-lap FN/GN handicap; the mathematics say that Barry Clarke’s hybrid of both makes won, while the stopwatch said that A D Jones’ Frazer Nash Special put up fastest lap at 60 mph dead.

Stuart Harper made a poor start to the first of eight vintage tours, which Randal Stewart made the most of, pushing his wooden-bodied Bentley through the traffic to second petition behind Keith Schellenberg’s 41/2-litre. But it took only a lap for Harper’s Acre Morgan to re-establish a lead which Stewart’s big Bentley could not break. John Howell had the 16-cylinder twin-block Type 47 Bugatti up to third before being black-flagged and diving into the pit-layby briefly to refit the filler-cap, letting Freddie Giles, who had been chopping through the field steadily, collect that place with his AC/GN Beetle. Neither of the Ford A-engined American racers was happy: Threlfall’s MacDowell had a new cam which ended up about 50° out of phase, while Nick Leston struggled with oil washing round his feet from the Lovell-Elkhart’s bell-housing after a spin. Fastest lap fell to Harper at 65.32 mph.

Achieving the same honour in a five-lap handicap did not net first place for David Morris in his father’s ERA, R11B. Instead, it fell to a Riley Special (G Bellenie), but the penalties were beautifully judged, the event ending with less than a second between the first three.

On to the Williams Monaco Trophy, one of the hardest-fought races in the vintage calendar, and what a terrific dice developed at the front. Sir John Venables-Llewelyn, as usual in Lord Raglan’s T51, grabbed an early lead, but missed a gear into the hairpin, letting the pack close up. Ivan Dutton and Martin Morris (T51 Bugattis both) and the Alfa Romeo of Rodney Felton were all squabbling over second place, resolved in Morris’s favour by lap four. He by now was nudging a constantly-sideways Sir John, with Felton, Dutton, and Terry Cardy’s T51 in line astern, when things went wrong. While Sir John streaked past the cottage and down to the barn, Morris, with wheels locked, slid into the tyre barrier; by now moving quite slowly, the blue car tipped onto two wheels and gently toppled over.

Felton and the others were on him before the marshals could move, but all avoided the capsized Bugatti, and after a pause, the driver slid out of his car and stood up. Red flags brought the race to a halt, though several drivers took a long time to notice, and with five laps run, Sir John was declared the winner for the fourth time — with Morris second and Felton third. Quite an achievement for an inverted Bugatti. And Morris, although removed by ambulance, was fit enough to fly off to Spain the next day. However, he subsequently generously relinquished his second place to Felton.

After this excitement, John Brydon’s 4.3-litre Alvis ran off with a five-lapper, before the pre-war racers reassembled for the 10-lap John Scott race for pre-war racing cars. The grid positions told the story: Bill Morris (ERA R12B) and Roger Sweet (MG KN) were determined to do battle, and so they did, narrowly leading Venables-Llewelyn’s ERA most of the way. Sweet lost his lead to Morris, and on the last lap was passed by Sir John, with the Felton Alfa not quite in touch. Further back, an interesting car returned to the track in the hands of Gregor Fisken: the handsome Alvis Charnock Special with a 4.3-litre block in a Speed 20 chassis.

Despite some post-vintage entries, the turn-out for the Melville & Geoghegan Trophy and scratch race was disappointing, but was made up for by the spectacular antics of Harris’ Lagonda Rapide Special, the 41/2-litre round-tailed racer sliding from lock to lock through the Mountain. It was not enough, though, to pull in Hugh Conway, who carried off the Melville Cup in his T35T.

Sparrowhawk’s 1937 Alvis collared yet another win over five laps scratch, which saw Ted Dunn (Riley) score a photo-finish second over John Seber’s Wolseley, while it was the turn of Martin Morris’ second son Miles to drive the ERA in the final handicap, another Alvis victory for Wickham’s 12/50. It was a contented crowd which filed out of the circuit after some gripping racing; it was just a pity that the morrow’s bikers could not have waited until there was some room in the paddock before flooding in and jamming the gates, thereby trapping the VSCC competitors. GC

Related articles

Related products