Veteran to classic

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VSCC Prescott

On august 7 the VSCC had magnificent weather for the anniversary celebration of its first Prescott hill-climb 50 years ago – and with the sun shining there is no better place to be.

Sonia Rolt was guest of honour, and drove the 1925 12/50 Alvis tourer, which had been in the family since new, up the course. Other guests from the VSCC’s first Prescott event were Dick Habershon, Anthony Heal, Rupert Instone, Clive Windsor-Richards (who drove Quartermaine’s 30/98 in the parade), Tim Carson (VSCC secretary from 1936-71), John Swainson and Cecil Clutton (who competed in the 1908 GP Itala as he has done for half a century). Douglas Tubbs commented with John Willis and brought his big Gobron-Brillé with horizontally-opposed-pistons as the course-opening car. A happy day!

Having been to all the 1938 BOC Prescotts, I could not think why I had missed the first VSCC one, until my old diary reminded me with the entry “Brooklands” – I was reporting for Motor Sport the 200-Mile Race, won by Johnnie Wakefield’s ERA.

On the competitive side, Nice won the 1100cc sports-car class (53.24 sec) out of a conglomeration of Austin 7 Ulsters, Dunn’s Riley Falcon the 1500cc division (47.56 sec), and Rogers’ 1928 Frazer Nash the 3000cc section (49.85 sec) – a notable performance for a vintage car in this well-supported class. Spollon’s smart Monza Alfa Romeo cleaned up the big sports-car category (45.40 sec), with Hine’s Bentley best vintage car. Sam Clutton’s Itala was quickest of the 17 Edwardians (55.08 sec) from Collins in the Lindsays’ 1914 TT Sunbeams, only Ridley’s was entered (63.04 sec).

Grey’s Hardy Special scored in the small racing car class (43.64 sec), from the best vintage effort, Giles in Salome (46.63 sec). Records now began to fall on this perfect day, Bill Morris in ERA R12B bringing his own figure down to 42.29 sec, with Caroline’s Morgan taking vintage honours here (47.40 sec), and Anthony Mayman beating Donald Day’s long-standing record in the 3-litre racing car class by making FTD in ERA R4D (42.27 sec). Best vintage car and third in his class was Cardy’s 35B Bugatti (45.13 sec), not quite quick enough to beat consistent Bruce Spollen’s ERA R8C (42.35 sec).

Rodney Felton’s Alfa Romeo took the unlimited racing car class (42.31 sec), from Guy Smith’s alvis-powered Frazer Nash, while the new owner of the 12-litre Beguet-Delage, A Boswell, won the vintage division (49.00 sec). Guy Spollon’s Alfa Romeo was fastest sports-car, Cardy’s Bugatti fastest vintage car.

With a record entry of 200, no accidents, and a meeting which finished on time – a credit to all the officials and marshals – this was a day to remember. WB

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