Around and about, October 1989

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TW (Tim) Carson, MBE

On the last day of August Tim Carson collapsed in his car in Newbury and died on the way to hospital. He was 83 and was on his way to the offices of the Vintage Sports-Car Club, of which he was the President Emeritus. The entire Club will mourn his loss.

For so many years Tim was the VSCC, in as much as he was appointed Hon. Secretary in 1937, when the membership was a mere 150, and it was under his calm guidance that the Club grew to its present stature, Carson becoming the full-time paid Secretary in 1947 when every motor club was in a debilitated post-war condition. Tall, quietly-spoken, and completely unflappable, Tim was well-suited to build up and help run this unique organisation which believed that cars made after 1930 were inferior to the sports-cars of vintage times.

Educated at Charterhouse, Tim acquired his first motorcycle, a two-stroke New Hudson, at the age of 14 and followed this with a new Rudge Multi, a single-speed 996cc 1916 Harley-Davidson and a Martinsyde, taking part in trials, speed hill-climbs and club races at Brooklands. He bought his first car, a 1919 Chevrolet, in 1924, with which he won a gold medal in a night trial. Then came vintage cars innumerable, leading up to his evolved 30/98 Vauxhalls, although it was with a big Paige that he won a race at a Henly’s Day at Brooklands. He then got one of the 1922 TT Vauxhalls, which he drove at Brooklands and Skegness, winning two races at the Track, qualifying him for BRDC membership. He also took the Class-D 200km. record at 96.61 mph, late in 1928.

After this Tim Carson built the Vauxhall-engined Carson Special, with which he competed at Donnington and Shelsley Walsh. When the VSCC was formed Tim was publican of “The Phoenix” and Hartley Wintney, which became the Club’s HQ, and as he was dealing in the better motorcars this became known also as “the Home of the 30/98”. All this varied experience stood him in excellent stead as Secretary of the new, lively VSCC, helped materially by his late wife Marjorie. Absolutely fair in interpreting regulations, Tim seldom missed the action; I remember, for instance, when an over-keen competitor tried to join the Oulton Park starting-grid after it had been closed, Carson suddenly became alive, stopping the driver with a quiet but firm admonition . . .

When the time cane for Tim to step-down his place was taken equally effectively by Peter Hull who would, I am sure, be the first to agree that the steady development of the VSCC in its formative years was very largely due to Tim, who retained his interest to the end. WB

Chain-gangers

Pre-war cars have indulged in some notable long-distance feats recently and now news is coming through of this year’s Raid to Bolzano by members of the Frazer Nash Section of the VSCC, the “Chain Gang”. Not only did most of the 69 cars (including some “modern” ‘Nashes) survive the 3,000-mile journey which included many Alpine passes, but Roger Richmond in his GN-Morgan climbed the Stelvio with its 48 hairpins in a time only two minutes longer than that of the winning E-type Jaguar in the Pirelli Marathon, and the vee-twin air-cooled GNs of Tom McEwan/Bill Craddock and Mike Bullett, the latter in a 1920 ioe tourer, also successfully ascended this 9,000 ft. pass.

The Centenary of Archie Frazer-Nash is commemorated in David Thirlby’s well-illustrated booklet, available for £2.25 post-free, from Brian Heath, Spring Cottage, 20 High Street, Milford-on-Sea, Lymington, Hants., SO41 0QD –a fine tribute to a remarkable character, but we are astonished to note that in two captions the Frazer Nash car is hyphenated!

 

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