VSCC Madresfield

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Another pleasantly informal VSCC driving test meeting at the pleasant Madresfield Court venue took place on 3 September. An entry of 65 had five tests to do, the last a short sprint along this one-time speed trial course.

In the Slow/Fast frolic several engines stalled in endeavours to extend times, including those of the Aston Martin “Green Pea”, the Dodge, and Di Threlfall’s little BSA which later broke something vital in its vee-twin engine. Mrs Brewster had something amiss with her A7 Nippy, which presumably made STD of the entire test, and the Tamplin was last seen on a towrope, never to reappear… It was rumoured that the President was too weak to crank-up the Mercedes 60 after his splendid party of the night before, but he came in his Edwardian Zust. Dixon was taking it seriously in his 12/60 Alvis, screen flat, and Ann Shoosmith was really motoring in her 4½-litre Bentley, although even she “lost the prop” at the pit-stop.

This test involved getting out to check the pressure in the o/s front tyre. Brewster’s Lea-Francis took fright at the sight of the gauge and tried to run away. Tebbitt stalled the motive power of his 3-litre Bentley chassis, draining many amps from the battery, and Mrs Walker’s Frazer Nash Special had no reverse, so relied on human power. Robin Batchelor was handling his difficult Rollo cyclecar with the skill with which he pilots hot-air balloons, and Mr and Mrs Taylor had the 1920 750cc Drance, with a magneto about as big as its engine, going well. Mark Garfitt was fast and neat in the familiar F-N/BMW, Walker’s 1913 Ghost proved a real crawler in the Slow-test and the athletics of several drivers at the pit-stop approached Olympics standards…

Braking too was interesting. Contrary to opinion all the A7s anchored very well, the Drance likewise, on granchy back brakes, the Rolls-Royce sounded to have metal-to-metals, Colquhoun’s 2-litre Lagonda emitted agonised squeals and Smallwood’s 1918 Ford-T speedster with bullnose radiator and bolster tank slid on locked rear wheels. In the final sprint, only Ghosh spun off under braking, in the 30/98. WB

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