Club News, September 1937



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At a recent Committee Meeting it was decided to make certain changes in the arrangements for the Fourth Annual Inter-Club Team Trial for the Sporting Life Team Trophy to be held on Saturday, the 9th October. It is felt that these changes will make the Trial more attractive and interesting to the competitors.

The start of the Trial will probably be from Dunster at or near 12 noon and the Trial is open to teams nominated by any recognised Motor Club, each team to consist of either three or four nominations. In the event of there being a fourth nomination, the performance of the best three will be counted.

The course will be divided into two sections separated by a luncheon interval. The pre-luucheon section will consist of five or six hills of average severity and the post-luncheon section will consist of at least two hills of exceptional interest and severity.

The starting order will be balloted for in the first instance and this order will be preserved through the Trial except as regards teams completing the pre. luncheon section without loss of marks. Such teams will be relegated to the later positions in the Trial and will attempt the post-luncheon observed sections in an order to be determined by the Clerk of the Course, which will be designed to form a match Trial. The object of this arrangement is to give the leading teams the opportunity of attacking the deciding hills in close proximity to one another, thus evening up the chances of ultimate success.

A copy of the final regulations will he forwarded and interested Clubs are invited to write to the Secretary of the meeting, Mr. F. H. Whittingharn, 9/11, Poultry, Cheapside, E.C.2, for further particulars.


The Harrow Car Club held its gymkhana near Radlett on Sunday, August 8th, and about thirty cars turned out for a very enjoyable afternoon’s sport, favoured by brilliant weather. There s ere eight events. In the obstacle race high diving was at a premium when trying to retrieve an apple from a bucket of water, the biggest splashes being made by Richards and Rackham.

In the balloon race that followed there were some good exhibitions of straight line driving, notably C. W. Taylor.

Dressing Up race was next and some most antique ladies’ lingerie provided some hilarious moments ; Norman Lone’s figure was shown to advantage in small size winter woollies.

The drawing race produced some weird and wonderful animals, including an Emu with four legs.

Teams of three cars tied together with ribbon in the next event showed some real nose to tail driving. The winners of the final completing the course without breaking the ribbon once. It is to be hoped that those with crumpled number plates and rear lights managed to evade the eye of the law on the way home.

Passengers in the Back Seat Driving, when directing their drivers who were blindfolded, found it difficult to decide which was right or left, as also did the drivers themselves.

With Spearing the Rings and Musical Chairs a full programme was completed.


Obstacle Race : V. W. Bailie. Balloon Race :

V. S. A. Biggs. Dressing Up Race: Miss Mitchell. Drawing Rwe : S. K. Foskett. Team Rice: J. Leech, P. A. Richarslz, Ti. W. Johnson. Spear tte Ring : Miss Mitell,41. Musical Chairs : A. Clayton. Back Seat Driving : V. S. A. Biggs.


This enterprising club held another 50-mile ” Grand Prix ” car race on a course at St. Ouen’s Bay sands. The entry must be one of the most varied on record, easily surpassing those of the Irish roadraces, which we have always regarded as a pretty selection. For the Jersey race attracted such cars as J. Renouf’s homebuilt Austin Seven, G. L. Cohen’s 4.litre Invieta, G. Goldsmith’s Morgan three-wheeler, F. Le Gallais’s 1 +-litre Hybrid, R. Langtou’s 3-litre Ford, S. Logan’s Austin Seven, another Austin Seven, W. B. Caldwell’s Riley Nine, B. L. Stagg’s 11-litre Lancia, D. H. Wood’s Chrysler, P. Wakeham’s Riley, C. Benett’s 3-litre Sunbeam chassis and A. P. Pool’s 8-litre Isotta-Fraschini, a field of nineteen. This the organisers dealt with by way of a system of additional laps for the faster cars, the scratch men having to compete sixty-four laps of the mile course, which embraced two hairpin turns and a banked S-bend. After halfdistance heavy rain attempted to spoil things. Le Gallais and Langton commenced a stern duel and Goldsmith’s Morgan was well up until beset with ignition trouble and loss of the low-speed chain. Cohen’s Invicta then tackled Le Gallais’s special car, both drivers cornering inches only apart. Then came a compulsory pit-stop, a feature which we are inclined to think spoils a serious race

of this nature, excellent as it may he for training novice drivers and their helpers. At all events, we hope it was not as painful as the sham pit-stop at Lea Bridge the other evening, when “doodle bugs” shot brakeless into their ” pith” from all directions, stayed long enough for Mercedes mechanics to have changed engines had the race been a Grand Prix, and then rejoined the track by any course the drivers deemed best

suited to them. To revert to Jersey, Logan’s Austin led until the rear axle gave out, and Benett then brought his stripped Sunbeam into first place until, with six laps to go, a thunderstorm flooded his magneto.

Stagg’s Lancia then seized its chance, and toured round to win. Only six finished, and in blinding rain broken or abandoned cars were left all round the course. J. Renouf in Mrs. Parmentier’s M.G. got stuck in loose sand when he left the course but he was still in motion at the finish. P. • Wakeham turned his Riley over coming out of the S-bend and was thrown undamaged from a badly bent motor-car. Caldwell—Jersey Airway’s pilot—was second, and Pool third. No speeds are given, which suggests that this happy contest was untimed.


1. B. L. Stagg (1,496 c.c. Lancia).

2. W. B. Caldwell (1,087 c.c. Riley). 3. A. R. Pool (8-litre Isotta-Fraschini). Class Awards : Under 1,500 c.c. : B. L. Stagg

(1,496 c.c. Lancia). Under 1,100 c.c. : W. B. Caldwell (1,087 c.c. Riley).


The Dublin Hill-Climb saw some intense rivalry between J. Smith with a blown Austin Seven,. an ex-T.T. car, and A. P. MacArthur with a racing M.G. Magnette. MacArthur managed to break the Kilternan hill record by 2 secs. climbing in 44.0 secs. Smith’s best time was 45.2 secs. In attempting to lower this he

overturned the Austin at a bend, adding to the unfortunate total of 1937 racing accidents, but fortunately escaping with a shaking. An old Lambda Lancia won the handicap.

RESULTS Event : J. Smith e.e.

Open Scratch Event : 1, J. Smith (747 e.e. Austin, S.), 461s. (51.45 m.p.h.) ; 2, G. P. 1). Colley (1,496 c.c. Frazer-Nash), 461s. (51.23 m.p.h.); 3, A. P. MacArthur (1,087 c.c. M.G., S.), 461s. (51.23 m.p.h.). Colley _beat MacArthur in ran-oil for second place.

1,500 c.c. Handicap : 1. J. Smith (747 c.c. Austin, S.), handicap 2s.. 451s. (52.13 m.p.h.) ; 2, A. P. MacArthur (1,087 c.c. h1.0., S.), scratch, 44s. (54.38 m.p.h.); 3, G. P. D. Colley (1,496 c.c. Frazer-Nash), handicap 2s., 460. (51.03 m.p.h.).

Open ‘Handicap : 1, H. Barlee (2,120 c.c. Lancia), handicap 18s., 54s. (44.21 m.p.h.); 2, J. Smith (747 c.c. Austin, S.), handicap 2s., 450. (52.82 m.p.h.); 3, 1). Yule (972 C.M.Y., S.), handicap 3s., 471s. (50.58 m.p.h.).


A Rally and Reliability Trial for pre1905 cars has been arranged for September 19th. Competitors are allowed to start forty-eight hours before the rallying time, which is 12 noon, at the Royal Huts Hotel, Hindhead, Surrey. The entry fee was 7/6. The rally counts towards awards, and after it comes a simple reliability trial (” reliability” is correct in this instance) with a route of fortytwo miles for cars able to maintain a schedule speed of 20 m.p.h. and another route of 36 miles for vehicles only able

to maintain 15 m.p.h. or less. Stonor Hill will be observed for both routes, and.

adventure should be rife. Spectators should find attendance well worth while. The Veteran C.C. does yeoman service in encouraging and preserving interest in old masters built prior to 1905. Hon. Sec. : Capt. J. H. Wylie, $8, West Cromwell Road, London, ,S.W.5.


The very interesting and instructive M.C.C. One Hour High Speed Trials round the Brooklands Outer-Circuit will naturally figure again in the M.C.C. Brooklands Members’ Day on September 25th. As before, this date clashes with that of the Brighton Speed Trials, but really keen competitors have been known to get down from Brooklands to Brighton to compete in both, no doubt doing as much ” dicing ” off as on the courses during this especially strenuous day. Premier, silver and bronze medals will be awarded for equalling or exceeding the following set average speeds,

Supercharged cars cover two laps more than unblown motors. Standard open or closed touring cars arc required to do 49.8, 44.27 and 38.72 m.p.h. if under 1,109 c.c. and 55.34, 49.80 and 44,27 m.p.h. respectively if over 1,100 c.c. for the Premier, Silver or Bronze awards, Entries cost 30/and are limited to fiftyfour. Drivers who exceed an average of 100 m.p.h.-not so far recorded in this event-will get special awards. One and two lap handicaps, entry 5/each, make up the day’s motoring and after the meeting competitors may cover flying laps against the watch and obtain certificates of their speed, at a cost of 5/-, or 716 if no other event is tackled. Here is sensible and excellent racing offered very reasonably, though naturally confined to M.C.C. members. Details from the M.C.C., 22, Norland Square, London, W.11.


Speed Trials were held at Lewes on September 4th, and are repeated elsewhere In this issue. The next event, apart from social runs, is the Welsh Trial on October 24th. Another issue of ” Bugantics “

was issued this month. The Night Trial will be held on November 20th. Hon. Sec. : E. L. Giles, 2, Queen Street, Mayfair, W.1.


The Speed Trials held at Croydon on September 5th incorporated a special Aston-Martin Owners’ handicap. The next event will comprise a Rally to “The Pheasant,” near Salisbury, when adventurous runs will be undertaken to this venue in all manner of exciting motor

cars. The date is Sunday, September 19th, and anyone will be welcomed. Membership continues to increase. R. G. J. Nash has constructed a Gladiator resembling a Paris-Madrid period racing

car. Another of the truly excellent Bulletins was issued this month.

Hon. Sec. : T. W. Carson, “The Phcenix,” Hartley Wintney, Hants.

M.G. C.C.

The North-Western Centre CockshoOt Trial takes place on September 19th, and the Scottish Centre Trial on September 25th. The N.E. Centre Trial is scheduled for October 3rd, and a trip to the Paris Motor Show from October 8th to 10th. The annual Show-time dinner at the Park Lane Hotel will be held on October 15th. Sec. : P. L. M. Harris, 30, Holborn, E.C. 1.

FIAT ” 500 ” CLUB

An attempt is being made to band together owners of the Type 500 baby Fiat, which has had such a rapid rise to popularity since it was shown at Olympia last year. ” Bira,” Brackenbury, Charles Martin, Richard Seaman, and many other famous personalities use these little cars on their lawful (and sOmetfines unlawful ?) occasions. And we are informed that they are selling well in the Midlands, by Messrs. Cooks Garages of Peterborough, who took up the agency after reading MOTOR SPORT’S impressions. These little cars can be easily timed to exceed 60 ni.p,h. and to lap Brocalands at 57 m.p.h. Particulars of the dub are available from : The Beechohne Motor Co., 39, Nightingale Lane, London,

S. W.12.


The trials season will soon be upon us and the following fixtures are important :

North-West London M.C. fourth annual Inter-Team Trial-October 9th.

North-West London M.C. LondonGloucester Trial-December 4th.


Last month I had a fine fast drive alone to Donington and back in a Vauxhall “25,” instructive as to the average and cruising speeds possible with quite inexpensive, mass produced machiliery. And then a journey, ordinary enough in all conscience, to see a G.N., reputed. to be for sale in an obscure garage at a small South coast town. The G.N. was successfully located, our spirits rising to rosy heights when we learned that all the bits that comprise a push-rod o.h. inlet twin were available for the modest sum of 60/-. This .expedition led to a meeting with a great enthusiast who not only enthuses over every queer motor-car in existence, but who has flown extensively, not only in ” Moths ” and ancient Avros, but in exciting lightweights like the all-metal Austin” Whippet,” of tender

memory. Having been involved in a very recent and particularly unpleasant dirt-track smash we learned much that is unpublishable about Doodle ” Bugging.” Another member at this unconventional and cheery party was a young lady who is a great enthusiast and. who hopes to run a 500 c.c. Scott-Special in sprints next year. She proudly displayed her present mount-‘ Abdul-the-Damned,” earliest of early Austin Sevens, still in service, but very respectable for all that, with spotless paintwork., a quite spotless and polished engine and a big -.MercedesBenz sign and a plea ” Do not Crush” displayed on its rear parts. Moreover, ” Abdul ” still performs healthily, albeit the speedometer has long Since ceased to function, so that speed and engine revs. are calculated from the ammeter reading, everyone being immensely happy if the car attains its ” 3 amps.” without exertion.. Stirred by the sun, the sea, and this abundance of enthusiasm, we set forth to examine intimately the bumps at the top of the Lewes Course. The enthusiast aforementioned produced as from a hat, an incredibly hoary, water-cooled Morgan tricar, with a curious, snubnosed bonnet, beneath which reposed in solitary grandeur a huge, half-moon shaped fuel tank. Finding the Lewes Course well chained off must have made

us restless, wh n ereupo someone changed over the Morgau’s plug leads. naughtiness led to a healthy carburetter fire on restarting, which the owner blew out with great promptitude, while VC just laughed as foolishly as any Little Audrey. Actually the Morgan’s owner was really concerned, assuring us that’ the car could easily have been burat out and that it had cost him a whole 3 e privacy of Lewes was disappointing as we had had high hopes of our Morris Eight showing up well in a

Sweepstake contest up the course. So there was nothing left but to go and have tea and talk motor-ears, until even we had exhausted all our more vivid reminiscences, thereupon to return to London town, with yet another motoring memoir added to our stock. The need for something sterner resulted in a run, fast and satisfactorily fierce, to Brooklands with James Allason in his well known, short-chassis 4f-litre Bentley. In the Paddock we Met Peter RobertsonRoger and his brother with their Maven ex-Birkin short 41-litre Bentley fourseater and D. Hamilton-Moore with his 1926 3-litre Bentley tourer, the latter in one piece only as a result of a night’s hard labour. There followed much rapid lappery, very soul-satisfying in such exhilarating motor-cars, the only casualties consequent on the afternoon’s speeding being one ruined tyre and a broken starter Spring on the unblown 4. The performance figures obtained make interesting reading and to my mind rather fling the gauntlet amongst Invieta and ” 30/98 ” enthusiasts. Thus Allason’s 41-litre„ which has the compression ratio raised from 5,1 to 6 to 1 and the weight reduced from approximately 35 cwt. to 27 cwt., accelerated from to 50 in 9.8 sees., to 60 in 14.8 secs., 10 to 30 in top in 9.2 secs., in third in, 6.4 secs., in second

in 5.8 secs., and in bottom in 3.2 secs., did 40 to ’70 m.p.h. in third iii 11 secs., the standing quarter mile in. 19.8 secs. and to 70 in 19.4 secs. The flying lap was done at 91.38 m.p.h., the flying quarter mile at 93.75 m.p.h., and the flying half mile at 95.10 m.p.h. On the gears, 4,000 r.p.m. on first gives 40 m.p.h.., 4,000 on second 64 m.p.h., 4,000 on third 80 and flat out over the half mile with the large tyres in use we held 3,300 r.p.m. These figures were taken two-up with the screen flat. In top gear this Bentley ran down to 500 r.p.m. (14 m.p.h.), it runs on road and track on the same R1 plugs, climbs the Test Hill in 10.2 secs., shows 50 lb. oil pressure at cruising speeds and did not exceed 900 to 95″ water temperature during the Track tests, the radiator being rather special. As Allason is soon to be exiled for seven years in India the car is for sale, and some lucky mortal is going to get one of the distinctly better 4i-litres. The blower 41,-, high-geared, recorded to 50 in 8.8 secs., 40 to 70 in second in 10.2 secs., and 10 to 80 m.p.h. in 20 secs. On second gear it did 4,000 r.p.m..86 m p.h. and in third 3,800=-104 to 105 m.p.h. In top it appeared over geared, covering the half mile at 104.65 m.p.h. and a lap at 102.69 m.p.h., while bigger tyres only emphasised this discrepancy, the speed in third equalling that in top. The red-label 3-litre, which ha i 20 lb. off the flywheel, 6 ru.m. off the base of the cylinder block and. twin R.A.G. carburetters, running two-up with the upper panel of the screen open, did to 50 in 16.2 secs., 10 to 30 in bottom in 5.6 secs., to 70 in 31 secs., and covered *the flying half mile at 79.64 m.p.h. In third it would do 70 at 3,500 r.p.m. and in top it ran down to 200 to 250 approximately 5 m.p.h. That afternoon at Weybridge in the August sunshine, haze shimmering from the dusty concrete, emphasised very strongly the remarkable fascination of the old Track on a nonrace day, when you have real motor-cars, of potent performance, to play with. The afternoon concluded with a drive back to town with Alleson, the full-throated note from the big fan-tail, that cut out abruptly as the driver made a lightning change in third or second, blending with the wind rush which, as a rise along the Fairmile lifted us from our seats, snatched the driver’s hat from his head, Allason’s only re-action being to don a cap and drive on faster than ever. The Bentley’s acceleration was used unsparingly to negotiate gaps in the stream of utility traffic crawling up the Kingston By-Pass and that run was more than usually exciting, for the Bentley tended to snake at speed and needed a good deal of holding, while the brakes, thoroughly effective, were not particular how they slowed the car—the effect as a whole was of a firstrate, old-school motor, very fast, and safe in the hands ot anyone who could drive (as distinct from just tickling the synchro-dogs and caressing servo-actuated stoppers). So I had every excuse for going home elated and feeling “years younger “—an expression I am reminded that I once used at the age of ten, after a ride round Surrey on the back of a cer tain big-twin Harley-Davidson ! Next there was a journey to Lewes, sedately, a

in a racing M.G’s service van, and then another day at Brooklands, this time with an H.R.G., which again proved an excellent tonic, as did sonic notably quick preliminary flips up and down the undulating road to Cobham, to meet an enthusiast who had started from Seaford, almost at daybreak that morning, in a certain quite famous Austin Seven. The day passed quickly, practising starts for Lewes until tyres and clutch Smelt strongly, a sports Wolseley-Hornet being soundly beaten, not unexpectedly, in the process. This H.R.G., the same car that we tested last July, seems to have lost none of its performance in spite of the very considerable hard service it has seen since, for it still held 86 to 88 along the Railway Straight and covered a lap, two-up, at 83 m.p.h.; nor did it seem to mind how brutally we punished it. Eventually we disbanded at the works at Tolworth, whither the Austin had followed us, driven by a charming Dutchman, who arrived safely in spite of a suicidal tendency to occupy the off side of British highways and, as we afterwards reflected, without that desired possession—the English driving, licence. Very obviously, the 200-Mile Race could not be missed, so we rang up Sam Green, Secretary of the E.R.A. Club, and asked for a “seat,” which was at once forthcoming. We cannot suggest that such service is available to anyone, but as we had never met Mr. Green before, his prompt offer of transport does show the advantages of belonging to the E.R.A. Club, or one of their activities concerns finding transport to race-meet ings for carless members. So we went to Donington in the ” tonneau “of Green’s 1926 3-litre Bentley, in company with the enthusiastic J. A. Driskell, who started his motoring career very early in New Zealand, and who, apart from his better known activities with Ford V8, ” Dyna charged” Ford Eight, B.N.C. and Rally cars, won one of the first races ever in New Zealand, built a Driskell-Special ior trials work in this country and drove a D.V.P. in the 1923 “200.” His blue helmet showed up sadly the writer’s old leather one, found behind the office safe only a few weeks previously, and a spare wheel, carrying, for some unaccountable reason, a tubeless cover, did its best to cripple both of us, but we minded not at all, for were we not en route to .a ” big day” at Donington, cruising at seventy in a very excellent old-school Bentley ? At anything over fifty that car rode like a train, prompting the thought that evoll if modern cars are safer in point of road holding, they do not give the driver anything like the same feeling of confidence and consequently are not driven any thing like as safely. We also reflected that if there is now no market for new cars of this kind, because performance and reliability can be acquired so cheaply, nevertheless the additional, not-easy-todefine qualities possessed by the old Bentleys are very definitely well worth

having. It was, indeed, a Bentley day, for after the race, elated by the E.R.A.

victory, another member of the E.R.A. Club gave us a most spirited run as far as Ashby, during which we passed hosts of fug-boxes and a steaming Lambda Lancia, his unblown 41-litre—once owned by Miss Margaret Allan—cornering beautifully and feeling so very much” all in-one-piece” that our comparatively short lead over the 3-litre should give Green every reason for self-congratulation. In a hotel used to racing folk much time passed while motoring reminiscences were aired, in company with a noted engineer and motoring journalist, until the conversation centred around tales, which, if morally unpalatable, were technically delicious. So onto the road again, when stopping just before the Hotel-ThatIs-Different closed its bar, we parked along side yet another Bentley-owning member of the E.R.A. Club, whose Van den Plas. 3-litre looks, and functions, just as if it had left the stand at the 1927 Olympia. Naturally the party had again to split up, that certain ofus could appreciate the smoothness of riding and silky running of this exceptional car, whose owner also. runs a Lagonda. That brought us to a coffee-shop in time to hear the last of Henry Hall. Eventually we resumed our journey, Sam Green still wearing his rather beautiful beret, and Paul Bird, in a wondrous cap, asleep in the back, Driskell and the writer asleep in front, while the remaining member of the party peered sleepily through the open screen at a very wet mist that allowed one to see little beyond the ever-rigid bar gracing the big filler-cap. Yes, race-going is great fun at any time, but in the right sort of motor-car the attraction is enhanced a. hundredfold, as any other enthusiast who was out and about in a utility automobile must have reflected as his headlight beams momentarily showed up the Bentley and its crew hurriedly wending their way to London, whither we finally arrived, after running short of essence, at the hardly magic hour of 4 a.m. But the writer’s liver (perhaps the only attribute he shares with S.C.H.D.) has almost recovered, thank you