If the worst weather of the year is traditionally laid on for the Brighton Run, it seems that the Veteran Car Club can count on the best for its Dorking Speed Hill-Climb, and on July 26th the day was just as hot and fine as it was last year.
For the oldest cars with one or two cylinders, the ascent is more in the nature of a test-hill than a sprint, but none failed to make the climb, and G. A. Upton with the 1902 Lanchester recorded the almost indecent time of 2 min. 14.6 sec. on his second run. “The Lanchesters were always quite fast really,” remarked Mr. George Lanchester who was watching the proceedings, “although they were considered slow because they made less noise than some of the others.”
Members were delighted to see that their President, Mr. G. J. Allday, appeared to be completely restored to health after his recent illness, and were assured that appearances were not deceptive when he took his 1903 Mercedes up the hill in 1 min. 33.9 sec., a time which put to shame many cars ten years younger.
The centre of interest in the paddock was P. C. Waring’s beautifully turned out 1910 Brush Roadster, an American veteran which was new to most beholders, and which was particularly admired for its front and rear axles made of thick polished maple-poles, and coil springs. Envy of its owner was in no way diminished by the fact that it proved even slower than the 1898 Benz.
In the absence of the 1908 Grand Prix Itala, owing to Sam Clutton’s continued incarceration in hospital following his accident at Silverstone, Jack Sears was a hot favourite for f.t.d. on the 1914 T.T. Sunbeam, and he proceeded amply to fulfil expectations with a beautifully executed climb in 59.6 sec. His brother Eric, on the same car, recorded 1 min. 2.9 sec., and other very fast climbs were made by John Bolster on his 1911 Rolls-Royce (1 min. 11.9 sec.); Lord Charnwood on the 1911 Coupe de l’Auto Delage (1 m. 18.6 s.); G. D. Firleins on the 1914 Darracq (1 m. 20.2 s.); and Francis Hutton-Stott on the 1913 six-cylinder Lanchester (1m. 25s.).– E.K.