An obituary by Don Williams, Trojan O.C. Historian.
Readers will be sorry to learn of the death at the end of July of Group Captain A. F. Scroggs, whose successes with the vintage two-stroke, chain-driven Trojan car have so often been featured in MOTOR SPORT.
“Scroggie,” as he was known to all of us in the Trojan Owners’ Club, was our Chairman from the outset; he just had to be because no one else had such a record of association with our particular (perhaps peculiar) vehicles and no one else could match his fantastic performance of over forty years of M.C.C. Trials in cars which, although they sometimes looked rough, always went so incredibly well in conditions which often brought the moderns to a halt.
The Land’s End was “Scroggie’s” favourite and his appearance at Easter, including this year, on hills such as Beggars’ Roost and Darracott was so regular that those of us who occasionally succeeded in climbing them too got used to, and were gratified by, spectators pointing us out as “Scroggs.” To many West Countrymen the car and the man were synonymous.
“Scroggie” was always loath to talk about himself as distinct from his interests, which, Trojans apart, ranged from bull terriers to drama, and not many people knew he flew in both World Wars; as a fighter-pilot in the first and on technical missions by Spitfire in the second. The exceedingly mature leather flying coat which he always wore in cold weather was in fact that which he used in the open-cockpit, Great War days in France.
“Scroggie” never regarded the unorthodox Trojan engine as fully developed and his work always to wring more power out of the 1,488-c.c. P.H. and earlier, slightly larger capacity, P.B., R.A.C. rated 9.7 h.p. versions were taken more than seriously at the Croydon works. What is more, it gave us a new word, “scrogging,” for the modification to achieve better breathing and timing which is now regarded as essential for trials.
Always anxious to spread the appreciation of Trojans and their rugged simplicity, any owner worried by such unsettling Trojan features as connecting rods designed to flex at each revolution of the crankshaft could expect to receive a couple of sheets of explanation in “Scroggie’s” clear style and a follow-up, just to make sure the problem had been overcome. In short, although “uncouth” vintage Trojans with their unique sound and smell will be with us for a long time yet, it is largely due to Arthur Scroggs’ infectious enthusiasm that there is now enough of us to ensure this is so. We shall miss him very much.
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