A Section Devoted to Old-Car Matters
The V.S.C.C. at Prescott (August 13th)
I drove proudly away from Prescott in the Editorial Rover 2000TC, knowing that it incorporates many of the things found in the successful racing car of the historic era—for Frank Lockhart, a very capable driver of the older cars, had made f.t.d. in the ex-works 2.6-litre Rover Special, which weighs 14 cwt., has triple S.U.s and a 10-to-1 c.r., runs on 5-star Esso and Castrol “R,” and uses coil-spring i.f.s, and a ¼-elliptic-sprung de Dion rear axle which was fitted in 1948 when an E.N.V. 110 preselector gearbox replaced a normal Rover box.
The Rover did 46.0r sec. The only car to challenge it was Kain’s vintage 35B Bugatti (46.27), which took the Hill-Climb Championship Trophy. Summers’ monoposto Alfa Romeo (46.42) was the only other truly quick racing car. Clarke’s not-entirely-standard Ulster Austin won its class from Shaw’s nicely-original Balilla Fiat, the well supported sports-car class was a victory for Moffatt’s Brescia Bugatti, from Skirrow’s and Boyee’s Frazer Nashes, a vintage grand-slam, and then vintage cars scored again, the 3-litre sports-car class going to Footitt’s A.C./G.N., revs sky-high, from Simpson’s Frazer Nash/G.N. The big sports-car class was won by Black’s Monza Alfa Romeo, Charnock’s 4.3 Alvis second, Symondson’s Bugatti third. Williamson’s Bentley took the vintage division, from Conway’s Type 43 Bugatti. Glutton won the Edwardian award on the bonnet-less Itala from Barker’s Napier (57.52).
Peter Moores had no difficulty in winning the 1,100-c.c. racing class in his s.v. Austin 7, blower whining, with its Bill Lacey-rebuilt 80-b.h.p. engine, being far faster than Bruce-White’s Douglas-powered H.M. Special. Skinner’s Phoenix-G.N. added a touch of Dancer’s End, Stretton’s G.N. Martyr, unfortunately on one cylinder much of the time, a breath of pre-war Shelsley-Walsh. The next class saw Kergon in the E.R.A. “Hanuman” beat Marsh’s E.R.A. R1B by 0.11 sec., Joseland third in the G.N./F.N., the s.v. Anzani engine of which now has a vertically-driven Cozette supercharger, just like fast Anzanis circa 1926. Of the over-1½-litre racing cars, Neve made a neat run in his Bugatti, Sr. John was quicker (his 35B Bugatti towed home behind a Type 55), the Semmence lost a chain and dropped Much oil, and the vintage Caesar Special was vanquished by Pilkington’s post-war ex-Brabham Cooper-Bristol but beat Balmer’s car of this make. Lockhart buttoned it all up, although suffering from fuel starvation on his second run. Finally, Smith, in the ex-Spence/Norris Special Frazer Nash, now with Alvis Speed-25 engine, took the sparsely-supported over-3-litres racing-car class, in which Williamson’s Bentley time beat Arnold-Forsier’s in Delage II.
It was a typical vintage Prescott, with a splendidly varied entry and dry but dull weather. Jeddere-Fisher made s.t.d. in his lofty 1913 Lancia coupe (77.0), Townsend ran his ex-Brooklands Kerr Bate Special, alias Riley-Amilcar, rebodied, with four carburetters (61.25), which was beaten by Batho’s Amilcar-Riley (56.96), Brindley’s Lagonda Rapier had a Riley preselector gear gate mounted transversely, Cole’s replica-bodied Aston-Martin, complete with bulb horn, stood out amongst lots of horrid home-brewed specials, Ely ran his 1935 Riley T.T. Sprite, Hill’s Alvis Silver Eagle tourer was unexpectedly quick off the line (55.51), and some big touring cars ran, such as Wallis’ Alvis Speed-0o Vanden Plas, of which only five are thought to have been built (63.8), and Gurney’s 4-litre Lagonda (60.36), once driven in the Monte Carlo Rally when owned by T. G. Moore, when he owned Motor Sport. Rogers’ manxed cut-and-shut 16/70 A.C. did 52.3, Barr’s 4.3 Alvis Special 51.13 sec.—W. B.