VSCC Prescott

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(August 6th)

Unfortunately a day of continual heavy rain-showers after the first runs in the smaller sports-car classes made a nonsense of subsequent times up the Bugatti OC’s hill. Under these conditions of sodden umbrellas and coats, and muddy cars, it was notable how well many of the vintage cars performed. In the Saturday practice Ian Preston’s Bugatti was eliminated with a damaged cylinder block, Bill Morris ERA with a broken differential. The Lightweight Special had not had its bearing-caps repaired after a blow-up at a previous Prescott Meeting. However, this left some interesting cars.

Bill Summers had completely rebuilt his Type 34 Maserati 6C after its crash at Shelsley Walsh, down to the last nut and bolt, Rubery Owen straightening the chassis for him. Beaulieu produced Michael Ware in the ex-Hawthorn Le Mans 2.6 Alfa Romeo, Louis Giron in the early GP Bugatti raced by Viscaya. Gosch brought his new Vauxhall Special, his reply to those 3/4 1/2-litre Bentleys, with a 14/40 chassis, the Alan May 30/98 engine as a temporary measure, and a very nicely-made body resembling that on Jack Barclay’s TT Vauxhall as it was in 1927. Joseland was trying the BHD, Geoffrey St. John had that splendid road-rigged Type 51 Bugatti, and Marks the ex-Plaister Type 51A Bugatti, in immaculate condition, while Hugh Conway had his replica-bodied 2.3 GP. Not only that, but Black had forsaken Alfa Romeos for the very original ex-T.A.S.O. Mathieson twin-cam Type 51 GP Bugatti, said to have an original, if bald, spare tyre. Collings shed a chain from his 1903 sixty Mercedes, which members of the Frazer Nash “Chain Gang” showed him how to re-fit … Bill Lake now has the commendably-original ex-Grise 1922 GP Sunbeam, Elder ran the exhumed 1913 Sunbeam with replica Coupe de L ‘Auto body, and Cooper’s 496 c.c. flat-twin Sima-Violet, nee Alcyon, was ready for a needle-match with Young’s 1925 Amilcar. Then the rain descended to disrupt things…

Under these tractionless conditions Tony Jones managed to get in a first run of 51.89 sec. in the Frazer Nash “Patience”, which was to give him FTD, fastest vintage time, and a class-winning climb. Martin Eyre’s Ulster Austin 7 had won the Up.to-1,100-c.c. Sports-car class, in 53.58 sec. Dods’ AC Special went well in the wet to win the 3-litre Sports-car class (57.07 sec.), the best vintage car here being Threllall’s Lancia.

Monro netted both a class win and best vintage time in the Ford/GN in the Unlimited Sports-car class. (56.78 sec.) Of the excellent turn-out of Edwardians, Arnold-Forster made the expected fastest time in his 1912 Bugatti (59.6 sec.) but it was nice to see Roger Collings’ son win on handicap, in the 4.7.-litre 1912/13 Brixia-Zust on which he very recently passed his DoE driving test! His father was second, on the indomitable Mercedes.

Gunn’s MG took the Small Racing-car class, after using the grass at Orchard on its first run, climbing in 56.92 sec, on its second ascent and Gray’s Hardy Special tied-up the vintage section, in 57.46 sec. Patrick Marsh won the class in the ex-Seaman ERA (54.19 sec.), and Joseland justified his loan of the BHD by making best vintage ascent here, in 60.8 sec. Hamish Moffatt continued the ERA theme in the next class, with a time of 53.59 sec., Footitt’s Cognac being second, and best vintage, in 54.41 sec. Guy Smith then did 53.1 sec. to take the Unlimited Racing-car class in the Alvis/Frazer Nash singleseater, fastest vintage car here being Ilarvey Hine in Llewellyn’s 8-litre Bentley, in spite of some gearbox bothers (58.02 sec.). There were only two contestants in the Post-War Historic class, where Majzub. Junr., non-starting the Appleton Special earlier as it had lost some gears at Donington, now beat Heath’s Frazer Nash, his ex-Vine Cooper-Bristol being well-handled in the wet, although its time was only 56.03 sec. The course had been opened by Ronnie Symondson in his Type 57S Bugatti with Mrs. Sonia Rolt accompanying him, to commemorate the finding of Prescott by the late Tom Roll, and the first VSCC Meeting there 40 years ago. – W.B.

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