Seventy-Five years of Shelsley Walsh

Although it was at the VSCC Shelsley Walsh hill-climb that the 75th Anniversary of this famous speed venue was celebrated by a special parade of historic cars, as described in last month’s issue, the Midland AC did not overlook the occasion at its RAC Hill-climb Championship meeting on August 10th, which fell just two days earlier than the first meeting in 1905. In the Programme there were 16 congratulatory messages, and other material relating to that first-ever Shelsley and a number of celebrities who had competed there before the war were present, including Rupert Instone, and Eddie Hall all the way from Monaco, who was taken up the course in a Jaguar. There were also demonstrations by a number of motorcycles, to commemorate the last time these ran in anger at Shelsley, such as pre-war Triumph, Norton, Ariel and Velocette, joined by Brindley’s Triumph sidecar outfit and Cyril Hale’s racing Morgan-JAP which overcame some gear-selection difficulty in time for its axent. Besides this, the Coventry Museum 35 hp Daimler that I described fully in Motor Sport last November was present, as well as the 1980 Lea-Francis and someone’s pre-war Rolls-Royce saloon, and there were classes for historic racing and sports cars, the former featuring Ron Sant with the GN Spider, that was in great form, Freddie Giles’ GN/Morgan Salome, Ian Preston’s Type 35B Bugatti, Guy Smith’s 31/2-litre Alvis-Frazer Nash, and Ron Footitt’s Cognac, while it was splendid to see Anthony Brooke driving the Vauxhall Villiers and Secretary Mark Joseland taking deck-time off at the wheel of his Frazer Nash Terror III. The start-line officials wore period costume for the occasion.

You cannot see another Shelsley Walsh hill-climb this year but the MAC intends to open the 1981 season on May 30th/31st. — WB.