There is no nicer speed-venue than Prescott hill on a blazing summer day, as the big spectator attendance for the VSCC climbs on August 6 endorsed.
They saw more than 400 ascents expeditiously handled by the hard-working officials, and had the additional bonus of watching Anthony Mayman, in his usual fine form in ERA R4D, break the VSCC record for the 880-yard short course with a meteoric 41.11 seconds. This broke the 1984 time of Black’s monoposto Alfa Romeo by 0.74 sec. As at VSCC Shelsley Walsh, the closest opposition came from Bruce Spollon, who clocked 42.15 sec in ERA R8C.
In practice J Hulbert’s blown 2 1/2-litre Alum s Special broke its gearbox, and on the day Brian Gray hit the bank and detached the inlet pipe from the rear-mounted supercharged JAP engine of the Hardy Special. This was rectified, but the class was lost to Campbell’s very effective Fiat-powered A7. Compensation for several stalled starts, the FWD Douglas-engined Allt’cock took the vintage section. In the 1 1/2-litre class Sayers’ blown Riley vanquished Stephens in ERA R12C by 1.88 sec and, after excessive warming-up of his single rear tyre, Caroline was third (and best vintage) in his 1928 Morgan.
In the 3-litre division Walker indulged in much bank-bumping in the Caeser Special, Sutton drove Palmer’s 1924 Targa Florio Mercedes, and Mayman was victorious, leaving fastest vintage time to Giles in the AC/ON. Of the biggest racing-cars, the Bequet Delage failed by 0.84 sects beat Guy Smith’s Alvin-Frazer Nash before retiring, and Nick Lesson in the Lovell Elkhart took third place, watched by Les Lesson. Sixteen runners enlivened the Edwardian class, the 1908 GP Itala being just 0.18 sec quicker than the 1908 GP Panhard, Levassor, with the smaller 1913 ThSchneider trailing by 0.71 sec. Collings’ 1903 Mercedes, its valves re-timed, did its fastest run ever (56.49 sec) and it was on beadededge tyres … Guest drove a vast 7-litre Darracq tourer up in 97.31 sec.
Of the tiddler sports-cars, Reg Nice’s Ulster A7 was too quick for Rides’ Riley and Diffey’s A7. An interesting runner was the replica GE Brooklands staggered-seat A7, with pressure-oiled engine. It was hardly Bradley’s day: his A7 took 203.38 sec on its first run and had to be assisted over the finish on its next one.
In the 1 1/2-litre class was a Riley benefit, and in the well-supported 3-litre division Aston Martin beat Riley and Conway Jnr’s T37 Bugatti did well to finish third and win the vintage section. In the contest between the biggest sports-cars, a mere 0.29 sec separated Guy Spollon’s hybrid Monza Alfa Romeo from the second-placed 8.3-line Bentley of Tim Llewellyn, with Don Parker’s massive V12 7.3-litre Bentley third.
R F Bottle’s flat-twin Jowett replica sandracer, with its six-head engine moved back in the chassis, did 65.26 sec but Way’s 1930-34 A7 hybrid threw a rod, plastering the course with oil. Of the specials, Freddie Giles’ Morgan/GN clocked 47.37 sec, the Caesar (before its prang) 47.46, the twin-engined 2-litre GN/Ariel 53.79, and Grannie 53.88 sec. The shrill scream of Bronson’s 2.6-litre Riley special, its exposed supercharger fed by twin SUs and blowing through a hugh external inlet pipe, was among the noisiest sounds at Prescott. WB