Wednesday, 02 September 2009 00:09

Rob Roy Hillclimb 23 August 2009

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VSCC stages hillclimb on a crisp day
  Photos: Richard Abey Text: Graeme Steinfort (see below) Recorder transcriptions: Bill Hunter To see video, click here * See below - John Kent's note on the amazing 1914 Talbot    
 Jim Russell 1935 Ford Special
 Kevyn. Brown - Ford T
 Graeme Raper - Ford Monoskate
 Bob Booth - 1930 Austin 7 Sports
 Max Foster - 1930 Austin 7
 Alan Tyrrell - 1935 Austin 7
 John Marriott - 1937 Austin 7
 Unknown - Please help
 Grant Cowie - 1931 Austin 7 Duck
  Glen Bishop is going to Tasmania.
"The 50th anniversary of the Baskerville track, and the 50th anniversary of the MG club. They are putting on an all
historic meeting. My son in law is taking his blown MG TC, and we've made a double entry.for the two of us."
Freight for Glen's Wasp and trailer would have been $1400. No wonder they're taking only the TC.   Ken Bedggood - BMW. Chatter and laughter.   "How you doing, all right?"   Ken had gone up to Heathcote last Sunday.    Failing to understand that there had been a racing meeting there, I said, "What did you do up there?"   "Got wet."   "Did you have to go to Healesville to do that?"   "Heathcote, Bill.  Heathcote.  All the way to bloody Heathcote.  I wanted to have a run in the Cheetah. "      
 Martin Stubbs - 1928 Austin 7
 John Kent - 1914 Talbot Aero
 Don Tomlinson - 1929 Austin 7
 Glen Bishop - 1937 Austin 7
  John Lawson - 1928 AC Amilcar  Louis Santin - 1934 Austin/Morris
 Terry White - 1935 Riley Kestrel
 Phillip Hallo - 1932 Austin 7
  Noel Wilcox - 1932 Austin 7
  Greetings exchanged with Lindsay Urquhart.   "How's your bus going, Lindsay?"   "Good."   Lindsay drives in Class 17 – Air-cooled. His Anzani engined racing car. Car number 54.   "Anzani was an Italian guy who sold the engine to the German air force during the First World War, you know, and
after the war it was the British Anzani company who manufactured the engine for use in aircraft."   "Dellorto carburettor, 1100 cc displacement.  The chassis was made in South Africa.  It had a 1924 Indian motor at
the time.  The car went to New Zealand where the motor was removed.  The car was never raced. It was just stored
without its engine for 40 years.  It had lost all its wheels, and the motor, you know.  I'm using the Anzani engine
which was also made in 1924."
Beautiful engineering of the Anzani engine.  Comment on the starting process which involves pressing a 12
Volt doover against the rear wheel.   They can be a tricky bugger of things to start.   There are only two air cooled engine cars running today. The other one is John Cofffin's BSA 500cc car   Trevor Cole.  Mention of Bob Booth, which Trevor describes as "before your time".  Probably those responsible
for building Trevor's car.   "A big engineering joint alongside the railway line at Springvale.  They made engines.  They made pumps. 
They made all sorts of things.  Then the company was taken over by somebody.  And that was taken over by
somebody else.  Sometime around  1939.  I applied for an apprenticeship there.  But in 1939 some damn fool
started the war, of course, and that was the end of that."    " Ah. "   Peter Matthews -- car number three.   "How's the Austin going?"   " Ah.  So so."   "I take it that makes very well."
"Well, we went to Winton back in May. It was intended to be a tuning exercise.  We went to Heathcote
sprints last weekend which didn't eventuate, because of the rain."   "Ken Bedggood was telling me."   "We all left about 11. 30.  I drove home in clear skies and hot sun." 
Spoke to John Marriott and his son.
"Are you driving today, Alistair?"
"Yep, yeah."   "Do you have to put a number one in front of the racing number (**) already there?"(Reference racing
number of the side of the car.)   "Yep, yeah."
"I find it a very attractive car.  Is it a Brooklands?"   "It is supposed to be a replica of the factory car.  Whatever they call those. They may have been a little
wider in the body than this one."   "It's a really stylish looking car."   "It is. It has the usual Renault rods.  Heavy shaft.  Normal Renault pistons.  Ulster block.  Considering
the erosion in the waterways, I think it must be the original just hanging on."   We spoke of the Raid -- a visit by an English Austin 7 team some years ago.   "I didn't go there but I would have liked to.  I was very busy doing other things, and was temporarily out of the sport."    

 Mark Burns - 1924 Alvis 12/50
 Doug Sterry - 1928 Ford A Spl
Andrew Green - 1927 Alvis 12/50
  Mike Hipkins. The sound of a big old motor.  He looks up.   "They keep on going forever these old 30 -- 98 s, don't they?" (I need expert advice on whether it should be 30 -- 98 or 30/98)
Mike has to go to drivers' briefing.
John Laing of the Alvis car club who also has a car which I think is a 30 -- 98.
I met Brendan Dillon, driver of the Riley Kestrel.  Explains that he will be on the spoon today.
The starter spoon for the billy cart race.
"Centre of gravity?  Centre of depravity."
Allan Tyrrell, driver of the bodyless Austin seven.  Mention of John Tomlinson.  Warren Bonning.
Remember to check with Martin Stubbs about the Tyrrells' influence on his car.(Alan Tyrrell was
the original builder M.S)
John Lawson - car number 24 – Amilcar. 1928. Lovely, tight little black car. Often see him at sprints,
hillclimbs, etc. Very competitive 2 litre car.

Drivers' briefing. Got to go.    
 Paul Edgar & Glen Bishop
 Peter Matthews & Lindsay Urquhart
  Ben Russell & Trevor Cole 
  Martin Stubbs  
 Ken Bedggood, John Coffin, Trevor Cole, Bob Booth
    * From John Kent Hello Bill, Thanks for your interest. Car is built on a 1914 25HP Talbot chassis of the same type that achieved 100 miles in an hour at Brooklands in 1913 when driven by Percy Lambert being the first person to do so. I bought the car from a deceased estate in New Zealand in 2007 in an unfinished state & completed the job recently. The engine is a 4 cyl OHC 1918 Hall-Scott of 10 litres capacity of a type originally fitted to trainer Biplanes by the US Army Air Corps during WW1. Other aircraft in which it was used was an early Boeing float plane usually in twin engined configuration. The engine is based on a Mercedes aero type & has the classic single OHC, twin magneto hemispherical combustion chamber specs with exposed valves & is water cooled with pump. There was also a 6 cyl version of this engine made by Hall-Scott of Berkley California & this was of 15 litres capacity. Both engines were specified in the US built Fageol luxury car which was probably the most expensive car on the US market in 1917 with chassis price of USD$9500 & a complete vehicle at USD$12,000 (I have a brochure). Only 3 cars were built when the US entered the first World War & that was it. The Fageol brothers were close associates of the Hall-Scott company & the car was designed by E J Hall from Hall-Scott. The said E J Hall was also a major contributor to the famous Liberty V12 400HP aero engine which was the most powerful allied engine at the dying stages of WW1. Another well known US identity associated with Hall-Scott was Harry Miller of racing car fame & the carburettor fitted to my engine as standard equipment was one of his with barrel throttle & six jets which worked progressively as the throttle was opened. Other specifications are 9' 2" wheelbase, close ratio gearbox with 2 to 1 step up box & appearance as per a GP car of the period. regards, John   To see Next Page, click 'Next' below {mospagebreak} Graeme Steinfort's report Vintage Rob Roy Hillclimb Sunday 23 August 2009 Autumn 'struck' early this year, as our annual foray into the Christmas Hills was blessed with lovely weather which complimented and no doubt, enhanced the great crowd of spectators that attended. I have no doubt that it was the efforts of John Cox with the Herald Sun and its Friday article that encouraged such a large attendance. Many people commented that they had not even heard of 'Rob Roy' or 'hill climbing'! We may have started a 'trend' which I hope the MG Car Club enjoys with their 'classic' historic meeting in November next. Certainly, Wayne Rushton commented that he, like me, had not seen before such a queue of cars coming up the hill, towards the climb, and waiting to get into the car parking area. I arrived just before 8 a.m. and the place was buzzing, like never before. Lloyd Shaw had his usual group of scrutineers in place -- all efficient and polite. In no time I was scrutineered and on my way to 'stripping' the MG TA of all excess weight. This was to no real purpose, as my times were only marginally better than last year. Like Richard Stanley, who made the comment to me, the best part of the motoring day was the drive to Rob Roy on such a crisp morning. Richard and Judy came in the Brescia and were, I observed, surrounded by a crowd of admirers of this outstanding restoration -- it was more a case of 'unstored' as John Needham would say -- he recently 'unstored' his Austin 7 Ulster and had it in the exotic car park in the paddock on the hill. The most impressive cars, to me, were Graeme Lowe's Alta resplendent in red, which was also the colour of Augustine Banko's lovely Fiat Ballila, which was not a competitor despite being on the Dyno at H&V in the week before. John Kent entered his Talbot Aero 1914 in the 'Edwardian' class, and made his first competitive appearance in a speed event. The Austin 7 fraternity were out in force with 13 entries, which included two by Allan Tyrell, with Max Foster enjoying a 'works' drive in the ex Lloyd Nelson Austin 7 Sports -- which I call an Ace. Great presentation, and Max managed to clash a few gears in his practice run - out of practice! Allan won his class in the stripped chassis, and Grant Cowie had the 'Duck' flying. No doubt there will be plenty of photos of the Duck in the newsletter as editor Ashley Tracey was out and about and took nearly 200 photos! No timing this year for Ashley and he looked relaxed. Glen Bishop won his class, as usual, and the results should show the other winners on the day. There was no competition in classes 9 and 10 where Ken Catlow (in his first competitive drive) in the P type MG and your reporter in the TA had fun. Neil Marshall was driving his 1932 Crossley with the unusual carburettor arrangements, alone in his class, as was Graeme Lowe with a 'no-show' from David Bell. Graham Raper in his Monoskate managed FTD as well as a change of rear hubs before his last run. He was pressed by Jim Russell and Ray Sprague who assisted Graham to change hubs) Terry White ran two cars, as well as towing Glen Bishop's to the venue) and competed in his Riley Kestrel as well as his TC MG. Louis Santin had Alan Watson's BMC engined Austin 7 in class 15 for Vintage Light Cars, and Michael Santin appeared with his baby son Spike, which is starting them young! The Billy Cart competition was a highlight and was won by Bob Booth's grandson in a Billy cart that had obviously been well designed and driven. Connor Ryan was easily the most enthusiastic competitor and I am sure that Patrick is already working on next year's cart! John Cox practised on Saturday, as the paddock was being set out, and managed a roll and a visit to the doctor to have some stitches put in. He was present on the Sunday and still enthusiastic -- he plans to remodel the entry of the Morris Cowley club for more stability and speed. I understand that there will be a 'seniors' class next year. Roger, Belinda and Louis Dupont with a large team of helpers catered for the bumper crowd. Rosemary Smallacombe went home exhausted, and Roger Rayson was in the heat of the kitchen slicing rolls! Next year he will be Essexing! The meeting finished round 4 p.m. and the trophies were presented by Chairman Stephen Hands who managed the microphone on the PA with Don Kinsey all day, getting quite excited in the descriptions of the Billy Cart competition. It was a great day and if you did not go, you really missed something exciting. David Smallacombe and Philip Burns, along with John 'rollover' Cox were the Organising Committee and did us proud. When you see them, congratulate them! GES   Click on link below to watch Video Motormarques visits Rob Roy Hillclimb 23.Aug.2009 from William Hunter on Vimeo.    

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