Classic Car Catalogue

1st R.A.C. 1,000 Miles Rally

R.A.C. 1,000 Miles Rally
March 1932
Entered: 367
 1100→ Class I: 279
 →1100 Class II: 88
Started: 341

Great Britain

Motor SportMarch 1932

THE first event of its type run by the R.A.C. has certainly proved successful from the point of view of entries, and by the time these words appear some 367 motor cars, less any non-starters, will be progressing round England from the various starting points.
The majority of cars are in the large class, Class II. up to 1,100 c.c., having 88 cars. The large cars have to average 25 m.p.h., and the " 1100's " 22 m.p.h. All routes are approximately the same length, 1,000 miles. Starting to-day, the cars are due to finish on the 5th, the Torquay Headquarters being at the Palace Hotel. There are 20 control points to take care of the 9 routes, namely, Bath, Buxton, Cambridge, Carlisle, Cheltenham, Chester, Droitwich, Eastbourne, Edinburgh, Harrogate, Kendal, Leamington, LlandrindodWells, London, Newark, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Norwich, Nottingham, and Peebles.
Each competitor will have to report at four of these controls on his way.
There has been a great deal of controversy over the regulations, owing to the fear that the Monte Carlo business of changing gear ratios before the flexibility test might occur in some cases. Actually we think the possibility of such a thing, which is against the spirit of the rules, is very remote, and, in any case, the R.A.C. amendment, stating that all wheels carried must be the same size, and that axles, gearbox, and induction pipe may be officially marked before the start, puts the matter in order.
Further argument was caused by the admission of fluid flywheels, but it would have been against the interests of mechanical progress to exclude them. The majority of entrants for this event will be in for it chiefly for the fun of the thing, and therefore are not unduly worried about the actual finding of a winner, and it is due to the fact that the routes are comparatively simple that finding a winner is a somewhat invidious business.
On the other hand, to start with a very stiff event would tend to reduce the entry seriously, and so reduce its interest to the public as a whole. What we should like to see as a successor to this event would be a rather longer route, including the tit-bits of all the well known trials courses in various parts of Great Britain, including the famous hills used in the Scottish Six Days, the Lake District, Peak District, and finishing up with some of the Land's End hills. It would naturally be harder to ran, and the R.A.C. are doubtless wise in starting with something easier.
Most of the cars in for the Rally are of normal type, but there are a few interesting departures which may be forecasts of future design. Of these the Gardner engined Bentley is probably the most practical demonstration yet conceived of the progress which has been made in Diesel engine design in the last few years.
There will also be one or two cars with flee wheel devices, while the regulations have proved a great encouragement to the fluid flywheel contingent.
Use 'Shift' key to select multiple columns.
Entries and results:
No. Driver: Car:   Engine: Entrant: Class: Position: Ladies Cups:
227 Col. A. H. Loughborough Lanchester Eighteen     1100→ 1st  
116 J. Mercer Daimler Double Six     1100→ 2nd  
  G. F. Dennison Riley       1100→ 3rd  
  H. P. Henry Armstrong Siddeley       1100→ 4th  
182 D. Healey Invicta       1100→ 5th  
  J. D. Siddeley Armstrong Siddeley       1100→ 6th  
  V. E. Leverett Riley       →1100 1st  
  R. St. G. Riley Riley       →1100 2nd  
  G. H. Strong Standard       →1100 3rd  
  Mrs. M. M. Riley Riley       →1100 4th 1st
  C. S. Starsland Riley       →1100 5th  
  G. W. Olive Standard Avon     →1100 6th  
  Lady de Clifford Lagonda       1100→   1st
  R. Way Rover            
  J. E. Scott Talbot 65     1100→    
  S. Holbrook Crossley       →1100    
  F. H. Beer Crossley       →1100    
  C. J. Joyce Crossley Ten     →1100    
  W. Waddicor Riley       →1100    
  A. H. Wilkinson Riley       →1100    
  B. Roy Triumph       →1100    
  Miss P. Naismith Standard Avon     →1100    
  A. H. Oxenford Standard       →1100    
  J. A. Hackle Daimler       1100→    
  T. R. Mallen Talbot       1100→    
  Lt.-Col. D. Willoughby-Osborne Lancia       1100→    
  M. Newnham Armstrong Siddeley       1100→    
  J. Harrop Chrysler       1100→    
  A. Harrington-Harvard Talbot       1100→    
  A. H. Pass Sunbeam       1100→    
  D. H. Simmons Rolls-Royce       1100→    
  T. Thistlewayte Rolls-Royce       1100→    
  Miss D. Champney Riley         acc  
255 Frank Hallam Alvis Speed Twenty          
Motor SportApril 1932

PEOPLE with knowledge and experience of the Monte Carlo Rally may, perhaps, have regarded the R.A.C. event of last month as a meek and mediocre counterpart of the former, but as a preliminary effort there can be no denying the fact that it was a great success.
It may not have proved anything of great value in regard to the speed, stamina or reliability of the modern motorcar, nor revealed anything exceptional in the driving ability of the participants. But it did show that British motorists are really keen to indulge in motoring fixtures when the opportunity occurs provided they are organised by a competent body.
Scott's Talbot in the flexibility test. Adjudged the finest car over 1,100 c.c.
irrespective of class it won "The Motor" Cup and was also first
in the class for four-door saloons.
The entry list totalled 367, and of this number 342 were starters. Many of the entrants had never before taken part in any form of motoring event, but on the other hand, a not insignificant number of familiar names also appeared in the programme. There were nine starting points —London, Bath, Norwich, Leamington, Buxton, Harrogate, Liverpool, Newcastle, and Edinburgh. The mileage from these various points, according to the official route cards, differed somewhat; for the London contingent, for instance, it was 1,002¾ miles, for Bath it was 1,006½ Norwich 1,003, Leamington 995, Buxton 1,002¼, Harrogate 990¼, Liverpool 1,004¼, Newcastle 994, and Edinburgh 999.
Fortunately or unfortunately, according to whether one wished for a straight-forward run or desired to show one's mettle under adverse conditions, the weather was good. In spite of this, competitors found that averaging 22 m.p.h. and 25 m.p.h. for the entire distance was not entirely child's play. For one thing in the early hours of the morning it was very easy to lose one's way in certain towns and badly-marked areas with no local informants at hand. Few drivers had any proper sleep, and the majority, on reaching the finish wasted no time in regaining the rest they had lost en route.
On the day of the rallyists' arrival (Thursday, 3rd March), the weather broke up temporarily, and it was a dismal Torquay that met their gaze. On the following day, however, the sun shone, and the flexibility and braking tests were held before vast crowds of interested onlookers. To the surprise of most people, those cars which were fitted with fluid flywheels, were not the only machines to demonstrate ability to go really slowly; the unpretentious Trojans were extraordinarily good in this respect, as were those Rileys which incorporated the Salerni torque converter in their transmission system. For the spectators, the slow-running tests provided plenty of fun; it was entertaining to witness the jerky progress of some of the older sports cars outpacing the official observers who pursued them breathlessly on foot, while to unsympathetic eyes the tense, anguished expressions of the drivers as they tried to get their machines to perform at a low speed provoked much amusement. Many overdid things, and stalled their engines.
After the slow-running test, the cars had to demonstrate their powers of acceleration and braking. As with the former, the latter was carried out over a stretch of road for a distance of 100 yards, with a 10 feet rolling start.
A two-seater sports Daimler endavours to emulate the snail in the slow-running test.
The standard of driving in this was generally low, many of the drivers not even speeding up their engines, while others seemed to start on too high a gear. Any gear or gears could be used, and the self-changing boxes were noticeably helpful.
At the end of the 100 yards boards were erected giving warning of the brake test. Competitors had to cross a line painted across the road, and then stop as quickly as possible, and the stopping distance was then quickly determined by lines painted at intervals of a foot across the road. The cars had to be stopped within lines ten feet apart, otherwise a failure was recorded, and most of them seemed to pull up pretty squarely. Water thrown out of the radiators made the test more difficult for later competitors, while there was rather more camber on one side of the road than the other.
The average performance, on the whole, demonstrated the advances in brake design which have been made in the last few years.
The tests continued until about noon, and the remainder after lunch until late in the afternoon. The organisation was carried out without a hitch, as it always is in events arranged by the Royal Automobile Club, but one cannot help hoping that another year some less prolonged substitute for the slow running test may be found.
The winners of the Rally in the two classes (under 1,100 c.c. and over 1,100 c.c.) were those which obtained the highest aggregate number of marks in the road section—which included the final inspection—and in the flexibility and braking tests. Prizes were also awarded to the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth competitor in each class. There were, in addition, a number of special awards in the coachwork competition.


First : " The Autocar " Trophy and £25, Col. A. H. Loughborough (Lanchester, with fluid flywheel).
Second : R.A.C. Trophy and £15, J. Mercer (Daimler, with fluid flywheel).
Third: R.A.C. Trophy and £10, G. F. Dennison (Riley, with Salerni torque converter).
Fourth : R.A.C. Trophy and £5, H. P. Henry (Armstrong Siddeley, with fluid flywheel).
Fifth : R.A.C. Trophy and £5, D. Healey (Invicta, with servo clutch).
Sixth : R.A.C. Trophy and £5, J. D. Siddeley (Armstrong Siddeley, with fluid flywheel).

First : "Light Car and Cycle Car" Trophy and £25, V. E. Leverett (Riley, with Salerni torque converter).
Second : R.A.C. Trophy and £13, R. St. G. Riley (Riley).
Third : R.A.C. Trophy and £10, G. H. Strong (Standard).
Fourth : R.A.C. Trophy and £5, Mrs. M. H. Riley (Riley).
Fifth : R.A.C. Trophy and £5, Mrs. C. S. Starsland (Riley).
Sixth : R.A.C. Trophy and £5, G. W. Olive (Avon Standard).

LADIES' PRIZES.—TO the woman driver in each class who, without a male passenger or driver on the car, obtained the highest number of marks. Presented by the "Daily Mirror."
Class I.: Lady de Clifford (Lagonda).
Class II: Mrs. M. M. Riley (Riley).

Club Team Prize.—Col. A. H. Loughborough (Lanchester), D. Healey (Invicta), and R. Way (Rover), M.C.C. D. Team.
"The Daily Telegraph" Cup (London).—J. Mercer (Daimler, with fluid flywheel).
The Norwich Cup.—G. F. Dennison (Riley, with Salerni torque converter).
"The Leamington" Cup.—V. E. Leverett (Riley, with Salerni torque converter).

"The Motor" Cup for the best car in Class I.— J. E. Scott (Talbot).
"The Autocar" Trophy for the best car in Class II—C. J. Joyce (Crossley Ten).

First prizes in each of the following twelve classes. Second prizes where the entry includes five or more cars.
1. Open two-seaters under 1,100 c.c.-1, W. Waddicor (Riley) ; 2, A. H. Wilkinson (Riley).
Open two-seaters above 1,100 c.c.-1, J. A. Hackle (Daimler) ; 2, T. R. Mallen (Talbot).
2. Open four-seaters under 1,100 c.c.—1, S. Holbrook (Crossley) ; 2, F. H. Beer (Crossley).
Open four-seaters above 1,100 c.c.-1, C. D. Siddeley (Armstrong Siddeley) ; 2, Lt.-Col. D. Will loughby-Osborne (Lancia).
3. Two-door two-seater coupes, 1,100 c.c.-1, B. Roy (Triumph) ; 2, no award.
Two-door two-seater coupes over 1,100 c.c.1, M. Newnham (Armstrong Siddeley); 2, J. Harrop (Chrysler).
4. Occasional four-seaters and two-door sports saloons, 1,100 c.c.-1, Miss P. Naismith (Standard Avon) ; 2, G. W. Olive (Standard Avon).
Occasional four-seaters and two-door sports saloons above 1,100 c.c.-1, A. Harrington-Harvard (Talbot); 2, A. It. Pass (Sunbeam).
5. Four-door sports saloons under 1,100 c.c.-1, C. J. Joyce (Crossley) ; 2, Mrs. M. M. Riley (Riley).
Four-door sports saloons above 1,100 c.c.-1, J. E. Scott (Talbot) ; 2, H. P. Henry (Armstrong Siddeley).
6. Full saloons, limousines, landaulets, and coupe de vile under 1,100 c.c.-1, G. H. Strong (Standard); 2, A. H. Oxenford (Standard).
Full saloons, limousines, landaulet, and coupes de vile, over 1,100 c.c.-1, D. H. Simmons (Rolls-Royce) ; 2, T. Thistlewayte (Rolls-Royce).

One of the cheeriest crews was that in the Armstrong-Saurer coach, who announced their approach at controls, and to other competitors with a fanfare on an elaborate coaching horn.
Who was the unfortunate driver who could not add ? He drove over the finishing line, stopwatch in hand, and as he thought, exact to the minute. He had made, however, an hour's error in his reckoning.
Kensington Moir when approaching Buxton, was persuaded to take a "short cut" at the bidding of one of his passengers. He finished up at about 3,000 feet on a by-road, and miles from anywhere.
A hairdresser in Exeter complained that he had great difficulty in shaving his numerous Rally customers, as they persisted in falling asleep in the chair.
Another Exeter incident was when a particularly tired driver, on leaving his car, walked straight into a post. He explained that he was not short sighted— just sleepy.
One lady driver deserved a special medal. She drove single-handed throughout, had no rest, no meals, and smoked only seven cigarettes. She also had trouble with her lights, but continued, and arrived at Torquay two hours late.
Not a few spare drivers while dozing en route, had mild nightmare and awoke from dreams of crashes and other disasters. Others confessed to "seeing the road go by" when they closed their eyes, hours after the finish.
J. Fuller's Riley Nine coupe was the lowest built closed car in the Rally. The body was the work of Reading of Portsmouth.
A Morris van, driven by a woman, and which checked in at the finish made a strange contrast alongside the many luxurious vehicles at Torquay.

2nd in over 1100 c.c. class - J. Mercer's Daimler Double Six.

Lanchester 18 which won the RAC Rally.
Motor SportApril 1932

IF any of the entrants in the R.A.C. Rally believed at the start that the event would prove to be rather dull, rather slow and a little uninteresting, it is safe to say that their views were changed very considerably by the time the affair had drawn to a close, and they were wending their way homewards from the finish at Torquay.
In the first place the organisation was excellent. And with so wide an itinerary as was arranged, and with an entry list containing no less than 341 cars, any little mismanagement or lack of foresight could have reduced the Rally to a fiasco. As it was, things went off at the start, the intermediate controls and the finish without a hitch.
Moreover, the event being a rally and not a reliability trial, the rule regarding average speed allowed of plenty of latitude; one was only called upon to maintain for the total distance not less than 25 m.p.h. or 22 m.p.h., according to one's class, and to report at the intermediate controls during the hours when these were open. Thus, drivers could please themselves whether they disposed of the 1,000 odd miles at a fairly sedate pace or made the event a prolonged blind. Judging by what one saw and heard, the latter method was the more popular. For one thing by "hitting it up" between controls, drivers and passengers accumulated sufficient time to comfortably partake of meals and a little sleep. On the other hand, a good number preferred to dispense with such luxuries and complete the run without indulging in any high m.p.h. But whichever way one took it, by the time Torquay had been reached, sleep—real sleep in a bed became the primary need.
The Start.
As one of the crew of J. E. Scott's "65" sports saloon Talbot, we left the London starting control (Rootes' service station at St. John's Wood) on Tuesday, 1st March, at 6.40 p.m.
Conditions, save for a fairly strong wind, were very nearly ideal for a long night drive clear air, and with no moon to make confusing shadows. The " 65 " which is a new addition to the Talbot range, soon induced a feeling of restfulness, and one felt at once that the long journey would prove to be no ordeal.
With an eye to possible heavy-going with this erratic weather of ours, and also with hopes of awards in the coachwork competition on the Saturday, the car had been well and sensibly equipped. In addition to the standard equipment we had, for example, a powerful spotlight mounted on the roof, and two fog lamps fitted low in front; one of these was ingeniously fitted on an extensible arm so that it could be projected forward several feet ahead of the car. We had interior sun visors, Parsons chains, Jackall jacks, a complete tool kit arranged most accessibly in the lid of the rear locker, and—we reveal it with blushes of shame—an electric foot warmer!
It was Scott's intention to take things fairly quietly at first, but to progressively increase our average on our northward journey so that we could have a few hours sleep at Edinburgh. On the Great North Road we found ourselves in a straggling formation of rallyists, and it was pleasing to see that the event was by no means a 100 per cent, closed-car affair, and that there were plenty of sportsmen who were prepared to face whatever weather was in store for them in open sports machines.
The 94 miles to Stamford passed incredibly quickly, and we appeared to have hardly settled in our seats, when we swung into the yard of "The George" at the entrance to the town. In point of fact we had averaged 40 m.p.h. Here with one or two other competitors we partook of a little refreshment, purchased a stock of cigarettes and a bottle of Scotch, and sped off again for Harrogate. Scott now gave the " 65 " a shade more throttle, and with good visibility, good headlights and good roads we completed the next step to the first control—"The Majestic" at Harrogate—in effortless style. Without, the night was made lively with arriving and departing cars, and within, the hotel was agog with animated conversation. One heard such remarks as "How are you guarding against falling asleep ? " and the answer—" The acute discomfort of our vehicle will see to that." There seemed to be few adventures or misadventures during the 209 miles between London and Harrogate, though one or two cars had inadvertently and strangely deviated from the normal route. For ourselves, our average from Stamford worked out at 50.75 m.p.h.
A post-midnight supper of bacon and eggs, a wash, and we were on our way again. As we emerged from the warm interior of "The Majestic" Brigadier-General SadlierJackson set off in his Bugatti, with the inimitable, snarling exhaust note of that marque reverberating through the deserted streets of the spa. Ten miles further on we passed him and his muffled companions, going great guns. At this distance competitors were spacing out considerably, and the Talbot went for miles passing few other cars, and passed by none. The miles swept by. One grew drowsy, eyelids drooped. The perfect smoothness of the engine, and the warm comfort of the " 65 " induced, against one's will, a natural languor. One sank gradually into an easy half-sleep to awake suddenly and startled. Road, trees, posts, telegraph poles, walls and wayside dwellings flashed by in streaking, endless procession. Conversation lagged; only the motor's drone and the rush of wind were heard. One's eyes rested dully on the driver's alert silhouetted figure, his glowing cigarette, the gleaming facia board.
Over the Border.
Sweeping along the sombre, bleak route towards the Scottish capital, countless small animals scurried from our path. Time passed, and presently Scott, who knows every yard of the course, announced that Edinburgh was half-an-hour's run away. Actually, in less than that time we entered the city, traversing the inevitable tramlines, to arrive, a little stiff, a little sleepy, but warm and well pleased with life at the North British Hotel, having averaged from Harrogate 44 m.p.h.
We had no sooner disembarked outside the control, than we were met by several members of the staff of Messrs. Hutchinson, the Edinburgh Talbot agents, and our car was whisked off to their service garage, while we ourselves lost no time in going to bed to enjoy four splendid hours of slumber.
With 613 miles to go, we turned southward at mid-day, and were soon sailing back over the winding roads through the mountains, now cloaked in a clammy mist. At Lockerbie a brief halt was made for a snack, and we continued without incident via Carlisle, Kendal, Warrington and Macclesfield up the long twirling climb, and down the equally lengthy and winding descent to Buxton. Here outside the " Palace " hotel, our third intermediate control, we found a great assembly of cars, many of which had started from Norwich. As at the other controls, the work of checking and signing our "road books" was carried out in a few moments by the officials, and having taken on a further supply of fuel, we were soon off again, heading for Cambridge.
All this time the " 65 " had been pursuing her effortless, unobtrusive way, and it was hard to believe that we had covered some 760 miles. In the early hours of Thursday, there was a distinct nip in the air, which must have been felt keenly by the open car contingent. But those we passed after leaving Cambridge had apparently lost none of the enthusiasm which had been noticeable in the earlier stages of the event. After a brief conference, we had decided to go via Royston, Hatfield, Stanmore, Uxbridge, and Staines to the south, rather than follow the official route through Aylesbury and Oxford.
We must confess here that the crew of the " 65 " were at this juncture feeling a shade off colour, and the road to Torquay even in the Talbot seemed a long, long trek. Nevertheless Scott made the most of the long stretches of highway, and the car sang along at fifty-five, sixty-five, and seventy for many a mile. At Hartford Flats we ran suddenly into a patch of dense fog, but with the aid of our various extra lamps we groped along to emerge again in clear air. Then on to Salisbury and Shaftesbury. Hereabouts we got somewhat off our course, which entailed a stop, a fumbling with the map, much scrutiny of same with sleepy eyes, and finally the retracing of our tracks.
A little later, in our headlight beams we saw an owl. Struggling frantically to gain height, it tried to clear us, but as it held a rabbit in its claws its rate of climb was poor, and with a shower of feathers both hunter and hunted were demolished by our front bumper at 60 m.p.h.
Dawn came, and with it a general revival of spirits. And then a few miles from Exeter we saw Miss D. Champney's Riley pressed well and truly against a telegraph pole.
With several hours to spare before passing our final check, we ran into Messrs. Maude's garage at Exeter, where in a rest room we were most thoroughly revived with breakfast.
When we finally passed " Ebby " on the tick of 10.40 a.m. rain was falling fitfully—for the first time in six whole weeks, so the Torquay inhabitants assured us. But rain, snow, sleet or what you will, it was all the same to us. Through the flag-bedecked streets we went our way to Timpson's Garage, where the Talbot was quickly parked. Brief intermittent conversations with numerous friends, a lift to our hotel, a penning of a letter or two, an early lunch. And so to bed— at two-thirty in the afternoon.