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Mystery 1950s speed trial venue


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#1 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 13:21

I recently picked up this snapshot which I think depicts the start of a sprint/speed trial in the very early 50s or late 40s . I'm assuming that sort of date due to the lack of a helmet on the driver's head which would have been a requirement from around 1951 onwards (I think)
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The car , reg CMP 1 seems somehow familiar (an Allard?) but a quick trawl of Google failed to thrown up any references as far as I could see.
The giveaway feature is perhaps the AEC sign in the background - maybe the bus/truck factory?
Does anyone have any idea who this is, and more specifically, where it is? The only venue I can recall that had this kind of industrial background was one that ran round a Lancashire mill works in the 1950s...but I can't recall the name of it!

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#2 alansart

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 14:04

THE AEC Factory was in Southall, Middlesex.

#3 David McKinney

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 15:04

It could be a rally test
I agree the reg number seems familiar, but I don't think the car's an Allard

#4 RS2000

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 15:11

Sprint(s) at the AEC bus factory, Southall have been discussed somewhere - but probably under a totally different heading (maybe something about lost sprint venues). I think someone produced a period aerial photo of the factory site.
Similar speed venues included the Burton clothing factory (Leeds? Bradford?) - which retains the link today with one Harewood Hillclimb meeting being known as the "Montagu Burton Trophy"?
I get the impression some events that would fall into the sprint category today circumvented the helmet regs by being called "slaloms" - I recall one near my junior school, around 1958/9, on what is now Heston Services on the M4 but was then a remaining part of Heston Airfiel, not a milliion miles from the AEC factory.

#5 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 15:23

Originally posted by David McKinney
It could be a rally test
I agree the reg number seems familiar, but I don't think the car's an Allard


I wondered about a rally test as the flag man seems somehow inappropriate for a speed trial but wouldn't there have been two people in the car or did tests at the time not require a passenger/navigator ?

#6 Stephen W

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 15:45

Originally posted by RS2000
Sprint(s) at the AEC bus factory, Southall have been discussed somewhere - but probably under a totally different heading (maybe something about lost sprint venues). I think someone produced a period aerial photo of the factory site.
Similar speed venues included the Burton clothing factory (Leeds? Bradford?) - which retains the link today with one Harewood Hillclimb meeting being known as the "Montagu Burton Trophy"?
I get the impression some events that would fall into the sprint category today circumvented the helmet regs by being called "slaloms" - I recall one near my junior school, around 1958/9, on what is now Heston Services on the M4 but was then a remaining part of Heston Airfiel, not a milliion miles from the AEC factory.


The sprint round the Burton factory was in Leeds.

:wave:

#7 alansart

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 15:56

Originally posted by RS2000
Sprint(s) at the AEC bus factory, Southall have been discussed somewhere - but probably under a totally different heading (maybe something about lost sprint venues). I think someone produced a period aerial photo of the factory site.


http://aec.middx.net...ecworks_002.htm

#8 Steve L

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 17:03

Is it the pre war V8 powered (Hudson?) special that still runs in VSCC events?

I could be wrong (in fact, I probably am wrong!)

#9 RAP

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 07:17

Sprints were held at the AEC works Southall 1935-1937.

#10 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 08:35

Originally posted by RAP
Sprints were held at the AEC works Southall 1935-1937.


So it would seem this shot is even earlier than I imagined.

Does anyone know the layout of the course (or was it just a straight line?) or even the results of these events?

#11 DavidH

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 09:10

Hi Simon

The car is the Spikins Special - a cut and shut 1935 Hudson Eight.

By strange coincidence I am 're-cycling' old Classic and Sportscar magazines and keeping the interesting bits. Last night I got to October 1983 and there in an article about the Hudson Motor Car company in Chiswick, London, is the car. The picture shows the Special wearing a rally plate, which appears to say RAC (logo) Rally 274 London. By the car are 2 trophies, presumably just won. In the whole text there is, frustratingly, no reference to this Special.

The picture is quite small and the repro not very good - I could scan and send it if you like. Send me a pm.

Cheers, David,

#12 Vitesse2

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 09:20

Originally posted by DavidH
Hi Simon

The car is the Spikins Special - a cut and shut 1935 Hudson Eight.

By strange coincidence I am 're-cycling' old Classic and Sportscar magazines and keeping the interesting bits. Last night I got to October 1983 and there in an article about the Hudson Motor Car company in Chiswick, London, is the car. The picture shows the Special wearing a rally plate, which appears to say RAC (logo) Rally 274 London. By the car are 2 trophies, presumably just won. In the whole text there is, frustratingly, no reference to this Special.

The picture is quite small and the repro not very good - I could scan and send it if you like. Send me a pm.

Cheers, David,

There are several pictures of the Spikins Special in this thread, together with some info from the then (and presumably current?) owner.

#13 CoulthardD

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 10:32

Some picture of the Burton Sprint can be found here, including Tony Lanfranchi in a stripped down Thames van:

http://www.motorspor...ndex.php?dpl=12

On 28th April, 1957, Jimmy Blumer set FTD in his Cooper Bobtail with a time of 44.34. Sprinting at the venue continued well into the 1960's.

Harewood's early August meeting is for the Montague Burton Trophy.

DC