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Production, Sporting and Vintage car trials


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#1 RTH

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 10:34

At last nights Baldock meeting Sterling let it be known he is thinking about getting a trials car for some muddy hillclimbing fun.

This made us think back to winter Saturdays sitting by the fire with perhaps a hot buttered tea cake or two on BBC in black and white in the fifties and early sixties , when this aspect of motor sport used to get television coverage, probably with the distinctive tones of John bolster and his trade mark deerstalker hat.
This is the sport where Colin Chapman started.

The name Julian fack with his Facsimilie cars came to mind though this was a bit later.

Of course it still goes on all around the country all the time and especially in the north and west of the UK

If this is the general standard then you have not got a lot to beat Sterling




Here is some old footage from 1955, look out for Kenneth Horne

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

First ever car trial in 1900

http://www.youtube.c...NaTf3AlxYQ&NR=1

Mountain race in 1900, now that looks to me like the Stelvio Pass ?

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

1936 trial in what then would have been new cars

http://www.youtube.c...wFOL5V3K7c&NR=1


http://www.youtube.c...pZjBfEJ4nQ&NR=1

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#2 ErleMin

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 10:41

I see that Richard Robarts does Sporting Car Trials. I have yet to check with him if he is the same Richard Robarts as the F3 driver of the 70s.

#3 HFJ Drifter

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 16:05

These trials still very much exist, its what keeps me amused during the winter. In fact I was competing on the Cotswold Clouds event the weekend just gone.
See these sites: http://www.themotorcyclingclub.org.uk/
and http://www.actc.org.uk/

#4 Allan Lupton

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 16:25

Originally posted by RTH

Mountain race in 1900, now that looks to me like the Stelvio Pass ?

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related


I agree about the Stelvio, but it's much later than 1900 and probably made up of two quite separate events.
The first few cars are c1910-14 and at about 16 seconds I reckon it's a Lancia Lambda, possibly a sixth Series from 1926

Originally posted by RTH

First ever car trial in 1900

http://www.youtube.c...NaTf3AlxYQ&NR=1


Not a trial in the modern sense, but this is the 1900 1000 miles trial held between 23 April and 19 May, 1900. 80 vehicles were entered of which 64 started and 49 were deemed to have completed the route.

#5 Charles Helps

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 17:52

Originally posted by HFJ Drifter
These trials still very much exist, its what keeps me amused during the winter. In fact I was competing on the Cotswold Clouds event the weekend just gone.
See these sites: http://www.themotorcyclingclub.org.uk/
and http://www.actc.org.uk/

I enjoyed watching the Cotswold Clouds on Sunday. A couple of snaps from Ham Mill:
Posted Image
We chatted to the couple in the Dellow - Ford sidevalve engine replaced with a more powerful Ford 1600cc crossflow.
Posted Image
and one of two Trojans which went surprisingly well

Did anyone see the report on the Exeter trial on Fifth Gear last night? Some of the cars on the Clouds were shown on the first part of the film. I noticed at least one Trojan and, I think, a green MG which looked like Bill Bennett's which was competing on Sunday.

#6 RTH

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 20:58

Great pictures Charles do you have any more ? Also I'd be interested to see period pictures of the early Lotus trials cars in action.

#7 sterling49

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 21:06

...............er Richard, I said an old Fiesta or Corsa, just to have fun, I am not thinking of anything that requires goggles to drive or has "fiddle" brakes!! 7oaks M.C. run some great events and a summer series of evening autotests, great fun, and you can ensure that the throttle is still working whilst staying in perfect safety, off the public highway...

Incidentally,did you know that the Brise brothers also use to participate, Tony and Tim..................

#8 RTH

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 21:14

..............Oh I think you need to go all the way with a purpose built car Sterling ;)

#9 Alan Cox

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 21:14

If it's vintage trials you are interested in, take a look at the 2007 Cotswold Trial on Peter McFadyen's excellent new website, previously mentioned on the Oulton Park thread.
http://petermcfadyen...photo/main2.cfm

#10 HFJ Drifter

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 22:02

You'll find some excellent pictures of the Cotswold Clouds here: http://hoits.smugmug...c Trials/455921

#11 Odseybod

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 22:29

Originally posted by RTH



Here is some old footage from 1955, look out for Kenneth Horne

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related


Ha, just noticed that's me Dad doing the very pukka voice-over :) .

#12 RTH

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 07:04

Wow, that is amazing, I seem to have heard his name before, can you tell us more about him and is he still alive ?

#13 Odseybod

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 07:32

Hello Richard,

Very briefly, he worked at ERA as a (very) junior fitter in the 1930s, then as a journalist with "The Motor" - was their Sports Editor during the 1960s (a great time for his teenage son), Midlands Editor in the 1970s, then retired (or semi-detached, as he put it, as he still did occasional freelance pieces for them and then "Classic Cars").

Sadly, he died in 1994 though happily, he occasionally pops up unexpectedly with things like this, so many thanks for posting the link that let me stumble on it (no idea how he got the voice-over assignment as don't believe he was an 'official' with the club, as the intro stated - probably just a case of being in the right place at the right time).

Now, back to Trials, before we're accused of thread drift, and more happy memories, this time of the televised contests between assorted Trials cars and bits of Army kit (Land Rover, Stalwarts, etc). Now they were fun - wonder if any tapes still exist?

#14 RTH

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 07:52

Tony,

That's very interesting, he sounds very confident and polished as a commentator, he must have done plenty of it before surely ? Now I am guessing that is a Cinema newsreel item , the 15 mins or so that was put in between the A and B films and changed on a weekly basis. Was it Pathe perhaps , or might it have been BBC newsreel? I wonder if he did a lot of other motoring items as well ? I wonder if he did voiceover for the many motor trade promotion films made in that era ?

#15 Charles Helps

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 09:03

Originally posted by HFJ Drifter
You'll find some excellent pictures of the Cotswold Clouds here: http://hoits.smugmug...c Trials/455921

Having read some of your earlier posts, I wondered whether this is your car?
http://hoits.smugmug...82738#250944003

Richard, I'm afraid I didn't take the right camera for action shots but the ones on Dave Cook's site give a very good flavour of the event. At least the Trojan goes slowly enough for the shot not to be too blurred and, with no differential on the rear axle, fiddle brakes are not required!

#16 Odseybod

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 09:22

Originally posted by RTH
Tony,

That's very interesting, he sounds very confident and polished as a commentator, he must have done plenty of it before surely ? Now I am guessing that is a Cinema newsreel item , the 15 mins or so that was put in between the A and B films and changed on a weekly basis. Was it Pathe perhaps , or might it have been BBC newsreel? I wonder if he did a lot of other motoring items as well ? I wonder if he did voiceover for the many motor trade promotion films made in that era ?


Well, Richard, he was a commentator at Silverstone VSCC events quite often in the '50s - in the Woodcote tower, while BunnyTubbs did Becketts - and occasionally at the finish of the Brighton Run too. Not sure about this being a 'Chicken Pate News' production, as it's a bit specialised for the average cinema audience - I think more likely to have been one of those shorts produced by Shell and other companies for motor clubs' film nights during the off season (when there was such a thing). Don't think he would have done v/o for any car company promos - magazine journalists valued their impartiality quite highly in those days and tieing yourself to certain manufacturers in that way would not have ggone down well with the industry (or one's colleagues).

#17 RTH

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 10:29

Tony,

He must have had a very interesting life I wonder if he had shot or owned any cine film himself during those years , or was there a collection of still photos or indeed any written memoires ? Any rusty cans of film in your loft ? :)

#18 RTH

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 10:48

A Reliant Robin .......the ultimate trials car ?

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

#19 Odseybod

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 10:53

Ooh, lots, but all in my Mum's garage (as she keeps reminding me :) ). I'm gradually assembling a book based on his working diaries, excerpts of which have appeared occasionally in "The Automobile". Just a matter of finding the time alongside the day job, looking after the "Classic Cars" photo archive - and keeping an eye on our shiny new Features Editor, Tim Nevinson, whom I think you've met (it was me that sugested he join the Tudor Oaks gathering, as I couldn't make it, even though it was just a few miles down the road from home. Better luck next time).

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#20 RTH

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 11:14

Ah , I see, it all becomes clearer ! Well Gary C and myself would be especially interested if there is some old cine film of whatever format.

Sounds as if there might be the makings of a most interesting book there especially if there are lots of previously unseen paddock type shots of the 50s &60s

Hope you can make it to Baldock in 3 months time to the next meeting . You would be most welcome. Tim's story was most interesting. Hopefully you might both become regulars.

Don't forget there is the Jim Clark weekend coming up on 23rd this month at a country house in Witney and then the historic racing car show at Stoneleigh in mid March there are enough of us going to both events for a meet up there as well.

#21 Odseybod

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 11:41

Yes, geared for Race Retro next month (I also put together the mag's 'Month In Pictures' section, and it produced some good material last year, particularly the outdoor rally stage). Would love to make the Jimmy Clark film show, too, but looking a little tricky to fit in with other things at the mo. The gent once bought me a glass of bitter lemon, so I feel I owe it to him :)

My father shot quite a lot of Standard 8 cine film, mainly during the '60s - I seem to remember a nice sequence of the Scarab transporter being unloaded in Monaco, for instance - thought rather limited by using fairly basic cameras without long lenses (a Bell & Howell 'sundial' model at first, then a nice Bolex). Anyway, this has inspired me to dig them out soon for another look, assuming the faithful Eumig projector is still operational ...

#22 HFJ Drifter

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 16:31

Originally posted by Charles Helps
Having read some of your earlier posts, I wondered whether this is your car?
http://hoits.smugmug...82738#250944003


Yep thats mine.

#23 Leigh Trevail

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 18:00

TO ODSEYBOD

The Turner Diaries that occasionally appear in The Automobile magazine are an absolute pleasure to read, thank you for making them available!

#24 David Beard

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 18:46

Rather than repost my only trials photo, at the Wendover TV trial c1966...may I ask those interested to have a look at an earlier thread on this topic....


http://forums.autosp...ver#post2469323

Another candidate for merging, Stuart?

#25 Odseybod

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 23:57

Originally posted by Leigh Trevail
TO ODSEYBOD

The Turner Diaries that occasionally appear in The Automobile magazine are an absolute pleasure to read, thank you for making them available!


Thanks, Leigh - kind of you to say so. Quite fun to do, too, particularly sorting out the 'Who's Who?'

#26 HFJ Drifter

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 07:49

Originally posted by David Beard
Rather than repost my only trials photo, at the Wendover TV trial c1966...may I ask those interested to have a look at an earlier thread on this topic....


http://forums.autosp...ver#post2469323

Another candidate for merging, Stuart?


Hills never look that steep in photos, but as it looks like maybe only one car made it to the 2 marker that must of been a particularly demanding hill.

#27 MCS

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 17:48

Does anybody know if there is a source for Sporting Trials results in the UK for the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s?

Thanks.

#28 RS2000

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 20:31

Originally posted by MCS
Does anybody know if there is a source for Sporting Trials results in the UK for the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s?
Thanks.

The Regional Associations that run such a championship would have some record. An example link:
http://www.aswmc.org.uk/sptrial.htm

#29 mikeC

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 20:52

I was going to start a new thread, but then I found this one :D
Here are some photos from a trial in Derbyshire, probably in the late 1940s. They have been in the family 'archives' ever since, but sadly I never quizzed my late father for the details. I know that some, at least, are taken at Millclose Mine, near Darley Dale, and I believe the Ford V8 special in the fifth picture is driven by Tom(my) Wise, but that's about it.
Anyway, here they are:
1
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2
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3
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4
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5
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6
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Oh yes, and the section in photo 4 started on the right of the picture, the car in action has just descended, done a hairpin right turn, and is now on the way up :eek:

#30 David Beard

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 20:55

I was going to start a new thread, but then I found this one :D
Here are some photos from a trial in Derbyshire, probably in the late 1940s. They have been in the family 'archives' ever since, but sadly I never quizzed my late father for the details. I know that some, at least, are taken at Millclose Mine, near Darley Dale, and I believe the Ford V8 special in the fifth picture is driven by Tom(my) Wise, but that's about it.


Fantastic stuff! :up:

#31 sterling49

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 21:12

As David says Mike, fantastic photos! I used to do production car trials at Canada heights and some of the photos you have posted look equally dramatic. A great form of low cost motorsport, a lovely way to spend a winters day, feet dancing across the pedals with size 9 Dunlop Warwicks on :lol:

Thanks for posting photos :up:

#32 mikeC

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 06:47

Here are a few more photos from the late 1940s:

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Again, I have no positive identifications, except that I think the second car is a Triumph Gloria (but could possibly be a Riley March Special), and the third one is an Allard, which probably dates the photo to the early fifties, rather than the forties.
Quality not as good as the earlier post :cry:

#33 Geoff.Harrison

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 15:44

[quote name='mikeC' date='Oct 2 2009, 21:52' post='3900431']
I was going to start a new thread, but then I found this one :D
Here are some photos from a trial in Derbyshire, probably in the late 1940s. They have been in the family 'archives' ever since, but sadly I never quizzed my late father for the details. I know that some, at least, are taken at Millclose Mine, near Darley Dale, and I believe the Ford V8 special in the fifth picture is driven by Tom(my) Wise, but that's about it.
Anyway, here they are:


Some of the pics are of Millclose Mine - Sheffield and Hallamshire Motor Club ran their OverRevers speed hillclimbs there in 1953/54.
The VSCC now have some sections there for their Drebyshire Trial - the whole valley looks completely different , completely overgrown .
KUM 444 is Tommy Wise in his CW8 , HXJ 636 (Bancroft Special) is probably Alan Hopkinson who owed the car during 1950.
HBT 10 is B.A.R Noble (B.N.Special)
By the cars I would assume that the trials are either North Midland Motor Club or Sheffield and Hallamshire from 1949/1950.






#34 mikeC

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 19:34

I would assume that the trials are either North Midland Motor Club or Sheffield and Hallamshire from 1949/1950.

Mnay thanks for the i.ds, Geoff, and yes, almost certainly NMMC events - my father was Club Captain, then Vice Chairman (and maybe then Chairman) through the late forties/early fifties, and we attended all their events, and most of the S&H events right through to the late sixties.

#35 Geoff.Harrison

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 09:16

Mnay thanks for the i.ds, Geoff, and yes, almost certainly NMMC events - my father was Club Captain, then Vice Chairman (and maybe then Chairman) through the late forties/early fifties, and we attended all their events, and most of the S&H events right through to the late sixties.


Mike , the trials site www.wheelspin.info might of interest , also the Duke video ' So this is Yorkshire' which while showing mainly bike trials of the late forties / early fifties
also has an Ilkley car trial with YSCC stalwarts , Don Rayner in the CW8 , Leslie Winder , Donald Ackernley etc., .
My father was active in S+H , NMMC and YSCC trials from 1950 until 1959 , so as small boys spectating our paths may have crossed !



#36 mikeC

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 15:53

...as small boys spectating our paths may have crossed !

Yes, Geoff, almost certainly :D
Thanks for the wheelspin link.... looks like a few more hours not doing jobs around the house :lol:

Here are another couple of pics from the same period

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Enjoy!

#37 vintagetriumph

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 13:53

Here are a few more photos from the late 1940s:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Again, I have no positive identifications, except that I think the second car is a Triumph Gloria (but could possibly be a Riley March Special), and the third one is an Allard, which probably dates the photo to the early fifties, rather than the forties.
Quality not as good as the earlier post :cry:


I was just browsing references to Triumph Glorias and came across your post from 2009 - and guess I am a bit late to respond - but out of interest, the car in the second photo is NOT a Triumph Gloria, which in Southern Cross form had 'suicide' rear hinged doors and twin spares.
I agree that it could well be a Riley March special. Also no idea about the first pic (HBT 10?)

#38 mikeC

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 20:37

... the car in the second photo is NOT a Triumph Gloria, which in Southern Cross form had 'suicide' rear hinged doors and twin spares.


Thanks, VT, for your feedback - I'll get the rubber out :up:

#39 mikeC

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 20:24

There doesn't seem to be a great following for trials on TNF, but just for the hell of it I will resurrect this thread with a few pics from yesterday's trial at Butts Quarry in Derbyshire:

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Everyone had a very muddy time, especially when the rains came after lunch, but I think everyone was still smiling at the end :up:

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#40 bradbury west

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 22:50

Holland Birkett and Jenks in 1949.
http://www.austinhar...known-trial/263
Roger Lund

#41 Leigh Trevail

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 08:24

This footage West Suffolk Motor Club was taken last month at Wattisfield in Suffolk. There are no real vintage cars taking part, a couple of Dellows, homebuilt specials, cars from the 70s and a collection of hatch backs. Everyone had a good time and it proves that a days sport can still be had on the cheap.


#42 sterling49

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 08:57

Great footage and looked like a fun day. The old ( and small) Fiats, still take some beating !

#43 arttidesco

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 12:15

This footage West Suffolk Motor Club was taken last month at Wattisfield in Suffolk.



These tests look a little more difficult than those I encountered in the Cross Trophy organized by The Bristol Pegasus MC last April, not sure how my land ladies old Passat would have coped and not at all sure her newer Passat would be a wise choice of weapons grade production car trail vehicle :blush:

Edited by arttidesco, 02 January 2012 - 12:16.


#44 sterling49

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 12:43

Big cars a generally not good at this discipline, their weight and size being a disadvantage, especially in the steeper, tighter tests, when you may well scrape the odd Oak tree..................... :lol:

#45 Allan Lupton

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 14:04

Similarly one could say that front-drive is a disadvantage, rear-drive, preferably with a rear engine, having long been recognised as the layout of choice.
In the first of the trial sections shown, whilst nobody made the last right-hand turn up the bank, the front-drivers ploughed straight on (as they do!) wheras the rear-driven at least made the turn before failing to get over the bank.
PS yes, I used to do PCTs and I had a go using several configurations. I know what worked and what had to be beaten!

Edited by Allan Lupton, 02 January 2012 - 14:06.


#46 sterling49

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 18:25

As I did Allan, Mini Cooper and Escort G.T., but Imps and Vee Dubs were usually the best production cars to use.

#47 D-Type

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 18:32

I have never seen a production car trial, but would expect the better traction from 15" wheels and low speed torque from the relatively long stroke engine would have given the VW the edge. Did it also have better ground clearance?

#48 sterling49

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 18:47

Both regularly won overall Duncan, cars were classed by capacity, and generally, the larger classes had Escorts and Cortinas which were being used for things other than rallies ! One guy used a Fairthorpe Electron, which was a winner, and of course Spridgets were pretty useful too. Bexley's winter event (Alexander P.C.T.) was held at Canada Heights in Swanley ( you can observe on the left of the M25, just before the slip road) which is now used for Scrambling ( sorry Moto Cross! ). Winter is the time for PCTs, lovely slippery hills and loads of mud !

Edited by sterling49, 02 January 2012 - 18:47.


#49 Leigh Trevail

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 19:38

Something that should be mentioned (artidesco's link will confirm this), to act as a passenger you only need to be twelve years old and at fourteen you can actually drive in a PCT. Combine this with a £50 MOT failed hatchback and you have what must be the cheapest entry level motor sport possible.

#50 arttidesco

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 08:42

Big cars a generally not good at this discipline, their weight and size being a disadvantage, especially in the steeper, tighter tests, when you may well scrape the odd Oak tree..................... :lol:


Fortunately club secretary Tim Murray had a magic formula to 'balance out' the disadvantages of using the Passat which when applied to my performances meant I won the trophy :blush:

I am not so sure the weight of the Passat was such a big issue since weight can provide handy momentum, something that was sorely missing when I tried my land ladies mothers Kia Picanto in an Auto Gymkhana next time out :rotfl: