Classic Car Catalogue

R.A.C. Scottish Rally

R.A.C. Scottish Rally
11 July 1932

Great Britain

Motor SportAugust 1932

THIS Rally habit is growing. It all started with the Monte Carlo affair, and then people enjoyed that so much that the R.A.C. held their great event in the Spring, finishing at Torquay. Now the Scottish Club have followed suit, and on 11th of July, 151 cars of all shapes and sizes, all ages and types, set off from London, Harrogate, Droitwich, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen on the first stage of their long journey. Their respective objectives were Oban, Strathpeffer, Inverness, Grantown on Spey, Aberdeen (after a circular tour of Scotland), and the wonderful Turnberry Hotel, in all cases the distance being about 600 miles.
The sporting fraternity were evidently out to break all records in the way of average speeds, for there was no limit as to running time, and no restriction as to how early one might reach one's destination. Added to this, competitors had the advantage of a clear night, with empty roads. Incidentally, there were some very fine sports cars in the big entry list, Bentleys, Lagondas, Aston-Martins, M.G.'s, Rileys, Wolseley Hornets, Alvis, Talbots and others.
After many adventures, in which roaming cattle, vagrant sheep, gliding owls and other gently moving fauna did their best to terrify, bewilder and generally cause competitors to diverge from the straight path, the majority of competitors succeeded in reaching their respective destinations.
So far all roads had been fairly smooth, but on the next stage of the journey the roads became decidedly rough—which is as it should be in a Rally. After all, any good modern car can keep going fairly well for any length of time on first class main roads. But now the narrow, bumpy lanes which had to be negotiated at high speed, caused many competitors to wonder whether the ultra-low appearance of their brand new sports model contained a snag in it after all, and when the battery boxes and exhaust pipes of a few had come in violent contact with certain hump-backed bridges, one driver at least was heard to remark, "I wish I were in a model 'T' Ford."
On Thursday the last stage was undertaken to Glasgow, still by various routes. Those competitors who had entered the Rally with an idea of seeing something of Scotland's beautiful scenery had by this time become completely disillusioned. The agonising anticipation of meeting someone coming the other way on the innumerable corners, the prospect of some trouble developing in the rapidly tiring motor cars, and the general lack of adequate sleep made driving a whole time job, and as the competitors entered Glasgow it was with the air of conquering heroes. Beyond one or two retirements of people who not unnaturally thought better of giving their brand new cars a bad time on their maiden trips, nearly all the competitors arrived at Glasgow. In spite of being revived hurriedly at local garages at the end of every stage,—in the manner of boxers between rounds—the cars were all rather tired on arrival at Glasgow, and " seconds " worked feverishly all night to bring the cars up fresh for their final ordeal.
On Friday morning the tests took place. First, a novel one, known as the Kerb Driving Test, in which competitors had to park their cars five inches from a white timber baulk. Many drivers, especially those of large cars, failed miserably, the most fortunate competitor probably being H. T. Van Marken, whose right-hand drive Chrysler was just made for the job.
Then came the acceleration, stop, restart and acceleration test, in which the best performance of all was made by D. Donaldson on a Magna. The standard of driving was varied, some drivers taking a long while to get off the mark, others overshooting the stop mark, and nearly all being slow on the restart. A notable feature of this test was the wonderful braking power displayed by the Talbots and Aston-Martins.
Then the scene of activity was transferred to Edinburgh, where the officials had arranged a tricky piece of driving which was to prove the undoing of a good many competitors. The scene was a narrow lane, with a hill of one in six, where cars had to do a restart test. Sounds simple, doesn't it ? But ask some of the unfortunates what they thought about it !
Burnt clutches were the order of the day, and as the road became more ploughed up so competitors became more and more petrified at the mere sight of the lane. Cars and drivers who were perfectly capable of tackling the job under ordinary conditions were smitten with a combination of stage-fright and inferiority complex, and the list of failures was appallingly high.
The finish of the Rally, with the exception of the prize-giving, was a Concours held on the Esplanade in front of the Castle. Much scrubbing and polishing resulted in an array of resplendent motor-cars, making it hard to believe that the cars had endured the hardships they had experienced en route.
Small Class.—
1, O. F. Dennison (Riley), 402.4, "The Motor World" Trophy and R.S.A.C. Prize ;
2, V. E. Leverett (Riley), and O. C. Macandrew (Crossley), 401.4 R.S.A.C. Prize.
Large Class.—
1, J. S. Couldrey (Hudson), 408.0, "The Autocar " Trophy and R.S.A.C. Prize ;
2, W. A. Scott-Brown (Alvis), 404.0 R.S.A.C. Prize;
3, A. Jack (Armstrong Siddeley), 401.8, R.S.A.C. Prize.
Control Prizes.
Starting from London.—
Small Class.—V. H. Leverett (Riley), presented by Town Council of Oban.
Large Class.—J. S. Couldrey (Hudson), presented by Corporation of Glasgow.
Starting from Droitwich.—
W. A. Scott-Brown (Alvis), presented by Town Council of Inverness.
Starting from Harrogate.—G. F. Dennison (Riley), presented by Corporation of Edinburgh.
Starting from Edinburgh.—A. Jack (Armstrong Siddeley), presented by Corporation of Edinburgh.
Starting from Glasgow.—D. H. Prosser (Wolseley Hornet), presented by Corporation of Glasgow.
Starting from Aberdeen.—D. M. Reid (Lagonda), presented by Corporation of Aberdeen.
Team Prize (presented by the Scottish Motor Trade Association).—R.S.A.C. No. 2 Team : W. M. Wallace, jun. (Bentley), C. E. W. Sleigh (Daimler), D. Martin (Lanchester).
Ladies' Prize.—
Small Class.-
1, Mrs. Raymond Gough (Riley), "The Scotsman" Prize ;
2, Miss Cynthia Labouchere (Wolseley Hornet), "Edinburgh Evening Dispatch " Prize.
Large Class.
1, Miss Margaret Allan (Lagonda), Glasgow Daily Newspapers' Prize ;
1, Mrs. M. C. Elliot (Ford), Hay and Robertson's Prize.
Acceleration and Brake Test.—
Small Class.—D. Donaldson (M.G. Magna), presented by "Aberdeen Free Press and Journal."
Large Class.—1, J. S. Couldrey (Hudson) and W. A. Scott-Brown (Alvis) tied.
Special Prizes.—
Presented by the Scottish Travel Association for the car starting from England and carrying not less than four passengers : J. S. Couldrey (Hudson).
Presented by George F. Paisley, Esq., Convener of the House Committee of the Royal Scottish Automobile Club, for the car showing the best result, irrespective of class, entered by a member of the Royal Scottish Automobile Club.—J. S. Couldrey (Hudson).