The photos show entrants at the recent VSCC New Years Driving Tests which were held at the famed Brooklands Race Track. The photo above shows a vintage Bentley being readied for competition. Below, left to right in the driving tests held on a portion of the remaining track banking are; What appears to be a Austin Special, a Grafton cyclecar, a Bugatti and a Riley.
This type of event that the club holds, is more of a test of driver and machine in a low- speed course, focused on precise maneuvering and driving skill. It the past we have shown you, VSCC Trials which are an off road type of competition.
Just below is a video showing the 2011 Brooklands Double Twelve pit stop competition on the Finishing Straight. The film will give you a better idea of what these Driving Tests involve. The first car put through it’s paces appears to be the Bugatti pictured above. Take the time to watch the whole film as you will see and hear some quite rare vintage machinery in action including one with a malfunctioning reverse gear.
This appears to be the whole crew posing out in front of a garage or dealership with a circa 1909 Pierce-Arrow Limousine. Note what looks like a chicken mascot on the top of the hood. Where the photo was taken is unknown, but it must have been in the north-ern part of the country as there in snow on the ground and the car is wearing chains. The man on he left, who appears to be the chauffeur, is dressed up in a warm fur coat and hat.
It must have been in a prosperous city, as the Pierce-Arrow appears to be either a Model 48, or possibly the big one, a Model 60. It is top of the line all the way and is wearing a seven-passenger suburban body equipped with Rushmore headlamps and ornate coach lamps on either side. The Model 48 was on a 130″ w.b. chassis and cost $6100 and the Model 60 was on a 135″ w.b. and cost $7100. Hopefully the P-A experts can tell us more about this fine automobile. The Old Motor photo.
The Packard 443 was called the fourth series and both the Custom Eight and the Standard Eight were on the same 143″ w.b. The car was introduced in July of 1927 and this artwork we are viewing here is for the catalog or production cars. The true custom bodied cars were featured in a separate custom coach work catalog.
The Standard model was the same basic car as the Custom Eight but it was slightly less luxurious, with fewer color and trim choices and it carried rear mounted spare. 4,486 standard models were produced in comparison to the 3,314 Custom models during the model run. The Custom came with dual side-mounts and wire wheels were an option, that really gave the Packard a light and sporty look.
The l-head eight-cylinder engine has nine main bearings with a 3.5″ x 5″ bore & stroke and the 384.8 c.i. engine produced 109 h.p. It was backed by a dual-plate dry-clutch and three-speed gear box; the closed cars had a 4.33 rear axle ratio while the lighter open cars used a 4.07. The 443 was the last Packard to use drum style headlights. The Artwork is from the Roderic Blood Collection and is courtesy of the Larz Anderson Auto Museum.