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There are some events where you don’t have to get beyond the car park to feel you’ve had a cracking day out.
And one of the finest pre-1940 displays seen anywhere came together in the car park at Prescott Speed Hill Climb on 3-4 August, as visitors gathered for the Vintage Sports-Car Club’s premier event, the pinnacle of the Speed Championship season.
This year as part of the VSCC’s 85th anniversary, Prescott saw a huge turn out of early Alvis models as a tribute to founder Tom Rolt with 12/50s in every form lining the track fence.
Chief engineer Captain George Thomas Smith-Clarke and Willie Dunn would have been proud of the number of survivors.
In addition, with nearby Cirencester hosting the International Auto Union Rally, a few rare DKWs were tempted over to Prescott, including a handsome front-wheel-drive F5 cabriolet that had driven from Austria for the weekend.
A favourite of many was the magnificent 1907 Daimler 10.7-litre, chain-drive Type 54 tourer, the ideal machine for Mr Toad!
With distinctive copper brightwork, it was ordered new by the Earl of Craven and was good for 80mph at 1200rpm.
Maintained to the highest order but superbly preserved, this great Edwardian was once the pride of watchmaker George Daniels’ collection.
The car park featured a heartening number of vintage Bentleys with saloon coachwork which missed the chop into Le Mans replicas.
Highlights included the very handsome 1928 4½-litre chassis MF3155 with Weymann-style body built by Gurney Nutting and ordered new by the Guinness family.
From the Derby era was a super-rare drophead with a stylish body designed by Vesters & Neirinck of Brussels.
The mixed rows of vintage machines resulted in wonderful contrasts, none more so than Richard Scaldwell’s compact 1922 Salmson AL2 closed coupé which was dwarfed by a huge Sunbeam 24/60 limousine (see the photo at the top of the page).
And a few post-war cars sneaked into the special pre-war parking area including a highly original AC Ace, and an Aston Martin DB3S which owner Roland Duce had driven to Prescott to compete in his Edwardian Vauxhall Prince Henry racer.