Tuesday 10 March 2020

Motor Cycle Club (M.C.C.) Trials 1918 - 1939

THE STAR Johannesburg - 1918, March 14

At the Rand MCC Trials held on Sunday, March 10, 1918, the following were the results:
* B.S.A.: First
* Triumph: Second
Shimwell Bros. – Sole agents for Triumph, B.S.A. & Royal Enfield Motor Cycles
British but nothing but British

Competitors at the start of the Cape Peninsula MCC Bartle Cup Competition on Easter Monday.
CAPE TIMES - 1924, April 24

CAPE TIMES - 1924, May 13
Motor Cycle Race on the Sands at Milnerton
One of the competitors about to start.

CAPE TIMES - 1924, May 13 

Motor Cycle Race on the Sands at Milnerton
A general view of the crowd and three of the competitors.

CAPE ARGUS - 1927, August 5

Strand Motor Cycle Races
After a fortnight of really hard work, the officials of the C.P.M.C.C., who were responsible for the very successful races on the Strand Beach on August 1, are enjoying a short period of relaxation prior to renewed efforts in their progressive scheme of attractive entertainments. About five thousand people attended the races and thoroughly enjoyed the entire program, with the exception of the sidecar event, the last of the day. The course was one mile long, and the bottom corner was framed by many people.
Much credit is due to the officials of the C.P.M.C.C. for the excellent management of the meeting. At the start of the first even, every one of the programs was sold – double the quantity could easily have been disposed of.
It has been reported that one of the competitors was seriously injure during the race. This, however, is not the case, as the unfortunate incident occurred long before the course was declared open, and even before the distance was marked off by the official measures. The accident was due to the rider speeding along the beach by himself and suddenly striking a patch of loose sand. He lost control and was conveyed to the nursing home at Somerset West. There were no other accidents during the actual races. It is refreshing to learn from the controlling club that during the long term of its activities, extending from 1910, there has never been a single instance where a competitor has been injured.
The 600 c.c. scratch race started with a surprising burst of speed by RF Bacon on his little 2¾ h.p. A.J.S., followed by Backlin (Douglas) who also had his mount tuned to a nicety. These two, with Southall (A.J.S.), were so excited that they overrun the first corner, allowing one or two of the slower machines to get round first. The little A.J.S. and the Douglas were soon in the lead again. Bacon (A.J.S.) eventually won, and registered a fast lap of 62 m.p.h. during the course of his ride.
The surprise of the day was seen in the novices’ race, when a little 2½ h.p. B.S.A in the hands of Bent lapped the course at 44 m.p.h. Such high speed from a miniature motor-cycle could not have been reasonably anticipated by the handicappers. This rider won the race with the two Dunelt men filling second and third positions. One of the latter did a lap at an average of 47 m.p.h., representing a really good performance for a two-strike of 2¼ h.p.
The third race was for five-valve machines, and brough out the big Harleys, it being evident at once that Short had the fastest engine on the field. His high-powered Harley simply ripped over the sand at a hair-raising speed and actually registered a lap at 72 m.p.h. This machine at one time or another must have touched nearer to 90 than 80, and when prepared and properly geared for a straight distance should attain the coveted 100 m.p.h. mark, which its rider anticipates reaching in the near future.
I do not know why it is that Short (Harley) does not figure in the awards for this race, and imagine that trouble of some kind must have prevented him from catching the speedy BSA (Symons) up which eventually won with not very much to spare from Bacon (A.J.S.) and Backlin (Douglas).
I believe that even with 72 m.p.h. being registered for his Harley, it is not the fastest speed at which the machine can lap the mile course, and think its intrepid little rider is still very wisely keeping something up his sleeve.
There were one or two absentees from the ten mile s.v. race due to trouble overtaking riders in previous events. Nevertheless, the excitement was maintained when the back-markers got away. These comprised Short (Harley) and Du Toit (Harley), and although the limit man on a 2¼ B.S.A. rode well and took every advantage of his 400 seconds start, Short gained the lead near the end, only to lose it again through a slight engine seizure, which he considered could not be overlooked, and retired. This result was yet another proof of sound handicapping as the first three to finish were spread over the whole entry, the winner being GC Anderson (Dunelt) who received 320 secs. start, while HA Bent gained second place from the 400 secs. mark, and Du Toit (Harley), scratch man, coming into third position.
What promised to be the tit-bit of the day was the scratch event for 350 c.c. o.h.v. machines, especially as rumours were freely circulated in town to the effect that the 350 c.c. experts had been tuning hard for some time past, and extremely high speeds with a hard battle for first place seemed assured. The race upheld its reputation for a few laps, when gradually yet surely riders fell out through some hidden fault. R Bacon (A.J.S.) took the lead from the start and maintained it throughout. He was never seriously challenged, and eventually won by about a quarter of a mile from HC Nolte, who was astride another A.J.S., D Van Reit (A.J.S.), a comparatively young rider, made no mistake about the third position, and deserves credit for his consistent riding. All three A.J.S.’s became monotonously consistent in the late stages of the race, and it was quite an education to watch them. It is difficult to single out any one who made more of an impression than the others, for once the three positions had been taken up, so they continued without varying the distance much until the finish. This might indicate that the leader, Bacon, had a good deal of speed to spare, but I do not think this was the case, and attribute his initial lead to quick gear changing and violent acceleration at the beginning. He certainly mad a splendid impression with his game little mount.
The public were not so well impressed with the sidecar event, which was considered rather tame after the more dashing solo races. The speeds recorded were comparatively slow, and could be vastly improved upon. The most outstanding performers were Hemmens (Harley), MecFarlane (Harley), and Scott (Harley), who finished in that order. The little Morgan driven by M Longmore was among the fastest set and after completing two laps at an average of 51.5 m.p.h., was forced to retire with an oiled plug. The winner’s average for the six miles was 48.7, so that the Morgan, with its handicap of 40 secs., could have won easily if it had maintained its two-lap average for the whole race, a not impossible performance.
I am inclined to believe that the sidecar race should be made very much more spectacular if greater interest was evinced in it. If the committees desire to encourage the three-wheelers, they should enlarge the award a little, not forgetting to increase the fee accordingly.
CAPE ARGUS - 1927, August 5
Strand Motor Cycle Races
The big collection of cars at the Strand where motor-cycle races were held on Aug. 1, 1927.

CAPE TIMES - 1928, July 11

Metropolitan Motor Cycle Club’s Reliability Trial
A competitor in the Metropolitan Motor Cycle Club’s Reliability Trial to Sir Lowry’s Pass, starting from the Pier on Saturday.

CAPE ARGUS – 1939, January 26
Camps Bay Hill Climbing 
Thrills in plenty are promised at the Camps Bay Hill Climbing Contest to be staged by the Cape Peninsula Motor-Cycle and Car Club on the new Geneva Drive (off the Marine Drive) on Saturday. This picture was taken during a practice run today.

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