Throwback Thursday: 1955 Full Moon Cup Trial

1955 Full Moon Cup

On this day in 1955, we ran the Full Moon Cup Trial.  Here’s how it was reviewed in our journal…

Full Moon Cup Trial

19th March 1955

This event attracted twenty-five entrants, of which all but three started. Unfortunately one of the non-starters was Len Parker whose past deeds, apart from motor cycles have been mainly accomplished with Allards and Specials. It was hoped that his usual determined assaults on hills would brighten the proceedings, although at the wheel of a Vanguard saloon.

As last year with this event, the organisers adopted a form of handicapping based on the percentage of weight on the rear wheels. This year, instead of giving every individual entrant a different minimum tyre pressure to assist grip, the vehicles weighed with passengers in competing condition, were grouped into three groups according to the percentages arrived at. These classes were each given a common minimum tyre pressure for driving wheels, also a different starting position on the more difficult hills. The plan was to allow the cars with least grip to drop their tyre pressures below that of the vehicles naturally enjoying better grip, also to allow them a longer run at the gradient. Unfortunately the exceptionally dry conditions provided such good grip that some competitors had too much and not enough power to go with it. The presence of a little wheelspin would have had the effect of a lower gear ratio and consequently improved their performance. Some entrants had added so much ballast that they gave themselves some extra handicap. A week earlier, there was so much sheet ice on various portions of the course that very different results would have been obtained.

It is interesting to note that fewer people failed on the Steepest hill. Nailsworth Ladder, than on Bownham, a quite moderate gradient.

The first test was a rolling brake test on a loose surface. The best performance, naturally, was put up by Gilbert Best, very closely followed by M. Ward, E. G. Reynolds, Phil. Green, Gee and Thorne. Those requiring their brakes to be adjusted remain a dark secret.

The next climb caused no difficulty, but unfortunately, the special restart test had to be cut out due to a technical hitch. Rushing backwards and forwards at the crossroads test again gave best to Best. E. Thorne (AM)) was the next fastest and then C. L. Reed (Triumph and L. E. Kethro (M.G. 18/80) tied with 29 sec.; Morrish (M.G. PBS) and 1. L. Lewis (Vauxhall) tied with 29.3 sec.; J. T. Tomlinson (Jowett Javelin) completed those under 30 sec. Twelve failed on Bownham and two were caught out by the special restart test.

Nailsworth Ladder, unlike last year when no clean climbs were recorded, was successfully attacked by twelve competitors, not without incident. Some drivers forgot their selected course in the excitement, and had a rough passage over the step, which can be avoided. L. E. Kethro’s passengers and spare wheels became mixed; .1. Flook (A4()) shed all the contents of his vehicle bar the passenger; Alf. Morrish (M.G. PBS) gave a high-speed display accompanied by sound effects.

A wide variety of types and sizes of cars appear in the award list and it is hoped a good time was had by all and that those who missed an award this time will try again.

1955 Full Moon Cup