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1900 Ranelagh Automobile Gymkhana

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1900 Ranelagh Automobile Gymkhana [1]

To attract what is left of the fashionable world in London to the delightful grounds of the Ranelagh Club at Barnes Elms on Saturday last, the executive, with the assistance of the Automobile Club, gave a series of automobile events of considerable interest.

The attendance was large and brilliant, and, although a most exciting polo match was being played within the track laid out for the autocar events, the attention of the large and distinguished assemblage was riveted upon the cars and their evolutions until the end. The grass course, 1,570 yards in circuit, was lumpy and bad on the back straight, its inequalities bringing one of the tricyclists in the coat and waistcoat race to grief. The meeting was excellently handled by the judges and stewards, good time being kept throughout.





Between staves; forwards to a line; front wheels to cross the line; vehicle to stop and return backwards. In starting go to left of first post. In returning pass first post at top of course on the reverse side to that on which it was passed in going forwards.

Mr. Grimshawe's deft manoeuvring in threading the staves on the reverse won him the race. So far as pace and handling went, Mr. Campbell Muir on his Locomobile bore the palm, but his burner was extinguished when half-way through the reversing course.

Mr. Phillips, whose Petit Due Mors runs on slow speed only backwards, was very uncertain as to his steering stern first.

For carriages with tube ignition only. The tubes and lamps must be sufficiently cold to allow of their being held in hand without inconvenience. No electric ignition, must be employed. The driver to start on foot twenty yards to the rear of his vehicle, run to his vehicle, light lamps, start engine, and race once round the full course with flying finish.

This was not a particularly interesting race from a spectator's point of view, as the start took all but the cars of Mr. Langrishe and Mr. Rolls away from the spectators. The former got lit up and going with such celerity, however, that he out-distanced everyone, and won by a street from Rolls. No one else in it.

LADIES' RACE. CARS (1,570 yards

All the ladies drove most skilfully and gracefully, and a most exciting race took place between Miss Weblyn and the well-known lady novelist, who was alone upon her De Dion. The scratch car gained gradually upon the De Dion throughout, but only succeeded in overhauling it in the last fifty yards, winning by eight and a half yards.

At the end of the first lap the driver dismounted, took off coat, hung it up on a numbered peg; at end of second lap took off waistcoat, hung it up on same peg; at the end of third lap put on coat and waistcoat, fully buttoned both, and finished at the end of the fourth lap.

  • 1, H. R. Langrishe, 24 11.p. De Dion tricycle;
  • 2, Hon. Charles S. Rolls, motor tricycle;
  • 3, Roger H. Fuller, 24 h.p. De Dion tricycle;
  • 4, Mark Mayhew, 4 h. p. Delangere tricycle.
  • Also ran.

This proved a particularly amusing event, the frantic efforts of the competitors to get their engines started and off after divesting themselves of the garments named creating much laughter. Mr. Rolls certainly stole a march upon the other competitors by riding a De Dion tricycle fitted with a clutch, so that he was able to allow his engine to remain running during the disrobing and re-robing waits. He led by about 150 yds. from Langrishe when it came to waistcoat shedding, but retribution awaited him at the close of the penultimate circuit, for he allowed his engine to run too fast, with the result that when he did take to the saddle the good machine, as though conscious of the unannounced advantage he enjoyed over his fellow competitors, reared up and deposited him on his back on the ground. This allowed both Langrishe and Faller to obtain a lead, but Rolls remounted after some hesitation, and succeeded in scoring second honours.

Start from line race over straight course; terminate over line but without touching brick (property) wall. Winning car was that the wheels of which were over and not touching a line. Cars touching wall disqualified.

  • 1, E. Campbell-Muir, Locomobile steam car (scratch);
  • 2, R. E. Phillips, Petit Duc Mors (100 yds.)
  • Also ran:
    • T. W. Browne, 6 h.p. Panhard (100 yds.);
    • Vera Butler, 6 h.p. Panhard (125 yds.);
    • C. Grimshawe, b h.p. Daimler (100 yds.);
    • H. R. Langrishe, 8 h.p. Peugeot;
    • Hon. C. S. Rolls, 12 h.p. Panhard (scratch); and
    • C. F. Torrey, 8 h.p. Peugeot.

Nothing could stand against Campbell-Muir's manipulation of the Locomobile. although Phillips's Mors did well.

Between gate-posts, dummies, etc., to include the opening and reclosing of a gate ; and to finish through a paper screen.

  • 1, Robert E. Phillips, Mors Petit Duc (510 yds.);
  • 2, Hon. Charles S. Rolls, Panhard and Levassor (scratch);
  • 3, Cecil Grimshawe, 6 h.p. Daimler (510 yds.);
  • 4, H. R. Langrishe, 8 h.p. Peugeot (380 yds.)
  • Also ran:
    • T. B. Brown, 6 h.p. Panhard and Levassor (510 yds.);
    • Frank Hedges Butler, 6 h.p. Panhard and Levassor (510 yds.);
    • C. F. Torry, 8 h.p. Peugeot (380 yds.)

Phillips's speed and smart manipulation in stopping and getting under way served him in good stead, and he won somewhat easily. A good race between third and fourth.

The Dowager Lady Shrewsbury presented the prizes at the end of the meeting, which was an interesting and enjoyable one throughout.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Autocar magazine of 21st July 1900