Sys­ton Park Speed Tri­als

Pre-1939 cars and mo­tor­cy­cles tackle the hillclimb in an au­then­tic and en­thu­si­as­tic re-cre­ation of one of the UK’s early motorsport spec­tac­u­lars

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - David Brown

’The aim of the present day event is to re­cap­ture the spirit of the orig­i­nal’

The an­nual Sys­ton Park Speed Tri­als, near Gran­tham, will come as a great shock to any­one who thinks that Lin­colnshire is de­void of steep hills, as Pre-War ve­hi­cles take on the sur­viv­ing hillclimb sec­tion of an his­toric mo­tor race course.

Last year saw the pub­lic re­vival of the event, where motorsport events had taken place be­tween 1906 and 1939, fol­low­ing a suc­cess­ful pri­vate launch party in Septem­ber 2015.

The aim of the present day event is to re­cap­ture the spirit of the orig­i­nal, with a clas­sic car­a­van for the commentary box, orig­i­nal tro­phies and some of the cars that took part in ear­lier eras at Sys­ton Park. Many of the par­tic­i­pants and vis­i­tors wear pe­riod cos­tume and there are a few retro stalls and lo­cally sourced re­fresh­ments, in­clud­ing ice creams sold from a bike – and there’s not a high-vis vest to be seen!

New for the 2017 event was a car park re­served for clas­sics op­po­site the pre-war pad­dock, which at­tracted a wide va­ri­ety of ve­hi­cles from the 1930s on­wards.

Par­tic­i­pat­ing Sys­ton orig­i­nals in­cluded the un­usual 1937 1100cc Fry Freikaiser­wa­gen, the first Bri­tish mid-en­gine rac­ing car that ran at the Sys­ton In­ter-Var­sity meet­ing in March 1938.

Among the cars on dis­play was the rare 1939 V8 Ray­mond Mays Spe­cial Sports Tourer that also took a run up the hill. Mays’ fa­ther, TW Mays, won the 12hp class in a Hum­ber at the in­au­gu­ral 1906 hillclimb, ac­com­pa­nied by seven-year-old Ray­mond, and RM would later try out his pro­to­type ERA R1A on the Park’s course in 1934, as well as tak­ing part in the Speed Tri­als there him­self.

hillclimb in style. Coupé tack­les its afternoon A 1933 972cc Singer Sports 1934 Nigel Sten­nett-Cox drove his su­perb Ford V8 40 Da­gen­ham Belle from Nor­folk. No 46 Cream Cracker, a 1935 940cc PB, was a MG works team trial car, and is seen here re­turn­ing down­hill from its afternoon run.

Vis­i­tors to this year’s Barn-Find dis­play at the Prac­ti­cal Clas­sics Restora­tion Show at the NEC will re­call Mark Fish­pool of Peter­bor­ough’s 1935 Lanch­ester Woodie – now a run­ner!

Carol Corliss drove Ste­wart Wilkie’s 1939 Ray­mond Mays Spe­cial Sports Tourer from Thurlby, Lin­colnshire, for dis­play at the event but was per­suaded to give it a run up the hill.

Among the cars that had ap­peared at Sys­ton Park in pe­riod was this stun­ning 1925 Bu­gatti with twin rear wheels, driven by T Lee, seen here be­ing flagged away for its afternoon run.

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