October 16th 1976

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From WSSCC magazine 'Dashboard' for November 1976

October 16th 1976 was to be a memorable day for many people inclusive of which were 30 or so members of WSSCC. There follows a blow by blow account of the days happenings as briefly related by the crews themselves.
Top seed from Wolverhampton was John Daker and George Handley running at 58. Because of an excessive intake of alcohol at the finish it clean stripped my mind to collar him and find out what happened, suffice to say he did win the best Wolverhampton & South Staffs finishing 40th o/all. If our man in the 'sticks' would care to write an article about the Castro] and any other happenings this year including his rumoured 1300 BDA for the RAC please send it along to arrive before December for inclusion in the Christmas, Bumper? Dashboard.
Seeded at 80 were Keith Gibson and Chris Flavell in Keith's BDA previous winners of the best WSSCC award they were obviously hoping for better things this year, but alas! all hell let loose at the start when the car refused to start, a short on the electrics was eventually traced to the fuel pump this resulted in the car being pushed over the start line (with Steve Bennett their service crew) sat in the boot rewiring the fuel pump. The steering column then came neatly adrift just at the start of stage two resulting in one or two hair raising moments. Then having resigned themselves to a poor result due to an unmanageable car they stopped to tow Willy Dick out of a ditch, they finished 54th.
At 81 was Willie (the ditch) Dick and Mike Wood what can you say about these pair except that they spent 75% of their day exploring the forestry undergrowth and ditches.
At 83 were Glen Mitten / M. Harris having not seen Mr. Milton since the event I've no idea what they got up to on his days outing but he finished okay in 60th place. At 84 were the Smalley Brother's with their 1 litre crossflow flying tin box they were supposed to be writing an article but it hasn't materialized so all I can tell you is that they managed a 360 degree roll on Hafren 2 loosing about 5 sec's. and won the up to 1300 cc class.
At 85 were Leigh Mclockwork how do you spell it?(IT ?)and Nick Doughty in the ex Carol Tyler Morris (great name that) ex Allan Boyden, ex David Cozens mini apparently the car proved to be a pig on stages although fine on the road and being somewhat down on power they struggled home to 80th o/all.
No. 107 was John Pearce and Mark Hoggarth. These two were obviously enjoying themselves their mini was nearly always being driven backwards round the corners. Unfortunately a mix up on the last stage gave them a maximum and lost them the up to 1300 cc class by 1 second.
Number 114 was Pete York and Clive Harris in Pete's Mexico. Pete only went out to work up a thirst for the-finish. They found too many uphills and not enough down and got rather annoyed on Dovey 1, they suffered a puncture and found the jack didn't work (good preparation that! ed).
10 minutes behind were Chris Morris and Rick York in the Porsche Carrera. They had no problems until they reached Nant-y-Moch when a young lady at the stage finish walked off with their road book later presenting it to Anne Phillips??? Poor blokes had to follow their noses back to the finish.
Mr. Morris was leading a happy band of crews at 125 were John Trevethick / Anne Phillips. This pair had several offs John blaming it on the handbrake being to close to the gearlever! this resulted in constant arguments. They knocked the exhaust off on Dovey 1 and Miss Phillips was rumoured to be reading a book on Hafren 2 (I wonder was it Roger Clark's 'Sideways to Victory')
At 126 was Mick Legg and Edward Basterfield another pair only there for the beer not to mention the Soda Siphon party at the finish. Nevertheless the BMW proved reliable and they cruised round to 68th.
Mick Chick and Tony Robinson at 127 chased Mike Legg round. It was Mr. Chicks first ever outing in the forest (who says-typist) He thoroughly enjoyed himself despite his first ever off in this car putting a neat dent in the rear panel. I understand Mr. Robinson experienced some difficulty reading the bends off the map which must have slowed them down somewhat (No yellow lines to followed) Anyway their ace service crew consisting of yours truly with Paul and Annie Price ensured their finishing.
The Begley Brothers were next to the slaughter at 128 in Bob's RS 1600. I wouldn't say they were unhappy with the cars performance but it has since been put up for sale, quote "Fords are rubbish I'm going back to a mini"
Next up at 131 was Tim Bloxham with Stuart Bentley in the Hot seat. Under normal conditions you would not have missed the Anglia with its very distinctive colour scheme, but unfortunately the car only survived one mile into the first stage before the gearbox cried enough? In fact it was the second gearbox in 3 days! (Massey Ferguson do a good line in boxes - ed.)
Three minutes later John Fox and Scott Edmunds sailed passed a disgruntled Tim Bloxham both grinning sheepishly. They shouldn't have done that! a mile further on they broke a shock absorber mounting and despite having it welded up at 1st service it broke again on Stage 2. To cap it all the U bolts stretched allowing the rear axle to float about. Needless to say they gracefully retired.
Bryan Bayley and Brian Vaughan at 140 had more than their share of troubles. They only fitted the engine the night before, suffering bad clutch slip all day, they had a puncture on Dovey 1, had the brake pads changed at 1st service and found them jamming on, their lights failed to work on Nant-y-Moch and they finally crawled in to finish 15 sec's o.t.l.
Our own clubs back up to the TR7's was next at 142 Mike Sadler-Brookes and Colin Smith in the TR6 (well its only one number out). Apart from almost rolling on the first stage, buckling both rear wheels and running out of petrol in Dovey they had a pretty uneventful day.
Last literally, running at 180 was Mr. Bob Newell with Graham Wheale co-driving. Mr. Newell deserves a special mention, not only was it a remarkable feat getting the car finished in time to do the event it was absolutely miraculous he finished. The car was built with plumbing spanners from a bare shell (have you ever used plumbing spanners?) and was only finished the day before the event, being MOT'd and taxed on the Friday afternoon. He started the event with virtually no clutch travel and found half way down the first stage that his brakes were fading, still he struggled valiantly on and finished 110th o/all.
Anyone not mentioned please feel free to write your own report they will all be printed.