Gransden Lodge 13th July 1947

It is often assumed, quite wrongly, that the resumption of motor sport and the development of motor racing came about by order of the RAC or one of the "major" clubs. In fact, and somewhat ironically, the Vintage Sport Car Club and Cambridge University Automobile Club played a major role and were the first to run a motor race at RAF Gransden Lodge, to the west of Cambridge, on the 13th July 1947. A remarkable achievement so soon after the cessation of hostilities, especially considering that war time austerity and rationing were very much in force, as referred to in the Editorial!

RAF Gransden Lodge was used by Bomber Command, flying Wellingtons, Mosquitoes, and Lancasters.

Also of note are the names of the two Vice-Presidents; S.C.H. Davis and Laurence Pomeroy who were both instrumental in establishing 500cc racing and most certainly arranged our invite to this historic event. The use of airfields proved to be a turning point for motor racing in Britain (where road racing was banned), with Silverstone, Goodwood, Snetterton, Boreham and others following.

 

 

The race itself was a bit of a shambles with several cars failing before the start. Eric Brandon dominated in his Prototype Cooper, the classified results being: 1st Eric Brandon - Cooper T3, 2nd Frank Aikens - Aikens, 3rd Frank Bacon - FHB     DNF: Colin Strang - Strang, Adrian Butler - Stromboli, John Cooper - Cooper T2

In June 2007, the 500 Owners Association held a 60th anniversary race at Brands Hatch for the Iota Trophy, in celebration of this important moment in motor racing history. This time, we had over 30 cars take the start and twenty four finish. Neil Hodges won to uphold Cooper's honour with Tim Llewellyn in second and Dave Lecoq, third.

 

How Gregor Grant reported for Iota

Colin Strang gets out of shape

The editor of the VSCC Bulletin was clearly unconvinced by these newcomers.

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