Our ever expanding team are moving into the world of Production Car Trials - with considerable success already. Yes folks, Cars and Car Conversions have recruited Colin Valentine and John Taylor to run in magazine colours for the rest of 1975. Their field of competition is a strange sport known as production car trialling: it involves getting basically standard cars up rather steep, often muddy slopes. The idea being that, the further up the hill you get, the fewer penalties you get.
The entry on each event is divided into classes. Basically, these cater for Minis and the like; rear wheel drive saloons like Escorts; sports cars; rear engined cars like Imps and Beetles; and specialist stuff like the all-conquering Ginetta of Bill Moffatt.
Below are profiles of our two newest team members, together with some details of the vehicles they use. Their exploits on the hills will be reported each month in Our Team.
Colin Valentine works for Chrysler UK at their Whitley Technical Centre in Coventry, so he naturally uses a Chrysler product. His 875cc Stiletto is nevertheless a private venture, Chrysler Comps supplying only advice.
The car was bought second-hand for Mrs Valentine to use for shopping and, because of this, all stickers, etc., are carefully mounted on plastic boards which are screwed onto the car during events and removed during the week - which at least serves to reduce fuzz interest while rushing about on the public highway.
Inside the Stiletto is bog standard, with all carpets, trim, heater and even a radio in place. The suspension has been raised with Chrysler Comps 'RAC' springs, while the cylinder head was sent to Andy Chesman for a quick clean and polish. Competition doughnuts on the drive shafts were added for reliability and the only other additions were a sumpguard and a set of spare wheels and tyres for use on events so that the tread stays fresh.
At present, Colin favours Semperit M401 rubber - bear in mind that knobblies are banned and that tyre pressures are now a matter of regulation: in Colin's class 20 psi all round is a must, despite the fact that Chrysler only specify 15 psi for cross ply tyres on the front of an Imp.
During 1974, Colin managed a very acceptable eight class wins and two outright victories in the bright yellow machine. His most memorable event was the Duckhams Trial organised by Crane Valley, where he ran into a tree in the morning, taking 11 penalties (the man with fewest penalties wins, of course, and 11 is, like, a lot). Despite this handicap, Colin cleaned almost everything for the rest of that day and eventually won outright, only to have his transaxle seize up on the way home - he always drives the car to events, unlike some of the surprisingly rich competitors who actually trailer their machines.
Colin recently joined the Production Car Trial Committee of the British Trials and Rally Drivers' Association, whose name reveals the keen support for PCTs within that organisation. Having joined the committee, Colin quickly found himself voted ill as Events Secretary.
CCC's Trials Team / C.W. - Cars & Car Conversions 1975 [month]. - p.71
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File started: Fr. 26 July 2013