Classic Trialling in Bertie

Shortly after I completed the car, I was introduced to classic trialling by a then colleague. Les Kerry and his brother in law, Alan Jones - of whom more elsewhere. Bertie has never been the most successful trials car - partly due to the lead-footed driver - but we have had our moments over nearly 20 years of periodic entries in the MCC Classic Trials series (Exeter, Lands End and Edinburgh each year).

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This shot is from Motor Sport magazine, and shows Bertie in his first incarnation, being given a helping hand around the first tight bend at Fingle in the 1985 Exeter Trial. 1200cc Triumph power, 13-inch Herald wheels and very little ground clearance made the trialling a fairly sticky proposition at this time. My then next-door neighbour Ian was navigating.

The 1997 Edinburgh Trial - taken on Litton Slack. This was incarnation two - 15" wires and the Vitesse straight six under the bonnet - a heavy lump. As so often, the pic doesn't do justice to the slope here. We stopped a few yards further on with the grins wiped off our faces. Navigator for this one is my colleague Andy Preston. Actually, his grin may have been more a rictus of fear...

Two major rebuilds later, in the 2002 Edinburgh Trial on Bamford Clough. The 2000cc Vitesse engine and 15-inch TR4A wires have been and gone. Now we're running 16-inch steels, and the running gear is up to 3500cc Rover V8. The rear chassis was rebuilt at the same time (2000) to take a banjo axle from the Toyota Hilux. Now the only problem is putting the power down without spinning the wheels... Andy navigating again.

This linked page contains eight new pictures from the Lands End Trial 2004. Not an award-winning outing for us, but an enjoyable trial, in which - running early in the field after a wet night - we were just outside the medals table due to failures on some of the Class 8 restarts; the navigator is my daughter, Caroline.

This links to some pictures my son took on the Edinburgh Trial on October 2, 2004. The navigator is Andy again. The conditions were very wet indeed, after several weeks of above-average rainfall; most sections were running with water and mud - very slippery. Nevertheless, an unexpectedly good outing for us - we only failed Litton Slack to gain a Silver award.

This page has two photos of our progress on the 2007 Exeter Trial (my son Alex navigating).  There' also a link to a video on YouTube with ourselves on this hill (third vehicle).