RACING DRIVER’S WORKSH P.
A visit to A. F. ASHBY’S tuning depot.
(Above) Corner of the machine shop and (right) Mr. Ashby’s Riley nine being prepared for the season’s
THE sight of racing cars in various stages of disassembly, is always one to gladden the heart of the man to whom the acquisition of a few more r.p.m. is of greater value than rubies, and at Mr. A. F. Ashby’s works at Hendon I found great activity in preparing various cars for the coming season.
A comparatively small tuning depot is in many ways attractive to anyone who likes to follow the job right through, as not only can all the bits be inspected and discussed while the work is in progress, but the whole proceedings are carried out under the personal supervision of “the boss.”
In spite of the fact that he was extremely busy with various tuning jobs, including his own cars, Mr. Ashby allowed us to waste a considerable amount of his time in arguing about tuning in general and his own cars in particular. On picking up any particular component from the bench, he was immediately able to give a detailed history of the part in question, how long it had run, why it was fitted, how it differed from standard, and so forth. It is this detailed knowledge, and obvious love of
the work for its own sake, that makes conversation with its possessor not only interesting, but profitable.
A very interesting car is Mr. Ashby’s own 1500 c.c. side-valve Riley, which he has raced successfully for some time. The fact that this car is now capable of a genuine 100 m.p.h. and more is remarkable testimony to his tuning ability, and explains the large number of private owners’ cars to be seen in his works, being modified to give that extra ” pep ” which makes motoring so much more interesting.
He is now disposing of his old Riley, as he will be racing a ” nine ” of this make in Ulster and other races this season.
The 11-litre, which was undergoing a complete overhaul prior to its retirement from racing, appears on the left of the above view, and is a car which should give a good account of itself in the hands of whatever fortunate acquires it for his own use.
Lack of space precludes further description of the varied jobs which Mr. Ashby has carried out, but anyone who has any plans for hotting up his car will always be welcome at 9, Watford Way, Hendon, where both he and his car will benefit from Mr. Ashby’s experience.