NEWS FROM THE U.S.A.
THREE AMERICANS TO CHALLENGE ENGLAND’S SPEED SUPREMACY
AFTER having been absent from competition for the world’s one mile speed record for five years, it now appears that the United States will make a determined effort to wrest the record from Great Britain in 1934. Three famed figures in the American motor-racing world intend constructing machines for this purpose. They are Gar Wood, Inter national speedboat champion, J. M. White, builder of the ill fated Triplex that set a 207 m.p.h. in 1928, and Harry Miller, well known race-car designer and builder. America’s failure to stage an attempt to
regain the record has not been due to lack of courage in its drivers, or initiative among its designers. The greatest cause for this failure is the present economic depression. In addition, the deaths of Frank Lockhart in 1928, and Lee Bible in 1929, cast a pall of gloom over American lovers of speed, and the belief spread that high speed trials were impractical and did not
contribute to the progress of the automotive industry. Now, the ease -with which Sir Malcolm Campbell has catapulted down the beach has revived interest. Gar Wood has offered to loan his giant Packard super-charged motors to young Billy Arnold for the purpose of building a challenger for the land record. Arnold and Wood have not yet announced plans
for the car, but it is expected to be one of the largest speed mammoths ever to skim Daytona sands, if built. J. M. White brought a crude-appearing machine, known as the 36 cyl. Triplex, to
Daytona in 1928, and in March 1928, Ray Keech flashed down the beach to a new record of 207 m.p.h., astounding critics and fans alike. The next spring, the late Sir Henry Segrave set a record of 231 m.p.h. in his ” Golden Arrow,” and White announced his Triplex would shoot for the record in a few days. Bob McLonogh had been offered the car, but turned it down on the advice of his manager, Tommy Milton. Wilbur Shaw, a new comer, to racing, was offered the mount, but was under suspension of the A.A.A. at the time, and
By our American correspondent T. MERIWETH-ER-SMITH.
could not drive. Finally, White turned the car over to Lee Bible, a garage owner in Daytona Beach, with little racing experience. The test ended in tragedy, when Bible lost control of his car at over 200 m.p.h., being killed instantly.
Three or four years ago, White said he was drawing up plans for a racing machine to regain the speed title. It would be a four-wheel-drive giant, capable of 500 m.p.h. (?). Then the Philadelphia truck designer disappeared from the public eye. This year, as Sir Malcolm set his new record at Daytona, White announced that he would have his car ready for the 1934 trials. No details were given.
Barney Oldffeld announced his intention of trying for the record over a year ago, in a machine to be built by Harry Miller. Oldfield has indicated recently that he has far from dropped his plans, and it seems that 1934 will find the veteran at Daytona with a 24-cylinder, 6,500 pound car. Original plans for the machine called for a super-streamlined car, with glass enclosed cock-pit, of 24-cylinders, developing 3,000 h.p. at 4,000 r.p.m. It would be
a four-wheel-drive car, with three superchargers and six magnetos on its three banks of eight cylinders each. The car would be approximately twenty-six feet long, five feet less than Kaye Don’s ” Silver Bullet.”
Oldfield announced his intention of driving this car himself, but it is believed that some young driver will get the car if it is ever built. ” Stubby ” Stubblefield, husky California star, seems to be the logical choice, as he has had world’s of experience in all types of driving. Oldfield. completed models of his car, and subjected them to exhaustive wind-tunnel tests last year.
The announcement of Hubert ScottPayne’s challenge for the Hannsworth motorboat trophy this year has caused widespread interest throughout the United States, it has been feared that no cha-1 lenge would be made this year. Gar Wood is expected to use exactly the same Miss America that defeated Kaye Don at Detroit last summer. There is much speculation here as to the mechanical features of the new English boat.
Egbert ” Babe ” Stapp is busy completing a car in which he hopes to shatter Stubblefield’s 148 m.p.h. record for 4cylinder, non-supercharged cars. The machine is powered with a Miller motor, and has a unique, streamline body. Stapp is expected to drive the car in the Indianapolis classic in May, also.
Prominent racing drivers are very busy these days, preparing cars for the opening of the A.A.A. Championship season. The first race, which takes place on April 23rd, will be held over the Oakland Speedway in California. Bob Carey, National Champion of 1932, will be defending his honours for the first time, and is undecided whether to use his new 4-cylinder motor, or his old “8,” which carried him to last season’s victories.
There are no indications thus far, that foreign competition will be seen at the Indianapolis race. It is possible, however, that three American drivers will compete abroad this year, one at the Nurburg Ring in Germany, the remaining pair at Monza, Italy.