THE INTERNATIONAL GRAND PRIX FORMULA
Sir,—I cannot see that the new Internatilmial Grand Prix Formula will do much for the man who wants to buy good motor cars for not-too-much money.
The most expensive item in the cost of making a production motor car is raw material. By reducing the weight of a car, we not only reduce its cost but we improve its performance. The present International Formula puts a simple premium on performance by virtue of light weight and so encourages development of a type that is economically the most sound design. Cars of the ” American ” type are economically sound, being cheap and in every way of high performance, not excluding their good fuel consumptions. The present International Formula encourages European development of this type and is, therefore, good. Now consider the new International Formula. For the capacities specified there is no difficulty in getting down to the corresponding minimum weights. The logical tendency then is to increase the engine power by every possible device, regardless of weight until the minimum
total is reached. The cars encouraged then are those that derive their performance by virtue of power output (and therefore of fuel consumption) against the purely artificial handicap of engine capacity. Since then performance is derived by uneconomic means, the type encouraged is also uneconomic. In fact, everybody is wasting their time.
think differentiation between cars with and without superchargers is pointless. Supercharging is a strictly logical development since it reduces the weight/ power ratio and so saves money in production quantities. It would be just as sensible, surely, to allow cars with rearwheel brakes only, or solid tyres, a 30 per cent, increase in engine size.
The grading of capacities with weights is surely a red herring since obviously a 769 c.c. car weighing 400 kilos. could not hope to compete with a 3,460 c.c. car weighing 850 kilos., nor proportionately so any intermediate size of car.
The best suggestion ever put forward was that the car should, with sufficient fuel for some reasonably long distance, weigh less than an agreed amount. This is the most economically sound suggestion of all since it places a premium on combined low weight and low fuel consumption, and hence encourages the type: of car that everybody wants—the one that has not only cheap first cost, but low fuel consumption as well. This might be difficult to apply in practice, however, and so I think the best ,radical solution is to stick to the maximum weight formula—reducing the figure from 750 kilos. year by year in steps if you like— and remember this is the formula that put Grand Prix racing back on its feet. We in this country are well enough equipped to cheat any formula as well as any other nation, but let there be some point in it i I am, yours, etc.,
T. MURRAY JAMIESON. Langholm, 38, Exeter Road,
Southgate, N.14. -x-x
Sir.—-May I venture to correct a statement which appears in your current issue under the heading of ” Two Racing Cars Re-built “?
The entire work of preparation of Mr. Henken Widengren’s 6-cylinder Ainilcar for recerds was executed at Automobile Supertuners, Roberts Mews, N.W.1, by Mr. Alec Francis and myself under the supervision of Mr. R. F. Oats, not Major Oates, the one-time Lagonda driver.
The preparation of the car for the International Trophy Race and for the Avus meeting was undertaken by thesame staff. It was not until June, 1933, that this car was transferred to Z.N. Motors, where I accompanied it for a short time. I am, yours, etc.,
H. L. Moos. The Bell Garage, 11, Keswick Road,
Sir,—May I be allowed to add a few interesting facts to Mr. Wilcoxon’s notes on the tuning of Talbot cars in your issue of February last, as the subject is one of great interest to us. Firstly, as to the nomenclature ” 75,”
11 90 ” and 105,” Mr. Wilcoxon isnot quite right in his assumption. I chose these numbers solely to give an idea of the size and performance of the three respective cars without in any way characterising them.
I note that it is asserted that anyone who has a ” 75 ” Talbot can readily improve its performance equivalent to that of the ” 90.” I should like to point out, however, that this statement is misleading in that the cylinder heads, induction system, pistons and gear ratios are different in each case.
It should also be very clearly understood that the cars with which we competed in 1930, 1931 and 1932, were designed, developed and tuned by our staff and workpeople. I am, yours, etc., For Clement Talbot, Ltd., GEORCIES ROESCH,
Chief Engineer. [Both the articles in question were in each case based on the informatior. given to our representative.—Eo.]