Record Breaking with a Jowett

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[When we published the article by A. F. Scroggs on his Trojan, lots of our friends suggested that this must be the most unusual competition car ever. So we cannot resist publishing details of the Jowett attack on the Class G 12-Hour Record, for excellent utility job that the Jowett is, it is not a fast car. The British record stands to this day, and here is the story of how it was made, written by Capt. J. J. Hall, of the R.A.S.C., himself.—Ed.]

I FIRST came across Jowetts in 1920. I had been racing motor-cycles professionally at Brooklands for some years and wanted a cheap and reliable runabout and I certainly found it with the Jowett. A car with a tax of £7 per annum which did 40-50 m.p.g. on which you could reline the foot-brake in ten minutes at a cost of under 5s., was just what I required. So when, at the end of 1927, they brought out a sports model I wrote and asked them if they could lend me one to try, and being kindly people they did. The car weighed next to nothing, you sat on the floor and bumped about a good deal, but it was extremely snappy, did a comfortable 60 m.p.h., and got there quickly. [We believe the car was known as the Jackson-Jowett and developed by an agent. —Ed.]

Perusing the Record list one day, I saw that the International Class G record was held by D. M. K. Marendez and Kaye Don on an Amilcar at 54.25 m.p.h. and I had an idea that with a few modifications the Jowett could have a very fair crack at breaking it, and I wrote to Jowetts and told them so.

They, bless them, went the whole hog, and instead of modifying the car I had been using, built me a new one.

This car, stripped for the job, weighed approximately 8 cwts. filled with petrol. The bore and stroke (75.4 mm. and 101.5 mm. respectively) were standard. A special 30 mm. Solex carburetter was fitted, light-weight hepolite alloy pistons were used, the chief departure from standard being the high-efficiency detachable cylinder-heads, which gave a compression ratio of 5.25 to 1.

Tile car went exceedingly well, was good for 70 m.p.h. over the mile and lapped at 64 m.p.h. So, in company with A. H. Grimley, on August 8th, 1928, the attempt on the record was made.

All went well for the first four hours, when a cylinder-head gasket went, and put us back quite a bit, which, however, we picked up again, whereupon another gasket went and things became a bit tricky.

I remember at this point Marendez arrived at the Fork and seemed a little horrified that a Jowett should have the impertinence to go for a record held by a “grand sport” Amilcar, but at the moment things did not look very cheerful and when yet a third gasket went at seven hours he went away feeling justifiably that his record was quite safe. From then onwards, however, the Jowett ran like a clock, lapping at 62 to 64m.p.h., and it completed the twelve hours to break the record by a very fine margin indeed; so fine that I very nearly had heart-failure during the last hour wondering if another gasket would go. The average, for the twelve hours was 54.86 m.p.h.

In addition to the International Class G Record, it broke the British record for the same period, which it still holds. On October 17th of the same year I established the 200 Kilometre Record in Class G at 98.9 k.p.h.

If anybody knows where that grand little car has gone, I should be grateful if they would let the Editor of MOTOR SPORT or myself know, as we both want to buy it and let it end its days in honourable retirement! [Hang it, I want to run the thing!—Ed.]

 

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