Letters from readers, April 1943


Whilst reading through Motor Sport dated February, 1943, I came across H. G. Hanmer’s letter wherein he wanted to know the whereabouts of the Abbott-Nash. I am very pleased to be able to supply the necessary information, being the present owner.

I picked up the Abbott-Nash chassis complete with long-tailed body at a London garage, minus the front axle, which, when recovered from an obscure corner of the garage, was found to be badly bent. This apparently was the result of an accident when returning from Brooklands. I am not quite sure, but think I am near correct when I say that its original Anzani engine had been shipped to America. With the able assistance of my brother we got to work on it, first fitting a new wide-track front axle, lowering the chassis by placing tapering aluminium blocks under the quarter-elliptic springs. I might add that most of these improvements were carried out with the aid of a sledge hammer at the local blacksmith’s. We picked up a second-hand 6-cylinder o.h.c. A.C. engine of 1,991 c.c., which we had re-bored, fitted with oversize h.c. pistons, polished the con.-rods, crankshaft and rocker-gear, fitted three S.U. carburetters, a high lift camshaft, altered the timing to suit ourselves, then modified and copperised the cylinder head. Next we reduced the weight of the flywheel to 1 lb. on the back of which we bolted the Nash clutch, propeller shaft, orthodox Nash bevel box and solid back axle.

We slung the 1st gear sprocket on the outside of the solid back axle to prevent whip. A Bugatti steering-box was fitted, and here, I might add, the back of the cylinder head cleared the steering-box by 1/16 in. The tyres were: rear, 6.50 in. x 16 in.; front, 4.75 in. x 18 in. Coming down to brass tacks, we found by trial and error we had to put cwt. of ballast in the back in addition to a 5-gall. tank. Regarding performance, after a few minor adjustments and altered ratios, it rewarded our efforts with the following results:

Burghfield Common Speed Trials (taken from Light Car, 30th June, 1939).Fastest run of the day: P. W. Neale (1,901-c.c. A.C.N.), 27 sees., establishing a new course record. Racing Classes, 1,501-2,000 c.c.: 1st, P. W. Neale (1,991-c.c. A.C.N.), 27 secs.; 2nd, A. P. F. Fane (1,971-c.c. F.N.-B.M.W.), 27.03 secs. We also ran the A.C.N. at Wetherby, but, unfortunately, our top gear ratio was far too high.

Backwell Hill Climb (taken from the Motor).- Class G. Racing cars up to 1,500 c.c. (unsupercharged). 1st, P. W. Neale (1,991-c.c. A.C.N.), 28.1 secs.; 2nd, E. G. M. Wilkes (961-c.c. Wilkes J.A.P.), 28.5 secs. Apparently in this instance an error was made regarding our class, but the time compared favourably with the following: Class H (supercharged racing cars up to 1,500 c.c.). 1st, R. E. Ansell (1,488-c.c. E.R.A.), 28.8 sees.; Class K (unsupercharged racing cars up to 4,000 c.c.). 1st. S. H. Allard (Allard Special 8,662 c.c.), 26.2 secs. Furthermore, to this day we have received no pot or pennies in recognition of our performance in this event.

Shelsley – Our best performance 46.2 secs. (approx.), the motor fading on the “S”-bend.

To conclude, the motor is at present stored away until such time we can all get back to the old Sport, which we hope will be in the very near future. Trusting you will be patient and understand this gibberish. I would welcome through the medium of your columns any criticism from fellow-readers.

I am, Yours etc.,

P. W. Neale (Sgt. R. Signals). Worcestershire.