RUMBLINGS, April 1945

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IND :472:1:477,-’15

In a leading article in )lirrott SPoRT for October, 1943, Cecil Clutton referred to an experimental 6cylinder, 2-stroke Scott engine which Two-Stroke gave 50 b.h.p. per litre at 4,500 r.p.m., pointing out that this represented a b.m.e.p. of 145, which considerably exceeded that attained, for instance, by the Type 57S Bugatti. This led Dr. Ronald Wood, of Leeds, to send us a photograph of this engine installed in his AstonMartin, and subsequently he sent us technical details of the 6-cylinder unit, which we published in February last year. Being now exiled in Yorkshire we recently decided to visit Scott Motors, Ltd., at the pleasant Bradford suburb of Saltaire and see these thing g for ourselves. Mr. W. Cull, the chief engineer, kindly said we would be very welcome, and off we went. Scotts, of course, achieved their first flush of fame in the 1906 Newnham hill climb, in which event Alfred Scott gained a victory in all three classes for which he had entered his new 2-stroke bicycle. Thereafter this enthusiastic firm occupied a position in the motorcycle firmament equivalent to that held by Frazer-Nash in our world. To proceed to present times, the 6cylinder Scott engine was an experimental effort, and a 3-cylinder engine followed. This went into a motorcycle and became better known than the “six.” As a further experiment it was installed in various cars, notably an M.G. and a Morgan 4/4. This latter car was run 10,000 miles before the war on test., Solex, Amal and S.U. carburetters being made to like it during this period, and since then it has performed the unenviable service of works hack. We hadn’t been in Mr. Cull’s office long before he said : ” Take the Morgan out and get some fresh air. The chassis is worn out, but the engine still goes !” The car, we should explain, had done just about 20,000 miles, but the engine had never been overhauled or even decoked. This unit, known as the 3SM., sits on rubber in the Morgan chassis, drives through the standard gearbox, and is cooled by a normal ” 4/4 ” radiator. The 4.5 to 1 top gear is a trifle on the low sale, but, nevertheless, we understand that 90 m.p.h. has been

seen on the clock. The capacity is just under a litre and, while fuel consumption varies considerably with driving methods, generally it has been rather better than with a normal engine. We soon discovered the sheer filsei nation of the thing. Here is an engine which asks for plenty of revs., as the clutch is engaged, and thereafter revels in revs. It can be pushed along hard in 3rd gear, and feels as if it will stand abuse for ever. The revs, flick up to facilitate gear-changing as they would with a blown, twin,o.h.c. unit. Above the power roar there is that unmistakable Scott purr, just sufficiently audible to please, while at low speeds. the tail pipe gives a hint that a 2-stroke cycle engine is in action. The essenceof the thing is “life,” and a feeling that it is unburstable. Some of the original urge is probably lacking, but the acceleration is excellent, and the car settles down very nicely at 50 m.p.h. The steering being stiff and devoid of castor action, the chassis generally soggy, and the clutch inclined to slip, we did not take liberties with the car on brief acquaintance, but there is no question but that the Morgan possesses exceptional roadholding qualities and adequate brakes, so that we can well believe that Mr. Cull puts up some exceptional averages about the place when he forsakes his 2-litre M.G. saloon for the works hack. Lubrication is looked after by means of a clever diaphragm pump on the crankcase, which draws oil from the sump and mixes it with the petrol. This overcomes the inconvenience of having to add lubricant to the fuel and obviates bearing corrosion, which is said to occur on certain crankcase-compression 2-strokes which employ the old-fashioned ” petroil ” method. Ignition is by coil, using a distributor adapted from a motor-cycle conveniently located on the off side. An S.U. carburetter is reconnnended for power, but the car we tried had a 30-mm. Solex, which gives easy starting and economy. Mr. Cull told us that the 6-cylinder engine will not be available after the war as it, and other forms of 2-stroke, are earmarked for other purposes. But the 3-cylinder unit will be offered to the public, although it has not yet been decided whether it will be put into

a chassis. It would seem to offer considerable possibilities to the “special ” builder. It has a bore and stroke of 78 by 78 mm. (1,108 c.c.) and in normal form gives nearly 42 b.h.p. at 4,000 r.p.m. and weighs 256 lb. inclusive of Borg and Beck clutch, dynamo, engine mountings, manifolds and one gallon of oil, etc. Its maximum torque occurs at 2,800 r.p.m. Although he is not especially concerned to develop it for racing, Mr. Cull says he does not see why a 500-c.c. version should not be made to give 100 b.h.p. ; the 6-cylinder could give some 170 b.h.p. in unblown guise. Moreover, he reminded us that considerable weight could be saved by substituting an alloy sump for the pressed steel one now used and replacing various steel cover plates with something lighter. All of which should interest those seeking an, engine for a post-war “special.” The 3-cylinder Scott is a proven job, having seen the light of day eight years before the war. It would seem to offer greater power than an equivalent size 4-stroke with the same, or slightly better, fuel consumption. Moreover, it is a real engineering job and, as such, is a pleasure to own, while it holds its tune for very long periods, there being no valves to grind-in, or tappets to adjust. Much has been said against the 2-stroke, particularly on the score of fuel wastage, but one is apt to forget this lack of need for frequent maintenance, and the 8-cylinder Scott appears to give this in full measure, together with foolproof lubrication, excellent torque and a useful power output. Indeed, we hope to have more to say about it at some future date. At present, Mr. Cull is devoted to certain very technical matters closely connected with ridding the world of Germans, but he did let slip that he considers the Lowrey Formula of controlled air-inlet dimensions the most satisfactory for future Grand Prix racing. We can expect some very interesting developments from this old-established, specialist Yorkshire firm with the advent of peace. ” Wheelspin “is the title of C. A. N. May’s new book, published by Foulis & Co., Ltd. Although there are books on racing, rallies and transWheel Spin continental record runs, up to now no one has written a book on trials, if we except a long-ago, out-of-print little work by Major Montague Johnson. So May’s book is very welcome, and it does capture, very effectively, the spirit of this branch of the Sport. He deals with the period from 1033 up to the outbreak of war, from the viewpoint of one who drove M.G. cars in most of the well-known trials, did a certain amount of organising into the

bargain, and also attended various club social functions, and who consequently knew his fellow competitors very well indeed. This books brings back nostalgic memories with every page. Technicalities are not shirked and the would-be trials competitor will gain much useful knowledge by following the author’s increasingly successful career with J2, P-type, N Magnette and, finally, one of the “Cream Cracker” blown PB M.G.s (he also used two T-type M.G.$). Trials exponents are apt to regard a car’s showing over a course as more important than the car itself, as it were, but once one has appreciated their rather especial approach to the Sport, a history of their exploits, related by one of their number, makes most acceptable reading. Indeed, May’s book has such an important function to fulfil that it is a pity the MSS. was not edited more thoroughly before it went to press. The composition of many sentences could be improved, and it seems unnecessary to go into quite as much detail as the author does on page 66, as to how wet one becomes in a hoodless car in heavy rain, while the over-dramatic bit about the backs of H. K. Crawford’s hands being “now raw and bleeding” as he made engine adjustments on Porlock when his WolseleyHornet Special stopped during the 1933″ Land’s End” could have been omitted. It is debatable whether “20-25 m.p.h. up Widlake is every bit as thrilling as 120 m.p.h. on Brooklands,” and we are puzzled to know why May has to operate “all the right knobs, pedals and levers ” in a stop-go test. But we can forgive him these things for the pleasure of reading of all the hills, all the cars and all the competitors that made pre-war trials so very worth while. Gypsy Lane, Kineton, Mill Lane, Cloutsham, Bamford Clough. . . . Toulmin, Maedermid, Alf. Langley, Allard, Flower, Welsh, Bastock, J. E. S. Jones. • . . You meet them again in ” Wheelspin,” as the author recounts his experiences in the Cotswolds, the Chilterns, Wales, the Derbyshire dales, Exmoor, N. Devon, by the Cornish coasts, in Kent, Surrey. the Lake District, parts of the Mendips, the Clee Hills. and parts of Worcestershire. It is a book that all trials competitors, officials and spectators will read with avidity. It would have benefited, as we have said, by careful editing, and a detailed index would have been particularly suited to a work of this kind. That is something to bear in mind if a second edition is contemplated. The present volume is well illustrated with 19 good photographs, runs to 174 pages, and costs 8s. 6d. It is excellent entertainment and a very worth-while record.