CHAIN CHATTER, April 1951
by “CAR ROZZINO”
IT is very pleasing to realise that the international motor-cycling world is so well looked after by the F.I.M. That august body, while meeting at its various Congresses throughout the year to look after the many sides of the sport, also serves international motor-cycling in many other ways. Secretary T. W. Loughborough does a very good job in producing various useful booklets, and among these are two recent issues which those interested in international sport can hardly afford to be without. The first is a complete list of World’s Motor-cycle Records standing at Jemmy 1st, 1951, giving very full details of every record from the flying kilometre for 50-c.c. machines right through all the classes to the 1,200-c.c. sidecar class, and including the spdcial extra long distance records that run into days and weeks, set up just before the war by French Army officers at Montlhery. It also includes the rules covering record timing and a list of the venues used for such purposes. Priced at 78. 6d.„ this book. Is one of the most useful reference works existing.
The 1951 “Annuaire,” also produced by the F.I.M. at 2s. 6d., contains so much of international interest that it is impossible to do justice to it in writing. The most useful part of this little booklet is the 1951 Calendar, with the names and addresses of all the organisers running international meetings. For anyone contemplating taking part in international racing, of road, grass or scramble type, the “Annuaire ” will remove a great difficulty; that of where to write and who the secretary of the meeting is, things that are often difficult to trace. All this is nicely laid out, and the volume also includes details of all the National Federations who are members of the F.I.M.
Both of these booklets are available from the Secretary-General of the F.I.M., at The Old Forge, Hawkh.urst, Kent. * * *
While on the subject of motor-cycling books, another very interesting volume for the small sum of 8s. 6d. is 4 British Motor-cycles of the Year 1951,” published by Stone & Cox, Ltd., 44, Fleet Street, London, E.C.4. This soft-covered book, running to 186 pages, contains extremely detailed specifications of every motorcycle manufactured in this country at the present time, from bicycle attachments such as the Cyrnota to the 1,000-e.e. Vincent Rapides. Profusely illustrated and on art paper this book of specifications also contains notes on the AutoCycle Union and its workings and an article on the motor-cycle in general by Professor Low. * * * Although having happened some weeks ago, the Daytona Beach races are well worthy of mention because of the sweeping successes of British Machines. Two events are held annually on the Beach-road circuit, the first of 100 miles in length for amateur riders, and the second a 200-mile
event for experts. In the first event English machines finished in the first 12 places, the first three being taken by Norton, Triumph and B.S. A., respectively, while the big race of the meeting saw Norton ” double-knockers ” in first and second places, with a Triumph, to G.P. specification, coming home third. In this race the first non-British machine to finish was a Harley-Davidson in eighth position. It is almost impossible to put a value on the effects of such successes on a nation. No matter how much you may boost up your products through the medium of the Press, the radio or the salesman, there is nothing so convincing to an assembled crowd as to see your products finishing first in front of allcomers. Whether, in the case of motor-cycles, your machine is faster than its rivals, or better ridden, is quite beside the point. The headline, ” British machines finish 1-2-3,” is the required result, and the support given by the British manufacturers to these races, together with the invaluable assistance of timer Francis Beart, who went over to look after the Nortons, deserves the highest praise for keeping this nation at the top of the two-wheeled tree. Being purely national events, all the riders were either American or. Canadian, but none the less this country once more showed the Western World that “British is best.”
In a week’s time the all-important World Championship series begins, with the Spanish G.P., and, if this country can continue to hold its own, as it has done in the past, against Italy and possibly Germany, then the industry need have no worries about their exports. As has always been, of course, this prestigeWilding is left to one or two, firms, the others benefiting from the results without assisting. However, compared with the motor car industry the two-wheelers are a hot-bed of enthusiasm and, while only a few manufacturers openly support G.P. racing, there are others who do make small attempts to assist the “big three.” * * * As so often happens with monthly notes, much of interest is just missed for inclusion, so that if mentioned the following month it is no longer news. However, at the risk of being quoted “stale news,” I feel the records set up by a Vespa scooter just recently must be mentioned. Ridden by Dino Mazzoncini, the little streamlined Vespa achieved an average of 106.5 m.p.h. for the flying kilometre. Using a doublepiston two-stroke unit of 124 c.c., the Vespa caused something of a major disturbance in Italy, for it had been more or less considered essential to have fourstroke overhead camshaft engines for achieving high speeds with 125-c.c. machines. While not being a normal motor-cycle, inasmuch as it was using small ” doughnut ” tyres and the whole thing was barely waist-high, the Vespa was in open competition with ordinary racing and record-breaking machines. It was only a short time prior to this that some thought was being given to forming
a separate records and racing class for scooter-type vehicles, but it was felt that at the moment the scooters could nearly hold their own with the normal 125-c.c. machines and a separation did not seem justified. This latest “all time high” in the tiddler class by a scooter has certainly removed any possibility of reconsidering the idea. It now remains for the fourstroke 125-c.c. machines to catch up with the scooters. It may also herald the revival of the two stroke for racing, and I for one will receive that with great glee. 11* 11* NEW MODELS
The Geneva Show last month saw the ,debut of three new British high-performance cars. Allard showed their new M.2 drophead coupe, with new frontal aspect, the one-piece bonnet, wings and lamps opening hydraulically, the spare wheel being carried under the bonnet and the hood stowing out of sight behind the back seats and operating hydraulically if required. There is a spacious luggage boot and the chassis is that of the P.2 saloon, with 30-11.p. Ford V8 engine, coil spring divided-axle i.f.s., and normal rear axle.
Singer showed a new SI11 1500 Roadster with the o.h.c, engine from the SM 1500 saloon with its stroke reduced by 0.6 mm., to give a capacity of 1,497 c.c. instead of 1,506 c.c. ; 48 b.h.p. at 4,500 r.p.rn. is claimed with a 7 to 1 compression ratio. The axle ratio is 4.875 to 1. The Singer SM 1,500 saloon also has this new 1,497-e.e. engine. Jaguar drew the crowds with the smart new N.K 120 coupe–see page 187. All these ears are for export only, at present. A SINGER CLUB
The “Le Mans” Singer had its day at Hertford, on Sunday, March 4th, when the inaugural meeting of the Singer Owners’ Club was held at the Salisbury Arms Hotel. There was an assortment of twoand four-seater sports, 11-litre converted ‘coupes and later roadsters, as well as an M.G. which brought, among others, an H.R.G. owner anxious to join! It was decided that an interim committee should be set up consisting of five to draft out rules, constitution and a programme, which will report back at a rally on April 29th.
Winner of the Concours d’Elegance was Mr. Alan Hewett, owner of a wellpreserved Singer two-seater “Speed Model.”
One new member was signed up after he had driven up in his Singer and wandered into his local for a drink. An unfortunate latecomer to the meeting was L. Rawlinson, who had travelled from Northern Ireland to tell the new club about the original Singer Motor Car Club, bringing with him the club’s car badge, buttonhole badge, rule book and other souvenirs of the mid-thirties. Acting Secretary : K. D. McDowall, 1, Halesworth Road, Lewisham, S.E.18. sem. *********** ••••••••••••••••••••••
George Hartwell has been experimenting with four carburetters on a SunbeamTalbot engine and with a three-abreast convertible body on this chassis.