The Sport at Easter

Easter will provide a splendid variety of motoring fixtures, which British motorists, in the smallest possible cars using the tiniest carburetter jets imaginable, will no doubt attend in great numbers, to the satisfaction of the Rt Hon BA Butler, MP. There will be two International race meetings on Easter Monday, one for 500-cc cars at Brands Hatch stadium near London, at Farningham, Kent, when the Cooper, JBF, Kieft inter-marque battles should be resummed, and the other at Goodwood the BARC’s circuit, near Chichester (see page 173). Godwood admission charges have been reduced to 6s for the enclosures (children half-price) and 27s for grandstand seat, transfer to Paddock 20s. Easter Saturday will have seen racing at the excellent West Country circuit of Castle Combe.

There will also be a Lydstep speed hillclimb on Easter Saturday over the half-mile course near Tenby, with classes for blown or unblown sports cars and racing cars up to 2-litres unsupercharged, together with separate classes for saloon cars and MGs. This course is a fast one, with four exciting bends (record by Wharton (ERA) 29.87 sec), and a determined attempt is being made to retain this fine venue for the benefit of Welsh sportsmen, in spite of restricted financial resources. The event is open to SUNBAC, MAC, 500 Club, Bristol, Hagley and D, BOC, MGCC and Carmarthen Club members. We reccomend that you support it. Detalls from JR Swain, 24, Pare-yr-Afon, Camarthen.

 No Easter would be complete without the great MCC Land’s End Trial, which happens again this year, with a huge entry, starting from three different places—Virginia Water, Stratford-on-Avon and Plymouth—on the evening of Good Friday. This time there is an enthralling innovation—a pre-1928 light cars and vintage motorcycles class will start (from 6 pm onwards) from Virginia Water, following the 1927 Land’s End route and tackling such West-Country “terrors” as Beggar’s Roost, Porlock and the old Bluehills Mine. They were “terrors” to new cars in 1927, so they will be a stiff proposition for the old vehicles, which include Jeddete-Fisher’s team of 11.9 Lagondas (drivers, Audsley, Boddy and Vessey), teams of 8/18 Talbots, 8/18 Humbers and bull-nose Morris-Cowleys. an air-cooled flat-twin Rover, early Jowett, Trojan, etc, in all, including motor-cycles, some 59 vintage entries. If you can, go and cheer these stalwarts on —the whole entry, vintage and modern, reaches Beggar’s Roost about 4.15 am, on Easter Saturday, th moderns Darracott by 8 am, Crackington 11.34 am, New Mill 11 am, Hustyn 12 noon, the vintagents lunch in Perranporth from 12.50 pm, and the surviving entry tackles the Bluehills Mine from about 1 pm, the old vehicles taking the famous hairpin.

Do not miss spectating if you are anywhere near an MCC test hill !

“Vitamins” for motor oils

Just now the word “additive” threatens to become the most overworked in the garageman’s vocabulary. As, in many cases, the garage attendants who use this word do not fully understand the subject, and as the chemists who produce the substances call them by such charmingly simple names as “mercaptobenzolthiazole,” the whole matter appears to be something akin to necromancy as far as the unfortunate motorist is concerned.

Actually it is very simple. An additive is a chemical added to an oil to improve its performance. All motorists will have observed when starting from cold that steam and a few drops of water issue from the exhaust pipe. When the engine Is hot this moisture does no harm for it simply passes through in the form of super-heated steam, but under cold starting conditions it causes cylinder wall corrosion. Working on this, problem nearly 20 years ago a Castrol research team discovered that if they added a little chromium oleate to engine oils, they largely prevented cold start corrosion.

They also endeavoured to slow up the rate of deterioration of the oil by oxidation. When the hot oil in the engine is churned up in the presence of atmospheric oxygen, it tends to form sludge. This tendency is minimised by the addition of a little tin oleate to the oil. This advance, made in 1925, ushered in the era of oxidation inhibited motor oils. The age of additives had begun.

These tin and chromium compounds had a mildly detergent effect. They surrounded each particle of carbon with a film which prevented it adhering to anything. Thus it remained in suspension in the oil and was removed when the sump was drained, keeping the engine clean. Having improved the oil by the addition of the chemicals, the researeh team were able to reduce its viscosity. In 1938 they introduced new light-bodied oils which simplified starting. Gone were the days when, on a cold morning, it was necessary to do some herculean business with the starting handle in order to ungum the oil. The new light olls, being free-tlowing when cold, gave immediate lubrication as soon as the engine started and did not leave the bearings and cylinder walls unprotected until the oil was sufficiently warm to circulate properly, In 1949 improved oxidation inhibitors and detergent additives for engine oils were evolved and patented.

The advent of the hypoid rear axle produced number of headaches for oil technologists since a curious sliding motion of the teeth caused the high spots on the tooth surfaces to weld together and tear apart, destroying the surface of the teeth. The research team produced extreme pressure additives. These chemicals remain in solution in the oil until subjected to intense local heat. Then they spread a film over the metal that prevents this welding action. They also overcome the rusting and corrosion of the differential unit—another of the headaches.

We asked a Castrol chemist what chemicals were used and he replied : “Di (3-carbotmethoxy 4-hydroxypheny) polysulphide, Mercaptobenzothiazole and NNN1 NN1 tetra –substituted methylene diamines.” He also gave us their patent numbers asked if there was any further information we would like. We thanked him and said that it was unnecessary, as the matter was now all perfectly clear !

The first general meeting of the Chichester MC was held on March 4th. Chairman, Mr GW Wayts, and Committee were re-elected en bloc. In is report, the Chairman stated that the club now had 65 fully paid up members and that road events were to begin with a Road Regularity Test.

The official inaugural meeting of the Allard Owners’ Club (Northern Centre) was held at Bradford on March 5th. The following members were elected as officers : Chairman, Jack M Reiss ; Secretary, JH Farrar ; Treasurer, RO Sutcliffe; member of Committee, Frank Ambler. Hon Sec : JH Farrar, “Marldon Rise,” Northowram, near Halifax.