We Stand Corrected

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Sir,

I would like, if I may, to comment on the article “More About Mercedes” (December 1975 issue) and also on one or two other matters.,/p>

With the exception of the 36/220 models driven by T. Thisrlethwayte (Ards 1928 but not 1929) and A. B. Maconochie (Ards 1929), all the Mercedes which raced at Phoenix Park and the Ards were 38/250 SS models except for the SSK used by Caracciola at Phoenix Park 1930, the use of which was permitted by the Irish GP regulations. There is no such thing as a “38/250-engined 36/220 four-seater”.

The Caracciola car at Le Mans 1930 was a 1930 model 38/250 SS and was the identical car disqualified later at the Ards. The engine complete with blower was in-stalled in the SSK chassis for the Phoenix Park race and passed without question by H. P. McConnell, acting as the Royal Irish Automobile Club chief scrutineer–the very same H.P. McConnell who a few weeks later at Belfast, while acting as the RAC chief scrutineer, rejected the blower at the instigation of Malcolm Campbell. Although Campbell, Howe (both 1929 models) and Caracciola owned their respective cars, Caracciola agreed to allow Campbell to enter all three cars at both Dublin and Belfast in order to compete for the team prize. When his car was rejected by the scrutineer, Caracciola found that he was helpless as only the entrant could lodge a protest and this Campbell refused refused to do. Caracciola showed very clearly what he thought of the squalid treatment he received when on the day of the race, after parking his disqualified car in the dead-car park, he and his wife, without a glance at Campbell and Howe, proceeded to the Alfa Romeo pits where they spent the entire race.

Campbell did not retire in the 1930 Irish GP as stated in the text but finished 5th as correctly shown in the table.

The 1931 Le Mans car of Ivanowski and Stoffel was an SS as per regulations, not an SSK.

John Wyer (Febniary 1976, page 1963) is of course quite correct in pointing out that the Mercedes at Phoenix Park 1930 gave the Paget Bentleys two laps start. Rivers-Fletcher is wrong in stating (February 1976, page 139) that Howe and Caracciola drove the same car at Shelsley-Walsh. The first Shelsley meeting in 1930 counted as the British round of the European Mountain Championship. Hans Stuck on the Austro-Daimler made FTD in the racing car class and Caracciola, on his way to Dublin for the Irish GP a week later, was fastest sports car on the SSK. That was the only occasion that Caracciola ever drove at Shelsky and Howe certainly didn’t drive his car. Incidentally, both Stuck and Caracciola won the Championship for racing and sports cars that year. In your footnote to Rivers-Fletcher’s letter you could have added that neither do you survive 100 circuits of Monaco in a sprint car, and but for a lengthy fuel stop, be an almost certain winner.

The letter from M. F. Costello (November 1975, page 1262) is scarcely worthy of comment. Howe’s “36/220″ was the 1929 TT-winning 38/250 SS and Dorothy Paget’s ‘big six” Bentley driven by Birkin was, of course, a blown 4 1/2. [Yes, this should have been corrected.—Ed.]

In “Cars in Books” (November 1975, page 1294) W.B., referring to the first crossing of the Atlantic, did a bit of overlooking himself. The first crossing of the Atlantic was made by Commander Read of the US Navy in a Curtiss, flying boat who crossed via the Azores and Lisbon several weeks before Alcock and Brown made a direct crossing, from Newfoundland to Ireland. Commander Read Subsequently landed his aircraft on the Thames opposite the House of Commons and was received on the Terrace by, among others, Winston Churchill, wearing which particular hat of which particular colour I cannot now recall.

Woking C. WALSH