A SPECIAL GWYNNE EIGHT
Smuch interest has been aroused by recent references in these pages to the Gwynne Eight, which shares with the ” 808 ” Talbot the distinction of being the only well-known vintage car of eight rated h.p., that some more notes, together with a description of the coupe example owned by the present Acting Editor of MOTOR SPORT, are published herewith. It is curious that vintagents have all passed by the Gwynne, while unearthing even rarer vintage cars. Produced shortly after the last war by the concern responsible for the Albert, the Gwynne was introduced as a utility small car costing just under £200. It was commonly regarded as the first small car to achieve a genuine nO m.p.h. The fourcylinder engine had a bore and stroke of 55 x 100 man. (950 c.c.) giving a rating of 7.5 h.p. The cylinder block was separate from the crankcase and the vertical o.h. valves in the detachable cylitnier-head were actuated by wicklubricated push-rods and rockers. The pressed valve-cover was held by two studs. The crankshaft ran in three bearings and lubrication was by an external Oil-pump set high up on the front, of the crankcase, and feeding via external pipes. Cooling was thermo-syphonic with 4 very largebore off-take pipe, while the radiator had a big header tank. The plugs were inclined at 45° on the inlet side of t lie head and fired by a magneto on the near side of the engine driven from the timing-gears by a vernier coupling. The h.t. leads were led round the engine through a conduit, attached to the water-inlet pipe. The p6rts were on opposite sides of the head, the exhaust push-rods actually passing through the exhaust ports. An S.U. or Solex carburetter fed through an external manifold, and this was cunningly arraitged to be water-jacketed in summer and exhaust muff-heated in winter, a conversion carried out at the end of the seasoys if the owner wished by the Ciiiswiek works. The unit is very like a ” 12/50 ” Alvis. The engine drove through a leather coneclutch and twin-fabric universal-jointed shaft to a :3-speed gearbox motmted integral witlk the propeller-shaft torquetube. The engine was three-point suspended and final drive was by spiral bevel in a live axle. The high chassis was suspended on Is-elliptic springs, long and underslung at the rear, and the expanding rear-brakes were cable-operated. The shock-absorbers were 13 and I), as on the early 3-litre Bentley, and the gear-ratios were 14.25, 9.2 and 4.83 to 1. Thus the Gwynne Ei!,ht, made by the Gwynne Tank and Pump Co.. and sold, in 1923, for £207 As. A popular body was the bath-like 3-seater. With which the marque is usually aStiociatcti. However, an aluminium long-tailed sports 2-seater guaranteed i lap at 65 m.p.h., we believe, was also listed, costing S:265, and a saloon and even a fire-engine emanated on the 8 h.p. chassis I The early Models had a wheelbase of 7 ft. 3 in. and a track of 3 ft. Li In., but by 1927 the wheel-base had grown to 8 ft. and the engine-size had increased to 57 x 100 tn.m. (1,021 c.c.), although the taxable h.!). was still eight. The top gear ratio, too, had gone down to 5.0 to 1. A ” ten ” and a ” fourteen ” had also come on the market, but with them we are not concerned. The Gwynne seems to have faded out about 1927. Chinery and Turner had, amongst others, driven these cars with success in trials and high speed events, and Turner ran a wellstreamlined example in the 200-mile races, although this car may have been a ” Ten.” In the 1027 race it finished the course, but was completely burnt out the next year. Eaton also raced a G W ylli eengine(‘ G.N. in a few short handicaps at Brooklands, contriving to build a streamlined body With a seat behind the rear axle. Of more recent times, the Emeryson Special put up some good performances in speed-trials, powered with a hotted-up Gwynne Eight engine, later reflaced by an A.C. Six unit. Quite a lot of Special Gwynne Eights have been eonstritettsi. H. L. Biggs had a twin-carburetter ” hipbath ” and a Nottingham etitl II iast rebuilt at. least three long-tail 2-seaters, one as recently as three or four years ago. Then C. W. MOSS; built-up a twin-carburetter, ” .1-2 “-pattern 2-seater some years ago, and a fabric 2-seater with slabtank, disc-wheels and high-pressure tyres was at a South London motor-trader’s in 1938. A mechattie in the employ of Altas ran a neat 2-seater with (sadist radiator, which was to be seen at the competitionvenues, a sports 2-seater was broken up very recently, and inatm?.. tither itcople have owned non standard Gwynncs. Cyril Peamek had two, a hip-bath ” and a 4-seater, for towing his racing motor-cycles about., the latter being a 1924 car with quite a rare body-style, the original price being £235. The present Acting Editor of MOTOR SPORT acquired this car LW a hack after the first year of the war, and it gave very good service, difficult starting from cold excepted, until the piston-rings suffered due to continual over-heating from bad and incurable radiator-leaks. This car nevertheless covered some 2,000 miles with no attention of any sort, and is likely to be relicensed by another enthusiast this quarter. The Gwynne Eight now owned by the Editor vommeneed life as a sports 2-seater zuld was rebuilt some years ago by Mr. Gould, in charge of the engine test situps at the B.A.E. He disposed of it to a test-pilot, who used it regularly until he went to America on Service duties at, the beginning of tiw svar, the car, in fact, taking this geutleinan to Euston to catch the ht sit -ix:till. It has a comic, but practical and very wellconstructed, 2-seater fabric coupe body. There is a sloping V-screen, with Opening panels. and the peaked roof has cunninglydevised guttering and a roof-ventilator. Long sweeping front-wings joiti tiny, rutaway running-boards. The wooden floorboards are well nuule and there are doorlocks, sliding windows, tloor-pockets carrying an ” Eight ” emblem, a map-ease in the roof-peak, and plenty of luggagespace behind the cloth-uphoistered, pneumatic seat. The radiator-cap now carries a big Mercedes mascot, behind which the late IL 0. Shuttleworth once sat, and this blends well with the light, rivetted and louvred bonnet and block radiator. The mahogany instruntent-panel carries a
Smith 80-m.p.h. speedometer, aeroplane water-thermometer, dash-lamp, ammeter, dynamo, head-lamp and side-light push-in switches, roof-lamp tuiribler-Switch, mag.switch, mixture-control and oil-gauge. The engine is not entirely standard, having dural push-rods and special valves, and twin Amal motor-cycle carburetters. These latter have very neatly designed slide operation, two rods carried on mountings attached to the carburetter mixhig chambers bearing trunnions which operate the throttle and mixture slides .via short lengths of Bowden cable. The inner throttle-rod is turned by the accelerator or hand-throttle control, the outer mixture-slide rod by the rotatable mixture-control on the dash. The carburetters clamp direct to flanges on the ports and there is a very small bore balance-pipe hetween them, from which is taken the screen-wiper suction-tube. There is an oil-filter of the external drum pattern beneath the sump mid the normal oilpressure is 40 lb.isq. in., varying a little with engine-speed, until a tap near the gauge is turned to permit feed to 11w valvegear, when pressure is vitro ximately halved. By just swinging the engine it is possible to wind up 12 11)./sq. in. The three-branch rear offtake exitauist Mallifold on the near side feeds via flexible tubing to the silencer, and this anti the whittle belt driven dynamo mounted above the magneto are standard practice. A four-speed A .13.C. gearbox has been mounted on it clever adaptatiou of the original Gwynne brackets, to filing it into line with the clutch-shaft, which is appreciably lower than that of the two-cylinder unit to which the box Was originally mated. The vertical gate change is tricky, especially as reverse, first and second gears all lie in the same plane and there is no reverse stop. But the performantse is appreciably enhanced, and the indirect gears, third particularly, are notably quieter than those of a worn Gwynne k?x. The cone-clutch is retained, likewise the torque tube t.ritnsniis’it at. The front axle has had cable-operated Morris brakes added, the back-plates being adapted to suit. %Viten a battery was iastalled everyt hing electrical functioned, although it starter is not at. present fitted. The engine starts easily on the handle, has an excellent. note and is full of life. Third and top ratios seem very close and a small burst of throttle when double-declutching to change ilnivui vttet’tsit Most pleasant gear-change. The rat ios are now probably 1.83. 6.98, 10.1.4 and 11..78 1.() 1. No performance figures have been taken, but Mr. Gould mentions 60 m.p.h. in top, 50 m.p.h. in third. and 40 m.p.g. when driven hard, which a 100-mile trial suggests should be easily possible. The artillery-wheels carry 4.50 in. by 19 in.
Englebert Cadet ” tyres.
The next article in the Mercedes-Benz versus Anto-Inion series, mentioned last month as due to be resumed this month. is held over until the September issue on account of pressure on space. A detailed road-test report on the V-12 Lagonda will also appear in that issue.