Rumblings, August 1948


The R.A.C.’s new motor-course at Silverstone is the news of the moment and is referred to Editorially in this issue. As we close for Press final Silverstone arrangements have yet to be made, but there seems no doubt at all that we shall get this long-awaited track. The R.A.C. even hopes to hold an International Grand Prix race there on October 2nd, inviting the crack Continental teams, an idea with which we heartily concur. Wisely, they are not saying more than this until their arrangements are completed, although some of the papers have been only too willing to say a great deal too much, already!

Silverstone, as at present constituted, offers a figure-8 circuit of 3.8 miles to the lap, the tarmac-on-concrete surface being very reasonable and the longest straight, apart from the circuit, is over a mile in length. A lap actually embraces a gentle right-hand turn, followed by a short straight, then a sharp right-hand turn into a wide half-mile straight. A left-hand hairpin bend then connects with a quarter-mile straight, after which comes a right-hand corner, very soon followed by another right-hand turn, a fast left-hand bend, and nearly half-a-mile of straight-going to a right-hand hairpin bend into an 800-yd. straight. A left-hand hairpin bend leads to a medium-length straight, followed by a right-hand hairpin bend on to the home straight, which involves you in a left-hand bend before the finish. The flat roof of a disused control tower offers a view of the entire lap.

We understand that the track will be available for test purposes on non-race days, although in this respect obviously fewer cars will be able to go out together than is safe on a banked track such as Brooklands.

Silverstone really does seem to be what we want; it is in an ideal location, and already a Grand Prix SubCommittee, composed of Earl Howe, Col. Barnes, Lord Waleran, ” Taso ” Mathieson, Major-General Loughborough, Capt. Phillips, Major Upton, S. C. H. Davis, D. J. Scannell, Fred Craner, John Morgan and R. Walkerley, has been formed to exploit the possibilities of a big race there in October.


A New Tyre

We are reminded that matters are slowly improving by the announcement of new accessories and equipment, of interest to the drivers of the faster cars, so that the motoring outlook seems rosier and full of promise. The other day, for instance, Dunlop announced an improved tyre. It is available in Fort and Standard forms and is an advancement on the famous Dunlop toothed-pattern tread introduced in 1937. The number of teeth has been increased from 2,000 to between 2,800 and 4,800 depending on the size of tyre and each fourth or fifth tooth is more prominent than its fellows, to ensure enhanced road-grip. Furthermore, a development of the knife-cut across the tread, in conjunction with the new combination of ribs and teeth, improves skid resistance by approximately 15 per cent. over that of the previous very-safe Dunlop tread form.

In addition to these safety-qualities, a flatter, more flexible and deeper tread ensures 10 per cent. to 15 per cent, greater life, aided by a sidewall buttress to safeguard against accidental damage. Other claims for the new Dunlop are more silent running and better non-static properties which assist car-radio reception. British cars for export are now being shod with these new Dunlops and any time in the future they should be procurable by you and me, although the improved construction may not appear in the full range of sizes offered by the Dunlop Rubber Co., Ltd., until some time into 1949.


… and a New Supercharger

Another creditable British development of particular significance in our world is the new Ventor constant output Roots supercharger, manufactured by Wade Engineering, Ltd., at Gatwick Airport. By the employment of a helical port, under Broom and Wade licence, and four-lobed rotors, output pulsations are eliminated, the use of X-ray tested magnesium and aluminium alloys ensures light weight, helical gears give silent functioning and patent frictionless labyrinth oil-seals overcome oiling-up troubles and give entirely self-contained lubrication, devoid of external piping, if required.

In brief, a Roots supercharger is now available that retains all the inherent advantages if its type, while giving the low-end boost normally possible from a vane-type compressor. Moreover, it is light, compact, quiet and reliable, and especially suited to two or three-stage racing-car installations, nor is it expensive. The Ventor supercharger is offered in Types R005, R007, R010, R015 and R020, suitable for engines of 500-c.c., 750-c.c., 1-litre, 1-1/2-litre and 2-litres capacity, respectively. Larger sizes are available to special order. If you have a racing-car engine in process of design or rebuilding, or plans for getting a sensational performance for an existing or future sports car, you are well advised to consult Wade Engineering, Ltd., about your supercharging problems.


British Achievement

Lodge plugs have been used in many successful racing cars of recent years, but it is a significant fact that not only did the Alfa Romeo team that was victorious in the European Grand Prix use Lodge, but that the Italians admitted that these plugs met their requirements as no others have done. The Cisitalias that won the small-car race likewise relied on Lodge. This is something of which all Britishers should be proud and doubtless many enthusiasts will fit Lodge plugs as a small token of this great British achievement.


Odd Spots

Major Gardner will probably use a prototype non-supercharged twin o.h.c., six-cylinder, 2-litre Jaguar engine in his M.G. for his forthcoming attack on short-distance Class E records. The car is being prepared by Thomson and Taylor. At present the f.s. kilometre, mile and 5-kilometre records belong to Mrs. Stewart’s supercharged Derby-Miller, at 147.7, 147.7 and 140.3 m.p.h., respectively.


The 1908 six-cylinder Standard landaulette used by Mrs. Pankhurst is for sale, in a fine state of preservation, at Twyford.