L'AUTOMOBILE HISPANO-SUIZA

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L’AUTOMOBILE HISPANO-SUIZA

I IA l read with a lwpt ion and

nos! algia Nis. Karslake’s cianprele.esive and masterly articles on the liv:In?,-StliZIL, 11 marque which, as he says, tt as Certainly NeeOrld to liOne in “• toil in “,elf.a. ” of teelmical solution and beauty of finish throughont its varitius decades.

As om who has been privileged to OWIt one of Ow rare Monza type may thank you for publishing a, to me hitherto unse(n, photograph of PP 1 Isl. taken after my own ownership. I enclose it pludograplt 510150111g Hie i)ther side of tIlls cm. taken. :limn ipriat ely, in the forecourt of Digitalin, Ole residence or ow bac count 1.0108 %%cm Avsk i ii the spring Or 1925. Mr. Karslake makes it statement relative to the stroke of the ” and raises other !mints in the article wit h. regard to wI ue’l I would dearly like to comment in friendly debate if you. Sir, cao spare the spaee. I think that readers may be interested in the emitemporary ” story ” of the ” Monzas ” as Lou Zborowski :mil I heard it and which. I have never heard contradicted in caller England or France. Ilettire proceeding., however. may I. while ailmilting an almost three-year daily familiarity with PP 11SE disclaim any “

at ?

It is (Me tiling to 05011 111111 115e 3 inotnrcar on one’s (not always strietly) lawful oveasions and another to take the trouble then and there In take an engine dotvn to ttnify dimensions Which., having been given in good faith, I here appeitred no technical reason to doubt. I fully admit Bud. this does not constitute proof in any form. Menti.ry is a dangerous medium NVillt Willett to paint a picture -espeoially :it

increasing distance ! It does permit .it three-dimension:x1 result as opposed to the necessarily flatter tones of the printed .Word, but., of course, it ean so easily fail to be as accurate. Zborowski bought this car in England

either in late 102:1 or early 1924 (1 indilie to the latter time), and showed it to me with great pritie on lay next visit. to Ilig,lutin. Ile Inv( already liven in possession of a. standard 37.2-1t.p. model, with an open four-se:0(T body„ sinee 1921. This was the ” story.” Only fotir of these ehassis were ever built and their bore and si roke were increased to 102 by 150 mitt. PP list Will lirsl InirellaSed, frOlit Bois-0)101[11)e5 direct, a wealthy Ervin+ gent leinam a M. Mussurns (I cannot guarantee the spelling) who I hereupon itpproached Messrs. Kellner, the famous Freneli carrossiers, nit the fidlowing terius sltould build him a twit-seater

laxly for t his car. to be sabmitted to a etaninittee of the Automobile C8111; de Franee. If this committee agreed that it was the most beautiful two-seater ” ensemble ” Hwy bad seen to date then Kellner’s bill would be in no way disputed: on the other hand, if tile decision were otherwise the cost was 10 he more 0nless manned. Messrs. Kellner, being very suit. of

Some Comments by Clive Gallop Arising Out of Kent Karslake’s Article in the June issue.

themselves (and. rightly so, I cannot but feel), accepted this tsintract in a Very proper spirit. introducing a clause. of their own whereby if they obtained the approbation of the committee they reserved the right to exhibit the car in their Champs Elvsees showrooms Air a fortnight before delivery. They won !

There is, admittedly, room for ” romance.” in this story about the body which neit her Zborowski nor I ever checked up with Messrs. Kellner. but When, very sliortly after acquisition. nimil arose to decarbonise the engine and it was seen that the bore was 102 non., no reason to doubt the already Itecepted d imenSions arose. it. may :4N:9110111110-113y that ill the (MSC of it speehd sittall number of chassis the second IllinenSioll was not checked as a inatter of routine 1(1 it-. alas, who is to know to-day what points are going tel be of historic interest. to-morrow? I can only ho 11)0 that continual km one way or the other may be obtained :1,111 ill 110 WA.’ impugning Mr. Briand who undoubtedly measured an ermine

-as so :mach may occur during the passage ??f a quarter of a century, lad, my coovi • t at,” while not, of course,

evi, was very Strong and I lutve long lo.; 1011011 with NI. Masuger and M. Lacoste (the father. of the ruinous lawn tennis player) who WM managing director at Bois Colombes at I he material time. I venture to suggest, that, for the sake of history alone, further confirm:0 ion is desiraltle before dismissing the 150-min. stroke irrevocably os a myth. photograph 1 enelose shows the car equipited for ” 1w Grand Tourism.” The typieal position :old inclination of the gear lever, in the ” Alfonso ” tradition, tire eVi? lent :Ind the car is equipped with. a I igl tI but strong hood (and eover) clipping on to vertival supports on the specially reinforced windscreen frantic. In addition I haol pereartales de ehemffear an 111k lu’ length poncho type of garment • -made fitmt the sante waterproof double twill its the hood. ‘I’lms equipped (Inc was rallter teal warns, hilt remained perfectly dry oneself throughout a day of unceasing rain. The headlights arc by Crebel (again I ant now uncertain of the s)elling) and gave a most prodigious light, while the now illegal movable searehlight is worthy of (mite special note. It was made up from the internal fittings of the aireraft healing lights flesigiled for tite V1500 lIandley-Page bombers wIdelt were to have bombed Ilerlin had the first World War persisted into 1919. Ti tough relatively small in diameter tile narrow beant wa.s or incredible length. and penetration and made the telegraph poles along the road front Bridge tt, Dover look like well ” dressed troops standing shoulder to shoulder 1 As photographed this car would run into the 90 m.p.h. range at any time and under favourable ciremnstances I have occasionally seen the flieking needle type twf Jaeger speellometer between the equivalents of 102 to 104 m.p.h. Family demands forced me to part with it, with the utmost reluctance, to my then neighbour Captain Wyndham Green, in 1926, Other Points

On page 271 of your June issue is shown a photograph of a Barcelonabuilt engine. Interpretation of the valve gear is partly a matter of” reading” the block, but it seems to me that this is one of a series of overhead camshaft engines, which they made, I hefieve, approximately during the First War period, at Barcelona, on which the inclined valves were operated by rockers from a single camshaft. The block shows, I think, a form compatible with an offset vertical shaft driving both fan and camshaft by skew gearing. The penthouse form of valve cover with its fiat top and the horizontal spacing of the valve gear cover nuts is very suggestive of rockers. I am further impelled towards this view by the stirring of memories connected with visits to Barcelona in 1922 and 1923 a itli Zborowski when he * was both times second (el eternal segundol) in the very excellent Penya Rhin Grand Prix races with one of the 1922 Strasbourg 1-litre 16-valve Aston-Martins. On the saute page Mr. Karslake refers to the projected engines for the Coupe de i’Aulo, run contemporaneously with the G.P. de l’A.C.F. at Dieppe in 1912. He points out that in La Vie Automobile the bore and stroke of these four-cylinder

engines was published as 85 by 132 mm. I remember the mention of those very figures at about that time.

The fitting of a supercharger to this engine, especially a supercharger of reciprocating-piston type, which is more generally connected with two rather than four-stroke engines, is new to me other than a mention of it in Laurence Pomeroy’s book ” The Grand Prix Car,” who, however, gives the year as 1911.

Since the initial preparation of these notes an interesting issue has arisen which may be worthy of a digression. On returning from Le Mans the other day in company with Laurence Pomeroy and Forrest Lyeett, I had the pleasure of re-meeting, with them, an old friend— Jules Goux, of Peugeot fame.

In an enforcedly short conversation at dinner, as I, alas, had to catch the night boat to Newhaven, Goux told me, to my surprise (unless I misunderstood him and confused the ears) that the Peugeots for the 1911 race were fitted with pistondisplacement superchargers.

It is interesting to reflect that 1911 was the year in which Zuccarelli, a man himself of very considerable technical “flair,” who had won for Hispano-Suiza in 1910, had left them and joined the Peugeot jquipe. Did he, perhaps, bring with him an idea already worked out, or the germ of an idea which was hastened into actuality by Peugeot in 1911, whose engines, that year, were still four-cylinder narrow-Vee designs, but which had, for the first time, the 8-litre dimensions of 78 by 1561nm.

More information with regard to this will, it is hoped, be obtained from M. Goux before very long, but he said that these piston superchargers were not very. successful. They were not present on their 1912 ears which were, in any ease, a completely new design for that year.

Reverting to the 1912 Hispano-Suiza racing engine, with every respect to Mr. Karslake, I venture to suggest that it is wrong to disbelieve the stroke of 182 mm., as published by La Vie Automobile at the time, without some very definite proof to the contrary, and that to relate the stroke to a production engine having a stroke of 130 nun. is somewhat of an over-simplification. It is interesting to note the resultant cubic capacities :.—

4-cylinders : 85 by 130 nun…. 2,950 c.c. 85 by 182 mm…. 2,996 0..c. The latter figure is much nearer to the maximum capacity and, although “short. volume” has been employed in certain instances, I do not think it is straining at a gnat to suggest this is unlikely to have been acceptable to M. Birkigt.

If the racing engines were indeed related to a production car, the getting of the extra millimetre a crank-pin throw required to increase the stroke by 2 nun. would present little difficulty from the production crankshaft forgings of those days.

May the hope engendered in the final paragraph of Mr. Karslake’s fascinating article, that Hispano-Suiza one day resume production, come true.

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