ON July 4th at. the M.G. works at Abingdon, a party was thrown for Lt.-Col. A. T. “Goldie” Gardner, O.B.E., MC., in connection with his attempt on International Class F records, scheduled for August 20th, at the Utah Salt Lake Flats, U.S.A.
Standing on one of the canteen chairs, John TItornley made a delightfully informal speech such as only a man who really understands motor racing and who is really a friend of the Press could make. Hee introduced the men mainly responsible for the M.G. Gardner will drive—Sidney Enever, R. C. “Jack” Jaekson and Jack Crook.
Gardner hopes to break the s.s. 50 kms., 50 miles, 100 kms., 100 Miles, 200 kms., and one hour Class F records held at present by Alta and Bugatti and to improve on his own f.s. kilo., mile and 5 kms. records of over 200 m.p.h. He should also capture numerous local and American records. Chief aim is to set the coveted 1½-litre hour record to at least. 140 m.p.h.; at. present it stands at 119.01 m.p.h., to the credit of Veyron’s Bugatti which did this speed at. MontlItery in 1933.
The M.G. is Gardner’s famous single-seater with which he has taken 22 International Class records already. driving it in two, three, four and six-cylinder form depending on the class in which the car has operated. On this occasion new interest is lent by the fact. that the famous o.h.c. M.G. engine is having a rest and the new Class F honours will be sought with virtually standard push-rod o.h.v. “TD” M.G. engine of only 1,250 c.c. “This,” says Gardner’, “should enhance the good name which the M.G.”TD” engine already has in the U.S.” Incidentally, the M.G. Car Co.. Ltd.. has pioneered American-style hotting-up procedure in this country, leading in this respect a Coventry concern to whom a contemporary recently gave credit for this development.
For the short distance records it. is probable that a 2.8 to 1 back axle will be used, gearing the little car 32 m.p.h. per 1,000 r.p.m. Special lightweight Dunlop tyres with 3 mm. treads will be used and a minimum of fuel, fed by air pressure, will be carried. The “TD” engine will have a compression ratio of 9.3 to 1 and the huge Shorrock supercharger, driven from the front of the crankshaft via a substantial shaft, will run at 0.544 engine speed and lost at 25 lb.isq. in.: 210 b.h.p. will be developed at 7,000 r.p.m. For the hour record attempt the blower will be run at 10 lb./sq. in. boost and the compression ratio will be 7.25 to 1, giving 92 bhp. at 5,400 r.p.m. John Thornley admitted that no particular series numbers could be given to these “TD” engines, but the significant thing is that standard crankshaft and bearings will be used. Large overlap camshafts and twin 2 3/14-in. S.U. carburetters figure in the speeification. For the hour run fuel will be carried in two saddle tanks, each holding 11 gallons, a tiny mechanical pump maintaining pressure.
A power loss of some 14 per cent., will be experienced at Utah, which is over 4,000 ft. above sea level. To protect them from the salt the shock-absorbers and spring trunnions will wear gaiters. It is interesting that the M.G. chassis has “old fashioned” suspension with a movement of only one inch at the front, two inches at the back. It has a wheelbase of 8 ft. 3 in., a track of 4 ft. and the car is 16 ft. 5 in. long, 5 ft. 3 in. wide.
The M.G. sailed in the “Queen Elizabeth” on July 21st and “Goldie” flies to the States on August 12th. What a courageous venture this is for a man 60 years old! The M.G. will be run on Dunlop wheels and tyres and Ferodo brake and clutch linings and ignition will be by a Lucas magneto.
British prestige runs high in sports car racing through the great. Jaguar victory at Le Mans and the splendid showing there of Aston-Martin and of Frazer-Nash in the I.O.M. We are supreme in Formula III racing, H.W.M. is rapidly gaining grip in Formula II and John Cobb still holds the Land Speed. Record for Britain at 394.2 m.p.h. Gardner’s M.G. is yet smother example of British engineering skill, suveessfully applied to a supremely difficult task without prior limelight and ballyhoo. In the field of Formula I G.P. racing our prestige is, alas, negative or. perhaps. minus. All power then to you, “Goldie” in your particular preserve; may the gods ride wills you!