PAN AMERICAN RACE
Sir. I should like to say a few words about the above event. In the
past we have seen first the Americans. next the Italians and last year the Germans, win this race over the last three years—we just sit on the fence. Is it that we are scared of entering this race in caae we lose, or do we think the competition is too strong ? I am aware that last year the regulations, did not help us in that the one-carburetter idea to the saloon race. cut out the Mark VII Jaguar saloon in its standard form, but surely the regulations could have been complied with, and at the same time not affected performance, by the fitting of a proprietary carburetter which in effect does the work of two instruments—Fords having fitted a similar type of instrument on their V8 models for a number of years. Last
year’s winner and the three following place-men, all on Lincolns., may have fitted such an instrument.
Last year Ferrari, Mercedes and Cordial thought the publicity and sales .attractions that this race gives in a dollar area worth the effort involved. It can be argued that we sell M.G.s and Jaguars very well in the States at the moment on their past and present achievements, but like democracy and freedom, which we guard with our lives, our prestige and its consequent sales impetus in the sports-car world might well be treated in like manner, for there is always someone ready to steal our thunder if we rest on past laurels.
A market has been established in the sports-car field, admittedly it is not a large one, but it is a useful dollar earner, and this race which is the longest of its type in the States must have some bearing on sales. The Americans may get the idea that we are soared to enter in case we do not win, but surely we take that chance regularly in the classics, instance, last year Le Mans ; and I am sure the American public would admire us much more for having a go and failing, than to see us sitting on the fence.
It could again be argued that a failure in such a classic as Le Mans could be more damaging to our export sales than a possible failure in .the Pan American event, but this thought does not seem to deter us in the classics—yet a win in the Pan American would perhaps act as an additional sales boost out there, in addition to providing valuable research under live ” export ” conditions.
It is very heartening to see that Aston Martin entered two cars complete with top-line drivers in the last twelve-hour Sebring race; could this be taken as just a glimmer of hope for next year’s Pan American ? Mercedes will not be competing in sports-car events this season, which cuts out one formidable opponent.
I eagerly await the day when the first British-backed sports car roars away from the starting line in “Sunny Mexico.’ What ideas have other enthusiasts on this race ? I am, Yours, etc.,
Walsall. D. C. DAY. * * *
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