At the V.S.C.C. Silverstone meeting we fell over a small racing car in the Paddock, but otherwise took no particular notice of it. Calling on Nigel Arnold-Foster the other day we realised that what had caused our tumble was his new sprint car and that really we should have taken more notice of it.
Arnold-Foster’s idea is to possess a car which is in the best tradition of the sprint cars of the late nineteen-twenties, yet which will perform adequately at present-day vintage events. Built in ten days and nights, the resultant car consists of a decently-long-wheelbase G.N. chassis with drilled side-members, into which has been installed a fairly, normal four-cylinder 1 1/2-litre side-valve Anzani engine. This engine has a “1/2-race” camshaft, a compression-ratio of 7.5 to 1, and a barrel-type Solex carburetter fed from a two-gallon Esso tin forming the fuel tank, by grace of an air-pump supplied by V. M. Herrington. Ignition is by a Watford magneto, and the exhaust stub ends at the cockpit, about 6 in. from the exhaust manifold.
The drive passes through a “bitsa” clutch, largely modified from pure-G.N. to part-Frazer-Nash after it blew-up and savaged the driver’s legs, and a 16-in, propeller-shaft to G.N. bevel-box and a two-speed dog-clutch-and-chain G.N. transmission. For Prescot ratios of 6.2 to 1 and 8.3 to 1 art used; for Silverstone they are changed to 3.5 and 4.5 to 1.
The solid back axle is located by specially-long dural radius arms, made originally by Dick Caesar, and the chassis boasts one tubular cross-member fabricated by the same gentleman.
Front suspension is Morgan-type, ex-Freikaiserwagen, there are Morgan front brakes, but no back brakes, and the front wheels are G.N., with home-made hubs each having four roller bearings. The back wheels are built onto G.N. hubs and carry 5.20 by 15 tyres; the front tyre size is 3.50 by 19. The wheelbase measures 7 ft. 2 in. and the front track is 4 ft. 1 in., the rear track 3 ft. 7 in,
The low bonnet terminates in a swept-up scuttle and cockpit from the ex-Watkins G.N. and a wasp-like tail ending flush with the back wheels covers the fuel tank, the intrepid driver witting between the chains in an ex-Horsa glider seat which has been reduced in width so that it is no longer possible to wear a parachute.
The steering is geared 1/3 of a turn lock to lock and the lock is quite generous and full lock used frequently to retain control.
The tiny radiator, carrying a G.N. hub badge, is a delightfully narrow affair, specially made up for the car out of a Ford shell. The weight distribution is about 50/50 and this G.N. Special weighs 6 1/2 cwt., or about half as much as Arnold-Foster’s Anzani Frazer-Nash, which, incidentally, has Salmson front brakes, and a homemade deflector cylinder head. Amongst his considerable stock of Anzani spares the owner has the twin-overhead-camshaft engine with roller-bearing crankshaft and Roots blower used by the late E. A. D. Eldridge, this having been installed in a special Frazer-Nash chassis before the war, but later replaced by a Meadows engine. Next year it. is hoped that this engine can he built up and used in this very pleasant and potent “period” G.N. — W. B.