Matters of moment, August 1986

Remarkable MG records

Although MG cars were notable for some very significant record-breaking runs before the war, it is quite another thing to set up new figures using cars the youngest of which left the Abingdon factory 53 years ago. But that was successfully accomplished by members of the MGCC’s Triple-M Register last June. What is also remarkable is that they were permitted by the RAC to make their multiple attempts together. at MIRA’s banked track. The records aimed at were long-distance Class-H and Class-G British National ones, using a 1931 C-type Montlhery MG Midget for the former, a 1933 63 MG Magnette for the latter. In addition, it was to attack Class-I (351 to 500 cc) records up to 24-hours that a J2 MG Midget with a new crankshaft to reduce its capacity to 487 cc was prepared. Shell sponsored these courageous aims.

To cut a long story short, and regretting the necessity for this, the K3 took five Class-G records, from 1,000 kilometres to 24 hours, at from 115.32 kph to 70.27 mph for the 24-hours. These were previously unattempted records with the exceptions of the 12-hours, which the MG took from Hall’s Jowett at 72.3 mph, an improvement 01 18.22 mph. The C-type MG set records for 2,000 kilometres, 1,000 miles and 24-hours, at from 95.38 kph to 58.95 mph, wresting the last two from the 67 that ran at Goodwood, also in pursuit of bettering pre-war figures, in 1977. Thus was pre-war rivalry between the Longbridge and Abingdon makes resumed, in spite of a virtually untested new engine, and a broken rocker having to be changed after the A7s 1,000 mile record had been broken by 8.51 mph, losing 45 minutes, and a later 40-minute stop to replace a broken oil-pipe, the 24-hour A7 record was bettered by 4.45 mph.

The re-stroked J2 was after records which Kaye Don in the Avon-JAP had not gone on to attack when he took Class-I records of up to three hours at Brooklands in 1928. It managed nine of these. from 200 kilometres to 24 hours, the last-named at 40.31 mph. Had a blower been fitted the Avon-JAP’s records would have been attempted. Finally, an 877 cc J2 MG was used to try for more Class-G (1,100 cc) records but although 200 miles were covered at over 78 mph, this was short of the 83.34 mph Riley record the car was chasing. But what a magnificent performance we hope credit will be given to the drivers, sponsors and pit-crew. perhaps in next year’s Triple-M Register magazine – W.B.

Save our Tyres

Tyres, like souls, are worth saving. We are again at the height of the tar-spraying season, which may do much good to the souls of Council Engineers and Spraying Contractors but not for tyres. In the old days car-owners used to go carefully over each tyre on a car with an open penknife, digging out the grit that had been caught up in the treads, before this penetrated further, eventually to ruin an inner-tube. Was this all a fad, or a useful piece of maintenance? Does the grit over which we are still asked to drive at surface-dressing time have a detrimental effect on our tyres?

It may be that rubber is tougher now, or treads and carcasses thicker? Or do these loose stones hasten the wear on tyres and blast off the underseal intended to protect a car’s bodywork from rusting when salt lies on winter roads? Has the Transport and Road Research Laboratory done any research into this? It is not only side roads that are turned into beaches every summer Just at present some parts 01 180 A44 lie thick in stones that can so easily shatter windscreens. and some years ago when this happened near Tewkesbury we lost the BMW’s licence along with the glass, and calling at the Police Station in case the licence disc was found and handed in, we were told the contractors had used stone of too large a calibre and that several Police cars were without screens as a result so it wasn’t a case, presumably, of ignoring the “Go Slow” signs; in any case, a stone will shatter a screen if it has a mind so to do even when you are driving al walking pace, as once happened to our VW Beetle.

The only decent way to replace suriace-dressings would seem to be to repair one side of a road at a lane and to use a roller to roll the stones Into the tar, instead of leaving this rolling process to other vehicles’ tyres. The delay would surely be preferable to the considerable risk of a broken screen and / or blemished bodywork and we still want to know how much tyres stiffer Has the AA or the RAC any views? What do our readers think? How many ol you suffer. as we do. when driving over newly laid tar -pocked -beaches • that were tormerly smooth main roads? – W.B.

Ford’s 1987 rally plans

Ford has confirmed that it is to continue in International rallying despite recent rule changes which effectively spell the end of the RS200 Next year it will use both the Sierra XR4x4 and the Sierra RS Cosworth.

Shown at the press conference announcing the decision was the engine Brian Hart developed for the ‘evolution’ RS200s Designated the Ford BDT-E, It is claimed to produce 580 bhp and though it no longer has a future in rallying, this 2 1 litre turbocharged unit rnay well find its way into Group C2 cars.