Letter From Readers



Letters from Readers.

Veterans in Retirement.

IREAD with great interest the articles “Where Are The Veterans ? ” by Mr. E. K. H. Karslake, in MOTOR SPORT, and look forward to further articles on old cars that you propose to publish.

Readers may be interested to know that the old Lanchester ” Forty ” racer, which was driven by Mr. L. Rapson and the late C. G. P. Thomas about five years ago, was recently seen by the writer in a London showroom. I understand that this car is for sale, and a Sunbeam racer (a 1921 3-litre 8-cyl., I think) was on show previously.

There is a very fascinating 1912 100 h.p. Merced. s chain-drive chassis, with bucket seats in place of a body, sometimes to be seen running in London.

I understand that the old Lorraine ” Vieux Charles III,” ” Chitty Bang Bang,” Capt. Miller’s Benz 4-seater, etc., are all awaiting new owners, and the 60 h.p. Gordon Bennett Mere. was sold a short time ago.

There is an old Vauxhall racer, probably with an interesting history, apparently lying rusting outside the aerodrome bungalows at Brooklands.

I am writing in the hope that other readers may give interesting details of old racers, especially old Brooklandi cars.

Wishing MOTOR SPORT every success.

W. Boddy.

IHAVE just read your excellent article on ” Chitty Bang Bang II,” and I thought that it might interest you to know that ” Chitty Bang Bang I “is once more on the war-path.

I bought her from Capt. Howey of Romney about five weeks ago, and we have already got her in running condition and hope to get her to the track next season. As far as I can see from the photo of ” Chitty II,” ” Chitty I ” seems to be somewhat larger. She is not fitted with a four-seater body, but is in full racing trim. Two bucket scats, no mudguards, and a tail like the back of a whale.

When we found her, she was merely a great pile of rust and mildew—now she has a new coat of paint, and is a very different car.

Ye Gods ! the trouble we had to start that huge engine, gummed up after years of rotting !

Adrian M. Conan Doyle.

yOUR series ” Veteran Types” make most interesting reading, particularly to people who knew Brooklands when many of the cars, now regarded as ancient monsters of the past, were looked upon with awe and wonder. I have often pondered on the ultimate end of such machines as the pre-war

London, S.E.27.


Austin ” Pobble ” (how many readers remember her ?), the late Percy Lambert’s famous 25 h.p. Talbot, that peculiar Peugeot with monstrous exhaust pipe arrangement which stuck out of the to of the bonnet, and many others.

Several of the Post-War Sunbeams find new owners in Australia, I am told. A special racing Talbot of about 10 h.p. and 1924 vintage, which some readers may have seen at Brooklands, and Brighton, has also gone to the Antipodes. But most of the earlier racers have, by this time, been scrapped I suppose. A sorry and ignoble end, after distinguished and dashing careers on road and track.

C. L. S.

London, S.1.V.19.

Air v. Water-Coaling.

WITH the great advance made in the past few years in air cooled engines, it seems remarkable to me that racing car designers have not produced motors of this type. What is the objection ? The majority of aircraft power-units are now air-cooled, and practically every noteworthy achievement in the air has been carried out with either an in-line or static radial air-cooled engine. Surely if the system is good enough for aircraft use, where efficiency and reliability are of such importance, it should be equally suitable for automobile work.

I have no statistics, hut I am certain that not a few chances have been lost in races through trouble developing in the water circulation system of cars—pumps cracking up, rubber connections breaking, leaky gaskets, and honeycombs punctured by flying stones. Then there is the question of weight ; the lightness of the aircooled motor is a big point in its favour.

Aero engine design has been developed largely from data and experience taken from automobile practice. If the process were now reversed, I think motor manufacturers would find it beneficial.

” Pro-Air.”


“. Sports” Models.

AS a motorist who, from his earliest days awheel, has ridden and driven for the fun of the game on1.7I am writing to protest against an absurdity whicl is becoming More and more common.

I refer to the practice of manufacturers of dubbing their products ” sports ” models without the slightest justification. We have stately, closed town carriages designated in catalogues and advertisements as ” sports saloons” and “sportsman’s coupes.” Why ? I am not asserting that these ears have anything but

excellent qualities. They have in most instances, flexibility, good acceleration and a fine turn of speed ; but they are, most definitely, not vehicles for sport.

Everyday and everywhere one sees such automobiles being used for ordinary transport purposes—driven more often than not by chauffeurs or women. It is too silly.


P. S.

Saucer Tracks.

MUCH travelled friend of mine has. just been talking to me about the

wooden saucer (or board) tracks of America, and his description has prompted me to write to you, as the 100 per cent. sporting motoring journal, to ask you to advocate the adoption of such tracks in this country.

For sheer thrills, my friend tells me, the saucer track has no equal and it puts “the cinders” completely in the background. The spectacle provided by riders screaming round, and passing each other while high up on the banking, in the glare of flood-lights is terrific. Most of the tracks are covered by corrugated iron roofs, and the din of the exhausts thus. magnified, adds to the fascination of the scene.

What a boon such tracks would be to motor sportsmen during the long winter months.

” William Tell.”


Britain and Continental Racing.

CON (;RAT t7I4ATIONS on your wonderful magazine. I have been reading same ever since I was lucky enough to discover it, which was two years. ago, though I have never read an _article in it of which I approve so much as that entitled ” Where are our Racers? “

I only hope that the writer’s suggestion will be adopted and that Britain v,’ill again make a bid for the prestige that she has lost (through too ardent devotion to sports-car events) on the Continent.

M. Soames.