A NEW YEAR EXPEDITION
MORE than ordinary interest attaches to the expedition to Cape Town which is being organised by Captain Geoffrey Malins, F.R.G.S., and which will start from London early next year. It is not a race from point to point ; it is not a stunt in any shape or form ; rather it constitutes a definite attempt to boost British goods—and particularly British motorcars—in certain European and Asiatic countries and in the great continent of Africa.
Capt. Malins is a famous explorer and a film director of note, such thrilling pictures as “The Battle of the Somme” and” Battle of the Tanks ” having been made under his management. He is better known to motorists and motorcyclists, perhaps, on account of his recent world tour on a motorcycle combination.
The expedition is unique in that it is a mission organised and conducted by experts on behalf of British trade.
All manner of British products will be carried and these will be demonstrated at each of the hundred centres which it is proposed to visit. Over 40 British films will be represented. The cars to be used are, in the main, standard Riley ” Alpine ” Sixes. The bodies are of the. four-seater type, but the rear compartments have only one seat,
the remainder being composed of luggage space, a cupboard for cameras, etc.
In addition to the usual tank at the rear there are two other tanks, one just below the driver’s seat and one, gravity, in front. Twenty-five gallons of fuel can be carried, and either of the two lower tanks can be worked by petrol pump or by pressure feed. Pressure can also transfer fuel from one tank to another. The petrol pipe system is duplicated so that if any one line breaks another can be used.
There are two sets of accumulators in each car, duplication of the batteries being necessary since they will frequently be used for lighting the camp at nights. Oversize wheels and larger section tyres (31 x 5f in.) are fitted.
The most novel feature of the cars, perhaps, is found in the arrangements which have been made to cross rivers. At each side of the cars there will be capacious air-bags. When a river or stream which is too deep to ford is encountered, these bags will be inflated, and the cars will be launched and paddled across.
The route selected leads through Europe, Asia Minor and Palestine, to Cairo. Thence it will follow the AllRed route to Cape Town, deviating from time to time to include important centres. It is expected that the journey will occupy some ten or twelve months. G.D.
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