Rumblings, December 1932

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Fr2 m 111 ngs OlitlERGES

A European Challenge ?

Last month I expressed the hope that next year we should see Tazio Nuvolari at Indianapolis, with an Alfa Romeo ” monoposto.” Although there is no indication as yet of this hope being fulfilled, there is a chance that Europe will be represented at the classic American race next year. No official announcement has been made, but there is a strong rumour afoot that the French champion, Louis Chiron, may go over to the States next May. If Chiron makes the trip, what will he drive ? A Bugatti of some sort, I do not doubt, but whether it will be a 4.9 or a 2.3 it is difficult to say. The 4.9 would be fatiguing, but much faster than any American machine. The 2.3, on the other hand, is probably just as quick as anything over there, and much handier than the 4.9.

Not For Sale.

Now that the Alfa Romeo people have thoroughly proved the qualities of the 2,650 c.c. single seater car, by a season’s racing, it was generally expected that similar cars would be available for ” independants.” I understand, however, that this model is being reserved for the official team only, and that private entrants will have to satisfy themselves with the 2,337 c.c. ” biposto ” cars, which are only capable of a mere 130 m.p.h. or so !

Delage not to Race.

Everyone will be sorry to hear that the name of Delage will not appear in the entry lists for Grand Prix races in 1933 after all. There is every reason to hope, however, that Louis Delage will build a team of cars for the 1934 season, and we can rest assured that the machines, when they appear, will be of such quality as to challenge the rest of the world.

Bugatti Plans.

As always, the plans of the famous Molsheim manufacturer are shrouded in mystery. Rumour is given unlimited scope by the unfettered nature of Ettore Bugatti’s designs, for he is never influenced by other manufacturers, or popular custom. I remember once he produced a car with no springs, in the ordinary sense of the word, but rubber blocks instead. Someone was told to drive the car round the track, and came in after

one lap so covered with bruises that he almost had to be lifted from the cockpit.

At any rate, at one moment one hears that a team of 16 cylinder cars will be built for next season, and the next minute one is told that the official team cars (type inconnu) have already been constructed.

All very mystifying, don’t you think—or don’t you ?

Chez Bugatti.

A friend of mine recently paid a visit to the Bugatti factory, and stayed overnight in the Bugatti hotel, where he was overwhelmed with kindness and good cheer. After a terrific get-away with a ” Constantini ” cocktail, so named after the famous driver who is now the racing manager of the firm, he finished a superb dinner with a special ” supercharged liqueur of rare vintage and petrifying potency.

Next day my friend was taken for a memorable demonstration run, in a 4.9 saloon, by Jean Bugatti, who showed off the car’s steadiness on a wet road at high speed by endeavouring to throw the big saloon into skids !

Incidentally, Jean Bugatti is now coachwork designerin-chief at Molsheim.

The 8 Litre Bentley.

A superficial glance at Woolf Barnato’s 8 litre Bentley, which crashed so tragically in the hands of Clive Dunfee during the 500 Miles Race at Brooklands, gave one the impression that the car was a total wreck. This appearance was largely due to the fact that the light body was almost completely tom from the chassis. In actual fact the engine and chassis were by no means irreparably damaged, and I hear that the whole car is being rebuilt for next year’s “500.”

In addition, the Speed Six engine which used to propel the car is being carefully overhauled, and will be put in another chassis, so that with ” Tim ” Birkin’s single seater ” 4/ ” going as strong as ever, the Bentley flag will still be upheld at Brooklands in 1933.

A Brooklands Veteran.

Up at the Lanchester place at Hendon the other day I noticed a familiar shape lurking in a dark corner. On further investigation to my joy it proved to be the old Lanchester single seater racing car which used. :t9

appear regularly at every Brooklands meeting round about 1924-5. In the first place the car (which was a normal 40 h.p. chassis fitted with a narrow racing body, was used to demonstrate the qualities of Rapson tyres at high speeds over long distances, and many records still stand to its credit. Later it was raced by George Duller and the late Parry Thomas.

Only slightly tuned, the old car used to put up a very good show, and could lap at about 105 m.p.h. Owing to the ban on cars of over 10 years old, the Lanchester’s racing career is finished, and it will presumably continue to accumulate cobwebs at Hendon.

Rather sad, somehow.

The Racing Magnette.

One of the subjects for discussion this winter will be the performance of the new 1,100 c.c. M.G. Magnette in next year’s races. One thing is certain, the cars will be very serious contenders in the 1,100 c.c. division, and a Riley-M.G. battle should be contested throughout the season with as great spirit as was the Austin-Midget duel last year. The M.G. people are naturally confident of success, but the Rileys, with several years’ experience in the 1,100 c.c. class behind them, will take a lot of beating. And what price Dixon’s hour record on a byno-means new Riley at 110 m.p.h.?

The official Magnette team is a splendid one, and if the cars race abroad, as I believe it is intended, they could not have finer drivers to uphold British colours. Earl Howe, Sir Henry Birkin and G. E. T. Eyston are probably England’s three leading road-race drivers, and with E. R. Hall, who has had a lot of experience with Midgets in the team, the Magnettes should give a really. good account of themselves.

Incidentally, I hear that R. M. Mere, who has done a lot of trials work with a Magna, has ordered a racing Magnette for next season.

A Recruit.

Further to my remarks last month about the team of cars being collected by the Conan Doyle brothers, I hear that in addition to two 36/220 h.p. Mercedes-Benz they now have a 12 cylinder 2 litre Delage. The newcomer is one of the famous cars which ran in the Grand Prix races of 1924, one of them finishing second in the Grand Prix d’Europe in the hands of Albert Divo.

All the winter is being spent in getting the cars in really good trim, so that the team should at any rate be well prepared when next season arrives.

Inter Varsity Speed Trials.

Owing to the unfortunate damage done to the property last year at Hexton, the organisers of the speed events held jointly by the Oxford and Cambridge Clubs have had to look elsewhere for a venue. I hear that tentative arrangements have been made to hold speed trials on a 2 mile stretch, as yet unopened, of tne 4yasham ByPass, where really high speeds should be attainable. Also, everyone will be glad to hear that there is a possibility of F,weline Down being available for a

for this drive combines to a nice degree a speed event With a hill-climb, a long level stretch being followed by a steep hill, with two right hand corners.

Another Motor Racing Book.

On another page of tais issue there appears a review of the very welcome reprint of the late Sir Henry Segrave’s classic book “The Lure of Speed.” I now hear that there is snortly to appear a most important contribution to motor-racing literature in the shape of a book by Sir Henry Birkin, entitled “Full Throttle.”

This book should have a wide appeal to all motorracing enthusiasts, for in addition to nis varied experiences in races at Brooklands, Le Mans, Ulster, Spa, Montlhery, Pau and Pnoeinx Park, Sir Henry has considerable automobile engineering knowledge which he has turned to practical parpose. In fact, one of his first appearances in the racing field was at Southport in an Aston Marcia caassis powered by an engine of his own d sign, tne Birkin-Comery. The book snould therefore appeal botn to those wno are interested in the actual bniiness of racing, and to tnose who like to know the amount of preparation and experiment necessary for suca fine performances as Sir Henry Birkin is renowned.

Car Engines Afloat.

A conversation with a motor-boating enthusiast the otner day brougnt to my notice tne great extent to wincn ” not-stuff ” car engines are utilised on

high-speed craft. On the Continent, it appears, straignt-eight Bugatti and iVfaserati engines are used with great success in racing motor-boats. I have always regarded the market for marine engines to be fairiy fully covered by firms specialising in this sort of material, but tins is not so, for the Vosper ” Jollyboat” is powered by a Riley Nine engine, while the same unit was aiso fitted to three “Puppy Dogs” built by the British Power Boat concern about two years ago.

One of tne finest performances ever seen in this country was that of “Miss Riocco in winning the Duke of York’s Tropny two or three years ago at a speed of 53 m.p.n. odd. Tins is the fastest speed ever recorded in tne Duke of York’s Tropny race, and the engine used was a 1 litre Miller, taken from a racing car. Motor-boat racing has always attracted car drivers, and I remember particularly Woolf Bamato’s “Ardenrun V,” wincn was fitted with a 3 litre Bentley engine, and could do about 50 m.p.h. Col. F. T. Bersey, of Laystall’s, is another exponent of the sport afloat, and his ” ” was powered by a 3 litre Sunbeam car engine. Nigel Holder used to race at one time, while butn 6.eorge Newman and Philip Turner have made a name in outboard racing. On the non competitive side,

J. Aidingcon, of Frazer Nashes, spends most of his leisure ‘lours on his fast motor-cruiser.

The Master.

A wave of almost religious exultation has swept through the ranks of the Bugatti Owners’ Club at the news that the Patron, the Master, the Designer, Ettore Bugatti will be present at the Club’s dinner. ” And that am’ ail,” as the Black Crows used to say, for Junior is com.ng as well, that popuiar young man Jean.

No other manufacturer arouses such devout worship.

Wanted.

I know someone who wants to buy a pilleka 120 m.p.h. racing car. Present owners of sucIi cars please note.

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