GEORGE EYSTON’S DIESEL RACING CAR
NEARLY three years ago, in February, 1931, motorists all over the world learnt with interest that a Dieselengined car driven by Mr. C. L. CtuinnitS„ an American,.h had covered a mile at 100.75 m.p.h. on the famous Daytona beachtrack. The record remained unchallenged since that date, but experiments have also gone on in England, with the result that a special racing car, carrying a closed body and suitable for long and short distance records, was constructed. It was designed by Eldridge, and built by Delaneys of Ataida Vale, while George Eyston whose record-breaking experienees range from the Magic Midget to the old Panhard, took the new car round Brooklands on its .successful debut. The power unit of Captain Eyston’s new car is a standard A.E.C. six-Cylinder heavy oil bps engine developing 130 h.p
with a bore and stroke of 115 nun. and 142 mm. respectively. The engine has a total swept volume of 8.85 litres. It is fitted with a 7-bearing crankshaft of generous proportions ; and, although designed to give great durability, its total weight—including the fly-wheel and all auxiliaries—is only 1,414 pounds.
Two separate detachable cylinder heads accommodate the overhead valves and the rocker mechanism, which is actuated by push rods from the camshaft. They provide for a compression ratio of 16 to one, and incorporate spherical chambers to create the necessary air turbulence. Fuel is injected radially towards the centre of these chambers, and crosses the air stream at right angles to its line of motion. The cylinder heads also accommodate the injectors, operated by the pressure of oil generated in the fuel pump, to admit and spray the oil as it enters the air
Details of the Car which now holds the World’s Speed Record for Diesel-engined Automobiles.
chambers. Electrical heater plugs are fitted to the cylinder heads for starting purposes. Air required for combustion is admitted through a port located above the front of the engine, and a special scoop is arranged under the bonnet cowl to produce a small supercharging effect at high speeds.
The speed of the engine is controlled by means of the fuel pump nu.,chanism which, besides having an automatic governor determining the minimum and maximum speeds, is regulated by means of the equivalent to an aecelerater pedal, acting on a sliding rack controlling the amount of fuel forced past the injectors at each stroke of the six pump plungers. The latest type British-built pump and injector equipment is used.
Contrary to conventional racing practice, the designers have retained the lighting dynamo, and all electrical equipment. Transmission is via a single plate, vacuum servo-operated clutch, and the standard four-speed gear-box provides the following ratios : first 4.47 to 1; second, 2.68to 1; third, 1.59 to 1; and top, 1 to 1. The engine is suspended on cushioned mountings in a racing chassis frame having an overall width of no more than 291
inches, with an lift. 3ins. wheel-base. Genevans cross bracing has been provided to ensure lateral stability. No fewer than four pairs of shock absorbers are incorporated in the suspension system, and the car is fitted with four-wheel Lockheed hydraulic brakes.
An. additional radiator is arranged between the dumb irons beneath the streamlined cowl to reduce wind resistance.
The body is entirely novel. It is a comfortable four-seater saloon which, it is claimed, is aerodynamically almost perfect. It has a floating cowl incorporating a large orifice fitted with a grill for air to enter the radiator, and two Other large slits below, also grilled, to allow air to cool the crankcase of the engine.
The four-piece, bird-cage, sloping windscreen not only gives a complete streamline effect connecting nose-piece, bonnet and roof, but also eliminates blind spots. The large tail, streamlining the whole of the rear of the tar, has a mirror inserted, • giving wide vision of the road behind ; and is fitted with a tank which will carry sufficient fuel to take the car from London to Edinburgh and back, Louvre ventilators ensure scientific ventilation of the interior of the saloon.
The total weight of the car is roughly 45 cwt.
The A.E.C. Fuel Oil Safety Special. to give it its full title, made its first public appearance at Brooklands on Friday, 27th October before a large number of spectators. Rain was falling heavily, and the cold weather added to the unfavourable conditions. Me smooth racing tyres had been replaced by studded covers, and after a few laps to warm up the car, C.iptain Eyston set about breaking the old records. On the first run -speeds of 103 and 102.86 were achieved over the flying kilometre and mile, and in the reverse direction the speeds were 103.5 and 101.4. The return runs were made with only one lap flying-start, so that the car had a good deal in hand.
Chatting afterwards with Mr. E. A. Eldridge, the designer, we learnt that under reasonable conditions the car would achieve 110 m.p.h. It will be driven later on in the year at 1VIontlhery, where long distance records will be attempted. The car held the track very steadily, but during the run one of the windscreen wiper blades was blown off., which made fast driving difficult.
The car made the characteristic Diesel knocking sound when ticking over, but was quiet when under way. The saloon body was very comfortably fitted up and long-distance records should be put up very comfortably, but there was a certain smell about the inside of the car. A good number crf instruments were fitted, the most prominent being the rev.-counter, with red marks at 1,900 and 2,100 r.p.m.
After the record-breaking ran the spectators adjourned to the B.A.R.C. clubhouse, as the guests of Messrs. C. C. Wakefield and Co., whose fuel oil and lubricating oil helped to make the record attempt possible, and restored their circulation with. welcome refreshments.