A MONTH OF RECORD-BREAKING AMAZING FIGURES SET UP BY AUTO-UNION AND MIIRCEDES—BENZ.
The Amazing Auto-Union.
TO anyone who knows the performance of the 1934 Grand Prix racing cars it must have been obvious that they would make serious inroads on the list of International Class records as soon as their racing activities allowed them to indulge in this branch of the sport. Some hint of this was given by the records made by Flans Stuck on an Auto-Union in March, when he broki three world’s records at a speed of 135 m.p.h. But few of us were quite prepared for the news of Stuck’s latest achievements, that came like a bolt from the blue last month. One hardly knows which is the more creditable, his long-distance records
or the standing-start kilometre. As to the 100 kilometre figure he added a cool 20 m.p.h. and on to the standing start kilometre no less than 12 m.p.h. ! Here is the full list of records, with the previous figures in brackets :
50 kilos, 150.21 m.p.h. (Union 76 Special, 136.52 m.p .h .
50 miles, 151.54 m.p.h. (Union 76 Special, 139.61 m.p.h.).
100 kilos, 152.18 m.p.h. (Panhard, 134.73 m.p.h.).
1 kilo (s.s.), 101.37 m.p.h. (E.R.A., 89.73 m.p.h.).
The long distance records are so fine because they do not represent the sustained speed of the Auto-Union, but an average of maximum speeds reduced every 6 miles by the loops of the Avus Track, which cannot be negotiated at much more than 100 m.p.h. Such a fine car as the 4.9 Bugatti, driven by Varzi, could not manage a faster lap than 135 m.p.h., and yet Stuck sent this up to 155 m.p.h. The cornering, acceleration and maximum speed of the Auto-Uni on represent the very last word in racing practice.
The word ” acceleration ” brings us to the standing-start kilometre record. Stuck’s time for this record is, without exaggeration, almost miraculous. The old illustration is worth repeating : if another car had flashed past at a steady 100 m.p.h. at the precise moment when Stuck let in his clutch, the Auto-Union would catch up and pass the other car before the end of one kilometre. A kilometre is just over a half-a-mile, so think this over carefully, and you will see how amazingly good the acceleration of the Auto-Union really is. Its independent springing eliminates wheelspin, and the weight distribution is obviously perfect. Dr. Porsche certainly “knows his stuff,” as the talkies say.
The E.R.A. shows its form.
It was bad luck for Raymond Mays that Von Stuck should have deprived him so quickly of his newly-acquired World’s Kilometre Record, standing start. But this does not lessen the excellence of his performance, especially in view of the engine-size of the E.R.A.
The previous holder of this coveted record, of course, was the young Swiss driver Hans Ruesch, with a monoposto 3-litre Maserati. Ruesch had had a tussle to get the record from Cobb’s Napier-Railton, but his 88.87 m.p.h. made at Montlhery last March remained unbeaten until Mays turned up at Brooklands on the 16th of October. The 2-litre E.R.A. was in grand condition, and tore down the Railway Straight at a colossal speed. His speed of 89.73 m.p.h. showed that this new British racing car is the finest 2-litre car in the world, and it is a thousand pities that there are no 2,000 c.c. races held nowadays in which it can demonstrate its high qualities.
Mercedes-Benz does 200 m.p.h. But both the Auto-Union and the
E.R.A. were overshadowed by the performance of Caracciola’s Mercedes-Benz at Gyon. On two separate days this wonderful German car broke the World’s and International Class C record for the standing start mile, and the Class C records for 1 kilometre and 1 mile, flying start. The speeds were astonishing. The mile went up to 117.23 m.p.h. from John Cobb’s previous figure of 102.52 rn.p.h, with the Napier Railton, an enormous increase ; while the Class C flying kilo and mile figures jumped from 148.70 and 151.10 m.p.h. (made by Harry Hartz on a Union 76 special) to 197.35 and 196.78 m.p.h. respectively. On one run the Mercedes-Benz actually exceeded 200 m.p.h. ! One of the Grand Prix cars was specially prepared for the record run. More efficient cowling was placed on the radiator and front of the car, a detachable “coupe” top was put over the cockpit, the front wheel brakes were dispensed with, and the exterior of the car was smoothed off in a beautifully clean manner. Rudolf Caracciola drove the car, and a very fine job he made of it. Incidentally, he amused the ” locals ” by trying his hand on an antiquated wooden trolley on the railway, worked by a single hand-lever
The engine capacity of the MercedesBenz was 3,992 c.c., and it is interesting to learn that Gyon, being actually below sea-level, has a slightly supercharging effect. The speeds attained prove that the late Frank Lockhart was on the right track in trying to reach a speed of more than 200 m.p.h. with an engine of normal size. To give Caracciola’s performance its true perspective one need only remember that it was in 1927 that the late Sir Henry Segrave astonished the world by attaining 207 m.p.h. at Daytona, with the twinengined 1,000 h.p. Sunbeam.
Austin versus M.G.
Those time-honoured rivals, Austin and M.G., are at loggerheads once more. It all started when Driscoll’s little white road-racing model made its first appearance at Brooklands Track and collected the 750 c.c. Mountain Circuit lap record from Everitt’s Q type Midget. The latter had to bide his time, but meanwhile he raised previous M.G. records for the standing mile and kilometre.
Two similar cars across the Channel then took up the story. First of all Herkuleyns, a French ex-motor-cyclist who has been racing a Q type Midget this year, improved on Everitt’s kilometre record at the Kilometre Speed Trials at Montlhery. The Austin reply came from the German driver E. C. Burggaller, who has driven a car similar to Driscoll’s in several big hill climbs this year. Burggaller went down to Prague for the Hungarian International Meeting and beat the M.G. figures for the kilometre and mile with speeds of 73.4 m.p.h. and 83.5 m.p.h. respectively. Austins further consolidated their position when Driscoll raised the Mountain-circuit lap record at Brooklands to 73.64 m.p.h. Meanwhile some all-important touches were being made to Everitt’s M.G., and on October 18th he went down to
Brooklands to see what he could do about it all. The ” Q type’ was going magnificently, and he beat Driscoll’s Mountain lap record with a speed of 74.58 m.p.h. The kilometre and mile fell before his onslaught, and the latest figures arc 75.42 m.p.h. and 85.59 m.p.h. respectively. That is how it stands at present, but it may be different by the time these words appear in print
The Ladies’ Lap Record.
Although Mrs, Eileen Scott covered a lap of Brooklands Track at over 120 m.p.h. many years ago, very few aspirants to the Ladies’ Lap Record have come forward since that historic occasion. Last year Mrs. T. H. Wisdom raised the record to 122 m.p.h. at the wheel of the big Leyland Thomas, but no one appeared to challenge her right to the title.
It was therefore quite a surprise when Mrs. Kathleen Petre was timed round the Weybridge cement at a speed of 124 m.p.h., piloting a 2.3 litre Bugatti with great courage. Mrs. Wisdom indicated her reluctance to part with the record by arranging to drive Oliver Bertram’s 10-litre Delage at the last B.A.R.C. meeting of the season, but for some reason or other this fell through. Then she got into touch with F. W. Dixon with a view to making an attempt on the record with the latter’s 2-litre unblown Riley which had lapped at over 125 m.p.h. in practice for the 500 miles race. She went out for her attempt on Saturday, October 20th, and was more than successful. Her speed was announced
as 126.73 m.p.h.-astonishingly good both for car and driver-and returned to the Paddock holder of the record once more. But the last word rested with Mrs Petre. Without any hesitation she borrowed Oliver Bertram’s 10-litre Delage,
a car capable of lapping at close on 135 m.p.h. With practice she found that the car suited her well, and in a final magnificent effort she covered a circuit at the remarkable speed of 129.58 m.p.h.
The 1,100 c.c. Rattle.
Although the M.G. Midget has been extraordinarily successful in Class H (750 c.c.) the name of the Abingdon marque has not appeared so often in Class G. It was to remedy this defect that the Magic Magnette was built, and after a season of successful racing with the car George Eyston transported the
machine to his favourite haunt, Montlhery Autodrome. At first he had the ambitious intention of attacking the World’s Hour Record, at present held by Hans Stuck’s Auto-Union at 135 m.p.h.! On second thoughts, how ever, this was deferred, and Eyston proceeded instead to gather as many shortdistance records in Class G as possible. From 1 to 100 kilometres and miles these records all stood to Amilcars, handled by
Morel, Widengren and Clayton. Morel’s figures for the flying kilometre and mile had stood since 1928, at a speed of 128.55 and 1,28.02 m.p.h. respectively, but Eyston managed to beat them by a mere fraction of a mile per hour.
At longer distances the Magnette beat the existing records by a more satisfactory margin, and no fewer than 10 more fell to the car before Eyston concluded his run. The speeds attained are truly remarkable for a car of only 1,100 c.c., and both Eyston and the M.G. people are to be congratulated on a very fine effort. One point is worth noticing. The speeds for 1 mile was 128.70 m.p.h., and
hat for 10 miles 128.83 m.p.h. It seems likely that the mile and kilometre records could be put considerably higher by the sainelicar if required. Here is the full list of records, which have received official confirmation :
1 kilo (Ls.), 128.70 m.p.h. (Amilcar, 128.55 m.p.h.). 1 mile (f.s.), 128.70 m.p.h. (Amilcar, 128.02 m.p.h.). 5 kilos, 128.69 m.p.h. (Amilcar, 127.63 m.p.h.).
5 miles, 128.62 m.p.h. (Amilcar, 127.24 m.p.h.). 10 kilometres, 128.58 m.p.h. (Amilcar, 127.11 M.p.h.). 10 miles, 128.53 m.p.h. (Amilcar, 126.89 m.p.h.). 50 kilometres, 119.84 m.p.h. (Amilcar, 113.07 m.p.h.). 50 miles, 120.72 m.p.h. (Amilcar, 113.67 m.p.h.). 100 kilometres, 121.65 m.p.h. (Amilcar, 113.91
m.p.h.). 100 miles, 121.13 m.p.h. (Amilcar, 114.89 m.p.h.) 200 kilometres, 120.82 m.p.h. (Arnilcar, 115.56
1 hour, 120.88 m.p.h. (Amilcar, 115.32 m.p.h.).
And now, as we pen these lines, comes the news that one of these records has already been taken from the Magnetteand at such a speed as to constitute a worthy challenge. In Italy, that old M.G rival, the Maserati, has thrown down the gage to the extent of breaking the flying kilometre record at 136.40 m.p.h. Furnamik was the driver, and the car was a 4-cylinder model.