Per Ardua Ad Palmas
Plots and counter-plots for the Monte Carlo Rally are brewing on every side, but the manufacturers are showing little enthusiasm for it. Rupert Riley tells me that his firm has decided not to participate officially, Healey will be the only representative from the Triumph factory, and Singers have also decided to drop out. I hear however that there is a possibility of a combined effort from these three firms, but nothing has yet been settled.
One of the few instances of a managing director taking part in an event of this sort is furnished by Mr. A. P. Good, Chairman of Lagonda Motors, who is taking an open 4i-litre Lagonda from Tallinn. T. G. Moore of MOTOR SPORT is taking a similar car, from the same starting point, and considers with the new suspension and large tyres be should have a much more comfortable ride than has usually fallen to his lot on these events. S. H. Light, once again faithful to the S.S., will be taking a two-seater S.S. 100, the shortchassis car with the jaguar engine, and by reason of the 8 ft. 6 inch wheel-base should stand an excellent chance in the ” wiggle-woggle.” As passenger and second driver he is taking with him (Arch-Jester) Morgan. It is a strenuous run for a crew of two, and the two propose to keep themselves awake by chewing extract of kola-nut.
At any rate they will be better off than the man I once spoke to in the course of an R.A.C. rally, and who was intending to drive through single-handed. Asked how he proposed to keep awake all the way, he replied ” My dear man, the acute discomfort of my motor-car will attend to that.”
Small Cars with Good Chances
Another make of car which should do well by reason of a ‘good power-weight ratio and an exceptional lock is the Frazer-Nash-B.M.W. Three of the 2-litre cars will probably be running, driven by D. H. Murray, who is starting from Athens, VVrohan, who has chosen Stavanger, and Needham, from John o’ Groats. Managing director ” Aldie ” hopes to take a 11-litre car from Stavanger if he can spare the time. Kenneth Evans means to take a T. T. Magnette, with Groats as his depart. If those floods in the Rhone Valley do not subside before January, and
assuming the Avignon road-bridge does not share the fate of the Roman one, which was washed away last month, those who start from Britain may be the only ones who get through on time.
A Little Obscure
I have just received a letter from M. Anthony Noghes in which he remarks that the illustration of the ” figure-eight ” which appeared in last month’s article on the Rally shows last year’s test. This year the Club has clone away with the rectangle within which the manoeuvre has to be carried out, considering that the loss of time involved in the big sweeps which have to be taken with a car with a bad lock will be sufficient handicap. On the other hand the rules lay down that a loss of marks shall be deducted each time the car crosses boundaries, measuring 32 metres by 16, so I consider our diagram gives a fairly accurate idea of things. Another point is that cars are penalised if they touch the boundaries when they change direction, an alteration which will go against those who last year accelerated their reversings by bouncing off the sandbags.
The French Grand Prix
Monsieur Latorey, Clerk of the Course at Montlhery paid a welcome visit to England last month to attend the B.A.R.C. dinner. He told me that there was promise of excellent support from the French manufacturers for the sports-car Grand Prix, entries being promised by Hotchkiss, Delahaye and/or Delage, now combined of course, Bugatti and various other firms. They hope to have a field of about sixty, and no doubt English manufacturers will be amongst them.
Cars I should like to see would be Hall’s Bentley, some Lag-ondas and Alvises for the big stuff, and the Aston-Martins, Rileys, M.G.s and other makes which have performed so well at Le Mans and in Ireland. The Light Sports Railton should also be worth watching, and perhaps W. 0. Bentley might do something with a Lagonda with similar light equipment. George Roesch said that there was quite a chance of Talbots racing next year, but if they did it would be with an entirely new car. ” That’s the only way you can learn anything from racing. The 105’s we built for Ulster are now reproduced almost unaltered in the standard cars.”
The race is over a distance of 1,000 kilometres, and Monsieur Latorey reckons that the average speed will be about 60 m.p.h.
Monopostos for England
A notable addition to Britain’s fast cars is Sommer’s 3-litre Monoposto Alfa-Romeo, which has been bought by Chris Stani,lancl. Shuftleworth’s car I notice has been quoted in some of the programmes as being of 3.3-litres capacity, but incorrectly. He had a 3.3litre block in the early part of the season but split it in the Nice race, and has not troubled to buy another. Anyhow three litres seemed quite enough to win the Donington Grand Prix. Still on the subject of Shuttleworth, I hear that next year he is building a replica of the monoplane with which Bleriot flew the Channel in 1912, and intends taking it round England giving exhibition flights. I wonder whether ” Ebby ” can be pursuaded to arrange a Short Handicap between this machine and Dick Nash’s 1913 Farman mentioned elsewhere in this issue?
Further Alfa news of great importance is that Captain Barnato has bought a 3.3 Monoposto, which Oliver Bertram or possibly Jack Dunfee will drive. This car I understand will be the car Nuvolari had during the early part of this year, with Dubonnet independent front-wheel suspension. Charlie Martin has also gone in for an Alfa with the usual equipment of 3 litre and 3.3 blocks, and Bugatti-type springing at the rear. His 3.3 and double camshaft 2.3 Bugattis are for sale at a reasonable figure.
Everitt has just bought a hush-hush Maserati, which is in all probability the 3.8-litre V8 car which Farina drove in the Donington Grand Prix this year. Rayson has also bought a Maserati from Farina, in this case a 1,500 c.c. 4-cylinder car. R. T. Horton has bought the 3-litre Maserati which Whitney Straight had converted into a sports twoseater, but as he intends using it for racing will have all the trouble of turning it back into a single
seater. Harry Rose had thought of buying a Monoposto Alfa from the factory, but with the sanctions difficulty and all that, has decided to hang on to his 3-litre Maserati, also ex-Whitney Straight, for next season, and to sell the Monza Alfa. Featherstonhaugh of course bought the 2.5-litre Maserati, once associated with Sir Henry Birkin, towards the end of the 1935 season.
An E.R.A. Combination
It is interesting to learn that Fairfield and Cyrit Paul have arranged to run a pair of 11-litre E.R.A.s next year. After a short and rather hectic apprenticeship on Dixon’s Rileys Fairfield has very quickly come to the front, while Cyril has been doing his stuff on fast motor-cars for the past ten or twelve years. A. C. Dobson, who drove in this year’s T.T., will act as spare driver.
There was a chance that another E.R.A. team, consisting of Kaye Don, Fontes and Embiricos, would also be running next year, but I understand now that if it does run some change of personnel will take. place. Fontes has also acquired a Monoposto Alfa,, and made an unsuccessful attempt on Shuttleworth’s mountain record just before the circuit closed for repairs.
Motoring Here and There
Another recruit for the South African Grand Prix is Miss Eileen Ellison, with T. C. Tapper as spare driver. I saw Lord Howe’s 3.3 Bugatti on the Track
the other day having its final tune-up before being packed for the same race. The faithful Thomas is now engaged in trying to think of everything that can possibly go wrong and packing the said bits into cases ready for shipment. As he says, you are not likely to find many Grand Prix spares out there. Others bound for South Africa are Arthur and Austin Dobson, who will be handling a 3-litre Maserati
and a Riley.
The irrespressible George Eyston needless to say is in full preparation for another record. This time it is to be the Diesel Land Speed record. The car will be the Speed of the Wind, fitted with the A.E.C. diesel unit which he used in the streamlined saloon. The attempt will be made on Pendine Beach, where Eyston had such an eventful time on the Magic Midget, but the date has not yet been fixed.
The Mannin Races
The Douglas Corporation have approved the Round the Town races, though only by twelve votes to
eleven, and Captain Phillips of the R.A.C. is over there at the moment discussing plans. The same course will probably be used, but there is a possibility of the starting time being changed to the afternoon, which will allow people to come over on the morning steamer from Liverpool and return the same evening. • The Scottish folk have not failed to notice the lukewarm way in which the Manx authorities have regarded the Mannin events, and at the dinner of the Royal Scottish Automobile Club Lord Weir said that he had distinct hopes of a race in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh if the necessary powers could be obtained from Parliament. Which just makes one repeat, for the nth time, why cannot we be allowed
to close public roads in England, which is after all the headquarters of all the firms and drivers who take part in such races?
There was a proposal also to shorten the historic Mountain course in the Isle of Man, over which the motor-cycle T.T. takes place, but I understand that this will remain unaltered for at least another year.
The English Rally
The regulations of the R.A.C. Rally, which this year finishes at Torquay, have just been issued, and should meet with general approval.
The entries are divided into four horse-power categories, subdivided into open and closed classes, and there is a Premier Award for each class. The remainder of the cars will qualify for first, second and thirdclass awards, as last year. There are also team prizes for manufacturers, private entrants, and ladies. The average speed has been reduced to 24 m.p.h.
The usual final tests will take place at Torquay, and the chief alteration will be in the starting test. After a night in the open, cars must start within 2 minutes, a longer period implying a penalty of one mark per minute. The dates are March 24th to 28th.
Dieppe Meeting Cancelled
All racing fans will regret to learn that the Committee of the Circuit of Dieppe have decided not to promote any races on that charming little course next year. As is stated in a letter I have just received, the financial result has been disastrous, and the official organisations who support the Committee are in agreement that they must await the return of more stable conditions in the racing world, particularly in the matter of the International Formula.