MAJOR GARDNER DOES 187 M.P.H.
ASTONISHING RECORDS SET UP BY BRITISH 1100 c.c. M.G. of the most remarkable records ever set up were established by Major A, J. G. Gardner last month, driving his 1,087 c.c. M.G. Using one leg of the Frankfort Autobahn in Germany, while the other leg of this famous road was open in the normal way to traffic, Major Gardner returned a record speed of 187.61 m.p.h. for the Class G flying mile and 186.56 m.p.h. for the Class G flying kilometre. On his return run for these records he actually did 194.52 m.p.h., covering the kilometre in 11.5 sees., and the mile in 18.52 secs. For a 1,100 c.c. car to achieve such speeds is a truly historic performance and one which has aroused great interest in Germany and which has materially uplifted British prestige all
over the world. Actually, the streamlining of the car proved more efficient than was anticipated, and the car ran in an under-geared condition, actually doing 7,300 r.p.m. on its faster run with a top gear of 3.6 to 1—-with Major Gardner lifting his throttle foot to obviate overrevving. Even so, something like 7,700 r.p.m. was reached in top gear before Major Gardner lifted his foot. With a higher gear the M.G. should happily exceed 200 m.p.h.
This great venture was planned by Cecil Kimber, managing director of the M.G. Car Co. Ltd., and backed by Lord Nuffield. The car consisted of the old ” Magic Magnette ” M.G. chassis with a specially developed K3 type M.G. Magnette engine prepared by Robin Jackson. The body, which enclosed the wheels and had an almost fully covered cockpit, was the work of Reid Railton, built by M.G. and panelled by E. G. Brown under German Jaray licence—this firm holds patents which Railton’s plans embraced. The body weighs 228 lb. and the complete car about 16 cwt.—heavier, that is, than the 6-litre Formula G.1′. cars. The engine had a bronze head mated directly to the block, with no water passages between. The o.h. valves were actuated by M.G. valve gear and a special Jackson camshaft. The exhaust valves W ere sodium cooled. The Centric supercharger delivered at 26 lb. per square in., drawing from twin 48 min. S.U. carburetters. The engine ran up to 7,500 r.p.m., giving over 190 b.h.p.—or very nearly 200 b.h.p. per litre—and a b.m.e.p. of about 340 lb. per square in. Formerly this engine, which Major Gardner used for his former Class G 149 m.p.h. records with the ex-Horton M.G. chassis, gave 162 b.h.p. at 6,500 r.p.m. and this was boosted to 171 b.h.p. at 6,750 r.p.m. before the high-pressure supercharge was applied. No one expected more than 170 m.p.h. from the new car. The drive from the engine goes to an E.N.V. gearbox and via off-set transmission to the rear axle. The car will go out for 1 Alitre records in future and may run again with further modifications to the bodyshape and a higher top gear, when it should easily exceed 200 m.p.h. in 1,100 c.c. form. Its low build makes it unsuitable for an attack on Brooklands records. We are glad to record that Dunlop tyres and wheels, Lucas electrical equipment, and Shell-Mex and B.P. fuel and oil figured in this historic British achievement. The M.G. is probably the most efficient record-breaking car in existence. One has but to consider the absolute records class by Class to reach this conclusion. The 348 c.c. Vitesse has done 771 m.p.h., the 493 c.c. Nibbio 100 m.p.h., the 745 c.c. M.G. 140 m.p.h., the 1,086 c.c. M.G. 187 m.p.h., the 1,496 c.c. Miller 164 m.p.h., the 1,673 c.c. Derby 147 m.p.h., the 2,991 c.c. Maserati 155 m.p.h., the 4,981 c.c. Auto-Union 219 m.p.h., and the 5,576 c.c. Mertedes
Benz 268 m.p.h. Eyston’s 73,391 c.c. ” Thunderbolt ” did 357 m.p.h. and Cobb’s 46,800 c.c. Railton 350 m.p.h. The respective efficiencies expressed in terms of m.p.h.. per litre of engine swept volume show some advantage to the racing cycleears. For instance, the figure for Lurani’s Nibbio comes out at 202 ni.p.h. per litre, whereas Gardner’s M.G. has a figure of merit of 172 m.p.h. per litre. On the other hand, one has to take seriously into account the fact that wind resistance increases as the cube of the speed and so Nibbio had a far easier task at 77 m.p.h. than did the M.G. at 187. A better measure of efficiency—primarily of body shape but to a smaller extent that of rolling friction, mechanical friction and correctness or otherwise of gear-ratiois that of b.h.p. to m.p.h.. Nibbio probably gave about 40 b.h.p. and the M.G is estimated to have done 194 m.p.h. on 180 b.h.p. (geared below peak revs.). Eyston used some 0,000 horses. to do 357 m.p.h. and Cobb about 2,600 horses to reach 350 m.p.h.. We do not profess to know what record-breakers in the other categories developed, but probably the Mercedes-Benz and Auto-Union cars gave rather more than the 90 b.h.p. of the road-racing editions, but not a lot more than 100 b.h.p. per litre, or about 500 and 560 b.h.p. respectively. Those of our readers who wield a pretty sliderule will have all the fun they want grappling with comparative efficiencies, and may like to let us see their findings. But, however you look at it, the 1,100 c.c. M.G. has made sensational history, There is much satisfaction to be derived from remembering that much of the car’s design follows that of normal K3 M.G. practice and that the chassis dates back to 1934. Lord Nuffield, Cecil Kimber, Robin Jackson, Reid Railton and ” Goldie ” Gardner have verily deserved well of all English-speaking enthusiasts.