THINGS IN GENERAL
IWe have pleasure in presenting, under this heading, the first of a regular series of notes by J.D.A., dealing with motoring rather than with the motor car. The writer can claim a special appreciation of the game as the enthusiast knows it. He is a member of the Bugatti Owners’ Club, an Associate Member of the Vintage S.CC., and has done much good, quiet work behind the scenes at Prescott. His recent ears have been an M-type M.G. Midget, a Type 40 Bugatti and two 1i-litre Aston-Martins, all beautifully
turned out. Yachting has also beeh amongst his keener interests, and he has an exceptional knowledge of banking and finance. Although he pretends not to understand technicalities and prefers writing on motoring in general, his views will interest enthusiasts and should promote some keen discussions.—Ed.). To pass the time on one of these dismal black-out evenings, I fished out last year’s log-book, which brought back happy memories Of an evening in the wilds of Wales, and a jolly time with members of the .Bugatti Owners’ Club. I suppose all drivers who drive for the joy of the thing—as opposed to those who just regard a car as transport-keep some sort of a log ; amazingly bald as the entries are, how they bring back journeys which wer y pleasant, some that weren’t, driving in the sunshine,
hammering along in rain. Pireside touring. of this kind is 110 bad way of forgetting about war for the time being ; we can’t help victory by brooding over present woes. Putting the little book aside, it seemed quite inconceivable that I used to do
the journeys therein set down, so quickly have we got used to the idea of a few gallons a month—enough to keep the tank moist I Some people tell you there are Oceans of juice in the country, that storage is full, and that tankers lie at the wharves because they just can’t discharge their cargoes. Others tell you that the ration can be dodged if you know how to dodge it ; there seems to be no doubt that recently lucky fellows striking small petrol stations in Welsh Wales got all they could take because the owners of the pumps were going out of business for the duration. If all these things are true—mind I I don’t speak from my own experience—They are bound to happen., for you can’t bring business up all standing any more than you can make a car stop in her own length by putting all your anchors on ; contracts are made long in advance, and the stuff keeps coming, reinforced with what we take away from Jerry, who can’t be trusted with it. There seem. to be various opinions about this Pool stuff. Some very serious people, having drunk in all the wisdom handed to us by motoring scribes who have nothing else to write about, are horrified to find that coasting in neutral, tinkering with carburetters, slow motion, and all the rest of it doesn’t show that marvellous improvement in in which they were assured would be the case. My own experience is that m.p.g. is about the same, though a good deal more finger work on the advance lever is indicated. But my petrolier says that Pool petrol differs considerably, which is a profound paradox if you come to think of it. Still, we mustn’t forget that good m.p.g. is almost as cherished an illusion as excessive average m.p.h. I If you can stand a word more about carburants, have you ever solved the mystery of what became of certain inventions demonstrated at Brooklands during the last few years ? I was never lucky enough to see one of these demonstrations myself, but a friend who did see one in his journalistic capacity told me that the demonstration car circled the track on pump fuel, after which she came in to be drained, filled up with water, to which the inventor added something mysterious, and then buzzed off again as
speedily as before. My informant has sharp eyes, but he couldn’t detect any snag in the proceedings, and every journal had a paragraph about the miracle, which promptly vanished from human ken in the Well known style of the Cheshire Cat. Except that it left no grin behind. If you ask me, I am a bit of an agnostic about these inventions. But as there seems no object in a hoax, there must be, at any rate, a case for enquiry, for what a lot of problems would be solved by such a dope if it really exists I We can only be thankful that apparently Uncle Hitler hasn’t got hold of it, for the usual fate of inventors is to be turned down here with no uncertain thud, and then to part with their ideas to somebody in Germany who develops them and makes
a big fortune. If you don’t believe it ask someone who knows, who invented coal-tar dyes, and what happened about them.