Rumblings, December 1945

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The New M.G.

There have been many announcements of new modes, but the first post-war sports car comes from the M.G Car Company, Ltd., of Abingdon. Based on the pre-1939 T.B. Midget, the new car is known as the T.C. Midget. It has a rather wider body and improved weather protection, but is typically a product of Abingdon. The 1,250-c.c. 66.5 by 90-mm. engine has a compression ratio of 7.5 to 1 and develops 45 b.h.p. per litre, the output being 54 b.h.p. The gearbox gives the usual low bottom gear (17.32 to 1) for trials and hill work and three synchro-mesh higher ratios of 10.0, 6.93 and 5.125 to 1. At a piston speed of 2,500 ft. per min. the road speed is 67 m.p.h. and the maximum, screen erect, is said to be 78-79 m.p.h. The willing little engine peaks at over 5,000 r.p.m. and 5,500 r.p.m. in third gear equals 64 m.p.h. This is obviously useful performance, and, in conjunction with M.G. handling characteristics, 9-in. Ferodo-lined Lockheed brakes and Bishop cam steering gear, it can be used with confidence. The shipping weight of the T.C. Midget is 15 1/2 cwt., and other interesting data includes a 7-ft. 10-in. wheelbase, a fuel capacity of 13 gallons, Lucas 12-volt lighting equipment and Dunlop wheels taking 4.50-in. by 19-in. Dunlop tyres. The new M.G. is obviously one of those cars which can go from place to place very quickly indeed, whether on long or short journeys, and is great fun to drive, while being outstandingly economical. Such proprietary components as twin S.U. carburetters, Champion 14-mm. plugs, Borg and Beck clutch, Hardy Spicer propeller shaft, Luvax-Girling shock-absorbers, Bluemel adjustable steering column and Burgess silencer are used in this eminently practical sporting car. Although there is general reluctance to buy cars while the present purchase tax applies, we understand that the M.G. Car Company, Ltd., is selling all the Midgets it call produce. The price is £375, plus a purchase tax of nearly £105. We look forward to an extended road-test of the new M.G.

Unfortunately, Abingdon finds it impossible to supply Monaco, Ltd., with chassis, so Peter Monkhouse’s plan to offer a very specialised edition of the car, in the form of a 1939 T.T. Replica, is shelved, although he can still convert existing T.B. or T.C. cars at a cost of £220 to £250.

Another new model recently announced is the Alvis Fourteen, which uses the “12/70” 4-cylinder engine and 4-speed gearbox in a normally-suspended chassis with hypoid bevel final drive.

Good by Stealth

The Sunday Times recently published an attack on motor racing, and we are glad that two letters subsequently appeared to defend the Sport. That one of these was from an M.P. (Bucklen, U.) is particularly satisfactory. We publish both replies below : –

Letter in Sunday Times of October 7th :—

Motor Racing

Sir, — I was disappointed to read your Motoring Correspondent’s remarks on the future possibilities of motor racing in this country. The racing car as such is not related closely to the standard mass-production car, especially so far as the power unit is concerned, but the experience gained in racing does help in the development of ordinary models.

We have far too long lagged behind other nations on the Continent in this sport, but now we have a unique opportunity of getting to the front and establishing racing here of the first order. This is not merely a question of sport, for the prestige which attaches itself to supremacy in motor racing has incalculable value in this mechanised era. The benefit is not limited merely to the motor-car industry, but extends to all forms of engineering products, where exports are vitally needed.

What is needed is for all motoring interests to get together to harness the latent enthusiasm which undoubtedly exists and which is capable of establishing British motor racing in the eyes of the world.

W. S. Shepherd.
House of Commons.

Letter in Sunday Times of October 14th :—

Motor Racing.

Sir,- If motor racing has never enjoyed the same popularity in England as abroad, it is because it has never had the same opportunity. Nevertheless, Motor Sport has a very large following in this country.

On the Continent, road racing is popular. In England, road racing is illegal. The French put on a race in the Bois de Boulogne; the equivalent thing for us would be a race in Hyde Park. The nearest thing we had to Continental road racing before the war was at Donington Park. Here, with foreign teams entered (sponsored by the respective Governments) Grand Prix car racing attracted bigger crowds and gate money than any other sporting event. Motor racing (on road circuits) has attracted huge crowds in Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.

Motor Sport attracts the type of mechanically-minded young man who, as the war proved, excels in mechanical warfare. Motor racing should receive encouragement from the Government; the question of profits and advertising value to manufacturers and car accessory firms is not the be-all and end-all of this Sport.. Allow us to organise a racing-car event in Hyde Park, and let the public decide whether or not the spectacle is thrilling and worth while.

H. J. Morgan
(General Secretary, Junior Car Club).

The R.A.C.

There has now been time to ponder on the recent meeting of the clubs which the R.A.C. called, and a full report of which appeared in Motor Sport last month. There are those who feel that insufficient interest is being shown in the promotion of enthusiasm for a British G.P. team. Raymond Mays, for instance, thinks the accessory and engineering firms of this country would sponsor such a project if a really strong case could be put to them. Others feel that a further meeting at the R.A.C. might have been called before the end of 1946. However, the Sport is only gradually recovering in this country, and the R.A.C. is doing all it knows to get Donington back for us and is certainly not damping enthusiasm anywhere, as witness its ready blessing of recent unofficial sprint events. One does feel that the Competitions Committee will continue to do more and greater good and that criticism should be withheld unless and until it is justified. But one does learn with envy that Bugatti is building some 40 1 1/2-litre, 4-cylinder, 16-valve, 160-b.h.p. racing cars, of which 15 have been ordered by French drivers and some are for the English market, and that a G.P. at Pau was expected on November 11th last. The J.C.C. British Racing Fund grows daily. Is it too much to hope that it could send an Alta or an E.R.A. to a Continental race in 1946?

Another Register

Early in the war we published a “Register of the Unique.” It comprised a list of unusual small cars, veterans, ex-racing cars and vintage sports cars encountered by readers in breakers’ yards or garages and known to be for sale. Elsewhere in this issue a strong case is made in favour of the old-timers and, remembering that such cars will never again be made, and that taxation will continue to be comparatively kind to them, the time seems ripe for publication of another instalment of this “Register.” So, if you see anything of interest — cars of the sort frequently mentioned in “We Hear ” —will you please jot down on a postcard details of make, model, age, address of owner and probable price and send it to us. The results will be listed in the January or February issue of Motor Sport, together with details of how letters of enquiry can be directed to the vendors. Naturally, the names and addresses of the owners of such cars will not be published or disclosed to readers. Apart from old and historic cars, details of modern sports cars for sale at low prices, perhaps because of partial damage, and of vintage and modern spares, will be welcome. However, this “Register” is not intended to replace the normal advertising channels, and it will merely carry information about available cars or parts found by readers — as in breakers’ yards — which would normally go undiscovered by fellow enthusiasts. Cars likely to fetch prices in excess of £50 are normally outside its scope. Plenty of “demobbed” enthusiasts are seeking interesting, cheap cars, or are in need of spares. If you know of anything suitable, please help them by sending details for the “Register.” Address your postcard to W. Boddy at 5, Alexandra Road, Harrogate, Yorkshire.

Odd Spots

Zandvoort Town Council is said to be interesting the Netherlands R.A .C. in a 4 3/4-mile road circuit. ,

The Swiss G.P. is to run over the Bremgarten circuit in 1946.

Madame Itier needs some unblown 2-litre or blown 1 1/2-litre racing cars for her motor-racing project.

Count Lurani has a 3-cylinder Guzzi-engined 500-c.c. car on the stocks, which is expected to better 120 m.p.h.

Enzo Ferrari is rumoured to be preparing a new 2-litre racing engine, probably a rotary-valve job.

The Indianapolis “500” is likely to happen again next autumn.

Rivers-Fletcher and Hugh Green will run the ex-Rolt E.R.A. “Remus” in future races; all enthusiasts will wish them the best of fortune. Monaco, Ltd., will prepare the car Green ran motor-cycles at Donington before the war and his road car is a 5-litre Bugatti d.h. coupé.