MATTERS OF MOMENT, December 1951




S.V. persus 0.H.V.

Side valves look like jowing the hot-tube and the automatio inlet valve within the next ten years. Certainly, leaving out American ears, side valve engines were seen at Earls Court this year only on Allard M1: and PI (with an American-base engine), Vedette (ditto), Hillman Minx, Morris Minor, Morris Oxford, Humber Hawk, Humber Super Snipe and Triumph Mayflower. It is an interesting, reflection that the mechanical

‘complexity of having the valves ” upstairs ” is justified to give the purely physical benefits of better gas flow, better combustion chamber shape .and freedom from heat distortion. It is, or was when o.h.v. first challenged s.v., merely incidental that easier servicing and possibly simplified production also followed uplift of the poppets. Today, as we see from the above list, only Hillman, Humber and Vedette 11S makes adhere solely to side valves, Allard, Morris and Triumph being made in S.v. and o.h.v. form. Even the Rootes Group, which makes the Hillman and Humber, use mit. valves for their Sunbeam-Talbots. So side valves really are on the way out ;the grand little Morris Minor is rumoured to be likely to acquire ob. valves soon, whereupon only three British ears in big-scale production will retain the pioneer valve arrangement which survived down history, in spite of onslaughts by sleeve, rotary and other

layouts. To qualify this statement it is necessary to remark that Rolls-Royce. Bentley and Rover keep their exhaust valves at the side, but their inlets have for some tune had superior elevation. To some the passing of the side-valve engine may bring a tinge of sadness–that great pioneer sporting car the l’-type ” 30/98 Vauxhall persisted with side valves after the 1914/16

war, and later still ILE. and name but two makes, produced sports ears that got along very well with their valves in their blocks. In racing, the Austin Seven was developed to a very advanced pitch before the late Murray Jamieson changed from s.v. to inclined o.h.v., and the s.v. combustion chamber was the subject of much learned research on the part of 1Vestlake, Whatmough, Ricardo and others,. It is rather interesting to reflect that o.h. valves leave got where they are today in spite of the comparative complexity of early inclined-valve layouts, which used either one ob. camshaft and rockers or two ob. camshafts. Certainly, as one eminent motoring journalist is fond of reminding us, Pipe in 1904

pioneered the layout which has a camshaft each side of the crankcase operating inclined ob. valves via push-rods and rockers. But Pipe merely sought to operate inclined 0.11. valves without the complexity -which, follows removal of the camshaft upstairs, leaving it to Riley, or perhaps Henry Meadows, to raise the Canishafts and so gain the added advantage of appreciably lightening the push-rods. Lagonda elaborated this theme. Today, ingenious arrangements of push-rods and rockers actuate inclined oil. valves (the

actuate inclined oil. valves (the logical form of o.h.v. head) from a single camshaft comfortably located in the downstairs, s.y. position—-you see this in Allard-Art[1in, Bristol, Cltrysler, Frazer-Nash, Lancia, LagoTalbot and Peugeot. engines. Why this form of valve actuation was so long in coming, although pioneered many moons ago in a Sunbeam commercial vehicle engine and subsequently elaborated by Rover, is one of engineering’s major mysteries.


The Dairy Papress• National Rally which, was organised by the ALC.C. and which concluded at I fast ings On November 9th, proved a tough event. No concessions to Morpheus were made as in the R.A.C. Rally, and drivers had to contend with two nights on the road, much rain, fog, and Hood conditions which, eliminated many at the ascent Of still-notorious 131vIeh-y

Crites. which small cars we should now term vintage had te climb in Welsh Six Days Trials over a quarter of a century ago.

Deciding a Rally on Final Tests at the finish adds a big element of excitement for many of the competitors, so presuniably this battle of Hastings was popular. IL is a good thing at suelt times to demonstrate to onlookers that after 1,900 arduous miles brakes are. still efficient, but it seems a pity to have to risk failure of axle or transmission after coining so far—-a SunbeamTalbot became immobile during the third test after arrival.

That Bob Foster was declared the winner, asked to return for the prize-giving, and then told that it regularity test had been inefficiently conducted and all times therein scrubbed in consequence, so that he wasn’t the winner after all, was extremely. unfortunate, especially following a similar unhappy official mishap in the R.A.C. Rally last summer. We will content ourselves, then, with offering warm congratulations to the outright. ‘winners, R. A. Hopkinson and Continued on page 633

Zee Ms!) our rea6ert3 a rap_ balmy) Cbrtstmas an6 a 1Prosperotb3 Illew Dear. THE FIRST ISSUE FOR 1952 WILL APPEAR ON JANUARY 4th mxITERS OF MOMENT

-v011/ill ilea from page.

Mrs. hotk inSon, who brought it Mk II ” TD •’ M.G. thronglt With a loss of 5,316 points.

Further congratulations are due to the runners-up, .1. V. S. 1.TONN’n allti It . Ketrtel, WhOsie I -litre If.R.C. was placed second, and to Is.. Rawlings and I. .1. Tracey who iv ems Iltird, in the ‘VanguardSpet•ial. Mrs. Joy Cooke and Mrs. Pat Copostake also gain a very” big hand for netting Ow Ladies’ Prize in so hutobte (but staunch) a car as it FortI Ten-engined Anglia. In ease anyone says that to average 96 m.p.h. for 1,200 modes round this island and take a few lists is ehieken-feed, let its vow:hide by inning that. 80 ears were unequal to this, retirements including ten Jaguars. nine M.G..s, six SunbeamTalbots, six Austins, live Itileys, tom. Alln a’s, toms 11.11.G.,i, tom melts, three Hillman :Minx. two Javelins, two Morris, hvo two Standards anti 011e Armstrong-Siibleley, I Lover, Lea-Francis, Triumph_ Iludson, Chrysler,

Ilolls-ILoyee, Bentley, 11.11.. I fealey and a Special. MeGowan, who had offered any member Of lite Citroen C.C. ” an interest

ing ride ” in his aged •• 7.5 Citroen, itrrived at Hastings i mt his own Ii 1110 hi is I nn”’, We hope, still interested ! One last thought: why were 15s. !Mena/awful Competition licenees required front the 900 competitors for this Natio/oil fixture ? And What is this £675 put to ?