RUMBLINGS, December 1951
The great race at Barcelona on the last Sunday in October is still being discussed as these paragraphs are penned, for it was a dramatic. climax to a stirring season, and Barcelona at the eleventh hour, as it were, Alfa-R.oraeo Flashback regained lost prestige for themselves and
for the supercharged engine. Our report last month was in the nature of a stop-press effort and we were airborne, right into a fierce electrical storm over the Massif Centrale, very shortly after Fangio had been acclaimed this year’s World Champion by compatriots bearing the Argentinian colours. SO we may, perhaps, be excused for saying that an Alfa-Romeo retired, to two Ferraris. As our tabulated results showed, all four Alfa-RoMeos finished, whereas 50 per cent, of the Ferrari entry failed to finish.
Mthough Ferrari’s unexpected tyre failures early M the race, brought about by attempting to carry enough fuel for the entire distance on 7.50-16 rear CONTI’S. !Mt thcSV ears back. Alfa-Romeo preyed superior in speed. For example, Gonzalez’ Ferrari Stopped once, with the tyre failure which brought Ascari in twice, and can be -estimated to have been stationary for 10 sec. (excellent—with the stop unexpected), but to have lost some 60 see. in race-time. Yet it finishedsecond, 54.7 sec. behind Fangio’s Alfa-Romeo, and Fangio could no doubt have speeded up still more had Gonzalez pressed him closer. Add to this the fact that, although the Alfa-Romeos, using 7.00-18 back tyres of the same make as the Ferraris, went through the race without a wheel change, Fangio had two pit stops to refliel, occupying an aggregate of 55 see. and far more in race-time, and the superiority of the blown 11 litres over the unblown 4i litres is apparent. True, Farina’s Alfa-Romeo, passed by Gonzalez’ Ferrari as it was refuelled the second time, could make up little of the lost ground and finished 5.1.2 see. behind–but remember that Farina was stationary for a total of about 57 sec. to about 10 sec. for the Ferrari. Ascari was provided with ribbed tyres instead of studded after his second stop and these lasted the rest of the race, but he seems to have lost some gears, as well as much oil, before the finish. Tarulli’s Ferrari broke a rear hub shaft and Villoresi’s had ignition maladies. Other retirements included Grignard’s Talbot with transmission failure, CabantouS! Talbot with the radiator damaged when tlie car contacted a straying dog, and Chiron’s Talbot With a broken rocker. Incidentally, the Alfa-ROmeos had the de Dion back end but no longrange tanks beside the drivers, the Ferraris were 48-plug cars, and the Talbots of Chiron and Cabantous were the older type with downdraught carburetters and six plugs, Claes, Rosier and Etancelin having 12-plug Talbot’. The Simeas all had twin o.b..e. Tbat clears up points missed in our stop-press account Of the race, some more pictures of which appear in this Month’s Pictorial Review.
As last year, Barcelona presented to our vintage-conscious eyes a medley of ancients, but these are referred to elsewhere in Kent Karslake’s entertaining article “Flying Hack.” Moreover, our visit to the Pegaso factory, where, in spacious shops, the commercial-vehicle chassis are produced (the latest with i.f.s. embodying huge torsion-bars) and where the exciting 4-litre V8 “fast-touring” Pegaso will go into production next month, was dealt with by the same writer last month in his article “Flying Horses:” It only remains to add that the testhouse, laboratories and assembly-lines of Pegaso arethe equal of any we have seen, and that Spain, and in particular Barcelona, is to be recommended to British tourists, and -we feel we have done justice to Barcelona, until next time. Raybern Cars of Richmond are building chassis to take any engine up to 2 litres, to clients’ requirements. The frame has straight double tubular side members, of Special Chassis 16 gauge, upswept at the back to carry the
fuel tank. It is similar to that of the Cromard Special racing car. These side members are united by a double tubular cross,member at the front, a hooped or rectangular member behind the engine and two more tubular cross-members.
Front suspension is by unequal length wiShbones and neatly incorporated coil springs set at 45 degrees. The longer, lower wishbone is specially fabricated, but that at the top is Standard Twelve. Standard TwelveH pieces are attached to Morris hubs, which carry bolt-on steel wheels. M.G. ” TC'” Lockheed brakes and Morris Minor rack-and-pinion steering figure in the specification, and centre-lock hub Caps can be provided if desired.
Rear suspension is by 1,elliptic sprifiga, splayed out at an angle, with radius rods mounted above them. The back axle -is Series II Morris with an E.N.V. centre piece, the final drive ratios available ranging front 4.1 to 5.2 to 1. A Hardy Spicer propeller-shaft passing above the cross-members runs to a Type 75 FINN. preselector gearbox. The radiator can lie mounted before or behind the front double cross-member and a steering column such as Daimler, carrying a gear-lever quadrant, is used.
Raybern Cars supply these chassis ready to run, but less Seats, wings and bodywork, for what seem very moderate prices. Customers have a choice of wheelbase between 7 ft. 10 in. and 8 ft. 4 in., the track is 4 ft. 2 in., and the weight is said to be as low as 8 eat. A de Dion rear end is available to special Order and so far these chassis have been supplied with Ford Tea, ” TD ” M.G. Midget and 14-litre Lea-Francis • engines. * * *
Weber carburetters are finding favour amongst British racing drivers. H.W.M. use them with every success and the newfound speed of Kelly’s G.P. Alta is also attributable to a Weber carburetter. Aston-Martin, too, used NVebers at Le Mans.