Trials Results/Motor Sport Clubs Directory/A Motor Racing Diary/Reader's Letter

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Sheffield & H.M.C.C. High Peak Trial (Nov. 1st/2nd)

High Peak Trophy. — R. W. Phillips (Letous) (?)

Beeston Trophy. — R. F. Chappell (Cotton III)

Needham Trophy. — T. C. Harrison (Harford III)

Team Award. — Yorkshire S.C.C.

Cheltenham M. C. Trial (Nov. 8th)

Best Performance. — E. A. Jauncey (Otter)

Runner-up. — W. H. Waring  (W.H.W. Dellow)

First-Class Awards. — E. J. Chandler (Chandler), R. Merrick (Atkinson), C. M. Seward (Freakin), E. Wadsworth (Austin), I. Lewis (Ford), W. Sleeman (Sleeman).

Falcon M.C. Guy Fawkes Trial (Nov. 21st)

President’s Cup. — J. C. Smith (J.C.S.)

Best Visitor. — R. E. C. Brookes (E.R.P.)

Best Opposite. — R. Smart (B.S.T.)

Class A Souvenir. — Miss Price (Price Special)

Class B Souvenir — D. Read (Dellow)

The Lagonda Club is holding a Christmas party and prize-giving at Rubens Hotels S.W.1 on December 15th, open to members and friends. Tickets 5/6d. including buffet from P. G. Bartleet. Pelling Plate, Old Windsor, Berks.

“Motor Sport” Clubs Directory”

The Motor Sport Directory of Clubs is now available, price 1s. 6d. It is obtainable from 15, City Road, London, E.C.1.

A Motor Racing Diary

We have received from Better Books Ltd., a review copy of their 1953 Motor Racing Diary. This is as thick as their last year’s diary was thin, much of the bulk being made up by advertisements and a stiff cover. Certainly a very big pocket would be needed to carry this diary, which is, perhaps, unfortunate, for a bulky wallet is necessary if one is to buy it. The price is 6s.10d.

The contents summarise 1952 motor racing and include the usual diary items, although the road maps are smaller in page-size than the rest of the diary and in consequence very hard on the eyes. Tiny diagrams of well-known British circuits are included but, alas, the circuit shown for Silverstone club races has not been used since 1951!

As a diminutive desk diary certain of the detailed information should prove very useful. — M. C.

And Now — Opinions From Curacao

Sir,

Prompted by your remarks in “Matters of Moment” (Nov. issue) concerning the apparent lack of enthusiasm in the production of economy cars, I enclose a newspaper cutting and a leaflet dealing with the “Reliant Regal,” production of which vehicle is being undertaken despite the usual and almost unbelievable difficulties attending any enterprising attempt made in the old country.

In the same issue I note an editorial remark for which I must call you to task. This follows a letter from George H. Poske in Peru dealing with the shortcomings of the cheaper British car.

I am English, and I have an almost fanatical love of craftsmanship and quality, and being also an engineer this often takes a practical form, so that I feel in some way qualified to judge.

Everything Mr. Poske tried to tell you regarding the exported British car, is, though you are evidently not going to he convinced, true.

In your remark re the wins at Le Mans and Monte Carlo you conveniently overlook the fact that cars entered for these events are the results of weeks, and sometimes months, of careful preparation. Whereas cars sold to the general public overseas are, in most cases, driven away from the agent’s premises without even the most cursory check. In consequence, every little detail left unchecked at the factory shows in the hands of the owner. Most of these details Mr. Poke has outlined.

You further overlook the fact that the private owner’s car is supposed to have a life, which no test or competition can ever duplicate. Surely in all the years we have been making motor cars we have noted the places where rust first sets in? Yet the Rover, to instance what was once described as the “poor man’s Rolls-Royce,” has wings ending in an edge devoid of any reinforcement whatever, with the obvious result that in a matter of weeks they develop a knife edge and ultimately resemble saw teeth where corrosion has set in. This, incidently, in a country where rain rarely exceeds a couple of inches a year — and that usually on one day. Hardly, apart front the close proximity of the sea, a damp climate. I shudder to think what would happen in (say) India.

Mine is probably a cry in the wilderness, but MUST we have suspension systems of 16g. pressed steel? And do production costs prohibit such small items as the drilling of a few holes in the bottoms of doors, so that water does not start the rust spots which eventually call for a new panel?

People abroad buy British cars, not so much because they are cheap but because they feel they are better value for money than the American product in so far that they will LAST. It is not necessary (and never has been) for us to emulate the Detroit montrosity and yet I note that our last stronghold, the Rolls-Royce, now sports a “tin ” suspension system.

My own car, which sadly I cannot import, is one of the rare and beautiful Alvin Speed-Twenty fives — a car which is a real pleasure to drive and look upon. My next car if, horrid thought, I ever need one, is likely to be not a younger vehicle, but one which was produced in the days when a man worked for the pleasure of doing a job well.

Meanwhile please try to overcome this smug outlook you have developed as a result of competition successes, they do not improve the DETAILS of the average car, nor do they improve the quality. It matters not that a car will withstand being driven full-bore for two weeks—the owner expects that—but he also expects to have a car at the end of five changing seasons—not a hunk of rust and rattles at the end of two.

This letter, believe it or not, is the result of a genuine desire to be helpful, bitter though I may be toward a country which no longer prides itself in products of quality and beauty, and which no longer breeds men who work for the love of working.

I am, Yours, etc., C. E. Thomson, Curacao