Matters of moment, December 1962
Fords International class G records
Record-breaking is a neglected art these days, and all the more enthusiasm should be aroused when fresh records are established. So we offer congratulations to Michael and Tony Brookes of the Ford Sales Division for Setting up six new International Class G records at MontIhery, driving a Don Moore-tuned Ford Anglia.
A distance of 14,000 miles was covered in seven days, the following records being broken: 15„000 km. at 83.39 m.p.h., 20,000 km. at 83.47 m.p.h., 4 days at 83.32 m.p.h., 5 days at 83,49 m.p.h., 6 days at 83.47 m.p.h. and 7 days at 83.40 m.p.h.
The Ford was standard except for the factory improved-performance kit costing £13, a big fuel filler and no radiator grille. The weather was foul, but the only part replaced was a spotlamp bulb. Six drivers changed at refuelling stops every three hours, and six tyres were changed.
It is a pity that this excellent demonstration of high-speed reliability was marred by the Ford Motor Company’s publicity people, advertising the new speeds as World’s records. Time and again Motor Sport has attempted to make it clear that International Class records are not World’s records. The World’s records for the same distances and durations as run by the Anglia were established in 1956, at speeds from 111.4 m.p.h. to 113.62 m.p.h. So it is ridiculous to suggest that a mildly-tuned 997-c.c. Anglia has broken them. They are held by Ford anyway, so seems the deception hardly seems worthwhile.
This deception apart, to cover 14,000 miles at over 83 m.p.h. in a Class G car is a most worthy achievement. The Brookes brothers used Castrol oil.
Following up the men’s European Rally Championship of Bohringer, Mercedes-Benz can claim a convincing demonstration of high-speed reliability when their standard 220SE saloon won the recent Argentine Saloon Grand Prix at record speed. Driven by Ewy Rosqvist (who is admired as much for curves displayed ls curves successfully negotiated) and Ursula Wirth, the MercedesBenz averaged 78.84 m.p.h. for this 2,856-mile race in which 286 cars started but only 43 finished.
Volvo 122S cars were second and third, a Peugeot 403 fourth, another Volvo fifth. The highest-placed British car, a 3.8 Jaguar, was 24th.
This hard drive by the two girls again endorses the prowess of women as competition drivers. It should also bring the sceptics closer to agreeing with us that Mercedes-Benz build the best cars in the world. Further endorsement ?—Peter Sellers, who has had 70 cars since 1945, in searching for the ideal car has spent £5,280 on a Mercedes-Benz convertible. . . .
The Lotus fuss
A big fuss has been brewing between Lotus and Richard von Frankenberg of Dag Auto Motor find Sport.
This German writer stated that he had proof positive that Team Lotus drivers have been using 1,450-c.c. engines in F.J. races. It seems that Frankenberg claims that Alan Rees refused to sell a Ford engine from his crashed Lotus and takes this as evidence that the engine size was under suspicion. Further, because Frankenberg was told of special Lotus crankshafts (they use steel instead of cast-iron) and of oversize Lotus-Ford engines sold to customers (the 20B version of the Type 20 is of 1,500 c.c., for use in F1, Formula Libre and sports-car races) he assumes the Nurburgring F.J. engines to have been of this size.
In answer, Lotus claim that “any intelligent observer can detect the difference in exhaust notes even of 1,100 and 1,340-c.c. engines,” that their F.J. engines were measured at Goodwood on April 23rd and August 18th this year, and that had the Nurburg authorities done this on September 29/30th no doubts would have arisen.
Frankenberg called this matter “The Greatest Disgrace in International motor sport.” Lotus say: “The greatest disgrace in International motor sport is that this libellous attack should ever have been published.”
How is the outcome to be settled ? Frankenberg has accepted the Lotus challenge to take a car to any circuit of his choice, repeat their race-winning speeds, and have the engine size checked. He will cover all expenses and retract all his allegations if this challenge is accomplished successfully. It is not known definitely at the time of writing whether von Frankenberg will choose Monza or Nurburgring for the test, but probably he will insist on the former where car rather than driver determines lap speeds. He should, presumably, insist on the full race-distance being covered, so that conditions as near as possible match those in the race he has criticised. Lotus have accepted. We await with interest complete vindication of the British flag, the Germans having proclaimed that “it will take a long time to overcome the lack of confidence in the English.”
Wish i were there!
Motor Sport could not run to the expense of sending a correspondent to Mexico for the recent Formula One race, so I had to read about the race in various other more wealthy journals who had correspondents out there. The resulting chaos made me wish I were there.
Taking six different journals who reported on the race, I found that they were all agreed that Jimmy Clark won the race after taking over Trevor Taylor’s Lotus-Climax V8 but there was discrepancy about when this happened. It varied from lap nine (two journals), 10 laps (one journal), to 11 laps (two journals). Also the time he was behind the leader when he rejoined the race varied, from 57 sec. to 67 sec., with one at 65 sec. thrown in for luck; another opted for “about a minute” and played safe. The time taken for the winner to complete the 60 laps varied from 2 hr. 03 min. 50.9 sec. to 2 hr. 30 min. 50.9 sec., with 2 hr. 05 min. 50.0 sec. thrown in for luck. The time for Jack Brabham in second place had variants as well, these being 2 hr. 04 min. 52.8 sec. and 2 hr. 06 min. 52.0 sec. There was almost accord over the race average, the only variant being one journal who insisted on 90.33 m.p.h. while three others claimed 90.31 m.p.h. As this latter figure ties up with 145.339 k.p.h. quoted by two journals and 145.0 k.p.h. by another, it would seem. that 90.31 m.p.h. is the best bet.
One thing that everyone agreed upon was that Clark set up the fastest lap in 1 min. 59.7 sec., but this translated into speed caused a problem: 93.26 m.p.h., 93.44 m.p.h. and 93.90 m.p.h. were all quoted, while two journals agreed on 150.375 k.p.h. As this k.p.h. speed converts into 93.44 m.p.h. I think we have a pretty good idea of the fastest lap speed in the race.
All this was simple stuff, just straight-forward statistics, but when it came to who finished in eighth place there were five variations: Raeder (Cooper), H. Rader (Cooper), Holmer-Rader (Cooper-Climax), Rader (Lotus), Homer-Rader (Lotus) and Homer-Rader (Lotus 4-cylinder) were all quoted by people who were “on the spot.” One wonders whether perhaps all this confusion was caused by journalists acting as photographers and not paying attention, or photographers trying to be journalists.
Whatever really happened in Mexico on the occasion of the first International Formula One race held in that country, there is little doubt that Clark did some pretty cool driving to catch and pass Brabham when the Brabham-Climax V8 was going well, or was there more to it than that ?—D.S.J.
Boxing night exeter
At the time of writing, the Editor has made no plans for holding his traditional ” Boxing Night Exeter ” for vintage light cars as his own car is out of action.
If sufficient people -wish to do this run and care to telephone the office, he might be persuaded to make some arrangements, even if less formal than in previous years.
A snide remark
Harry Carr, the Queen’s jockey, commenting on the fatal accident to Neville Sellwood during a French horse race, is reported as saying “A jockey has got to be more alert to the dangers than a car racing driver. He has got brakes—you haven’t.” The fact that Sellwood’s death has been the only fatal accident to a jockey for a considerable time proves that the risks in horse racing are lower than those in motor racing and a racing car out of control is seldom helped by applying its brakes.
In the advertisement for anti-mist cream at the foot of page 930 of our November issue the price for the Cream was quoted as 7s.6d. Owing to an error in our production department this was not altered to the correct price. This excellent cream which was used by many competitors in the R.A.C. Rally is priced at 6s. per tube.
Used car prices topple
The welcome reduction in purchase tax on new cars, bringing the price of a Fiat 500D down to £411, tax paid, and of a RollsRoyce P.V. limousine to £9,299, has toppled the value of used cars. For example, we notice three cars advertised for a fiver in a current dealer’s list—a 1947 Austin Ten, a 1947 Ford Prefect and a 1948 Standard Eight. Quite like old times!