By Miss B. M. C. MARSHALL
At a time when I used a very old Austin Seven as a means of transport I very much wanted to have a cheap trials car. My choice went to a G.N. as a good foundation, owing to the standard solid axle and chain drive and so, in November 1933, ” Annie ” became mine. She was then a 1925 standard G.N. but fitted with an old four-cylinder s.v. Anzani engine.
Before running it in the London— Gloucester about a month later, I just had time to fit lamps and wire the car and also raise the chassis. Its late owner had lowered it until only 3 in. ground clearance remained. Thus we competed In the trial with only the very bare necessities which didn’t even include shock-absorbers, but as all the hills were dry, we came through with a clean sheet. One of the first improvements was to add an extension to the chassis over the back axle, to take a spare wheel mounting and shock-absorber brackets, etc.
After visiting many car breakers, I at last found sonic Rudge hubs for the rear and scrapped the G.N. wheels, which had a distressing habit of coining off or else of shedding their very inadequate tyres.
As the brakes were very bad, I decided to fit an E.W.B. axle, and, after more searching, found and tried a dropped tubular Salmson front axle in place of the G.N. assembly.
I then heard of an old Frazer-Nash in a breaker’s yard, so, thinking I might find some useful bits, I visited them. As a result I returned home with practically the whole car for 10s.
I had bent the G.N. bevel in the London —Gloucester of 1935, so I decided to give the whole car a complete overhaul. I fitted the Frazer-Nash bevel, fish plates and front springs, and meanwhile took the engine to London to have new bigend bearings and double valve springs fitted and large portions removed off the cylinder head and fly wheel. Then there was still the vexed question of a front axle. The Salinson axle had never been a great success so I decided to go the whole hog and have a really good one.
I managed to get a Frazer-Nash axle beam, to which was fitted Morris Cowley stubs and brake gear, and Rudge hubs off yet another car. This axle has proved a great success and well worth the money spent on it. I also scrapped the original G.N. gravity petrol tank, and fitted a rear tank with pressure feed. The next thing was an outside exhaust which was made out of all sorts of odd bits of exhaust pipe welded together,
The following notes ly Miss Barbara Marshall, concerning her 14-litre AnzaniG.N. “Annie,” should 1 e of general interest as this car is one of the only G.N.s now taking an active and successful part in modern trials.
Miss Marshall, in her article, prores that true enthusiasm is not a prerogative of the sterner sex, and that with hard work and keenness a lot of jun can le had for a modest outlay.—Ed. and was an awful job to make. However, it has simplified many things—was worth the trouble. As the whole car was spot
less, I fitted an undershield to try and keep it so. It runs from the back of the engine the length of the car, is made out of sheet iron, rattles badly, but does its job. As may be judged by the photograph publ shed, little time has been spent on the coachwork. The car is so much more accessible as it is, that I shall probably continue to use my Tate sugar box on the back for tools, etc. Although
” Annie “is far from perfect, she is better than many other cars on the road for speed, acceleration and road holding.
Anyhow, I have had a lot of fun and a lot of hard work for 00, which is roughly what it has cost me including purchase. Some of this money was thrown away on useless experimenting. Still one lives and learns!
Apart from everything else there is the immense fun of preparing and running the car in a trial, and sometimes on rare occasions doing better than cars costing three or four times the price.
The following particulars may be of interest.
Gear ratios. Bottom 12.72. Second 6.36. To 4.2 to 1.
Weight 104 cwt.
Track : Front 4 ft, rear 3 ft. 6 in. Wheelbase : 8 ft. 6 in.
Overall length 11 ft.
Turning circles : 43 ft. and 47 ft. 2,000 r.p.m. =50 m.p.h. 0-50 m.p.h. =141 secs.
100 yards standing start 81 sees.
I mile 221 secs. Maximum speed tested over flying quarter-mile : 82 m.p.h.
5-30 m.p.h. on top gear 81 secs.
The engine is a 1,496 c.c. s.v. Anzani with standard camshaft and fitted with a single $0 mm. Solex carburetter.