GEOFFREY BATTERSBY'S D.B. SPECIAL
GEOFFREY BATTERSBY'S D.B. SPECIAL
In these days, when hybrids for use on the road are less popular than was once the case, Harold Biggs's description of this car of 20 varieties is very welcome.
—Ed. ITis 1101 cver? da? Hutt an opportunity ot.cors to rxmoine ;t speeially constructed car which has not already been written up by the motoring Press. It was, therefore. Nvith great pleasure that I accepted Geoffrey Battersby's invitation to look at his 1).B. " Special,which had !wen built, some years before tIle w:11', 10
his illtitl'llet ions, by the well-I:110M' London firm of automobile engineers, Messrs. Dottrichre Bros.. of East Road. The D.B. is. of course, a sports car, and had been built NVith the idea of ell1h0(1Villg emnponents of tried and proved Nvorth. without in any wav being bizarre or flimsy. knowing Bat tershY's exPerience III COMIletiti011ti, it is 1101 surprising to find that the front-end or the chassis is siihoson : that and the engine are '• San Sebastian Salmson, and are exClarke, who, it \yin be renwmbered, drove a Salmson in the first " Double Twelve." An interesting feature about the frontend is that the axle is or unknown origin. at least tO the owner, and has, as 1111 additi011. substantial radius rods to look after brake re-action. its springs being on ontriwred mountings. The rear half of the chassis, which is very clever-1v and unolutrusively mated up, is G.N. The I evel !aux, which is Or ahooinhoo, is posith'ely-mounted on one of the crossmemhers between vertical plates, which supplements the standard G.N. method of holding the bevel box in position by its own. hevel cross shaft. with a large bolt securing the nose-piece of flue In IN. The beVel gear: are lwlical and
replace the standard straight-ea G.N. bevels. Two chain drives are retained, the sprockets being those mounted close to the cross-shaft side bearing housings, thus relieving the solid rear axle, made speeially for the job, of much stress. The rear 1-elliptic springs are slung below the axle and are suitably cambered to give :1 low position. Shock-absorption is by special longbladed liartfords at tile rear and triple-bladed ones at tlw front. A separate lever controls the change of ratio of the chain-drive, which gives one the option of 4.73 to 1, or 3.3 to 1 : this, in conjunction with an EA.V. -1.-speed pre-,zeicelor !lox, gives a wide range of ratios. The box is off' a •• 12, Salinson. for winch it was specially inadc, thus fitting the " San Sebastian " unit with the minimum of alteration. The actual operative Salmson elute!) is re tained, lessrs. Dot t ridge's lilting an interesting interlocking. device ‘vluereby the clutch could not be used unless the
‘Vere fully engaged. The actual gear-eliange handle is of the more unusual " door knob pattern, or which the only one I had see» before %VW.; 0/1 the 1).h.V. 0.11. Wiliell Dilgdale (111)Ve in an .klpine Trial years ago. Bodyworh iron) the (hIShh();1111 haek NVati ‘VOItieleV panelled ill Z1111111illi11111 allli 11101111led ()II 111)SWept raltie ehaStilti C7%1(.91(1(41 hael:W:1111S 1.1'0111 the standard (;.N. side-members. .‘ very long. much-louvred bonnet covets engine and gearbox, blending in with the special radiator cowl, which is Salmstin in general appearance but ptissesses vertical slats as the grill(', and a special badge, a circular disc bearing an intertwined I) and B in light and dark blue enamel. and inscribed rotund the circumference, " Supercharged Special.
The short 4-scater body is celltdosed cream and is of' pleasing appearance, the low headlamps not Ict.nicting from tlw line and tlw single-panel screen not looking out or place.
To rev(.1.t to the chassis layout. the whole of the brake gear is compensated ii) the /lugatti manner, by chains and sproekets, Vauxhall brake cables and Singer brake drums being used at the rear.
.‘ vcrY "eat (1)111)1ing wHs mac(' in IIle propeller-shaft. Marly ff1)01k 111',IC:Id of the more customary large ones. Three large eross-members empliasiseil the impression that the constructors (lid not intend the car to collapse under hard usage. which point W?I`: atOtlil OhViOIN ill III(' CO115(1110 1011.01. the ray-domed
III. she'. those at the crow beimg mounted on the brake back plates by massive channel-sect ion support S. The 110?Ver 'Mil 11101111ted \Veil Ine•k iii the chassis. is :111 1.100-C.C. ••Stiti SChas I Ian S:11111ti011. NVit h Ihrer-lwarinv crank. shaft thermo-svphon and I Will
imernetos eedit pliers. Level With the cylinder head is mounted. Ott an erection of aie.le-iron supports spaimiter the chassis. a 1 .',-lit re Centric
compressor. driven hvin belts from a triple pulley On the crankshaft (the third sheave of avideli drives the (1.?-tianio). The supercharger runs at cli
•• San Sebastian steering box is used : wheels and tyres are 1,75 in. by 1S and the all-up weight. with 10-gallon tank lull. is 1 I. cwt.
The large-diameter. well-swept fourbranch exhaust manifold discharges into a Iturgess silencer vIiirht extends for practically the w-liole length of the car and should efficiently silence the exhaust note NVit liu itit CMTSSiVl• back pressure. Nearly every detail in this most interesting car is of practical valor, witness the permanent and substantial starting handle, and the many instruments. .?inoter the various gauges I noted the popular 1:i-gas pump and. incidentally. 110 grab rail or St. Christopher badge ! t'ale (if the most interesting things about this dashboard is a eliromium-plated plaiine on \vhich is engraved the names of firms %vliose products have been incor
porated in this car : .Ivis, .t titiieti r. Aston-Martin, Austin. Iluick. Citroen. ('evil vie. Daimler. De llavilland, Deluge. Vont. Frazer-Nash. G. N.. Morris. Salmson. Sherer. Smiheam. :111(1 1Volselev.