The annual report of the M.I.R.A shows that during the past year research has been undertaken in such matters as stresses in vehicle structures, stiffness of such structures, filtration of lubricating oil, bearing materials, gears, fatigue strength of crankshafts, exhaust valve and cylinder head temperatures, leaded fuels, design and positioning of piston rings, etc. Mr. L. P. Lord has been elected President of the Association, which now hopes for an annual income of £70,000. Amongst members who are of particular interest to our readers are Aston-Martin, Ltd., Dunlop Rubber Co., Ltd., Ferodo, Ltd., Jowett Cars, Ltd., Lea-Francis Cars, Ltd., Lockheed Hydraulic Brake Co., Ltd., Lodge Plugs, Ltd., Joseph Lucas, Ltd., and the M.G. Car Co., Ltd.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the report, from our point of view, is that dealing with the prospects of a Proving Ground It reads as follows :—
“At the request of the S.M.M. & T., a special Sub-Committee, consisting mainly of technical experts from the motor industry, has, during the past year, devoted a considerable amount of time and thought to the general question of a proving ground for the motor industry — why it is necessary, what it should consist of, where it should be located, approximately what it would cost, and how it might be administered. This has involved visits of inspection to a number of sites, negotiations with various Government Departments, consultations with experts in roadway construction, exploratory discussions with a number of large manufacturers of vehicles and other potential users, etc. A comprehensive report submitted by this Sub-Committee to Council, was approved and sent to the President of the S.M.M. & T. on the 20th May, 1947.
“The plans of M.I.R.A., particularly the future location of the Laboratory, are, to a large extent, bound up with this project, and the verdict of the industry, as expressed by the S.M.M. & T., is now awaited.
“It may be mentioned here that, although there are certain difficulties involved in the establishment of a proving ground, not the least of which is the large sum of Money required for its construction and maintenance, the technical side of the industry is generally in favour of such a centre and is agreed that a disused airfield provides the most satisfactory basis on which the necessary features can be built.”
Such a proving ground, whether or not it provided facilities or was available for motor-racing, would fill a long-felt want amongst those whose business or pleasure has to do with the accurate testing of cars of high performance.