LETTERS from READERS, February 1956

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LETTERS from READERS N.B.—Opinions expressed are those of our Correspondents and “Motor Sport” does not necessarily associate itself with them.—Ed.

100 IN THE HOUR Sir,

Shortly after my Moron Sem. for December arrived, and in the evening, having drawn my chair up to the fireside, I was glancing casually through it, when 1 came upon page 747 and saw the picture of our Streamline Cornische Continental Rolls-Bentley saloon. I must say it gave me quite a thrill to read your article and I congratulate you on its accuracy. In view of the fact that the first and fifth cars on your up-to-date list are pre-war cars, I also wonder, in sentiment with your final paragraph, how much progress has really been made in sports-car designs, as far as maximum speed and stamina are concerned, since 1939.

There is one other thing which I would like to point out and thatis that our car is the only one which appears twice on your list, having completed the standing-start hour’s run at Montlhery in February, 1939, at 107.42 m.p.h. and at Broolclands in July. 1939, at 114.64 m.p.h. Incidentally, the last record, I believe, that was run on that famous track before war began.

As a matter of fact, our car ought to have been shown with one more run, which we made at Montlhery in June, 1951, under the auspices of the A.C.F. We took the Streamline straight from finishing at Le Mans for the last time in 1951, put the children and the luggage in the car as usual, and continued our holiday. We drove to Paris, where we saw our dear friend Sleator and, in conjunction with Briggs Cunningham, we took our respective cars to Montlhery for the timed hour run. Briggs started off with his Cunningham but after three laps had to retire because he found that the continual high-speed running was overheating the engine oil. We then set sail, assisted by Forrest Lycett and Laurence Pomeroy (who happened to be on the track testing an American car), and did our hour run at cruising revs. We covered 171.949 kilometres in the hour (which I calculate as 106.84 miles per hour). We took the car on the track for this run without having done anything to her at all after finishing at Le Mans. She was carrying full tanks of 50 gallons of fuel, full oil tank of five gallons and a complete set of tools and equipment exactly as we carried in the race, and even the tyres had not been changed. Forrest Lycett very kindly knelt beside the track to watch the tyres in ease they began to fail, because it was a tremendous strain on them, after having run right through the practice and the 24-hour race. It is of interest to record that the car had then done over two hundred thousand miles on the road and on the track and no major parts had ever had to be replaced. Even now the pistons in the engine are still the original. The fuel consumption at Le Mans is also very interesting. We averaged about 17 m.p.g. in the three Le Mans races in which we took part. We never exceeded cruising revs, on any gear and we always undertook Le Mans as part of our Continental holiday, during which we motored between 3,000 and 5,000 miles in addition to the actual racing, and we never had to repair the car at all. I am, Yours, etc.,

Chudleigh. H. S. F. HAY. * * *