OUR contention that the roads of Europe are becoming faster has aroused considerable interest. After we had mentioned Stanley Sedgwick’s 1,000 miles in less than 24 hours in his 1931 8-litre Bentley on British roads, mostly Motorways, Mr. Mertens of the Bentley DC reminded us of the teats of the late Forrest Lycett before the war. Mr. Lycett described these in a charming article he wrote for MOTOR SPORT in 1941, in which he referred to some of the long journeys he had made, on the far slower roads of those days, in his 3-litre and 4 1/2-litre Bentleys. These included London-Edinburgh and back in a day, and similar drives, to the consternation of unprepared passengers, but average speeds are not quoted. On the subject of a four-figure mileage in one day in this country, someone claims 1,022 miles in 24 hours (41.75 m.p.h.) in a Renault 750 in 1955, on ordinary English roads.
So far as Europe is concerned, I am reminded that “Grande Vitesse” of The Motor thought it pretty creditable that his new 1 1/2-litre Riley covered 2,800 Continental miles without trouble in 1946, going to the GP des Nations and back. And that in the following year A. C. Douglas Clease of The Autocar took a 2 1/2-litre RM Riley to the Geneva Show and on the return run averaged 46.8 m.p.h. the 198 miles between Geneva and Arras, including getting snowed-up for it time on the la Faucille. The best hour’s motoring disposed of 47 1/2 miles and for 10 km. they averaged 75 m.p.h.
Last month we described a four-day European road-test of a BMW 3.0 SCL which covered more than 3,600 miles on the other side of the Channel at an average speed of over 46 m.p.h. inclusive of three overnight stops and all others for refuelling; food, etc., and which went from Calais to Monte Carlo at an average speed of 98.6 m.p.h., without deducting time spent in taking on petrol, or for other short stops. At about the same time Paul Frere was writing of having averaged 84 m.p.h. in a Citron SM for the 795 miles separating Brussels from Nice. Roads are certainly getting faster!—W.B.