ATh-this time of the year many owners are thinking out plans for their next season’s motoring, and as the result of their own experience, or that of their friends, decide on various modifications to their vehicles which they hope to carry out. Unfortunately in many cases the affair remains in the hope stage owing to the natural human tendency to put off doing anything until it becomes urgent.

If this practice is followed with the car, the season comes round once more without anything having been done to get the car in trim, and the various specialists in the class of work required are all” up to their necks” in special work for the racing season. This means that prompt execution of work is difficult, and there is no chance of getting the job done at a reduced figure, as will often be the case in the winter months.

No sane man would advocate giving up motoring in the winter, but if a car is to be got into such a condition that it is really a pleasure to drive and well above standard in performance, it has got to come off the road at ssome time to allow the work to be done.

It is therefore obviously sensible that it should be laid up for such time as is necessary when the use of it on the road is least desirable.

It is not only the racing man who will be getting ready for the season, and in. his case the car is not likely to be the one he will use for ordiaary work, and it will probably be still in course of preparation. The man who owns a sports car and who motors both for business and for the sake of driving, with perhaps an occasional competition thrown in, has to consider with equal care the preparation or alteration of his car.

Renovations and Additions.

If his car is an old one he will almost certainly have noted down various points in which it can be improved. He may have already hotted up the engine to some extent, but some sort of overhaul will probably be required, and if it is undertaken now he will be sure of more individual attention being given to his job, and he will have it back in plenty of time to get it thoroughly run in, before more strenuous motoring is indulged in.

If the cylinders are getting worn it will be a good opportunity to have hardened liners fitted, while various other special parts on which he has decided can be made and fitted without rushing the job.

There are hundreds of little points which distinguish the enthusiast’s car from a standard model, and nearly all of them take time and thought, while the actual cost is often quite small. Items like reserve oil tanks or a larger petrol tank for the long-distance fiend, modified lighting arrangements, altered driving position and pedal positions, as well as the fitting of useful accessories, all make the car specially useful and distinctive, instead of being “just a motor-car.”

Uven if the car is new, these points apply equally strongly, while there will be the additional job of really getting down to making the engine do its stuff in a nonstandard manner. Here the importance of “doing it now” cannot be

too well emphasised, for nothing is more disappointing to find than when the first occasion arises for a really long fast run, say at Easter, the engine is only just ready for the road and has to be run at about 35 m.p.h. or so as the limit, till it has settled down.


All this running-in can be very well accomplished, and is far better for the engine, by the comparatively dull day-to-day running of the next month or so, with an occasional burst to get the feel of the motor, and to see how it is progressing. Then. by the time the car is wanted for fast work it will be ready.

However, engine tuning is only one side of the question, and the less exciting, but no less important items of brake relining and steering overhauls are among the numerous jobs which are best done at this time of year. Special fittings, be they high efficiency cylinder-heads, different carburettors, or new shock absorbers, should be obtained as soon as decided upon, for to wait is only to lose their advantages for a considerable time without any saving in cost.

The various well-known firms who cater for the sports car owner, whether competition man or ordinary owner, are all able to give better and more individual service in the slack season, and this should be utilised.

If you take your car in now you will not only save time and money, but it will be really ready for work when you most need it. We append a list of some prominent firms who specialise in overhauls and tuning :

Henry Birkin and Couper, Ltd., Welwyn Garden City, Herts. General overhauls and preparation for racing of all makes, and experimental works.

Thompson and Taylor, Ltd., Brooklands Track, Weybridge, Surrey. Overhauls and tuning for racing.

R. R. Jackson, Brooklands Track, Weybridge, Surrey. Sports car maintenance and preparation for competitions.

Laystalls, Ltd., Ewer Street, Southwark. Overhauls, including fitting cylinder liners, engine testing, and manufacture of special parts.

Barimar, Ltd., Lamb’s Conduit Street, W.C.1. Welding specialists. Also cylinder grinding and fitting liners.

M. A. McEvoy (London) Ltd., 146, High Street, Notting Hill Gate. Specialise in overhauling and special tuning for Morris, M.G., and Wolseley Hornet.

V. W. Derrington, 159, London Road, Kingston-onThames. Tuning, overhauls and special fittings for M.G. and Wolseley Hornet.

A. F. Ashby, Watford Way, Hendon. Riley and Austin specialist. Agent for Whatmough cylinder heads. Overhauls and racing tuning.

Jarvis and Sons, Wimbledon. M.G. specialists and agents. Tuning of all models.

H. J. Ripley, Providence Works, Thames Ditton, Surrey. Riley and Austin overhauls and tuning.

Manor Motors Ltd., Motcomb Street, Knightsbridge. Benticy spares and service.