ITEMS OF INTEREST FROM VARIOUS SOURCES
Safety of High Speed Motoring.
CONTROVERSY on the subject of high-speed motoring has been revived as a result of the publicity given to a run from Glasgow to London in which Mr. G. E. Scott with a ” 105 ” Talbot beat the Scots Express by 33 minutes.
In this case the car had a maximum of about 100 m.p.h. and averaged 53 m.p.h. in indifferent weather. Some people will say that such a performance must have been dangerous. It is not necessarily so, however, and amongst those who vouch for its safety is the London owner of a Rover “Meteor,” who states that on the same trip, without taking risks, he has beaten the train by 55 minutes. This motorist is prepared to ” take on” the higher powered car responsible for the present controversy, provided that it is driven by an ordinary business man like himself (Mr. Scott is on the staff of Messrs. Clement-Talbot, Ltd.), and he believes that he can beat it to Glasgow. He stipulates safe driving, however, and as a check he suggests that each car shall carry a traffic policeman with power to disqualify his driver if risks are taken
The scheme has the merit of novelty and the “speed cops” would doubtless add much to their store of knowledge. The possibilities, however, of their being allowed by the police authorities to undertake the trip seem rather remote.
Readers of MOTOR SPORT may recollect an account of a run to Scotland and back which was accomplished by a member of our staff in 1930. The car used on the occasion in question was a straight-eight Delage saloon, and the average speed from Radlett (Herts) to Gretna was 50 m.p.h.
The Sunbeam Mabley.
SOME details have been sent us regarding the 1901 Sunbeam Mabley car, which was illustrated in last month’s MOTOR SPORT. It was not exactly the first motor car produced by the Sunbeam Company ; there had been an experimental type in 1899. But the Sunbeam Mabley car may be called the first commercial production.
It was 21 horse-power, priced at £130. The design was that of the S, sofa shape of the mid-Victorian period ; the driver’s seat was at the rear and two passengers could be accommodated in front.
It was awarded the Gold Medal, the highest honour obtainable, in the one hundred miles Liverpool Reliability Competition, including a hill climbing trial. Liverpool at that time took a leading part in encouraging the new system of mechanical transport, forming the Liverpool SelfPropelled Traffic Association, which was subsequently incorporated by the Royal Automobile Club. In the early days of the motor car the Sunbeam Company made a special feature of their appeals to carriage folk,’ pointing out to them the economy of the new system. This argument quoted from the first Sunbeam catalogue issued would hardly hold good to-day. It pointed out that a
two-horse carriage would cost £2 15s. a week to keep, with £1 5s. wages for the coachman. On the other hand, the Sunbeam car would only cost :t:1 5s. a wec-k, of which petrol and oil would take 10s. and a lad’s wages to drive the car 15s. ; and the lad would have plenty of time for garden work and the like I The chauffeur of to-day will smile at that.
Durban—Johannesburg in 101 Hours.
HE Durban—Johannesburg light car record which is the constant object
of attack by South African sporting drivers, has again been broken by a British car. Formerly it stood at 10 hours 42 minutes, but Mr. E. J. Bell in a two-seater Wolseley Hornet has just reduced it by 12 minutes.
Unlike many record attempts, Mr. Bell’s was carried out with few preliminary arrangements and in a standard car. One day he and his wife drove from Johannes. burg to Durban, and on arrival at the latter town realised that their running time amounted to less than 11 hours. Finding that the existing record stood at 10 hours 42 mins., they decided to attack it on their return trip. Their car was loaded up with holiday luggage, spare tins of petrol and oil, a large tent, camp chairs, blankets, etc., but despite these encumbrances they had no difficulty in reducing the time to 10i hours.
The Roadsof the Future.
R… will improve so rapidly in the next four years that cars will not be fast enough for them. This is a possibility—in fact a warning—advanced by Mr. Victor Riley.
Unlikely as it may seem at the moment, one has only to note the vast strides which have recently been made in road construction to realise that before the century is much older almost every main road will be as wide and straight as our present arterial high-ways. When that time comes, 90 per cent, of cars will be too slow for the roads, unless corresponding strides have been made in motorcar design.
Provided that roads are wide and straight, and have a rough, non-skid tarmac surface, speed is not dangerous in itself. Mr. Riley says : “Modern requirements call for speed, but speed without safety, comfort and economy is useless, just as in the future safety, comfort and economy will be useless without speed.”
It would be easy, he says, to obtain the required speed of the future by using larger engines, but whether or no taxation is by horse-power, this must inevitably mean increased expense. No matter how fast our roads allow us to travel, the public will always require economy, and the small high-efficiency car is the obvious answer to the demand.
A Works School.
V‘CHNIC AL courses which students are actually paid to attend are a
prominent feature of the works organisation in the Pressed Steel Company’s factory at Oxford, where steel bodywork and panels for Morris, Austin, Wolseley, Hillman, Rover and M.G. cars are manufactured.
Right in the middle of the works is a well-equipped lecture hall where classes are held not only in the evenings, but also during working hours. Students in the day classes may obtain time off on full pay, while standard wages are also paid those who attend classes after working hours.
With the help of the instruction given at this school, =skilled and semi-skilled workmen can train themselves for skilled jobs—and better pay—in the factory.
To encourage co-operation between specialized departments, there are courses in works management. The men are shown how their various jobs fit in. with each other. The system of costing, for instance, is explained in detail so that individual operatives may understand the importance of saving time, labour and material.
Instructional films are shown three times a week and there are frequent lectures on safety.