RUMBLINGS, January 1934



Future of the T.T. Races. at

THE Royal Automobile Club are at present deliberating the future of the Ulster race, and have asked the opinions of manufacturers, past competitors and other interested parties as to the form that the 1934 event should take. This scheme cannot fail to do good, and I hope that the suggestions received will give material for a more widely supported event. A change which has frequently been discussed is the barring of supercharged cars. With the notable excep

tion of the M.G. Car Company none of the English firms who support the T.T. race have successfully utilised the supercharger, while a number of manufacturers such as Singer, Alvis, Talbot and Lagonda might well be induced to take part once more if compressers were barred.

I understand that the rules governing the type of cars which may compete in 1934 will be tightened up. A. definite number of cars will have to have been made before they will be eligible to compete in the race, and catalogue alternatives, such as the number of carburet ters, the ignition system, body construction and the like will not be allowed. These alterations would still further encourage the lion-racing sports car firms to enter their cars without feeling that they have no chance

against virtual racing cars fitted with regulation bodies. A return to com plete equipment of hood, mudguards and windscreens would probably be a false step, as the

cars would be considerably slowed. The regulation mudguards are not much use for tour ing purposes, and they also make it difficult to detect

a tyre which is showing the white strip. It is unlikely that the length of the race will be in

creased, since the roads of the Ards peninsula normally carry a large volume of traffic and any further closing of the circuit would be inconvenient. Lord Howe had suggested that a sports car race under the present rules should be held in the morning and a scratch Grand Prix should be held in the afternoon, but here the organisers will be up against the question of support in view of the conflicting nature of the two events, and the difficolty of finding prize money.

The handicap system has come in for a good deal of abuse, but in view of the number of different sizes of sports cars produced in Great Britain, there seems to be no alternative method of securing a good race. If supercharged cars are dropped, the _difference in maximum speed between the large cars and the small will be much less, and the efficiency of the present-day small car will be demonstrated without the necessity of the present heavy handicapping.

Whitney Straight’s Team.

Whitney Straight is going on steadily with his preparations for next season. In the event of Hamilton not being fully recovered in time to take his place in the team, Straight tells me that Antonio Brivio will probably be the fourth driver. Cyril Paul and Charles Brackenbury are, of course, the other two. ally, the four atis will operate pairs at races, and. the Calendar particularly they may even come single in various Two trucks equipped travelling are being this being ed the most ient form of port from end end of Europe cars and IL


The B.R.D.C. Film show was not, in my opinion, quite up to standard from the entertainment point of view. “Motor Mania” was the best item on the programme, while the display of 16 m.m. films taken by various people were interesting, but suffered from a lack of ” cutting.” Not the least enjoyable part of these Film Shows, of course, is that they provide an ideal opportunity of meeting friends whom one usually sees only at Brooklands and elsewhere during the season.

Can the Shelsley Record Go Lower ?

At Bush House I had an illuminating chat with a man who has been one of the most consistent performers at Shelsley in recent years. Our subject was the possibility of Straight’s record for the hill of 41.2 sees. being lowered. I ventured the opinion that a limit has probably been reached of acceleration, braking and cornering at Shelsley, but my companion assured me that there is plenty of room for improvement yet.

Admitting the fact that records are inevitably beaten, I asked him what time he’thought the present condition of the hill would allow. His reply was rather startling : “I see no reason why Shelsley should not be climbed in about 38 seconds, and I myself am making some careful experiments this winter in the matter of wheelgrip and braking.”

Puzzle—Find a Racing Car.

The decision of the Alfa-Romeo factory not to supply foreigners with cars, not even the Grand Prix type, has thrown the racing world into some confusion. It is not really very surprising, as non-Italian racing firths had been in the habit of buying these cars and looking inside them to see if there was anything worth copying, and in the Monopostos at least there certainly would be. I gather that for 1934 the cars from the “Casa Milinese ” will only be hired out for the week, so to speak, probably with large lead seals on the

on engines and other vital parts ! In England Lord Howe is one of the drivers affected by the change of front, all the more annoying because he had ordered the new car in October, as soon as the “Type B “was announced. Noel Rees had sold the twoseater which Brian Lewis drove so successfully during the past season in anticipation of getting a single-seater, but after much frantic telephoning and writing abroad, has succeeded in obtaining the Maserati which Birkin drove in the Tripoli G.P. last year. He is going to Sestrieres, the new Italian winter sports centre, in company with Lewis, to recover from the struggle. Tim Rose-Richards, the third English driver, usually associated with Alfa-Romeos, had hoped to do some racing on the single

seater ordered by Abecassis. Fortunately he has still retained his 2.3 Bugatti.

English Plans for Abroad.

The success of the M.G. Magnettes in last year’s Milk Miglia was very encourag;ng, particularly as it was the first race in which they had been entered, and Lord Howe will be taking out a team in 1934. Lord Howe, Eyston and Lurani will be driving, but it is not certain whether Hamilton will be fit enough to take a wheel.

H. J. Aklington is entering a Frazer Nash in the 1,500 c.c. Sports Class. The car will be running on Esso, which is more or less the equivalent of Pratt’s Ethyl, and. is easily obtained, so that he will not trouble about depots along the course. The Frazer Nashes showed up particularly well in the Alpine Trial, and they should be quite at home threading the tortuous Raticosa and Mita passes. Jucker, who has driven at Donington, may also compete on a Frazer Nash. ‘

Le Mans.

Pressure of Work at the Aston Martin factory has made it impossible to prepare a car for the Mille Miglia, but a team of three cars have been entered for I,e Mans. The drivers have not yet been settled, but E. R. Hall and Mrs. Hall, Penn Hughes and Lurani will probably he the drivers. There is also a possibility Of two private entries, one being Tongue, who drove an A.M. in the Alpine Trial, and Faulkner.

Singers have entered a team to be driven by Barnes, Langley and Norman Black, while there are iumours of one or more teams of Rileys.

Mannin Course Revised.

From the spectacular point of view, the kiss of the Alfa Romeos and Bugattis would be felt at ‘Ulster, but as Captain Phillips says. the Mannin Races in the Isle of Man are there to give them full scope. A deputation from the Isle of Man met the R.A.C. during December,

watch, the winding operation being substituted by stops for replenishments and a change of driver. Days grew into weeks, and weeks into months, and still ” La Petite Rosalie’ steadily circled the track, Its speed never varying far from the 58 m.p.h. mark. When one remembers that the car was of standard design, and merely carefully assembled and run in. its consistent high speed running is little short of miraculous. Some sort of limit had to be placed on its tireless performance, rand so it was

decided to withdraw the gallant little car after it had run for 300,000 kilometres or 187,500 tulles at an average speed of 58.08 in,p.h. Altogether the Citroen set up 106 World’s Records and 181 International Class records, and throughout the entire run of 133 days, or four and a half months, the speed only varied from 57.65 m.p.h. to 58 96 m.p.h.

“La Petite Rosalie” was sponsored by the Yacco Oil Company, and a rival Citroen entered the lists on March 21st when a 6 cylinder model of 2,722 c.c. capacity set off on a long distance run. The drivers of this car were Y. Boillot, A. Duray, Guyot, Habourdin, Wagner and Bonues. In the 8 days in which the car kept going without a serious stop, 16 records in Class D were taken, at speeds from 72.44 M.p.h. to 74.73 m.p.h., the previous holders being Citroen and Invicta.

Mrs. Gwenda Stewart occupies a unique position in the motor-racing world, for she confines her activities almost exclusively to record-breaking. At the end of 1932 she was the holder of nine records in Class F (up to 2,000 c.c.), but her DerbyMiller, with most of the spares, had been completely destroyed in the great fire at Montlhery. A new car, however, was constructed at the Derby works at Courbevoie, under the supervision of W. D. Hawkes, and this Derby Special was considered to be in a sufficiently prepared state to make an official record attempt on April 5th. The flying mile was its objective, the existing record of 136.26 m,p.h. standing to the credit of E. A. D.

Eldridge driving a Miller. Everything went according to plan, and the months of careful work which had preceded the run were fully justified when the timekeepers informed Mrs. Stewart that the record had been comfortably beaten with a speed of 137.85 m.p.h. On April 22nd two cars were seen in action at Montlhery. The first did not occupy the track for long, because ” Trebuh ” was only aiming at the standing kilometre record. M. Cohas, to give him his real name, was driving a Bugatti of 2,261 c.c. and the Class 1) record he was attacking was held by the Englishman. W. V. .Craig, also on a Bugatti, at 80.32

m.p.h. ” Trebuli ” just did it, and took the record with a speed of 80.83 m.p.h. The second car occupied the track for just over an hour. It was an old 6 cylinder Amilcar, once raced at Brooklands by

Miss Maconachie, and now owned by the Swedish driver, Henken Widengren. Much work had been carried out on the car by R. F. Oats, including the fitting of a single seater streamlined body. The Mimi!car was watched with sympathetic interest by the Frenchmen at the track, for the Amilear factory is near Paris, Lapping at over 115 m.p.h. Widengreu held. to his schedule quite comfortably, and in 641 minutes had annexed 6 records in Class 6 (up to 1,100 c.c.). His speed ranged from 113.07 m.p.h. for the 50 kilometres to 115.56 m.p.h. for the 200 kilometres. The hour record fell at 115.56 m.p.h. The previous figures were from 109 m.p.h. to 110 m.p.h. and had been made by F. W. Dixon (Riley). Four days later, on April 26th, another Citroen joined “La Petite Rosalie” at Montlhery. This was a 6 cylinder car of

650 c.c. capacity, and the intention was to capture long-distance records in Class D. 1 his car was also sponsored by the Vacco concern, and the same drivers and organisation were used. Straightaway the records began to fall, the first being those which had been taken by the 2,772 c.c. Citroen in the previous month. With the superhuman regularity which distinguishes all records made by that postmaster at the game, Cesar Marchand, the speed of the car was almost constant. Actually, 52 records were taken in 28 .lays running, and the speed raised from 74.04 m.p.h. to 80.56 m.p.h. By this time some minor improvements had been made to the tuning of the Derby special, and Mrs. Stewart put these to test on May 2nd in another attempt to raise the flying mile record still higher, in Class E. Her speed this time was 139.13 m.p.h.—nearly 2 m.p.h. faster-and the car was thereupon put back in

its garage for further work to be done on its power unit. On May 5th an unusual record attempt took place, for the late Count Czaikowski itook his 4,9 litre Bugatti to theAvus track

near Berlin, for an attack on world’s records. Now the A.vus track is not an ideal place for breaking records, owing to the fact that the curves at each end necessitate a reduction in speed to about 80 m.p.h. The straights, on the other hand, are very long, and enable a speed of 160 m.p.h. to be attained. Czaikowski set himself to maintain •a lap speed of 133 m.p.h. and was assisted by his wife who signalled his progress on each Circuit. After a magnificent run the Bugatti covered 132 miles; 1,537 yards in one hour at an average speed of 132.87 m.p.h., beating the previous figure of Eyston’s Panhard et Levassor by exactly 2 m.p.h. During that hour there more world’s records fell, the 100 kilometres, 100 miles, and 200 kilometres, at 131.88 m.p.h., 132.90 m.p.h. and 132.85 m.p.h. respectively and also the lap record of Avus at 135.752 m.p.h. For this Splendid performance Czaikowski was awarded the Automobilclub von Deutschland’s Gold Medal at a dinner presided over by the ;Juke of Mecklenburg.

Once again the Derby Special was in the news, and its performance this time must rank as one of the greatest of the year. Mrs. Stewart’s speed for the flying kilometre was 143.29 m.p.h. and exactly the same figure was recorded for the mile In view of the fact that the capacity of the car was only 1,681.9 c.c. these records are remarkable, and Mrs. Stewart established in no uncertain manner her position as the world’s fastest woman-driver. May 19th is a red-letter day, for Mrs. Stewart also set up a new lap record for Montlhery Track at the amazing speed of 145.94 m.p.h. June was records were

a fairly quiet month, for confined to an attempt by the 2,721 c.c. Citroen driven by V. Boillot and his confreres. This car had made some records earlier in the year, but they had all been quickly beaten by the Marchand Citroen. Now the battle was carried a stage further, and after running for one week Boillot succeeded in recapturing 15 records, his speed being from 80.72 m.p.h. to 81.97 m.p.h.

In July, too, there was only one record attempt, and this was made by two German drivers at MontIhery. Their car was a German Standard, a little twocylinder machine of 495 C.c. capacity.

Von Fuchsenfeld and Meyer took it in turns to drive, and in .6 hours cleared up 5 records in Class I. For such a small car their speeds were good, the highest being 80.27 m.p.h. for 50 miles.

The 1932 season, of course, was notable for a battle between Austin and M.G. in Class H (up to 750 c.c.). It ended in M.G. gaining all the records in the class, a unique performance, and in many cases the speeds were so high that further competition seemed unlikely. Early in August however, L. P. liriscoll went down to Brooklands with one of the little pale green Austin Single-seaters, and calmly broke the Class H record for 50 kilometres at a speed of 100.24 m.p.h. He was not satisfied with this, and a week later improved the figure to 101.52 m.p.h. and took the 50 miles and 100 kilometres into the bargain. Meanwhile in Hungary was taking place the annual records week over the wonderful stretch of road at ‘rat. Only L. Hartmann was actually successful in breaking International Class Records, and his were the standing kilometre and mile in Class D. Driving his 2.3 litre Bugatti he covered the first at a speed of 81.49 m.p.h. and the second at 91.65 m.p.h. The kilometre had been beaten once already this year, it will be remembered,

by the Vrenclunan ” Trebuh ” at Montihery. The previous mile record was held by Hartmann himself at 90.72 m.p.h.

Back at Montlhery that famous recordbreaking partnership, George Eyston and A. Denly appeared with the 8 cyl. 4 litre Delage with streamlined body which already had a number of records to its credit. It was intended to make a prolonged attack, but the car had to be withdrawn after an hour and three quarters, having broken the 200 miles Class C record at 117.59 m.p.h.

On September 1st Mrs. Stewart gave the i erby Special a chance to break the 10 mile record, which it took quite comfortably at 138.34 m.p.h., beating her own previous record by 4 m.p.h.

By this time the M.G. Company had completed their arrangements for an attempt to recapture the records lost to the’ Austin in August. The ” Magic Midget ” had been prepared for the 500 Miles Race at Brooklands, and the record run was combined with a dress rehearsal, 5;6 to speak, for the race itself. 35 minutes running was sufficient to do the trick, and the three records were again held by M.G. at 105 to 106 m.p.h. Brooklands was again the scene of a record attempt when H. T. H. Clayton turned up there on September 27th and proceeded to break the standing mile record in Class G. His Atnilcar was the one originally raced by Major A. T. G. Gardner, and a well known Brooklands car. Clayton’s speed was 74.57 m.p.h.,

distinct improvement on the 71.12 m.p.h. attained by ” Archie ” Nash many years. ago on an old Frazer Nash. For some months past there had been great activity on the part of a group of Englishmen who planned to make a wholesale attempt on long distance world’s records up to 24 hours at Montlhery. The car to be used was the Napier-Railton owned by John Cobb, and the relief drivers were to be” Tim ” Rose-Richards, the Hon. Brian Lewis, and Cyril Paul. By the end of September everything was complete, and the whole ‘team moved over to Montlhery. After one or two days’ practice the car got going on the morning of October 2nd. 1 7nfortunatebr the heavy car soon found a weak spot in the surface of Montlhery Track, and the constant pounding at 130 m.p.h. was too much for

the tyres, causing them to burst. This would not have mattered so much, for the car was fast enough to maintain its schedule, but in the interests of safety it was decided not to continue the run during the night. Some consolation was given by the fact that 6 World’s and 6 International Class A records had already: been taken when the car was flagged in.

M.G. provided the next record run, and as the 24 hour mark was being attempted, Montlhery had perforce to be used—apart from such considerations as its immeasureably Smoother surface. The car was one of the ” L” type Magnas which had already made a fine performance in long distance races at Brooklands. Eyston, Denly, Yallop and Wisdom took it in turns to drive, and their objective was reached in true M.G. fashion. Altogether 6 Class C records were annexed, the 24 hour figure being 80.56 m.p.h. Montlhery was by now beginning to wear a busy appearance, and..hyston and

Denly had scarcely finished with the M.G. Magna than they were in action once more, this time at the wheel of a 4 cylinder 2 litre Hotchkiss in company with Vasselle. This new model had made a promising debut in the Alpine Trial, and now it proved its capacity for sheer speed by taking three records in Class li at a speed of 101 m.p.h. The Hotchkiss was fitted with a streamlitsed saloon body.

Three days later came a surprise for everyone in the motoring world. Considering that the basic design of the Austin Seven was conceived 10 years ago, it was generally thought that the fastest speeds so far attained by a Seven—about 105 m.p.h.—represented its absolute maximum possible in the light of modern tuning knowledge. Then, to everyone’s amazement, came the news that T. Murray Jamieson had broken three Class H records at Montlhery with a speed of 119 m.p.h. ! Here was a new lease of life. indeed, and the 750 c.c. battle seemed likely to be one of extreme interest. M.G. reply was soon fort-her:as-Mee and at any rate up to the time of writing, is the last stroke in the quest Of speed with 750 c.c. cars. The ” Magic Midget ” was fitted with a narrower and more efficiently streamlined body, into which, alas ! George Eyston was unable to insert himself. Accordingly he handed over to Denly, his able partner in so many record runs and races. The little M.G. was almost incredibly fast, and swept round the steep banking of Mont1h6ry at nearly 130 ni,p.h. In actual fact, the flying mile and kilometre were taken at 128.62

n. and these were followed by the 5 and 10 kilometres and miles, the slowest being at 125.56 m.p.h. In company with Sir Malcolm Campbell’s 272 m.p.h. these M.G. Midget figures by Doily were undoubtedly the outstanding speed records of 1931. In point of time the next record to be broken was a most important one, namely the World’s standing kilometre. After having appeared almost exclusively at

the wheel of Alfa Romeos in various races during the past few years, that sporting young Swiss driver, H. Ruesch, turned up at Montlhery with a 3 litre Maserati. With this car he l’roke the late J. G. 1′. Thomas’s record made with ” Babs ” at 86.90 m.p.h. with the wonderful Speed of 88:33 m.p.h. This figure also counted, of course, as a Class D record, and beat Hartmann’s speed recorded at Tat in August by some 7 m.p.h. For some reason or other very little publicity was given to Ruesch’s record, and not even the officials in this country knew anything about it. Consequently when John Cobb took out the Napier Railton at Brooklands five days later, he thought he only had Thomas’s record to beat. This he did quite comfortably with a speed of 88.14 nep.h. On the same day he set up a new Class A record for the standing kilometre at 84.12 m.p.h. (the previous best being 83.67 m.p.h. by K. Lee Guinness on the 12 cylimler Sunbeam) and broke the world’s standing mile record previously held by Kite 1)on

(Sunbeam) at 100.77 m.p.h. with a speed of 102.5 m.p.h.

As SOQII as he was informed that the Maserati had already beaten the world’s standing kilometre record, Cobb immediately made arrangements to have another attempt at Brooklands. This took place on November 4th, and after some hectic work in driving the car the reverse way of the Track. Cobb had the satisfaction of raising the record to a speed of 88.52 m.p.h.

While this was going on at Brooklands some more record activity had been seen at Montlhery. On October 28th Pierre Veyron, the well known French road racing driver, took out a 1,500 c.c. 8 cylinder supercharged Bugatti, and broke 5 records in class F (500 kilometres to (3 hours) which had previously been held by Delage. and Alvis. The speed of the Bugatti was 107-109 M.p.h., but Veyron evidently had a good deal up his sleeve, for on November 4th he set up a new 200 miles record at a speed of 116.49 m.p.h. as against Eyston’s 6 cylinder Riley figure of 111.65 m.p.h.

Another car which was seen on the French autodrome during this period was the wonderful little Austin driven by Murray Jamieson. This time his goal was the Class H 50 kilometres record held by the M.G. at 105.76 m.p.h., and he put up the figure by the splendid margin of 7.71 m.p.h. to 113.47 m.p.h.

A week later Pierre Veyron appeared once more, this time to try for some shorter records up to one hour. The Bugatti was in magnificent form, and took the 100 miles, the 200 kilometres and the 1 hour at 119 m.p.h. All three had previously stood to the credit of Mrs. Stewart and the Derby-Miller at about 118 m.p.h.

November 20th saw both members of the Eyston-Denly partnership in action at MOntlhery, but this time on different cars. Eyston was due to snake an attempt on that greatly coveted world’s record, the one hour. It will be remembered that this had been taken from Eyston earlier in the year by Count Czaikowski, at Avus, who had averaged 132.87 m.p.h. with his 4.9 litre Bugatti. Eyston had subjected himself to a ,:igorOus period of physical training for a week or so before the scheduled date, and the old Panhard et Levessor had been fitted with a new all-metal body instead of the Oioden affair with which it appeared at Brooklands in 1932. The attack on Czaikowski’s hour record failed, for the car had to be withdrawn after 27 minutes with tyre trouble, but in that time Eyston had broken the world’s 100 kilometres record and the Class B 50 miles and kilometres and 100 kilometres, at a speed of roughly 134 m.p.h.

On the same day penly took out the ” Magic Midget ” in order to regain the 50 kilometres record captured by the Austin three weeks earlier. This he did with a speed of 1 15.00 m.p.h. and without:stopping he carried on for one hour, raising the ’50 miles, 100 kilometres and miles, and one hour to 114.46, 113.50, 111.17, and 110.85 m.p.h. respectively. During September. October and November a regular visitant (one might almost say ” resident “) of Montlhery Track had

(Conli nurd on page 136).