THE 1934 RECORD BREAKING SEASON
ON EXISTING FIGURES-OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS BY AUTO-UNION, MERCEDES-BENZ AND PIERCE-ARROW. AN ALL-ROUND IMPROVEMENT
RECORD-BRE: N! NIG has been as popular as ever during the past year. No less than 72 World’s, and 95 International Class Records have fallen, certain figures being broken again and again during the season. Five records have actually been beaten four times ! When held by manufacturers, records are objects of intense covetousness, with the result that they are immediately attacked again should a rival snatch them from their original owner.
Many New World’s Records.
Comparing the present list of World’s Records with that published in these pages a year ago, it will be seen that only 6 records (up to 2 days), remain unchanged. This is remarkable, and illustrates the tremendous development in motor-car speeds which has been characteristic of the last decade. The longdistance records held by Citroen, who established most of them, are not likely to be attacked for sonic time, because thy expense of engaging time-keepers and hiring a track for three months on end is not to be undertaken lightly. Examining the records in detail, the list starts with the amazing standingstart kilometre set up by Hans Stuck’s Auto Union, at a speed of 101.56 m.p.h. A year ago this record was held by the gigantic Napier-Railton at 88.52 m.p.h. ! The career of the Auto-Union has been a particularly fine one since its appearance last May, and in addition to the” acceleration record ” over a kilometre, it also holds such marvellous figures as 152.17 m.p.h. for 100 kilometres and 134.90 m.p.h. for one hour. The latter performance was made in its early days, and could no doubt be improved upon should the
necessity arise—as it undoubtedly will. The Standing Start mile record now stands to the credit of Caracciola’s Mercedes
Benz, at 117.23 m.p.h. A year ago it was 102.52 m.p.h. The flying mile and kilometre records, the ” fastest in the World,” still stand to
the credit of Sir Malcolm Campbell, who is shortly to try to improve upon them. Whether he is successful or not, his present speed of 272 m.p.h. is magnificent. Sir Malcolm also holds the 5 and 10 kilometres and the 5 miles, all at over 230 m.p.h. ” Wizard ” Smith clings to his solitary record, the 10 miles at 164.68
m.p.h., but both the Mercedes-Benz and Auto-Union G.P. cars could beat this easily on a suitable stretch of road or track.
The longer distances, up to 24 hours, were subject to an extraordinary increase at the hands of that inveterate recordbreaker ” Ab ” Jenkins, the Pierce-Arrow exponent. His car is officially called the Jenkin’s Special, but in actual fact it is a standard 12-cylinder, 7k-litre PierceArrow suitably modified for the job. Maintaining a steady 130 m.p.h., or so, on the Salt Beds at Utah, Jenkins made a clean sweep of 15 records, completing 24 hours at an average speed of 127.22 m.p.h. And he drove single-handed the whole time ! G. E. T. Eyston, with the wonderful old Panhard et I.evassor, has been handicapped by having to drive several yards above the measurement line at Ivlontlhery, which also affected the Napier-Railton. The intermediate distances up to 48 hours were keenly contested by three French manufacturers. First of all Hotchkiss improved on the Alfa Romeo records with a 48 hours speed of 95.36
m.p.h. This was quickly beaten by Renault, at 104.05 m.p.h., until Delehaye finally came along with a splendid 109.54 m.p.h., to take the record ” for keeps.” The next batch, up to 7 days, still belong to the Voisin, which has held them since 1929. But from 8 to 12 days were annexed last April by an Austin Twenty, prepared by Cesar Marchand for the Yacco Oil concern. Its speed of 84.07 m.p.h. for 12 days is really creditable.
International Class Records.
Seven Class” A” records have changed hands during 1934. They were all beaten by the Napier-Railton on its trip to Paris last April, and this gigantic car now holds 18 out of the 27 records in its class. Some of the remaining 9 would
doubtless have fallen had the car not crashed off the track While being driven by F. W. Dixon.
In Class” B ” there was rivalry between Eyston’s Pan-hard et Levassor and Jenkin’s Pierce-Arrow. In May, Eyston took five of Jenkin’s records at a speed of 126 m.p.h„ or so at Montlhery, but in the end Jenkins got them back again at 132 in:1).h, Now ES;ston is planning a trip to Utah with a special car with .which to recapture them, and a lot more besides.
Theamazing acceleration and maximum speed records of the Mercedes-Benz dominate the history of Class ” C ” last season. The standing-start kilometre record was increased by 13 m.p.h., and the tlying kilometre by 50 m.p.h. ! Similarly with the mile. With a 4-litre engine the present speeds are literally epoch-making. Caracciola has his eye on a good many records in his class, and may even have gathered some more before these words appear in print.
On the other hand there are several records which have stood the test of time since 1929, notably the late Borza.cchini’s 152.90 m.p.h. for 10 miles made with the 10-cylinder Maserati at Cremona, and Kaye Don’s 100-kilometres and 100-miles at 124 m.p.h. with the Sunbeam ” Tiger.” .rhe latter’s rccords will be the next to fall, one would imagine, for races have been won at the Avus for the last two years at nearly 130 m.p.h. over a much greater distance. And the Mercedes-Benz can lap much faster than that.
The rest of the records beaten in this Class were the work of Delahaye and Austin, both of which cars have been commented on as World’s Record breakers. Only 9 records have fallen in Class” D,” Up to 3-litres. The flying kilometre and mile records went to Whitney Straight’s Ma.serati, when he recorded 136 -m.p.h. in a difficult mean-speed attempt at
Brooklands. The rest were long-distance records made by the Yacca Citroen at Montlhery, including the 24-hours at 98.16 m.p.h., a very fine effort. The successful cars in Class ” E” have been the Derby Special, the E.R.A., the Hotchkiss, and the Citroen-Yacco. Mrs. Stewart has carried out her annual improvement on the short-distance records with flying start, and the kilometre and mile now stand at the incredible pace of 147.79 in,p.h. It must be remembered
that the car has a capacit3,of only 1,673. I c.c. The E.R.A. raised the standing kilometre figure to 89.73 m.p.h., from 83.44 m.p.h., and for a time this stood as a World’s Record, until the AutoUnion came .along with its 101 m.p.h. The 2-litre 4-cylinder Hotchkiss gave a very fine performance in averaging 95.36 m.p.h. for 48 hours. Eyston and Denly took it in turns to drive, and broke a round dozen records in that time. The 4-cylinder Citroen ” Rosalie VII “
averaged close on 70 m.p.h. for 6 days and collected five records en route. Bugatti, Riley and E.R.A. scored six, three and two records respectively in
Class ” F.” Pierre Vevron averaged 112.98 m.p.h. for 6 hours at I lontlhery, with his 8-cylinder Bugatti, his fastest record being 200 miles at 1 16.51 m.p.h. Eyston and Maclure on a 6-cylinder Riley took the 1,000 miles, the 2,000 kilometres and the 12 hours at 100-102 m.p.h., and finally the 1 !, t re E.R.A. driven by Raymond Ma y; demonstrated the wonderful acceleration possessed by all the models of this marque in t;lking the standing-start kilometre and mile records. The name E.R.A. was again to the
fore in Class ” G for cars up to 1,100 c.c. capacity. H. W. Cook was the driver this time, and the two acceleration records fell before his onslaught at Brooldands. The remaining 19 records broken in 1934 all went to M.G. Ma.gnettes, driven by G. E. T. Eyston and R. T. Horton, respectively. The latter broke 7 records; but had to yield them all to Eyston and Cook before the season was out. Eyston had a most successful run at Montlhery in October. He broke 12 records, including such widely spaced figures as the flying kilometre and the one hour. After covering 10 miles at an average of 128.53 m.p.h. he eased up, and the remaining records were taken at about 120 m.p.h. The car was the ” Hamburg ” Magnate which was comfortably leading in the ” 500 ” at the time of its crash. Class ” H ” brings us to the eternal struggle between M.G. and Austin for the Possession of records. Readers will remember that the Abingdon factory had made a clean sweep of all the records in the class by the end of 1933. The first Class ” H ” records to fall in 1934 were by another M.G. driver, R. T. Horton, who took three of them at Brooklands, including the coveted one hour at 111.74 m.p.h. Then, on the first day of August, W. G. Everitt gave the new ” Q” Midget a trial at Brooklands, and beat Hall’s existing standing-start kilometre and mile records. Yet another M.G. driver took up the tale when Herkuleyns, the French
driver, beat the standing kilometre at Montlhery, also with a” Q” type Midget.
The first Austin challenge came, oddly enough, from a German driver, Burggaller. This well-known driver had been using a new type Austin Seven, similar to that handled by L. P. Driscoll at home, in several big hill-climbs. Now he took the car to Gyon for the record meeting, and he was successful in raising the standing kilometre and mile records once more.
Exactly one week later, however, Everitt was out again with the” Q” type Midget and he raised the records to their final figures of 75.41 and 85.59 m.p.h. respectively. And so the Class remains an unbroken list of M.G. successes for the second year, a unique performance of which Abingdon may well be proud. Class I, for cars up to 500 c.c., is the only one which remains absolutely un
changed from last year. On the other hand there has been intense activity in Class “J ” for cars up to 350 c.c. The machine responsible for all the records started the season with the name of Gush Special, later being called the Vite.sse Special, and finally the Vitesse. This little 348 c.c. car was a constant visitor to the track at Weybridge, and in all collected 31 records, many of which, of course, were “repeats.”