E.N.V. The suspension and chassis, I gather, will not be altered, at any rate, for the present.
Seaman has sold the E.R.A. to Manby-Colegrave, who will be racing in various English and Irish events next season.
Frazer-Nashes at Monaco
The new single-seater Frazer-Nashes were just getting nicely au point at the end of last season, when A. F. P. Fane captured the 1i-litre Mountain record at a speed of 78.73 m.p.h., which is some going. A team of three cars, to be driven probably by Thorpe, Fane, and H. j. Aldington, will be entered in a number of events during 1936, and is expected to make its debut in the 1,500 c.c. race, which precedes the Grand Prix, de Monaco.
Maseratis are building a team of six-cylinder cars specially for this event, and Monsieur Bugatti has also announced that Molsheim is active in this direction. I should not be surprised if these were six-cylinder cars as well, though to the best of my recollection, all previous Bugattis have been either ” fours,” ” eights ” or ” sixteens.”
Bugatti Flair for Speed
I learn on excellent authority that a new Grand Prix Bugatti is definitely in existence, and that, furthermore, on a test on the Montlhery roadcircuit—hand-timing, of course—it actually beat the Mercedes-Benz lap record. My informant is not certain whether a 3.8or a 4.9-litre engine was used, but thinks it .was the smaller size. More of this, probably, in a month’s time.
The rail-cars are proving a marked success, and setting up new records over sundry famous runs on the French railway system. Jean Bugatti was the driver on the last exploit, and covered the 313 miles from Strasbourg to Paris at an average speed of 88 m.p.h. Seventy-five Bugatti rail-cars are now in service in various parts of France.
Bigger and Better Designed originally to have a capacity of 3,080 c.c., the engines of the Auto-Union racing cars have been enlarged successively to 4 litres, 5 litres, 5.5, and now for 1936 they will reach the amazing capacity for a 750-kg. car of 6 litres. The oiling troubles prevalent at the beginning of last season have been overcome very simply, by fitting scraper rings, and
the drivers are optimistic of their chances against the 4-litre Mercs.
The team consists, as you will have gathered from a perusal of Continental Notes, of Stuck, Varzi and Rosemeyer. Von Delius, who is acting as the reserve driver, suffered from a delusion last year that corners could be taken at practically any speed, but after pursuing a tangental course on one of the bends of the Nurburg Ring, where he was driving an E.R.A., and finishing half-way down a hill-side studded with pine trees, his ” conduction ” has been quite a lot steadier.
Tit for Tat
Some years ago, you may recollect, an English firm bought an Italian racing car, investigate?’ its works and, fortified with the knowledge so gained,
produced quite a tolerable imitation. Last autumn a well-known French firm returned the compliment by buying, very indirectly, rather a successful English competition model and took it all to bits with the idea of building a similar, type of job. 1936 will show whether they learnt anything.
Oliver Bertram informs me that he is confining his attention this season solely to ” big-stuff,” such as the Delage and the Hassan Special. The monopost° Alfa, with which I credited Captain Barnato, is Jack Dunfee’s own property, though it is not certain yet whether he will drive it himself.
Hail and Farewell
Everyone will be sorry to hear that Noel Rees, enthusiastic patron of motor-racing, is withdrawing from active participation, and has sold, in Paris, the 3.3-litre Bugatti with which Brian Lewis won the Mannin Moar race last year. Mr, Rees had nothing but bad luck everywhere except in the Isle of Man race, and thinks it will be a lot cheaper attending races as a spectator. He is still, of course, an enthusiastic long-distance motorist, and is delighted with his two supercharged Lancia Augustas. Brian declines to discuss his future plans, though he is credited with the idea of joining-in with Freddy Dixon. There is a strong rumour that Fred is to
” tickle-up ” a Grand Prix 3.3-litre Bugatti for the coming season, and certainly there are few better men at making a motor go fast. He emerged from ” durance vile ” just in time to celebrate Christmas.
A Foreign Racer
In view of the tremendous efforts made by promoters of English race meetings to get foreign drivers to compete in English events, it is quite surprising to hear of one who wants to come over here of his own free will. This gentleman is Armand Hug, who has had considerable successes in Switzerland at the wheel of a Bugatti, his original plans were to try his hand at the various races in England, with a view to getting taken-on by Ferrari or some of the other Scuderias. Possibly now that the 1:13.-litre class is coming into greater prominence, he will prefer to carry on with that.
The Douglas Race
The future of the Mannin races has been settled at last. The R.A.C. has decided to concentrate on a single event, for cars up to LI litres. With E.R.A.’s Frazer-Nashes, Altas, Squires, not to mention the various continental supercharged cars, there should be no lack of really hot entries, and with one race instead of two, the prizes can be substantial. They will need to be if it is hoped to attract foreign talent. The date is …)111 May, the Thursday before Whitsun.
Change of Course
In order to avoid the expense of erecting a second grandstand, the Douglas Corporation have always been anxious to make use of the permanent structure used in connection with the motor-cycle races, and a new course had been planned-out to fit in with this scheme. Starting at the grandstand, the cars were to go sharp left round St. Ninian’s Church and
straight down Broadway to the Promenade. This they were to follow past the foot of Summer Hill, then up a tricky S-bend to a road .leading to the middle of Onchan village. Whence left, as they say on the route-cards, back over Governor’s Bridge to the Stand. Doubt was then expressed as to whether the Promenade would be re-surfaced in time for the race in
May, and Captain Phillips of the R.A.C. has been prospecting an alternate route, which is really a short road-circuit. Turning right at the top of Bray Hill, the course swings through winding roads once used for the early
Four Inch races, to Cronk ny Mona, on the present T.T. circuit. Avoidingthe sharp right turn at Signpost Corner, the road then drops steeply into Onchan village, where a right-hand turn puts the cars on the road back to the Stand.
No decision has yet been arrived at as to which course is to be adopted, and as I write this, the anfortunate Phillips is marooned, or shall we say anchored in the Island by a fog in the Mersey.
English Hill-Climb Site
Anyone who v. as interested in motoring ten years ago looks back with affection to those hill-climbs which were such a feature of the sporting side of motoring. Shelslev alone remains with us through the enterprise of the Midland Automobile Club, but with any luck, another hill-climb course, a thousand yards long and suitable for all types of cars will he opened by the end of June.
Situated on a private estate some thirty miles from London, it will have a total length of 1,000 yards, The hazards include a sharp bend and a fast ” S,” the gradient is about 1 in 10 and there will be a return road.