For the Coming Season
AVISIT to the Bellevue Garage racing shop is always of interest and Wilkinson never fails to imbibe one with fresh and stimulated enthusiasm. I called there last month and found the place well stocked with racing-cars, a sight enough to make one forget the icy, windswept London streets without. Fleming’s ex-Horton M.G. Midget, sister car to Major Gardner’s record-breaking Magnette, stood beside the famous Magic Magnette single-seater. John Dugd-ale’s unblown racing M.G. Magnette stood beside J. H. T. Smith’s very fast Zoller-blown Magnette. Billy Cotton’s M.G. Magnette, which has been well wrought upon by Wilky to good effect, kept company with Cotton’s ex-Seaman E.R.A., to which minor alterations have been made for next season’s racing. I was shown the engine of Boyle’s Alta, all ready for action, having maintained 6,200 r.p.m. on the bench for considerable periods without disaster and giving power-readings after rebuilding that pleased Wilky very much indeed. The chassis is being converted by Bellevue to independent suspension at the front, on the Alta vertical-guide coilspring system, but with modified springs to give a stiffer action. R. Esplen’s white R-type M.G. Midget has been given pressure in place of electric fuel feed, new crankshaft, bronze head, and a new streamline undershield, and it will probably figure in important longdistance races, future South African events possibly included. Kenneth Evans’s monoposto 3-litre Alf aRomeo, of German G.P. fame, is at present in hibernation, but the engine will shortly be put on the bench to get it in trim for Formula contests. An additional fuel-tank will be installed, to reduce pit-stops. Denis Evans’s well known sprint M.G. Midget has had yet a little more avoirdupois clipped from it. At Brighton last year this car proved a serious rival to Hadley’s Austin, in spite of weighing almost twice as much. Other interesting cars were the 100 m.p.h. six-carburetter off-set M.G. Magnette, for sale at £285, an R-type M.G. with McEvoy-Pomeroy twin-cam head, recently overhauled, considered by Wilky to be the best of the twin-cam examples, at -225, an L-Magna sports job with which Eyston once took long distance records at Montlhery, for under 000, and a Hupmobile saloon used for tests in the Alps by a carburetter inventor. Kenneth Evans is looking forward to the 1938 season, and keeping in trim by daily driving his sports Alfa-Romeo. As before, his pit will be managed by his father, whose personal car is a very fine Siddeley-Special saloon. Many owners of sports M.G.s and other makes get their extra horses at Bellevue, where the estimates are far more moderate than the elaborately laid-out premises suggest. Two T-model M.G.s, one with special streamline wings incorporating in-built lamps and Dunlop 16″•x.6.5″ tyres, and a P-Midget to which they have fitted a
blower, were there during my visit. Bellevue are proud of the fact that every year their staff is given a week’s holiday with full pay and that no one is put off during the winter season. Indeed they will soon be taking on more mechanics.
A Straight-Eight li-litre
Wilkinson is very busy, when not looking after his clients, in preparing an extremely interesting car which he hopes to drive personally in the leading if litre events this coming season, if pressure of business permits. This is a straight-eight 1,100 c.c. twin-cam Maserati, of which two came to these shores about eight years ago. Wilky’s car was driven in the 1931 Double-Twelve by Widen.gren and Oats, finishing 19th at 64.14 m.p.h. and third behind two Rileys in the 1,100 c.c. class. Wilkinson created something of a record, as he had a portable welding plant in the pit and welded up a broken exhaust pipe to the scrutineer’s astonishment. Mrs. Wilkinson also created a record, for she watched the race throughout the twenty-four hours. The Maser. lapped at around 76 m.p.h. I believe the same car, with racing body, ran in the 1931 Irish G.P., but suffered water-leakage. Wilkinson was with it when it crashed sensationally into a sandbank in the T.T. The engine is a beautiful piece of work. It is of elektron throughout. Originally there were wet cylinder liners, but dry liners are now used, bringing the capacity up to 11-litres, on which the shallow cylinder head was skilfully shrunk. There are water passages between each cylinder. The crankshaft runs on double ball-races, and new H-section rods will replace the existing tubular rods, the cost of these alone coming out at 70. New Hepolite pistons have been designed. The fully inclined valves are operated by twin o.h. camshafts driven by a train of beautifully-Made gears, each running on a ball-race, at the front of the unit. The inlet valves are tuiip, the exhausts clothed, and the plugs are set vertically, in the centre of the beads, fired by magneto, a layout of which Wilky approves. Sunip lubrication by single pump is used. A new Germanmade Derbuel Roots-type blower will be fitted, running up to 10,000 r.p.m. This blower is of extremely high-grade construction, with steel rotors and gear
drive at both ends. The ribbed casing is reminiscent of the now defunct Berk. Very fine clearances are a feature of the Derbuel blower. Wilky holds out great hopes for this rejuvenated Maser. and aims at some 200 b.h.p. at 7,500-8,000 r.p.m. At present he has not decided on a chassis, but it may be an M.G.
Those who cannot achieve their life’s desire and race find other outlets for their motoring enthusiasm, by wielding Watermans, or Leicas, or keeping scrapalbums and so on. But how about collecting specimens of motoring art ? Originals of drawings by Crosby, de Grinean, Ham, Montant, Reuters and Peter Helck should be quite unique. Then there are those famous motor-racing series of watercolours, depicting scenes from motoring history. Odd examples are to be seen in certain Great Portland Street showrooms and some extremely fine ones hang in the Millbrooke Dining Club, headquarters of the Ford Enthusiasts’ Club. There were also miniature editions, but I believe these are very rare. I confess I am hazy as to who was the artist and of what the complete series consists—can anyone supply this information ? If it comes to mere photographs, there is that classic view of the start of the first J.C.C. 200-Mile Race that hangs in Humphreys’ office in Warren Street, and some other shots of early ” 200’s” at the Englebert showMOMS in Great Portland Street. Of the present era,
George Monkhouse’s photographic work will undoubtedly live.
The London Road Circuit
Apparently the Crystal Palace will open shop to motor-racing customers again this year, in spite of rumoured lack of capital. No changes are to be made to the 2-mile circuit, but a new entrance has been constructed near South Tower, giving access to the new car park on the Upper Terrace. The International dates for 1938 are :—April 2nd, Coronation Trophy ; May 21st, Composite Meeting ; June 25th, London Grand Prix ; August 13th, Composite Meeting ; October 8th, Imperial Trophy. The short heats preceding a final will be a feature of all meetings and if adequate prize-money attracts crack drivers with real motor-cars, excellent crowds should be attracted. Edwards has made the extraordinary statement that the slippery film on the road surface has been gradually worn off by the passage of the racing cars and is now non existent. We hope he has thanked St. Christopher that no serious accidents happened in the first season and we recommend all drivers to carefully inspect the course before entering. Eason-Scott’s views would doubtless be of interest.
An unfortunate error occurred in the list of minimum weights published in an article on the new Grand Prix Formula in our issue of last November. We were not alone in making the error, and fortunately it does not affect the sensesof the text of that article, though some people have still more weight to play with. The amended table reads as follows :
News is now to hand that the German Grand Prix will, after all, be a Formula race, as will the Comminges Grand Prix over the St. Gaudens circuit, where Chiron holds the lap record for Alfa-Romeo to the very merry tune of 108.95 m.p.h., set up in 1935. There will not be many races left for the Formula Libre cars, which perhaps explains the continued presence of Rosemever’s Auto-Union in the showrooms in Great Portland Street. Hasten, if you haven’t seen it !
A VI2 Trials Car
A few advance details of K. N. Hutchison’s new competition motor. It will be an Allard-Special with V12 4,378 c.c. Lincoln Zephyr engine and gearbox and an Allard-modified Ford chassis with a front track of 4 ft. 8 in., a rear track of 4 ft. 2 in. and a wheelbase of 8 ft. 3 in. The body will be a quite close
coupled two-seater ! The tail will accommodate a 30 gallon fuel reservoir to aid wheel adhesion and the top gear ratio will he 3.5 to 1. No differential lock will be used. Marles high-geared steering and a divided front axle will be used, as on other Allard-Specials, and the weight is expected to come out at about 22 cwt. In the dimmer ages ” H.K.N.” had a FrazerNash and a considerably modified Type 37 G.P. Bugatti, and afterwards be owned the Anzani-Nash ” Spook ” for a while. Then he turned to Fords, including a racing V8 run at County Down.
Complete results of the 1937 T.T. have been issued in brochure form by the R.A.C. at 5/each.
A similar publication covering the Donington Grand Prix has been issued by the Derby and District M.C.
The sports E.R.A. is expected to appear about next March. The list price will be in the neighbourhood of 600.
Dick Seaman, Reggie Tongue, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Martin and John Wakefield have been wintering at Davos.
Next year’s Ford trials teams will comprise McEvoy, Whalley and Harrison with Tens, and Denton, Cleland and Lord Chetwynd with 22 h.p. V8s. Forthcoming attacks on the world’s short distance records are rumoured by Stuck, Ab Jenkins and, definitely, by John Cobb with a Railton-designed
Napier-engined car. Capt. Eyston, the holder, will have a return shot.
The world’s motor-cycle speed record has been recaptured by Germany. Henne covered the course at a mean speed of 173.67 m.p.h., inside a fully streamlined B.M.W. Eric Fernihough will return to the field this year with a non-enclosed Brough-Superior.
P. D. Walker Won the Campbell Trophy for the Brooklands Campbell Circuit Lap Record, his E.R.A. lapping at 73.26 m.p.h. For this year the Pemberton Trophy stands for the future bolder of this record. On December 2nd 312 fixtures were proposed for
the 1938 season at the R.A.C. meeting. In 1936 335 permits were issued, sixty-one for speed events..