Letters from Readers, January 1938

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MEMORIES OF THE PAST

I have enclosed two photographs of two grand old cars which I think are Worthy of reproduction in your journal. One is the 2-litte Miller which the late Count Zbrowski and S C. H. Davis raced in the 1924. G.P. and the other is my own 1922 2-litre G.P. Sunbeam.

Both photographs were taken at a hill-climb here a few weeks ago. Allow me to say that MoTOR SPORT is undoubtedly the finest journal published and the notes on veteran cars and sporting cars of other days as the $019S and Bentley are greatly appreciated. Wishing YOU the best of luck for 1938. I am, yours etc.,

Adelaide, M. A. MoULDEN. South Australia.

ON THE INFLUENCE OF SLIMESTORMING

Sir, The writer of the above article in last month’s MOTOR SPoRT must I am sure be the owner of a Bugatti or some such similar car. The springing, looks and performance of which follow his ideal,

that is, racing-car practice. Actually this type of car feels like one With solid tyres, looks and sounds like a racing-car but a Ford V8 saloon is usually a lot cal icker. A very successful trials car, the type the writer deplores, is the Special I have just sold to Guy Warburton. This has a Bugatti racing body and tank, highgeared steering, 10 to 1 first gear, 3.5 to 1 top, 0.50 8 seconds to 60 under 11 seconds, 90 to 95 m.p.h. in trials trim and 105 m.p.h. stripped. Recently I covered the J.C.C. Ilfracombe trials course and Knott Trophy trial, both in the alinehead district, a total distance of about

450 miles at an average petrol consumption of 19.6 m.p.g.; would the writer call this a good sports-car ? A very successful racing-car, the B.M.W., is also a

very successful trials car. It has the features all sports-cars should have but are usually lacking, high power to weight ratio, high gears and high-geared steering. The writer states that M.G. and Austin use special cars for trials, but I contend that everything that is done tO these cars to improve them for this job also makes them a better sports-car. The fact that a trials car cannot be driven, say, at Donington without some adjustments is no different from a standard sports-car

trying to race. Trial cars are usually fitted with special large tyres which effect the road holding at speed but this is easily remedied. Incidentally both A ustins and M.G. ran cars at Donington in the 12-Hour Race, that are similar, if not the same as the trials motors. There are a few special points that I do not agree with :— General Equipment. Small wings are put on to prevent the touring wings being damaged, in the same way as the writer would lake off his wings for racing when

possible. The fold flat screen did not come from trials: I have found that a trials motor car can blank off its radiator but overheat when taken on Brooklands. Re exhaust pipes, the owners usually do any alterations themselves but the socalled sensible outside pipes are chiefly an ornament on which to burn yourself. Low Gear Ratio. Everybody appears to have the idea that low !Tear ratios are necessary for trials. This is quite a fallacy as nearly all the small trials cars use second gear, first gear being too low. Whilst larger ears have a low gear ratio that gives 40 to 45 m.p.h. In every car I have used for trials I have geared up the steering ; I think most other people

find it necessary. The present-day racingcars have a very lbw geared steering, e.g. the Merceas and Auto-Union. Gone is the day of the i Bugatti that the writer apparently finds ideal.

The writer mentions such things as locked axles, etc., but no sports-car can ever compete at Donington or elsewhere without similar alterations, if he wishes to compete successfully.

The writer’s plea that “To-day’s racing-car is to-morrow’s touring car” usually means that we get a sports-car weighing 12 cwt. with a 750 c.c. engine. All small sports-cars that I have driven that are supposed to be a copy of the racing job have been nothing more than a buzz box. If instead a detuned li-litre engine was installed (after trials practice) the car would be more reliable, probably have a faster touring speed and I am sure a better petrol consumption. The writer of course would ‘deplore having a 1-litre car only as fast as a 750 c.c. job because it would not compete satisfactorily at Donington, but then how many different people compete at Donington or elsewhere annually .? I am, Yours etc.,

Putney, S. H. ALLARD. S. W. Sir, As regards slime-storming, is there no hope of a return to comparative sanity by means of a permanent ban On competition tyres, locked differentials and treak weight distribution, all of which are detrimental to good handling on normal roads ? Things have come to a pretty pass when a sport that was once open to everyone with any sort of a car is now only feasible for the wealthier and more crack-brained. Admittedly, mere gradient will not stop any decent modern

car, but surely we don’t want trials in which the competing lunatics look like hairy specimens from Heaven knows where !

You lament the dearth of small sportscars in the i,200-;6300 class. I agree with you, but surely there is more need of cheap sporting two-seaters based on popular chassis at below 000? It seems to me that people either want the pukka job at something well over 950 up to as much as they can afford, or else want a cheap motor in the low-price field. The sort of thing I visualise is rather as follows :—Morris Eight or Ford Eight chassis practically as standard except for fitting of a four-speed plain box, and either tuned or mildly supercharged, better headlamps, more instruments, and a very light two-seater body rather after the style of the original M-type Midget ; equipment to include Rudge wheels, cycle-type mudguards, spring wheel, flyoff handbrake, etc. ; the whole to be capable of about 70 to 75 m.p.h., 30 to 35 m.p.g. (with a 10 gallon tank), and selling at about £195 all on. Quite a good cheap sports-car could be based on Standard Flying Nine and Singer Bantam chassis. Many of your readers may sneer at such cars, but, for people who can’t afford cars in the Frazer-Nash class, I feel sure they would fill the bill. By the way, could you give us a road-test of a -super-sports Morgan sometime ? I wonder why more people don’t devote time to hotting up these instead of the eternal Austin Seven ? Perhaps it’s the road-holding that worries them. I should be very glad if someone could tell me how they behave in this respect, as I have always been rather chary about. buying one for this very reason.

I am told there are difficulties about insuring them, too. I am, Yours etc.,

ARTHUR HARDMAN. Southport,

Lancs.

RECORDS ANALYSIS

Citroen holds far and away more records than any other marque, namely 169 world’s honours, eighty-eight class D, three class E and 182 class F records. The runner-up is the Mormon-Meteor, with twenty-one world’s and twenty-two class A records. The Yacco-Special holds sixteen C.I. records and also five class E records, the first diesel-engined car to capture records in the petrol classes. Record speeds in International divisions range from 21.44 m.p.h. for the class J 24-hour record by the 350 c.c. VitesseSpecial, to 312.00 m.p.h. for Capt. Eyston’s flying kilometre in the 73,390 RollsRoyce motored Thunderbolt. The only International record established at Brooklands in 1937 was Forrest Lycett’s Class B standing kilometre with an 8-litre Bentley, afterwards broken by Auto

Union. But thirty-one International figures established at Brooklands still stand. The oldest records on the lists are H. NV. Walters’s standing start mile and kilometre in Class J, at 52 and 58 m.p.h., with the Jappic. In the British list the oldest is S. F. Edge’s 24-hour figure of

A MEETING OF THE CLUBS

Sir,

With reference to the recent controversy regarding the congestion of trials in various areas, as you know, at the meeting of Club Representatives held at The Motor Sports Club on November 30th last, a Committee was appointed to go into this matter. This Committee held their first meeting on Thursday, December 16th at which the following resolution was passed :—

” That this Committee should formulate a scheme to . put before a further meeting for the formation of a voluntary group of Clubs in the London area, with the object of establishing better control of the sport through the R.A.C. by means, if necessary, of voluntary restriction.”

A further Committee Meeting will be held on January 20th next, to formulate this scheme definitely, when it will be put to the Clubs in question and a further general meeting called. As Secretary of the Committee as at present constituted, I should be glad if you would publish the above in your next issue, as the matter is of some importance. I am, Yours etc., Notting Hill Gate, A. J. G. BOCHATON,

W.11. *

THE BOND CAR

Sir,

Whilst going through my scrap-book I came across a description of the Bond car which was mentioned in one of the motoring papers just a decade ago—almost to the day. To me it is most entertaining to re-read such articles as this on the sports-car of what I cannot help thinking was one of the

Vintage Years.”

One can recall so many marques of those years—sonic, but all too few, are still with us, such as the Frazer-Nash, but I mourn the others ! 65.91 m.p.h., when he so historically opened Brooklands Track in 1907 with the 60 h.p. Napier. Also in the British list, the Lan.chester and Leyland-Thomas cars of the late J. G. Parry-Thomas hold twenty-five records between them, and the 15-litre Lorraine-Dietrich, now owned by R. G. J. Nash, retains three records made by Hemery in 1912, including the

Class B 3-hours at 94.82 m.p.h. The Aston-Martin 2,000 kilos. record of 76.06 m.p.h., established in 1922, also stands. The world’s Hour Record belongs to Ab. Jenkins (Mormon-Meteor) at 177.05 m.p.h. and the world’s 24-hour to Jenkins and Meyer at 157.27 m.p.h.—coveted figures. The whole story is told in the tables, and we can well congratulate ourselves that motoring sport is so conducted that such records may be faithfully and a.ccurately registered.

THE TT. OUTLOOK

Ulster continues to mourn the loss of the T.T.—therein. may be contained a lesson for other Irish county councils. Capt. A. W. Phillips, of the R.A.C., However, to return to the ” Bond.” It seems to me in a great number of ways the 1927 counterpart of the ” and even the price is not very different ! You will see that an 80 m.p.h. maximum was claimed for the ” Bond” as against, I believe, 85 to 90 m.p.h. for the” The gear-ratios seem comparable, the engine is a Meadows in both cases (correct inc if I am wrong on this point), front springs quarter-elliptic, and so on. Of course, there is no question of the

not being infinitely more refined and thoroughly up-to-date, yet having all the qualities which were so valued in 1927.

The comparison is interesting, isn’t it ?

I don’t think many cars were produced by Bond ; I did actually see one model, actually only about five years ago—in very bad condition.

I should like to finish by expressing my whole-hearted Agreement with yOur recent article questioning the value of trials to sports-car design.

I don’t know anything about trials, never having driven in one. I can appreciate that an enormous amount of fun is derived therefrom by competitors, but how any man with any feelings for the mechanism of (in many cars) beautiful and expensive pieces of engineering can crash them up and down muddy lanes and boulder bestrewn tracks passes my understanding ! However, I expect I shall be howled down !

With all good wishes for the continued success of your fine journal. I am, Yours etc.,

Stoke-on-Trent. N. A. SMITll.

landed at Belfast on December 3rd last. With F. W. Grigor, the Co. Antrim Surveyor, H. A. Bryson, C. G. Neill and Capt. Thompson, he examined a number of circuits near Belfast. Local authorities are said to be prepared to construct a by-pass at Newtownards to make further use of the Ards circuit possible, and the Race Committee of the Ulster A.C. is sounding local opinion as to whether the money is available. Comber, too, would seem to need by passing. The I.O.M. looks like being out of the question, as the Tynwald Committee reports that the R.A.C. International Light Car Races cost the Government 0,400 a year and estimates that the T.T. would involve £2,500 to £3,000. Neither the Government nor the R.A.C. will put up such a

Slim. In the meantime we picture Fred Craner emulating Bier Rabbit. Capt. Phillips has provisionally approved a circuit for the 1938 Ulster Trophy Race, the former Ballyclare circuit having been pronounced too narrow and winding between Lindsay’s Corner and Ballydare. Oh, that we had circuits for Capt. Phillips to sanction in our Merry England !

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