The Villiers-Engined Bugatti

The Villiers-Engined Bugatti

THE cover yid tire this month 4i1OWS Dudley Froy on the 13rooklands banking in the Kaye Don 4.9-litre Grand Prix Bugatti during a 1935 B.A.R.C. meeting. It will be remembered that these ears, the Type 54, were extremely fast but proved difficult to handle. Nevertheless, in 1933 Czaykowski took the I Four Record at the unsuitable Avus track with one of these cars, at 132.87 m.p.h. and won the B.E. Trophy race at 123.58 m.p.h. Kaye Don's car eventually found its way to the Brixton Service Station and lay there for a considerable time. It emerged after Sydney Cummings had crashed his Vauxhall-Villiers at Wetherby. Cummings effected rapid repairs and dro. e the Villiers in very shaky condition to make f.t.d. at Brighton, but after this decided to dispose of the car. Consequently, F. H. Hambling tried it out on behalf of L. L. Hanson, who bought it. Hanson was anxious to run at Wetherby in 1937, but decided, wisely, to install the 3-litre Villiers engine in another chassis. To this end Papworth advised Hambling

to consider the Kaye Don "4.9 " Bugatti, which had had its engine transferred to Parnell, who subsequently used it in his B.H.D. Unlike most Bugatti chassis frames, it seems that that of the " 1.9 "

had such deep cross-members that it was considered strong enough to take the Villiers engine without suffering from lack of the usual stiffening effect of a Bugatti crankcase. The Villiers engine and gearbox went in reasonably, and the radiator sufficed for sprints. The rear axle, as used for the "500," was, unfortunately, much too high geared, being 2.6 to 1, whereas something in the order of 4.6 to 1 was wanted. This necessitated slipping the clutch on getaway, and as the Villier,; clutch had 22 Ferodo-lined Oates, this resulted in the linings burning. Even so, at the first 1937 Wetherby meeting Hanson, with little experience of the car, clocked 32.36 sees., using 1st gear only ! Peter Walker, the E.R.A. driver, handled the car the next season, and a memorable 4 a.m. test was made over an improvised course on the moors, the car running at about 100 m.p.h., with open exhaust and no wings, of course ! Tony Brooke then tried the car, hut, using twin rear wheels at Wetherby, the clutch again gave trouble. He now intends to have the engine re-designed by Laurence Pomeroy, and will probably have it installed in a hybrid chassis which once formed the basis of one of Tim Carson's CarsonSpecials. Even this will probably not end the career of this particular Type 54, as Holland 13irkett has bought the chassis and body and one day hopes to install another straight-eight Bugatti engine, perhaps a mildly-boosted Type 44, with a view to obtaining a fascinating 100 m.p.h. road car.