I take the strongest possible exception to the report appearing in Motor Sport that I made a derogatory remark about the car I had driven to Brighton at the end of the run on November 17th.
The words you report me as having uttered are a complete fabrication and I certainly have nothing but admiration for the one-cylinder Alldays which, despite the appalling weather conditions, nevertheless succeeded in transporting me to Brighton on that day.
Mr. G. J. Allday, the owner of this car, is naturally much upset by this report and I may say that I am too, and I must ask you please to make adequate retraction in the next issue of Motor Sport.
I am, Yours, etc.,
[We are sorry we reported Mr. Hess as saying something he now says he did not say. We intended to place emphasis on the bad day and not to be in any way derogatory to the Alldays, which was surely obvious, since, in spite of the bad day the Alldays got to Brighton and, as we emphasised, ran in the Cavalcade which followed. Mr. Hess must know that we appreciate the sportsmanship of one in his position – he is Public Relations Officer of the Austin Motor Co., Ltd. – who is ready to drive alone in a veteran car to Brighton under such conditions. – Ed.]
With reference to my notes on “Spider” in your November issue, I have since received a letter from my old friend H. R. Godfrey, the original ” G.” of G.N. He writes:—
“You did not mention that the “Spider” was originally a 1920 G.N. It never was a Frazer-Nash as both the chassis and original engine were made by G.N. Ltd., Wandsworth, when I was there.”
I apologise for not making myself clear. Actually, I purchased the parts from Capt. Frazer-Nash, who had taken them over from G.N.s, when they went out of business.
I am very pleased, however, to get an authentic date for the origin of the components of my car. Godfrey ought to know, as he was there at the time (1920), two years before I thought, and he is still going strong. He also writes: —
“The car should surely be called and entered as either ‘Davenport Spider’ or, I think more correctly, ‘Davenport G.N.’ or ‘G.N. Spider ‘.
Now, I read your article on names of “specials” and agree with you, although I see a good number of your readers did not.
In the light of Mr. Godfrey’s information I think the name of my car is due for a change. Which name do you think I ought to use in the 1947 racing season?
Perhaps some of your readers may have ideas? I rather prefer G.N. “Spider.” In any case, whichever name is chosen I should not be frightened to paint it on the bonnet of the car in large letters!
I am, Yours, etc.,
B. H. Davenport.
[We think the designation suggested by Mr. Davenport very much the one to use. Incidentally, we apologise to “B. H. D.” for getting his initials mixed in the article to which he refers.—En.]
We have recently installed a 300-h.p. eddy-current Heenan & Fronde dynamatic dynamometer for testing power output, etc. on internal combustion engines.
During the next two or three months this brake will be available for such purposes and we propose, before stripping down this winter, to put Mr. Monkhouse’s Type 51 eight-cylinder Bugatti engine on the brake, for the purpose of discovering the present power output and fuel consumption. It occurred to us that we might make the same facilities available to others, and because we are doing it ourselves could do this correspondingly cheaper. We should therefore be prepared to bench-test and provide a certified power and consumption curve for any Bugatti engine, subject to the following conditions:—
Fuel. — You will be required to supply ten gallons of the fuel which you would normally use in this car.
Engine. — You will be required to arrange collection and delivery of your own engine, although if necessary as an extra, we could arrange to remove it from the car chassis ourselves, provided the car was brought out to us.
Supervision. — We should require the attendance of one of your own representatives during the test.
Time taken for Test. — Subject to the availability of the brake, the time required for the test would be two to three days from receipt of engine.
Tuning. — Any extra tuning that might be required would be charged as an extra according to the work involved.
Ignition Timing. — In view of the fact that magnetos on these engines are separate, it will be necessary for you to inform us of the ignition timing which you require the engine tested on, so that when erected on our rig this timing is repeated.
Plugs. — We would request that you supply your own hard plugs for the test.
Condition of Engine. — We shall require the engine complete with water outlets, exhaust pipes, clutch, sump, carburetter, etc. and in a reasonably clean condition.
Additional lnformation. — Should additional information be required during the course of the test which is within the scope of the test, this can be supplied by us free of charge, and we should be only too happy to co-operate with any client’s special requirements.
Secrecy. — The strictest secrecy can be guaranteed on all tests, and no information obtained on any tests will be divulged to any other clients.
Price. — We can quote an inclusive charge for erecting, testing, providing information, dismantling, and arranging for removal, of £27 10s. (trade terms can be offered).
We need hardly stress the very great advantages to be gained from the intelligent use of an engine test brake in maintaining or increasing power output for next season’s racing. This is even more so now in view of the complete absence of any sort of test facilities, and while an engine tuned on the bench does not necessarily provide the complete answer for racing conditions, it does very nearly, but if the engine can be induced to run satisfactorily at full throttle for some period it is conclusive proof of the condition of the engine and its ability to develop maximum power, and it is quite impossible to arrive at this information in any other way. Quite apart from the inconclusiveness of road testing, and its attendant dangers and inconveniences, one is wearing out a perfectly good motor car doing it, and for the very low fee at which we offer these facilities, the great financial saving alone that will result from obtaining this information quickly and efficiently rather than not obtaining it, but nevertheless undergoing a tedious and long drawn-out process of roadtesting, can be readily seen.
The test will be carried out under the skilled supervision of qualified test engineers, and personally supervised by Mr. Monkhouse.
This letter applies, of course, to Bugattis in particular, but we should of course be happy to arrange and quote for similar facilities for other engines within the scope of our brake (up to 300-h.p., from 1,500 to 8,000 r.p.m.), particularly E.R.A.
I am, Yours, etc.,
p.p. Monaco Motor & Engineering Co., Ltd.,
P. R. Monkhouse,
I was interested in the article by “Baladeur” in the November issue on the old de Dion, particularly concerning petrol consumption. My experience of the de Dion was largely confined to the earlier 4 1/2-h.p. model. Although the larger model had the engine in front, I do not think that there could have been a very big difference in power-to-weight ratio or, for that matter, frontal area. Under the circumstances I would have anticipated the petrol consumption of the two cars to have been reasonably comparable.
In these circumstances I was very careful to check the consumption on the recent Veteran Run to Brighton. One and a half gallons being poured into an empty tank, the mileage, when the tank ran dry was, as nearly as possible, 67. I think you will agree that the weather conditions were scarcely ideal; added to this the fact that, with split-second timekeeping, it was frequently necessary to stand, with the engine ticking over, before entering the time check.
My normal experience with this car is that I get between 45 and 50 to the gallon and, in view of the fact that the last time certificates of performance were issued by the R.A.C. for this run it averaged 20.18 m.p.h., I can scarcely be accused of driving with petrol economy in mind. I think, therefore, that your correspondent will have to look for an explanation elsewhere of the 6-h.p.’s extravagance other than in “an automatic inlet valve at 1,600 r.p.m.”
I do not think that this explanation will be hard to find.
I am, Yours, etc.,
R. C. Porter. London, S.W.13.
I am enclosing herewith a phototgaph of my Stanley steam car which I think you may care to publish. Seated at the wheel is my friend Ralph Neville, of Nottingham, with whom I stayed during my 1,000-mile tour in August of this year.
During this journey I went as far north as Newcastle-on-Tyne to show the Stanley, in its restored condition, to the previous owner. I also took the gentleman concerned and his wife for quite a good run in the car.
I have also accomplished a business trip right through Cornwall to Land’s End, and use the car regularly for business purposes in Bristol and district when the weather is not too bad. Needless to say the car creates quite a commotion, and wherever I go someone always asks, will I sell it.
I am, Yours, etc.,
Now is the time for clubs to plan some sort of scheme for race meetings next season, presuming, of course, that circuits will be available.
One suggested idea is to run racing and sports cars in the same race on a handicap basis. Personally I believe that this would impose an unnecessary danger on drivers of really fast cars, unless sports car drivers were vetted by the R.A.C. Competitions Department before their entries became acceptable.
On the other hand, I do think that individual handicaps would be a good thing for sports car racing. Naturally there would be the usual grumbles, but as the intrinsic value of awards would be negligible the true enthusiast won’t care two hoots if his own handicap is somewhat unfair for initial meetings — clubs will soon be able to form an idea of individual performances after a couple of events. And after all said and done, to finish the season on the scratch mark in even short races of a few miles should give a driver more satisfaction than being given a bigger start after each meeting.
Generally speaking, handicaps in any form of sport are unpopular and unwanted, but, as in golf, horse-racing and rifle shooting, they are sometimes essential. I must confess that individual handicaps would probably be more advantageous to me personally than class handicapping, as the 3.5-litre Jaguar (yes, my car was licensed as such at the beginning of this year) is one of the smallest-engined cars in the 3.5-litre class, and has little hope, on paper (or on the track for that matter!), of competing with a Darracq or 4.9 Bugatti on equal terms.
Before the war some most enjoyable meetings were staged on the Manufacturers’ Circuit at Donington, and although I think I was always on scratch I managed to pass a few more cars than if there had been class handicapping.
One final point; where the number of entries permit and individual handicapping is not employed, blown cars should be put into a separate class, sub-divided into engine sizes.
I am, Yours, etc.,