LETTERS from READERS, January 1951





Browsing Btrongh la1111bel’s Of MOTOR SPORT recently, I came across your write-up on ;IIr. K.. Smith’s Speed Twenty Alvis AXX 335.

This car has now come to live opposite to me and. as its owner is called to his labours at II a’ migodly hour of Wren) 7 a.m., its exhaust note provides one of the most pleasant alarrit chicks a fellow; eoold have.

Every 18011 1g. after a few wl tinneyings from the starter, that beautiful, crisp cravkle breaks out and puts nte in a good temper for the rest of the day.

ha:Mentally, I take no small pride in the fact that, even before I saw ANX :135 in the flesh. I had diagnosed and was quite: convinced that the car was an Alvis Speed Twenty -and. mark you, this opinion had lwell formed at the diabolical hour of 7, an hour which should rightly be classed as part of the night before. I am, VOIIPS, etc.,

Sutton Cold field. Au.Ec, B. Tricsmt.


I uralerstand that the Singer sports four-seater had an excellent list, of records in trials during the years 1030 to 1934. Certainly they gave the M.G.s of the same period a good run for their money. Tile four-seater also won the 1,000 c.c. class at IA: Mans in 1933 with an extra fuel tank fitted in place of tile rear seat.

I feel that the adverse corium:las now heard about Singers are due to the fact that sports ears are no longer produced, the nearest being the roadster. The firm also suffered a setback, I believe, after a series of steering mishaps.

Parts are a little difficult II0WadayS for Singers, but it is still possible to get round that.

That comment on the letter from the young Mall who praised Singers, but said he knew little about ears, was not really fair.

I was glad to see Mr. Ward (November) felt the Sante way as I do. I am, Yours, etc.,

Lond(in, S.E.13. 1. D. McI)owal.L.

recent. correspondence has coneerned the ” Junior ‘ and ” Porlock ” models rat her than t he hit er sports Singers.-ED.’ RECALLING THE SCOTI. SOCIABLE Sir,

I have heeli a regular reader of MoTc»t Srowr over the last three or four years and being a believer in motor ears as distinct front mobile tin boxes, I always enjoy the articles 011 Villtage machinery.

One item of such machinery is, however, conspicuous by its absence front your pages, and bearing in mind its sporting two-thirds sister, I feel you should bring its memory back to those who once enjoyed its multiple back axle, its preGirling wedge-operated CO brakes and its wonderful performance. I refer to the Scott Sociable. For what they are worth here are a few of my memories of its construetion•

N.B.—Opinions expressed are those of our correspondents and Motor Sport does not necessarily associate itself with them—Ed.

have no definite recorded details of its capacity, Ii, lilt., it 1,. ft) nty great regret.

Firstly. it was a three-wheeltsr with two rear wheels and one frtint wlicel on the off side, all of whiclt were easily removed by means of a centre-lock hub with serrated lot-king plate in the hub.

The chassis or frame was tubular steel (about I in., I think) with seven back :txles,yes, seven steel tubes cross bracing each other. Tile near-side wheel had no connection whatever with, the off-side 1/111′, :Wall 1.11/111, tile seven axle tubes, and I can’t remember what its suspension was, if any. The off-side rear wheel was the driving wheel. Both rear wheels were litted with rod

8srat ed int enmity -expanding lirakes.

comprising ail almost complete haunt of brake lining merely located by dowels, with a draw-in wedge between the open ends, Titus the available lining area was idiot d 85 per tint, of t he circumference of the drum.

The toot brake worked CO on the offside rear wheel and the hand brake on the near-side rear WIR’el, this assisting. if necessary, t la: turning ability of the car. The pressure required was considerable.

TIke brake drilellS were integral with the disc wheels and eentre-lock hubs. The engine was, of course. an off-shoot. of the famoos Scott motor-cycle, being a water-cooled twin-pot two-stroke or

t min-detachable head pattern I believe. The ltort’ was probably about. 31 in. but I don’t remember what the stroke looked like. She had a crankshaft with counterweights, running in rollers (three I think) with roller big-ends.

The engine lay in the l’OIT and aft, line on the off side of the car, outside the main licitly, with the gearbox on the inside and parallel bi it, from which. a shaft carried the drive to a bevel on the rear hub, all totally enclosed. The gear-lever moved in a straight line, fore inad aft, and if I rentemlwr rightly the positions were back for first, neutral :second and top right forward, with a lalse neutral between second and top. Starting was it In Trojan by a pull-upand-baek hatudle, anti if the ignition WaStoo far adValleed you had to watch your I ead on the windscreen when she kickect and emtld she kick I

‘outing was thermosyphon wit It a radiator in the convent iound position with yi trds of tubing to reach the engine. and lubrication WaS Ii pet roil.

II emdrols, apart from clutch, lirake and aecelerator, were on the inner eover of the engine, and she had a choke; but um speedometer. The body was a cosy and fairly cola

ffirtable two-seater, 11/ the frame by about four bolts, so for accessibility it could not la: beaten. One num could easily remove it. It was fully panelled. with one door. a lanai and windscreen.

Steering was I intagine rack and pinion (unless it was string on the shaft ?) but Was positive and very high geared, and the swing of Ow front wheel was such that parking at. the kerb held no terrtirs. She could turn in her 1Avn lengt1t, kit roundabouts taken l00 fast causett the driving wheel to lift mitt curb over-enthusiastie cornering.

As regards iwrforniatice, I hail one ill 19345 and, tinted between milestones on the Brighton Road, she was comfortably eloeking 60 m.p.h. Later, to the great disunity of a Ford V8, she kicked dust in the hater’s radiator at two sets of lights on the Brighton Front, and the Ford driver really tried at the See01111 Set.

Iler reliability was surprising apart. front the fact that I never dared go out without spire water for a sieve-like radiator, and she would always start on about. the fourth 1/1111, eVell on an icy morning. Her one big snag was tlie fact that true neutral had to be engaged and the elatelt fully home beftwe using the starting handle. Otherwise, so I was told, all the gears shuffled down to one end of the box and only dissection would thou retrieve the situ:it nin. I never tried it to see :what would Italia-IL

She was a grand little car and I only wish I still had her. I got her as a gift if I would only take her away, and found that for many years she had been doing duty as a tractor for a vast mowing machine and I had to excavate her from piles of grass.

I ran her for about 15 months and then partect with her for tt, still croing strong. I wonder if any reader van amplify the details of her design. and if any are still in existence Y I am, Yours. etc.,

Radlett. .1. SANER. FrOl 11 1921 to 1925 t he Seott Sociable had a 3 by 21 in. twin-eylinder engine rated at. 7.211.p. Wlwelbase was 5 ft. 1 in.. top gear 4.5 to I, later 4.8 to 1. owl Ow price fell progressively from i!..21.3 to 5:135. These amusing little N’ellieleS took part in the M.C.C. I risk of their time. A ICW, capable of being rebuilt, and an experimental engine, we believe with monobloc eylinders, were at a Bradford garage duriag tlw war and are probably Still there.•Eul •

• THE siNG1.1..ut cAsp: op —1111.: MONZA ” HISPANO


The reeela VIWITSfailatelll’e ill tlte regarding tlw suggested conneetion of Mr. Slterlock Holmes with the Borough It Paddington’s part. in next year’s Festival (If Britain prompts me to ask you to Iteall illiS later as above !

I have read Mr. Moss’s let ter with tIte :.?.reatest interest. and had corresponded with hint prior to its publication and have seen him sinee. 1 am grateful for his intervention and his contribution to the question at issue and, while wishing to keep this letter as short as possible, would like to put forward the following

(1) Mr. Moss tells me that he has not as yet aettially seen the original registration form of 1SP 1181, a Buckinghamshire and not it Kent registration, but that over the telephone the authorities convented informed him that the bore (and not the stroke, which is probably it typographical error only) is shown as 105 min.

This is indeed remarkable and I feel certain that it also is an error, of fact, as, apart from Zborowski’s measurement, the thin steel screwed liners would be most unlikely to grind out to this figure. I ought to remember myself what tax

I paid on this car, but unfortunately I can no longer do so, neither have I the Pass books, or my bank their ledgers, dating latek so far. (2) NIr. Moss tells me that Mr. Chevridlier told him tlutt he overhauled, or rebuilt, this car in 1943 (and it seems to be about. this time that it was fitted with Lancia front suspension) Whell Ire found in it. non-I-lisp:too pistons which he replaced by Ilispano ones after having rebored the cylinders front 102 to 102.5 nun. The qttestion of the pistons raised by Mr. Moss in his letter is actually relevant only so far as follow :—

The pistons in PP 1181 were replaced by Count. Zborowski by British ones, but I did not. find them unsatisfactory during my ownership other than Butt the oil control was not as good as it might. have been.

(3) Mr. Briand tells me that. it was the engine of a car with the front rebuilt, with a Latwirt suspension which he measured and whose stroke he found to be 140 nun. only.

He also says that he knows of a small series of chassis which were from time to time imported into this country. Tioe dimensions of these were 102 by 140 nun, and were known to hint as ‘; Monza cars. Mr. Brian(‘ has been kind enough to allow me to quote him to the effect that Mims. Maignan, who was in charge of the Iispano Service Depot in Chelsea during Count Zborowski’s and my ownership of this car :tort had been a foreman at

Itois Colombes, has told him that lw believed that a eertain number of engines having a stroke of 150 nun. were built. The car Adtich Mr. Moss has bought is not now registered as PP 1181 and Ite is at present. without :t definite registration link regarding it, but. lahas kindly given me a photograph of 11o. Imo+ modified car in his possession wltictt has mudguards so generally similar 10 those of l’I’ 1181 as 1 last saw it and as photographed in the recent artieles in your columns Butt it Waves me in no practical doubt that the IWO cars are basically 011e and

I he sante. Summing up. objectively, it does indeed look, front the presence of !list fano pistons found by Mr. Cherrollier in an engine in whit+ Mr. Brian(‘ had later measured a Stroke of 1.1.0 nun,

II at this engine was the Origiaal and that the stroke was 14.0 nun. :Uhl 1101. 55 :dways believed. 150 nun.

TIlis case Mai :ling eltrilaIS side issues which may or may not be solved some day, but in view of the foregoing I feel that 1 can no longer defend the 150 min. st roke, :tt least as far as it concerns the car which is known as the cx-Zborowski car and which was later my property, assuming as I do that this was the car which is now in Mr. Moss’ farssession.

Further information may materialise one day, but in the nuquitime, since I raised the issue of the Monza stroke, I feel it only fair to make an amends honorable to Mr. Karslake without waiting longer for something WItiell may never appear. I ant, Yours, etc.,

Leatherlultd. Cut. mom’.


I have noticed that reader’s have mentioned the Marendaz-Siastial in answer to a recent quiz. As an owner of one of these ears I see no resemblance to :las

in the quiz.

Maybe you (Si ii use one or the enclosed snaps to remind readers what tlw sixcylinder Marendaz-Special looked like. I am, Yours. etc.. Sitigt . C. II. ALLEN, Wider Pi/ot


Sir, Reading 4″ 13aladettr’s ” fascinating article in the December issue of Moron SetatT regarding Destuodroniii. (what is Wtatt atetilalliSla, reminded rile

that during the year 1912 1.1w late Lord Austin. for whom I Was then aiding as draughtsman, built two engines with posit ice valve operation. Due lo the very necessary buffer sltring, it. would perhaps IIImore vorreet to say semi-positive Valve 01 Will it/II.

The engine 111’1010mA ‘mite well and revveil up to Iletlrly 4,000 r.p.m., at which speed the power output. was considered good fiir those days. However, the liesign Was ahandonect owing to frequent lweak:ige of valve stunk.

With best wishes for the continued success of your valuable journal.

1.011ES. etc..

.1. T. CLARKE.. Sir, lic r:onneetion with. ” Baltutettr’s “

Sideslip ” oui positively operated valves, it is interesting to recall that these were used both on Lenoir’s engine of 1801 and on the earliest Benz ears. including the 1888 model now in the Science Museum. On both the Benz and Lenoir the valves were of sliding, steant-engine type. Since this arrangement is easily lubrieuted and made gas-tight, and achieves the advantages of the sleevevalve with much less friction, one wonders why it was not further developed. I am, Yours, etc.,

CEcn. CLUITON. London, SAVA. [And since tltese correspondents have referred to further desmodromies, what about the earn-less Hotchkiss six-cylinder production model of 1921, the 750-c.v. Vagova racing car entered for the 1924 J.C.C. 200-Mile Race and the Laystall Special engine ?—En.] * * *



In your Novel-Utter issue I read with much interest your article headed ” The Sports Car Races of 1950 ” and noted the conclusions you came to in this article. It is very surprising that the results in .‘tneriettit sports car racing do not appear to correspond witlt the results in European races, and the conclusions in this country would therefore necessarily be quite different.

At the beginning of 1950, in the sports car race at Palm Beach, Leslie Johnson was fourth in an XI: 120 Jaguar, being beaten by George Huntoon in a FordDuesenberg, Briggs Cutintingham in a Cadillae-Ilealey and George Rand in the Ferrari owned by Cunninghata and lwing the car with whielt Chinetti won the 1949 Le Mans race, this Ferrari being a 2-litre, three-VarbUretter Grand Prix version. At. Santa Alla in California, Roy Richter in it .12 Allard with Font engine beat the entire vont ingent of NK. 120 Jaguars very readily and without any fuss Or hot her, At Bridgehamplon, Long Island, Tommy Cole in a .12 Allard with Cadillac engine beat. Sam Collier in Conninglunit’s aboveMentioned Ferrari. Gelfrge Hunt oon in the above-mentioned Ford-I htesenberg. Jim Kimberly ill a three-carburetter ” Mille Miglia ” Ferrari (similar to the one Wit II which Aseari won at Silverstone), Larry Kulok in a ” Mans “-type