"THE NEXT GRAND PRIX FORMULA"
Frazer-Nash, Harry Gray in a blown Healey ” Silverstone,” and a whole slew of Jaguar XK 120s coming way behind and getting nowhere fast.
At Suffolk County Airport the abovementioned Ferrari of Briggs Cunningham was the winner over Tommy Cole in the .I2 Cadillac-Allard, myself in an XK 120 Jaguar and fourth was Larry Kulok in a “La Mans” Frazer-Nash.
By the time the Linden Airport races came round. I had purchased a CadillacAllard and was way out in front when certain difficulties developed, the car just having been finished a week ahead of the race, and I was forced to retire, leaving the win to Larry Kulok in the “La Mans” Frazer-Nash, which previously in a production car race had thoroughly trounced the XK 120s which were entered and which again were getting nowhere fast.
At the International Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, New York, where there was an entry of some 110 automobiles, I won in a J2 Allard, and after the first four laps never saw my nearest competitor in the mirmr—this after having started in 27th• position. At this-race there was the “Mile Miglia ” Ferrari of Kimberley’s and an Inter 166 Ferrari of Bill Spear’s. There were more Jaguar XK 120s than I can mention, and on this course of about six miles I lapped all the XKs at lead once.
I personally am very dubious as to whether the people in England really have any conception of the speed which can be gotten out of a slightly worked over Cadillac-Allard engine, and this opinion Of mine is strengthened by the fact that I see that Sydney Allard’s time in a J2 CadillacAllard in the recent meeting at Castle C.ombe was 74.1 m.p.h., whereas the Frazer-Nash of Moss averaged 74.77 m.p.h. In other words, the Frazer-Nash was faster than the Cadillac-Allard, which to me is just unbelievable, having run away from this similar Frazer-Nash at Linden Airport prior to breaking down and from the same car at Watkins Glen as though it were standing still. I am naturally fully aware of the fact that the capacity of most of these automobiles is much smaller than that of the Cadillac-engined cars and therefore their performance, considering their capacity, is remarkable. However, your article goes out with the assumption of general and not class results.
I also do not wish to take anything away from the Jaguar XK 120 which, for the money, undoubtedly is a very nice car and ideal for sports touring but which, unfortunately, has proven completely unsuitable for sports car racing in this country, being outclassed at all the races. As far as fast. touring in this country is concerned, it is a very ticklish problem, speeding laws being enforced on highways in almost every state in the Union and the car therefore has little purpose in the American market, this probably being the reason that you will find Jaguar XK 120s advertised for sale every Sunday in the New York Times and there is now no trouble in getting immediate delivery of these automobiles. I am, Yours, etc., New York City. A. E. Gormscarsurr. [At Castle C,ombe Allard had such a runaway win he didn’t have to hurry as Moss did. We based our comments on the 1950 spans car races largely on events confined to virtually stock cars, which one would expect to be slower than ears with ” workeu over” outsize engines and racing-car chassis.—En.]
• • • ROLLS-BENTLEY COMMENT
As the owner of a pre-war “44” Bentley, I should like to congratulate Raymond Mays on conveying, in just over two of the most interesting pages, more of the fascination of these lovely cars than all the road tests I have ever read put together. Although I have not yet lutd the opportunity of driving a Mark VI, I hope to do so in the near future, and I only hope the result will not be too devastating, as I cannot possibly afford one !
Another interesting dissertation was that of K. N. Hutchison, in your July issue, and though I lack the necessary personal experience of both the ears mentioned to argue the point, it seems remarkable, on the strength of his remarks, that a Mark • VI Bentley, or, if he should consider the cost of this too high, even a pre-war ” 44 ” would not fill the bill, and bring him very near his ideal all-rounder. It would certainly seem to possess to a remarkable extent all the essentials laid down as requisites, and I should be most interested to know in what direction he considers it fails to meet his requirements. I am, Yours, etc.,
Bedford. R. BAILUE. Sir,
I was interested to see that Mr. Raymond Mays credits the Mark VI Bentley with a genuine 160 m.p.h. I have seen this claim for the preand post-war 44-litre more than once in print, but none of the several road-test reports in various publications which I have read showed it to .give a mean maximum timed speed of much over 90 m.p.h..
I expect that Mr. Mays’ paean of praise for the Mark VI is deserved, but I await with rather lively anticipation the comments of members of the B.O.C. and others. I am, Yours, etc.,
W. S’ATART BEST. Dorchester. * * *
* * * THE NEXT GRAND PRIX FORMULA
Sir, There has recently been a good deal of discussion about what should succeed the present Grand Prix formula when it expires at the end of’ 195:3, and after reading the article by your contributor ” Baladeur ” on desmodromic valve control, I wonder whether any competent person has considered the merits of the following relatively simple formula :
That the car’s engines should be limited to a total of four cylinders.
At first sight this formula scents likely to fail for uncertainty, as the lawyers say, but a little investigation shows, I think, that this is hardly the case in practice. Let us take as a starting point what Is, I suppose, the most powerful four
cylinder racing car at present in existence, the 1,500-c.c. Maserati, with a bore and stroke of 78 by 78 nun. which develops about 300 h.p. at 7,50d r.p.m., or at a piston speed of 3,850 feet per minute. If We assume (a) that even a racing engine cannot stand a piston speed of more titan about 4,04:10 feet per minute ; and (b) that its bore cannot greatly exceed its stroke ; then nothing much more can be done with the Maserati engine except to supercharge it harder. As it is even now getting a boost of 80 lb. per square inch, however, it probably has about as much already as it can conveniently put up with.
Let us asstune, now, that we put the bore up to 100 mm. The stroke, in accordance with assumption (b) must also become approximately 100 mm., and crankshaft speed, in accordance with assumption (0), be reduced to about 6,000 gran. We should now have a capacity of rather over 3 litres and I should think we could expect 390 h.p. with half the boost the Maserati is subject to. As a guide the eight-cylinder Mercedes-Benz of 1937, with a bore and stroke of 94 by 102 mm., and a capacity of 5,660 c.c., developed 646 h.p., with a manifold pressure of 1.86 Ate. NVe could of course take the thing a stage further and postulate an engine of, say, 150 by 150 mm., with a capacity of 104 litres. This could run at 4,000 r.p.m. without exceeding 4,000 feet per minute piston speed, but I doubt whether it. could be induced to do so, or to give 300
whether supercharged or not. In the meantime its frontal area would be, to say the least of it, formidable. Even our 8-litre, with a stroke of 100 mm., would be nearly as high as the present 44-litre, six-cylinder Talbot with a stroke of 110 mm.
I do not think therefore that the formula would produce monsters, and I do think that it would call for engines a lot less expensive to build than does a capacity limit which in practice drives designers to more and more cylinders. If, nevertheless, cylinders, and consequently their valves, got so big that the weight of the latter began to limit crankshaft speeds, we might at least get a revival of interest in desmodromie valve control. I ant, Yours, etc.,
London, W.8. KENT KARSLAKE. * * *
* * SIX-CYLINDER HISTORY
The reference. by ” Baladeur,” ii November “Sideslips,” to the 1904 sixcylinder Sunbeam car reminded me that I had the doubtful privilege of being the only person to drive that car when it had the three-throw crankshaft.
The shaft was not counterbalanced, so the vibration was really fierce. However I was instructed to take the car to the Crystal Palace show with the intention of giving trial runs.
That the car reached the show without loss of “bits and pieces” can only be recorded as a somewhat surprising fact. Trial runs being quite out of the question, the car was putaway in a stable in Upper Norwood for the duration of the show.
Whether there was a ” six ” on the show stand I do not now remember, but I am almost sure that the car mentioned was the only one built at that time, and quite certain that it was the only one ever to be run with the three-throw crankshaft.
Later a normal type shaft was fitted, but two other experiments in design were also failures. One was the attempt to rely on two gears only, and the other was an expanding metal clutch which was very troublesome.
Not long after that I left WOlverhampton, and can only remember One six-C) limier cur being sold, although there may have been others, but, as ” Baladeur ” points out, the Sunbeam Company would hardly be likely in after years to enter the controversy regarding the first six-cylinder car, or to claim priority in that field of design. I am, Yours, etc.,
Dumfries. J. Rain.
4, * LIGHT ‘PLANES
First *fall I would like to say how much I appreciated your article on ultra-light aircraft in the November issue of MOTOR SPORT.
However, I think you have missed out one of the latest and finest of these aircraft. 1 refer to the Chilton low-winged monoplane designed and built by Messrs. Dalrymple and Ward in the period between 1967 and 1939.
The first four aircraft were powered by the Carden-Ford engine, which was yet another variation of the ubiquitous Ford Ten. In 1939 an improved version was produced using a 44-11.p. French Train 4T engine. This was to have been the standard production model, but of course the war changed all these plans. Up to a year ago there were still four or five Chiltons on the Civil Register. Both models were single-seaters with truls beautiful lines ; in many people’s opinion they were the finest looking light planes ever built. The Ford Ten powered model weighed 398 lbs., had a maximum speed of 115 m.p.h., and a consumption of 60 miles per gallon ; the price was 1.315 The 44-h.p. type weighed 880 lbs., and had a maximum speed Of 135 m.p.h., a landing speed of 35 m.p.h., and cost £375 I
On a basis of performance and quality versus price, I do not think that the Chilton has ever been equalled. I am, Yours, etc., ‘
Mellor. R. A. BOYD.
During the last quarter the Scottish S.C.C. enrolled 44 new members. * * *
The Chiltern’s C.C. membership increased from 85 to 130 last year. Its 1951 fixtures include a standard-car trial, a closed trial, a touring rally, a Concours d’Elegance and a closed invitation trial. Monthly meetings, open to all, happen on the last Wednesday evening of each month at The George Hotel. Beaconsfield. Details from G. E. Gates, ” Chalfonts,” Drive, Amersharn, Bucks.
NEW CLASS 1 AND .1 RECORDS
Between November 21st and 23rd last year Stirling Moss, Kenneth Gregory and J. Neill took a short-chassis Kieft to Montlhery and broke six International Class J and seven International Class I records. The new figures are :—
The Class I records were held prcviottaly by E. Bayrol and the two-cylinder Panhard-engined D.B., which established them at Montlhery last October. The hour record has been raised by 12.13 m.p.h. It is rtnnoured that D.B. may soon make a new bid. The Class J records were the property of the VitesseSpecial, the H.S. and the Voran, Gush’s hour-record in the Vitesse, established in 1934 at. Brooklands, being broken by 6.17 m.p.h. Kieft had intended to take further records, but the 850-c.c. car developed crankpin trouble after 200 kilometres and the 500-c.c. car a split fuel tank after 200 miles. No electrical timing was available, or the Class J f.s. 10-kilometre and 10-mile records would have been attempted, but Kieft thinks these may be allowed, as the s.s. 100-mile reeotd was taken at a higher speed ! Likewise, he should get the Class J 3-hour record, as a greater distance than the old Vitesse figure was completed before the oar retired. In all, 13 records await confirmation.
The Kiefts used were normal longwheelbase (7 ft. 6 in.) cars, one being J. Neil’s own property, and were in their Brands Hatch trim except for longrange tanks and feed pumps. The 850-cc. engine was a 1950 ” double-knocker ” Norton, the 500,c.c. engine a special single o.h.e. Norton. Both were prepared by Steve Lancetield and ran on methanol. A rather surprising feature of these successful record attempts was the good behaviour of the Kieft. patented suspension (wish bones and rubber in torsion) and Dunlop tyres. On Montlliery’s rough bits the rear wheels suffered approximately 7 in. ” bump ” without anything breaking, while the Dunlops on the 1150-c.c. car showed no wear whatsoever, even the original moulding scam showing at the conclusion of the run, and those on the 500-c.c. car wore down approximately 1 mm—a tine testimony to tyre and suspension.
Nineteen fifty-one is going to witness keen competition in Formula III racing and many drivers are extremely interested in the potentialities of the Kieft, which is made at Bridgend, Glam. Incidentally, the chassis takes a 1,100-e.c. engine without alteration.—W. II. 044 ****
The D’Evian Ryall of the A.C. du Mont Blanc starts on the evening of July 27th and finishes by Lake Geneva on July 29th. The route embraces 27 mountain passes and includes twii hill-climbs, respectively of two and five miles. The E. Anglian M.C. has full details. Bear it in mind ! Obit uar We regret to record the death, on November 26th, of Mr. C. R. Abbott, Managing Director of C. R. Abbott and Co., Ltd. Kent Kerslake writes :
Because those of use who knew him well had known for 80111e time that there was little chance of Jimmie Abbott’s complete recovery, the news of his death came as no surprise—although, of course, that does little to lessen the shock of it. What did surprise One was to realise that he was within a few years of attaining the “allotted Span.” He remained to the last so young in spirit that those of us who really belonged to a different generation never regarded him as anything but a contemporary, even if at the back of our minds we realised that he was a Nineteenth-Century Motorist and had flown before most of us were born.
I think that “Vintage” and “Veteran” motoring gave him a new lease of life after the war. His 1904 Mercedes was restored with a care and driven with a verve which almost set a new standard in these matters, and although he was so successful with it that hardly anyone else had a look in, everyone was pleased about it. That is some indication of how we felt towards him. Only Jimmie himself remained so modest about it all that he was almost apologetic over his successes.
It was typical of him that when, at the end of 1949, he came to the conclusion that there were no new fields to conquer with the Mercedes, he decided to dispose of it and to embark on an entirely new project. The result was the really beautiful restoration of the 1914 T.T. Sunbeam. It is a consolation to think that he lived to see it completed, and to drive the car in the Vintage S.C.C.’s Parade at. Silverstone last August ; but it is at the wheel of the old white Mercedes that most of us will best remember him.
It is no mere obituary platitude to say that he was one of the most lovable characters among a little band of people who are not without their endearing characteristics. We shall have fun, some of us, with the old ears yet ; but it will never be quite the same again without Jimmie Abbott. ************************
The new address of P. G. Fowler, Hon. See. of’ the Harrow C.C. and Disabled Drivers M.C., is 19, Durham Road, N. Harrow. * * *
The Bugatti O.C. is prepared to hire Prescott Hill to other clubs. Details from : Major Dixon-Spain, Prescott House, Gotherington, Glos. * * *
The article on light aeroplanes published in MOTOR SPORT last November having aroused more interest than we expected, readers may like to know that present-day inclinations in this quarter are looked after by the Ultra Light Aircraft Association, 24, St. George’s Square, London, S.W.1. * * *
Latest addition to the one-make clubs is an Allard Owners’ Club, which YAMS formed last November. The Secretary is J. H. Appleton, 24/28, Clapham High Road, London, S.W.11.