News from Italy

The first of the 1963 Formula One cars was revealed to the motoring Press just before Christmas. This car is the A.T.S. which was formerly to be known as the Serenissima. The change of name is due to the withdrawal of one of the company directors, Count Volpi, who has taken the name Serenissima with him. The remaining directors Dr. Giorgio Billi and Jaime Ortiz-Patino have renamed the company Automobili Turismo and Sport. A large factory is being constructed on the outskirts of Bologna in which road-going cars will be built alongside the competition cars. A Grand Touring car will be ready in time for the Geneva Show in March and the first race of the Formula One car will be at the Syracuse Grand Prix on April 21st.

The car is an example of current space frame design and Chiti has obviously had the Ferrari in mind when designing the car. The tubular steel frame is quite large by present standards, the cockpit being 20 in. across, although the scuttle is only 21 in. from the ground. The seating position is rather upright, necessitating a rather large sloping windscreen. The front suspension is of double wishbone type, the front arm of the top unit being of the cantilever type which operates the coil spring/damper unit within the chassis. The rear suspension is also of double wishbone type with single outboard mounting at the top and single inboard mounting for the lower wishbone in conjunction with single lower radius arms. Dunlop disc brakes are fitted all round, the rear brakes being mounted inboard and the front brakes outboard. Rack and pinion steering is-fitted ahead of the front suspension.

The engine is an all aluminium 90° V8 with four overhead camshafts with two valves per cylinder operated by three helical valve springs. Two plugs per cylinder are fitted and at present ignition is by twin Marelli distributors driven from the rear of the camshafts. By the time the racing season commences it is expected that Lucas transistor ignition will be fitted in conjunction with Lucas fuel injection in place of the four Weber 40 IDM carburetters. With bore and stroke of 66 x 54.6 mm. the capacity is 1,494.38 c.c. and on a to 10:1 compression ratio the engine gives 190 b.h.p.at 10,500 r.p.m. The engine is mated to a type 34 Colotti 6-speed gearbox and drives through Hardy Spicer splined drive shafts. The engine weighs 220 lb. and the car complete with fuel and oil weighs 460 kg.

Designer of the car is Carlo Chiti and Romolo Tavoni will be Team Manager.

 

MONOPOSTO REGISTER

This small but enthusiastic band of Club racers had a successful series of rates during the 1962 season, often running in conjunction with Formula Junior events. The Register's Championship Trophy has been won by John Moore with his very advanced Warwick II powered by a 100E Ford engine, while the award for the most consistent, reliable and best-turned-out car to the Monoposto Formula has been won by Tony Bodley.

The 1962 season was the first to be tried with an engine limitation of Ford 1172 side-valve, and has proved to be most successful and well supported, there being as many as sixteen entries for one of the rates at the end of the season. In consequence the Committee decided there should be no changes made to the rules for 1963, so amateur builders of single-seaters with 1,172-c.c. Ford engines in the front or the back can press on and join in the racing in 1963. Briefly the rules demand that ears shall be "home-designed," have exposed-wheel single-seater bodies, and use the 1,172-c.c. Ford side-valve engine. The Register will hold its A.G.M. on January 30th at the Mason's Arms, Maddox Street, London. All are welcome and fuller details can be obtained from the Secretary : F. J. Tiedeman, 185, Swakeleys Road, Ickenham, Uxbridge. Middlesex.

 

TR4 ROAD TEST—continued from page 8

partial mudguards. On the test car they were 5.90 x 15 Dunlop Road Speed RS5s. This generous tyre size should spell long life and the whole conception of this Triumph is one of ruggedness suggesting long service. The wet-liner engine is known to be durable and in overdrive top 88 m.p.h. is available at a modest 4,000 r.p.m.

Naturally, it is performance that is the main purpose of the car, and with a 2.1-litre engine giving 105 gross b.h.p. and weighing under a ton it is exceptionally good. Going to the full 5,000 r.p.m., 45 m.p.h. in 2nd, 55 m.p.h. in o/d. 2nd, 68 m.p.h. in 3rd, 83 m.p.h. in o/d. 3rd, 90 m.p.h. in top and 111 m.p.h. are obtained, and that the TR4 is undergeared even in o/d. top is evident by an absolute level-road maximum of 111 m.p.h. Speeds of over 100 m.p.h. are frequently obtained in normal main-road motoring.

As for acceleration, weather conditions were poor, snow having fallen in the night (a penalty one pays when P.R.O.s keep you waiting until winter for a sports car!) but we recorded an average time of 18.2 sec. for the two-way s.s. quarter-mile (best time = 17.8 sec.), and further two-way runs, two up, gave 0-50 m.p.h. in 8.0 sec. (best time identical), 0-60 m.p.h. in 12.5 sec. (best time = 12.2 sec.) and 0-70 m.p.h. in 16.6 sec. (best time = 16.4 sec.). Conditions did not permit timing to higher speeds, but 0-80 m.p.h. should be possible in approx. 20.6 sec., 0-90 m.p.h. in 27.6 sec. and 0-100 m.p.h. in 40 sec. Fine figures!

Performance apart, the car is docile and has major and minor controls sensibly placed. The control knobs bear a multiplicity of International symbols. The headlamps are very effective; their main beam warning light does not dazzle. Full marks must be awarded to the heater, which demists even the back window of the hard-top if the admittedly noisy fan is switched on.

The boot is lockable but its lid requires propping up with a prop that was difficult to unclip for this purpose. Luggage space of 5.5 cu. ft. is available above the spare wheel. The forward-hinged bonnet gives good engine accessibility, the dip-stick splendidly available; it is self-propping after an ingenious sliding strut has been pressed into a slot.

Opinions naturally differ about the Italian-styled appearance of the TR4 but to me it is well-proportioned and ruggedly handsome. The hard-top is ingenious, as it comes apart at the back window when four hexagonal nuts are tmscrewed, providing a semi-open car. The joint was l00% watertight and this seems a worthwhile refinement, but it needed a summer-day for a proper appraisal.

I waited all too long before road-testing the Triumph TR4 but having done so it leaves the impression of being an essentially honest British sports tar of very considerable performance and a promise of longevity. It is good that such cars, for purely fun purposes, continue to be made and, of course, both TR3 and TR4 are best-sellers in America. Let's hope that insurance companies and busybody informers do not kill them off.

I collected the car from Standard-Triumph's fine new premises at Western Avenue, Conveniently situated on the Western outskirts of the Metropolis, another indication that the Leyland Group means business with its private cars.—W. B.