Letters from Readers, January 1973

Daimler Matters


Having just read D. I. Scotts’ letter headed “Daimler Matters”, I feel that I must comment on his remarks concerning the Daimler engine fitted in the Mk. II Jaguar body. He has obviously had very little experience with the Mk. II body, however powered, and a 2.litre automatic example does not do justice to the body of the rest of the mechanics.

I have owned, among other Jaguars, two Mk. II models, a 1962 3.4 and now a 1965 3.8 (both manual), and have got nothing but praise for these fist reliable cars. So please Mr. Scott, before you dismiss the Jaguar body as unworthy of the Daimler engine, remember that it was designed to house a powerful twin-OHC engine and also cope with the demands such a unit would make on it which it does exceedingly well.

Did Jaguars have a surplus stock of body shells?

Sittingbourne. Graham F. Button

The BOAC 1000


I think this is one opinion expressed to which a footnote NB will not apply. It is the regret at losing, what DSJ described so prophetically in 1967 as “our best race”, the BOAC Sports Car Race. Each year since that first race, the event has lived up to its first headline.

We should thank the BRSCC and BOAC sponsorship for bringing us the World’s greatest drivers and the World’s greatest cars, and hope that Grovewood will swiftly change its mind and restore the race to its place right in the international calendar, not just on it..

Paignton. M. G. Palin

Hispano-Suiza versus Stutz


Further to your account of the Weymann/ Moskovics Match Race at Indianapolis I have looked up my copy of Motor Racing by S. C. H. “Sammy” Davis.

It is interesting to note that the well-known British driver was in America at the time and even took part in the organisation of the race. He has the following to say:

London SW I 7. Peter Esdaile.


I was greatly interested by your accounts of the Hispano-Suiza/Stutz duel, for I have recently encountered yet another version of the controversy in a book called “Racing Stutz” by an American named Mark Howell. Could the author be the fellow who hid be

hind the nom-de-plume “Marion George”, I wonder?

There is no doubt, however, where his sympathy lies. While admitting at the outset that “the Black Hawk was beaten and bloodied to the maximum possible extent” he then goes on to “reveal” that Moskovics was deceived by Weymann. The essence of the story is that the Hispano was not a Standard “Boulogne” but one of three special racing “Boulognes” which were “seven inches shorter than standard models and about eight inches lower”. This meant that the two cars were “competing on very nearly equal terms in height, length and weight . . . the very factors . . . upon which Moskovics justified his sacrifice of three full litres of engine capacity.”

Among the many contentious points that Howell makes is the “final” explanation of the nature of the demise of the unhappy Stutz. Moskovics had underestimated the sheer speed of the Hispano and fitted a 4.75:1 axle which was intended to have the Stutz engine turning at 3,500 to 4,300 r.p.m. at the racing speed’s envisaged. As it turned out the American car had to achieve 4,800 r.p.m. on the straights to keep the long-legged Hispano. in sight, and after 140 miles dropped a valve. This “cracked the cylinder head and in all probability twisted the rod and damaged the crankshaft”. The engine was “patched and sent out to fight again”, but water got into the crankcase and bearing failure finally brought the Stutz to a halt.

The author of the book is obviously a reader of Motor Sport, since your magazine is often quoted. This leads me to suspect that you may already be engaged in heated dialogue with him! (No, nor do I recall permission being obtained to quote from Motor Sport – Ed.]. I recommend his account to you, though not, I add in the interest of maintaining the equilibrium of the Editorial blood pressure. I wonder if you recall my late great-uncle George who raced an ex-GP 3-litre Sunbeam on Southport sands in the 1920’s? [ Yes.—En. ) .

Blackheath. J. S. Bridnley Jackson

A Puzzling Statement


The Suggestion in Total Times that an excess pint of oil can ruin bearings is quite absurd—and I have been in the Motor Trade for 50 years. It can be argued that a gross excess where the crankshaft actually dips into the oil can increase the temperature, but against this I have known mechanics who did deliberately just this to ensure more than ample lubrication of a rather tight engine after overhaul. I think undoubtedly the most serious result of this (gross over-filling) is that oil will probably pass the rear main bearing retainer into the clutch housing, and may find its way on to the clutch plate, resulting in either slip or “judder”.

As regards a horizintally-Opposed engine, even if oil was lost via the breather it would very soon find its own level, when the loss would cease—in other words this condition would be self-correcting, and I repeat that an excess pint of oil has never yet done any harm to a bearing.

Bridlington. A. C. Savile.

[ So perhaps Total Times will have the courtesy to explain.—Ed.]

A 1951 Porsche 356 FHC


With reference to your article “Porsche and Babs”, I thought you would be interested to know that I own the other 1951 divided windscreen Porsche FHC mentioned in this article.

This car is wholly original apart from 15 in. wheels and 1954 bumpers. It was built in the Autumn of 1951 and has a 1500 c.c. two-piece-crankcase engine and crash gearbox which must now be the only 1951 Porsche with the original engine running in England today. The condition of this car can only he described as immaculate for a German sports car of this age.

The car was mentioned in the German Porsche magazine Christophorus when we were touring Europe in the car three years ago. The editor of this magazine being the ex-racing driver, Richard von Frankenberg, he showed great interest in the car,. the type of which he used to race many times.

Angmering-on-Sea. L. P. Mawbey

Insurance Prices


I own a new MG Midget, am 28 years of age, have three years no claims, one speeding conviction and belong to an old-established profession. Perhaps your readers may be terested in the following net quotes I obtained from several insurance companies:

Northern Star, £54; Peray Houses, £24-£60; MRB, £48 Anvil, £48-£.80; Royal Group, £72; AA Guardian Exchange, £102.

I am amazed that there could be £100 difference between the highest and lowest. I have read of criticism of the AA in your columns. I am a member of this august body and was insured with them until they sent me their recent renewal notice. Whether they are tops in service is a matter of opinion, but they are certainly top of the league when it conies to premiums.

Thank you for your excellent magazine and your support of enthusiasts, the butt of both the law and the insurance companies.

Sale. John F. L. Wood