Club News, January 1984

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Citroën Anniversary

It is 50 years since Andre Citroën unveiled the Traction Avant, with so many innovative features, and enthusiasts throughout Europe will be participating in a wide variety of events to mark the occasion. In Britain there will be a Celebration Dinner in Bracknell on April 27th, while Knebworth House near Stevenage will be the scene of the Sixth International Citroën Car Clubs Rally and Anniversary.

More details of these events, which involve four Citroën Clubs, are , available from Allan Sibley, Traction Owners Club, 174C St. Annex Road, Tottenham, London N15 5RP.

750 Motor Club

750 MC have long been the chief campaigners in low-cost motorsport, to this end the Berkshire Centre have organised “Racebuild ’84”, a series of talks aimed at the prospective racing car designer. From now until August, topics will include suspension design, chassis construction, and setting up, and the club have obtained such experts as Adrian Reynard, who spoke in December, Ray Mallock, and Mike Pilbeam. Meetings of the Berkshire Centre are on the second Wednesday of every month at the Hind’s Head, Aldermaston, and details of which dates will be Racebuild talks are available from David Grainger on Reading 478759.

Lotus 47 Register

The club movement appears to have completely shifted emphasis in recent years from a geographical basis to a wealth of one-make organisations. Now that most or perhaps all?) makes have their own clubs. one-model registers are flourishing, even for the rarest of models of which only a handful exist. The Lotus 47 Newsletter does not mention how many of these cars are still around, but if you have one, you will get help and information from Tim and Sheila Hassall, 25 The Paddock, Tarporley, Cheshire.

Exeter Trial

The next MCC Exeter Trial takes place on January 6th / 7th, starting from three points, Cirencester, Reading and Lewdown, at 10 pm on the Friday, finishing at Sidmouth in Devon the following afternoon. Entries, which have closed, are limited to 300 and the usual varied cavalcade of cars and motorcycles will tackle several steep Observed Sections, which will include old favourites like Rocombe, Simms and Fingle Bridge, and some new ones. This classic event is the 56th of its kind and is well worth turning out to watch. — W.B.

Chamonix 24 hour Ice Race

This ice marathon became a popular event in the early 70’s, but has not been held since it was cancelled due to avalanches in 1978. Held on a short circuit at the foot of Mont Blanc, the event drew many thousands of spectators from all over Europe and was televised via the Eurovision network. Now it has been revived at the instigation of Chamonix’s Mayor, and the 1984 24h Sur Glace will take place on the 4/5 February under the direction of M. Franz Hummel of the Chamonix Tourist Office.

Japanese technology for Jaguar Cars

Jaguar have turned to Japanese technology in the continuing quest to raise standards of quality and efficiency. The company signed an agreement last month with Dainichi Kiko and its British agent, Dainichi Sykes Robotics Ltd, to supply Advanced Automated Manufacturing Technology (AAMT) over the next five years, Jaguar’s research having shown that systems engineering and software are the keys to the successful application of robots in production.

Nothing New. . .

In view of last month’s announcement that the name Invicta is to reappear among car manufacturers, it is amusing to find that in August 1937 a similar announcement was made in the motoring press, namely, that a new firm of Invicta Ltd, operating from Alpha Place, Flood Street, Chelsea, was being formed to sell, and later manufacture in this country, a range of cars “based on a well-known Continental make”, of 2½-litre to 4-litre models. One motor journal hoped soon to publish a road-test report, but we believe the idea was still-born.

Then, in view of the present unhappy upheaval over Brooklands, it is interesting that, in April 1936, announcements appeared in the papers saying that “A London syndicate is negotiating for the purchase of the BARC’s ground at Weybridge. This is by no means the first occasion on which offers to purchase the track and the aerodrome have been made. Whether or not the present negotiations will be successful depends, presumably, on the syndicate’s idea of the value of the property it wishes to acquire”. Well, Brooklands was saved from the developers in 1936 and we must hope that what is left of it will be saved again in 1984.

Then, Noble’s LSR having confused some folk, it is amusing to find S. C. H. Davis writing as follows of Eyston’s 312 mph run in November, 1937: “That the record speed was achieved over the kilometre has resulted in the usual confusion. For some reason or other people cannot be made to understand that the world’s LSR is merely a flowery title for whatever record has against it the highest speed a car has ever attained, which can just as well be the kilometre as the mile — it is, as a matter of fact, more likely to be the shorter distance than the longer, unless the car is accelerating all the time.” — W.B.

Record Breaking

Activity in the once-prolific field of record breaking is at a low key these days, but is not entirely moribund. Apart from the long-distance records set recently by Mercedes-Benz and referred to elsewhere, British Class D records were established at the MIRA high-speed track by a team of six drivers using a production-model Ma Romeo GTV6 coupt. Seventeen new records were set up, from 50 miles to 24-hours, at speeds of around 115 .mph, including bettering the 200-mile class record previously held by a Lamborghini Countach at 121.93 mph, which the Alfa Romeo lifted to an average speed of 126.10 mph.

Some if not all of these new figures rank as British National class records, because the International Class D 50-mile record, for instance, stood at 131.47 mph, to the credit of Zehender (Maserati) in 1938, compared to the Alfa’s 1983 speed at 124.9 mph.

W.B.

Saab Turbo milestone

A total of 100,000 Saab Turbos have now been produced in seven years, making the Swedish company the European leaders with this technology. Hitherto regarded ass high performance item, turbocharging was adopted by Saab primarily to improve the power in the mid-range, especially for the American market where the anti-pollution equipment robbed the cars of their sparkle. Every third Saab produced today is turbocharged.

Benz Dates

Let’s get it right. The Science Museum’s Benz which has completed a Brighton Run is dated 1888, only a replica existing of the first Benz of 1885, as Cecil Clutton has pointed out. — W.B.