Rumblings, July 1932





WARNING ! Rumblings this month should be headed G-rumblings—but here goes ! * * *

First the 1,000 Miles Race. Oh! those eternal rules and regulations ! Everyone, the officials not excepted, sympathised with the Earl of March. What luck ! After winning the Double-Twelve last year on a similar car, and handling superbly the 100 m.p.h. Austin in the Empire Trophy Race a few weeks ago, to be prevented by lack of qualification from taking part ! Yes, I know the rules of the race left no alternative, but why not some sub-division to allow individual cases to be judged on their merits ? Because, you say, that would mean yet another rule, and so on, and so on. Eheu ! how long must all our institutions continue to creak and groan under a net-work of regulations ? The entire race, in fact, depressed me. To my (perhaps) jaundiced eye, the crowd in the public enclosure shared my feelings and seemed the most bored and indifferent collection of humans I have ever seen. But they were bright young things in comparison with our artist, Roy A. Nockolds. A disconsolate figure, he drooped pathetically about, waiting hour after hour for just one real, full-blooded ” dog-fight ” with two drivers creating at least the illusion of pukka Continental road-racing. The Mercedes-Tabot duel he depicts,

was quite an interesting interlude but the truth is, of course, that we have no right to look for genuine road racing thrills at Brooklands or expect it to depart so far from its right and proper function as a high speed track.

Refreshing to us all was the triumph of the women drivers. What novelty and interest the race lacked was compensated for by their splendid skill and co-operation. It amused me to watch the expressions on the faces of those in the pits of certain cars. Anxiety, during the last hour, gave place to consternation, which in turn was replaced by incredulity, and finally, admiration for a very plucky effort. We realised that man-made institutions, however hedged about with man-made red-tape, are no longer feared by the opposite sex. Perhaps it’s a ease of contempt . . . . The result of the race was not altogether such a surprise to me. Women drivers have put up some pretty good shows in the past and it was to be expected that a race on the International Calendar would one day fall to their credit. I recollect Mrs. Stewart’s world records on the Miller at 137 m.p.h.—to say nothing of her runs on the Morgan. Then there was Mrs. Scott’s lap at Brooklands on the 2-litre Sunbeam at over 120 m.p.h., and Mrs. Bruce’s magnificent 24 hours run at 89 m.p.h. on the ft-litre Bentley, while Mrs. Wisdom brought up her Fraser Nash at Shelsey last year as fast as most men. On the Continent, Mme. Itier has performed consistently well at Le Mans and elsewhere, and everyone remembers Mme. Junek’s wonderful show a few years ago in the Targa


One result of the Italian Grand Prix may be a modification of last year’s vogue of the large racing car. I was deeply impressed by the controllability of the new 2.65 litre single-seater Alfa-Rotneos, and it was obvious that even that tough pair, Chiron and Varzi, were distinctly fatigued in handling the heavy 4.9 I3ugattis. Alfa Romeo has given up the 12 cylinder model, and I have heard that Ettore Bugatti may mount his best drivers on 2.3 cars at Rheims on July 2nd. One must not forget, however, in this connection, that the 5 litre 16 cylinder Maserati, in the hands of Fagioli, was just as controllable on the corners as the smaller cars. This is proved by his wonderful lap record in the closing stages of the Monza race.


I had a chat with Mr. Cummins, the American Dieselcar exponent, when he was down at Brooklands preparing for his exhibition runs on the car of his own design. I asked Mr. Cummins his opinion of our track in comparison with Indianapolis, which is situated near his home. Let me use his own words : “Most tracks are difficult at first, but once you’ve found your groove,’ you’re alright. At Indianapolis you have to practice a long time before you find it, and I expect the same thing applies here.”

I like the word “groove.”

What is a Gavel ?

How often is one startled out of one’s wits at a Club dinner by the ” Bang ” of the chairman’s mallet on the table, when he wants to announce a speaker ! Normally, I believe, this noisy implement is made of wood, but the J.C.C. have recently introduced an original note in gavels, as they are correctly called. ,c4ev$ OA let4 WAS AOAD Z 1.0111 JUSI1C31 iAtt CLVS, 7)301.180N ZTAyL 04,3 01‘ Egom PAR TS TAKEN rnom PARS tie 5 isnktril RAOLD 24 “‘Mr ZsrIZ CitPik RA V 1.$4 OM A 5

As you will see from the picture, their new gavel consists of a chromium-plated piston and con-rod, and a larger piston mounted on a piece of ebony. On the under-side (of the gavel is engraved the following inscription : ” This gavel was made for the Junior Car Club by Thomson & Taylor, Ltd., from parts taken from cars designed and raced by the late J. C. Parry Thomas. May, 1932.”

Car Racing in the I.O.M. ?

The motorcycle races in the Isle of Man this year were received with the usual enthusiasm, though the financial depression brought with it the usual tale of small entries. No one can cross to the Island without thinking about the possibilities of a car race over there, and though it seems pretty well settled now that the Mountain course is too narrow to allow large cars to race on it, sundry enthusiasts have had the very sound idea of a race round Douglas on the lines of the Monaco Grand Prix.

Various alternative routes have been suggested but the plan is roughly that the cars should start at the Castle Mona Hotel half way along the promenade, turn right about half a mile along at Villa Marina, up into the town, right again in another quarter of a mile, then straight ahead out of the town to Governor’s Bridge. The course would then go along to Onchan village, and down quite a steep slope with a hairpin at the bottom on to the end of the Promenade, when a mile run brings it back to the Start. The course is about 3.8 miles in length.

Douglas, for the benefit of those who have never seen the T.T. races, is built on the shore of a bay three miles across, with hills rising steeply behind the town, so that the course would provide a climb of about 300 feet, the usual sharp corners which abound in an old town, and a fine mile run along the Promenade within a few yards of the many hotels which border it. If as much enthusiasm and as large a prize list can be raised as when it was hoped to hold the R.A.C. T.T. races there, support from the Continent and at home will surely be found. I hope to report further progress in our next issue.