Road Impressions - Fiat 131 Supermirafiori DOHC—but not much bite
Don't be deluded by Fiat's current caged car advertisement for the Supermiraflori into thinking that this…
THE J.C.C. MONOPOLISES BROOKLANDS A VERY SUCCESSFUL MEMBERS’ DAY ON JULY 3rd
The J.C.C. Members’ Day at Brooklands, with its two ” One Hour” HighSpeed Trials to a stiff series of schedules over the “International Trophy” circuit, its one and two lap outer-circuit races, its driving-skill contest and its Test Hill Sweepstake, is a very excellent institution indeed. Amateur sportsmen gain a chance to indulge in some serious high-speed driving and everyone has an excellent opportunity of comparing different cars’ capabilities one with another. The only ” circus ” affair is the driving test and this year the series of reverses at least constituted a test of easy gearmanipulation, clutch take-up and initial acceleration and, if it disappointed those who are expert at throwing a motor-car round barrels and barriers, there was much to commend the course used.
On the Friday before the “great day” competitors went down to scrutineering. J. 0. C. Samuel was busy working on his Frazer-Nash Six, still functioning unblown, which broke an oil-pipe, and F. N. Crane tacked a Marshall supercharger onto his M.G. Magnette in. a very short space of time. R. D. Tong’s Ford V8 had a mysterious metallic plumbing running from beneath the floorboards to underneath the seat, a Columbia twospeed rear axle and a big MarendazSpecial rev-counter reading up to 5,500 r.p.m. J. M. Archer (Riley) had come all the way from Edinburgh and at once set about curing some tappet trouble, while Watson cheerily explained that his 12/60 Alvis showed no inclination to put on speed, no matter how much it was stripped. Plowman’s 30/98 Vauxhall had a cutdown two-seater body reminiscent of a 14/40 of the same marque, wire-mesh
bonnet-sides, twin two-branch exhaust manifolds, an oil radiator between the dumb-irons and a very metallic exhaust note. A. P. 0. Rogers’s Montlhery M.G. Midget “Mucky Pup” was passed by McConnell only on the understanding that it returned with shining morning face, and Ballamy brought two Ford V8 saloons down very late, stuck on fantails and got both passed, nominating Chaplin to drive R. B. Lakin’s entry. The Lancia Aprilia saloon did an outercircuit lap at around 85 m.p.h. In the afternoon an M.G. broke a stub-axle just beyond the Fork, while lapping the outside, the car coming to rest against the safety-sleepers and the driver being injured about the face. Quite one of the most interesting cars present was D. N. Leon’s blown Type 55 Frazer-Nash B.M.W. A huge Centric supercharger is mounted on the off side by the dash and left for the first trial, in the L.M.B. Ford V8 saloon. Alas, that car had been through hard usage before the event and had had no proper preparation and it soon began to boil, slinging scalding water back at the screen. The overdrive top of the Columbia axle was brought into play to ease matters, some excitement
driven via a jointed shaft by triple belts from the crankshaft. The big Solex carburetter is attached to the inside face of the blower and delivery is from the opposite face via a three-branch manifold with blow-off valve. Behind the radiator
grille there is a neat oil-radiator. The car has disc Wheels and ran with wings in place and screen removed. E. Gillett’s M G. Midget sported an outside exhaust system and very neat wing attachments. The all-white 100 m.p.h. Frazer-NashB.M.W. was naturally a centre of interest and another of these cars was entered
by Viscount Curzon. Quite as immaculate were Hampton’s entries of the Type 55 Bugatti and Targa Mercedes. Poor Marston’s Type 43 Bugatti was seen going away on the end of a tow-rope and did not reappear. As we remarked when reporting this event last year, it is much more fun to drive or passenger during the High-Speed Trials than to spectate, instructive as these events are to onlookers. Consequently we sat on George Chaplin’s ensuing when the speedometer momentarily indicated 300 m.p.h., as the high ratio was pre-selected but not engaged. Actually the maximum was about 80 m.p.h. on either gear, and we came out of the Members’ turn at 40 to 45 m.p.h. The Special award schedule was not being maintained, but we had hopes of a
” standard.” Alas, after nine laps the engine knocked appallingly and the oilgauge sank, so a stop was enforced to insert our 2 gallons of water. After that the engine would not restart in its overheated state and we reluctantly abandoned the car by the Aerodrome road. We had had glimpses of James .Allason (Bentley) and Eason-Gibson (Lancia Aprilia saloon) going extremely well, the Lancia doing sixty at the Members’ turn, but Anderson’s Lagonda Rapier was also abandoned just by the Fork, and Viscount Curzon had stopped for a time by the Paddock, though the Frazer-Nash-B.M.W. subsequently got going again. In the second Trial we rode with John Eason-Gibson in his little Fiat “500.” This was a most interesting experience. The little car could get up to 68 m.p.h. on the Railway Straight, but a vibration period, coupled with vivid experiences contributed beforehand by Charlie Martin of departing gearboxes at this speed, kept us down fo around 00 m.p.h. The Members’ turn was taken at 50 m.p.h. given a clear track, though frequently we had to keep well in to the side, when the Fiat’s stability was fully appreciated. On the other bends, we were frequently obliged to ease up for preceding competitors, and only once did an unpleasant slide develop, when an M.G. came up outside at the last corner, causing Gibson to cut closer in than he wished in consequence. After the twenty laps the
oil-pressure was slightly higher than when we started, the engine re-commenced on the starter, and that evening this rather exceptional baby took four persons home fast and safely. We were repeatedly 5 or 6 secs. faster than the standard award 850 c.c. lap-schedule and were seldom less than 3 sees. faster than the necessary lap time. The heat inside was certainly appalling and both occupants were soon in a state of partial undress. We understand that no additions were made to the car, barring tapes over the direction indicator apparatus. The compression ratio was raised, but not to a point where the engine protested at pump fuels, and the ports were enlarged, but otherwise the s.v. unit was virtually standard. Particulars are available from the Beechhohne Motor Co. Chaplin was observed to be going well, in full kit, to qualify with his orange Austin, but Rogers’s ” Mucky Pup” M.G. was being desperately pushed at the Pork, the Squire four-seater seemed erratic, and towards the end (or, rather, the end for faster Cars, for the Fiat circled alone for many laps). we saw Miss Wilby’s Frazer-Nash abandoned in the
Railway Straight. Hanson’s L.M.B. Ford V8, which had been going -very fast, stopped, too, at this point. Norton was going well on the British-Salmson, though not as fast as expected, Couper’s Talbot was very rapid, indeed, several Frazer-Nash drivers were furiously grasscutting round the Byfleet and, over and above all, H. J. Aldington came by lap after lap at racing speed, rock steady, in the white Frazer-Nash-B.M.W. Type 328 sports job. The figures at the close of this report convey more of what happened in these two trials than whole pages of text.
The long summer afternoon was devoted to a series of one and two lap handicap races, full results of which are appended. In the first, a one-lap, Wilson-Hawkins ” blipped ” his M.G. on the line, Goldman’s S.S. saloon just beat the M.G. and the Lancia Aprilia on getaway, and Miss Morel started well in her M.G. with crankshaft-driven blower. But it was a vintage victory for_Allason’s Windrum and Garstin Bentley, with Plowman’s 30/98 Vauxhall second and Burt’s Triumph third. Grimmond’s big Hudson won the next one-lap chased home by Zethrin’s smoking Squire. There was one wonderful one-lap race when everyone came over the Fork in a glorious bunch, Dorndorf on Miss Patten’s British-Salmson Six winning at 74.11 m.p.h. from L. M. Ballamy in Lakin’s L.M.B. Ford Saloon, and H. J. Aldington’s Frazer-Nash-B.M.W. having a job to find room to nose into third
place. There was similar bunching in the next race, won by Latimer’s Ford Vs saloon at 70.54 m.p.h. from Peacock’s Riley saloon and Maynard’s A.C. Aidington ran out of fuel in one two-lap race, to the consternation of his family. In the new driving test, consisting of a series of reverses through openings in .a line of barriers, Mrs. Wilcocks (M.G.) was slow and sure, I. D. Struthers (Ford) revved furiously, crunched his gears and went forwards instead of backwards into one bay, while I. G. Williams (Ford) mixed up his gears. J. B. Thompson’s blown Ford Ten had plenty of revs, and burst open its near-side door, and C. Anthony went farther from the barriers than the others, the Aston-Martin experiencing considerable wheel-spin. B. A. Blackford (Ford) drove hectically, and Miss K. Taylor can be proud of a clean run on her blown M.G. I. A. Bullivant (Morgan 4/4) took things easily and Guy Warburton’s Hudson had curious wheel patter. C. A. Hanson (L.M.B.) drove carefully, D. G. Parker (M.G.) was outstanding, and C. C. D. Miller was slow, hampered by the length of his Riley. F. H. Snell (S.S.) started with a jerk on a fairly good exhibition, and EasonGibson was masterful with the Aprilia Lancia, which slung off a hub-cover plate early on. Ballamy’s Jensen-bodied Ford Ten L.M.B. was boiling and the engine seethed to lack pulling power, but the driving was good. Handling a very difficult car James Mason put his 41-litre Bentley through in a series of masterful slides on locking wheels, glancing back quite Casually at each opening to gauge his reverses, a run which drew the first claps from the on lookers. Maynard (A.C.) had excessive wheel-spin and C. P. Melly (Morgan. 4/4), employing ” blipping” tactics, needed two reverses at one opening. H. G. ‘Symmons, driving Leon’s blown FrazerNash-B.M.W., seemed to find difficulty in engaging the ratios and he almost touched a barrier near the finish, Leon watching apprehensively. H. F. Burt (Triumph) was clapped after a very fine run, but L. M. Ballamy caught a barrier with the front wing of his L.M.B. Ford V8 and then reversed into some more barriers. A. C. Westwood simply roared through, the Balilla Fiat’s engine revving merrily, and the rear wheels spinning perhaps a shade too much. Then W. C. N. Norton started well in the British-Salmson Six but got wrongly placed for his second reverse, and brake something vital in the transmission on restarting. The greatest barrier-destruction was that of Watkinson, B.M.C.R.C. Secretary, driving his M.G. as a non-competitor In the meantime the Test Hill was being vanquished by all manner of sportscars, the record leap from the summit probably going to the very rapid Frazer
Nash-B.M.W. of H. G. Sy IIIII1OnS. So ended a very excellent day’s motoring sport. The results that follow are very instructive in a number of ways, but just to instance the lighthearted atmosphere of J.C.C. Members’ Day we may mention that Strang’s Hudson, which was No. 107, left the track as No, 07 and with broad arrows around those figures !
Ian Macdonald Award (best perforinance in High Speed Trials) : U. Aldingt on (Frazer-Nash-B.M.W.)
Best Performance, First Trial : A. F. P. Fatte ( Frazer-Nast!). Best Performance, Second Trial : . Taylor (Alt :1. .) Special Awards : E. (.1 t, E Ilaeseielonek,
rs..1. Jat•kson, .1. E. Nitt)iall. L. Fry, H. NI. Andrews, M. W. Sheppard, P. A. Rich:n-11s,
i). Veld hothead, C. E. l’aylor (111.G.,:), H. 1..
Anderson, A. ltycroft (1,agoadas), s1i i• M. Goss, ‘1’. H. Howler (Triumphs). J, ihson (Lancia, Aprilia), C. W. P. Ilampton OlercedesBenz and Bugatti), E. K. Farley (II.R.G.), A. F. P. Fane, J. 0. C. Samuel, W. L. Jackson, N. V. Terry, R. T. Gardner (Frazer-Nashes), G. H. (ioodson, M. H. Morris-Goodall, A. P. Watson (Aston-Martins), C. C. 1). Miller, j. M. Archer, H. J. Ripley (Rileys), W. W. S. Bennett, 0. Taylor (Altas)i M. W. 13. May (Alvis), T. H. Plowman, C. Windsor-Richards (Vauxhalls), j. H. Mason, ,R. .1. Chase. (Bentleys), P. Fotheringlaun-Parker (Ford V8), E. S. Russell Roberts (Hudson), U. II. R. Chaplin (Austin, s.c.),
K. A..1. Smart, W. A. V. Davis (Singers), L. M. Maynard (.4..C.), H. J. Aldington, D. Leon (Frazer-NashB.M.W.), IV. C. N. ‘Norton (British-Salmson), W. M. Caliper (Talbot).
Standard Awards : P. II. Henson, Miss K. Taylor (M.G.$), L. K. Holdaway (Austin), W. j. Watson (Alvis), L. M. Ballamy (L.M.B.-Ford V8), J. EasonGibson (Fiat 500), V. Zethrin (Squire), C. W. D. Chinery (Riley).
First One-lap Handicap—Section A : 1, J. H. Allason (4,396 c.c. Bentley), 9s., 82.73 m.p.h. • 2, 1′. H. Plowman (4,234 c.c. Vauxhall), 12s. ; 3, Et. F. Burt. (1,232 c.c. Triumph), 40s.
Section B : 1, A. (1. Grimmond (Hudson saloon), 35s., 71.05 m.p.h. ; 2, ‘V. Zethrin (Squire 1,496 c.c.s.), 20s.; 3, N. V. Terry (1,496 c.c. Frazer-Nash), 20s.
Section : 1, 6. Warburton (Hudson coupe), 17s., 73.89 m.p.h. ; 2, E. Gillett (847 e.e. M.G.), 49s.; 3, L. M. Maynard (1,991 c.c. A.C.), 14s.
First Two-lap Handicap—Section A: 1, H. F. Burt (.1,232 c.c. Triumph), lin. 22s., 65.52 m.p.h.; 2, P. Fotheringhtun-Parker (Ford V8), 30s.; 3, T. H. Plowman (4,234 c.c. Vauxhall), Sc.
SectionB : 1, R. M. Strang (4,168 c.c. Hudson), 17s., .?48.62 m.p.h.; 2, W. C. N. Norton (2,540 c.c. 13ritish-Salmson), 43s.; 3, A. G. Grimmond (Hudson saloon), 488.
Section C : 1, C. P. Melly (1,122 c.c.. Morgan), 55s., 69,12 m.p.h. ; 2, F. H. St ileman (847 c.c. M.G.), 1111. 2s. ; 3, E. Gillett (847 v.4.. M.G.) lin. 16s.
Second One-lap Handicap’ -Section A: 1, A. Goldman (2,663 c.c. 88 saloon), 29s., 70.95 m.p.h. ; 2, C. C. 1). Miller (16 c.c. Riley), 23s.; 3, T. H. V Plowman (4.234 c.c, Vauxhall), Sc.
Section B :1, R. E. Dorndorf (2,596 c.c. BritishSalmson), 24s. 74.11 m.p.h.. 2, R. M. Ballamy (L.M.B. Ford V8), 27s. ; 3, 11.1. Aldington (1.,971 c.c. Frazer-NashI tM . W.), ser.
Section C : 1. It Latimer (Ford V8 saloon), 21s. 70.54 m.p.h..’ 2, It. F. Peacock (1,496 c.c. Riley saloon), 21s.; 3, L. M. Maynard (1,091 c.c. A.C.), 13s. Second Two-lap Handicap—Section A : 1, T. II. Plowman (4,234 c.c. Vauxhall), 7s., 87.68 m.p.h.;
2, A. F. P. Pane (1,498 c.c. Frazer-Nash), 7s. ; 3, E. Russell Roberts (4,169 c.c. Hudson), 28.s.
Section B : I, N. V. Terry (1,496 c.c. Frazer-Nas)I), 36s., 80.39 m.p.h.; 2, IL G. Symmons (1,911 e.e. Frazer-Nash-13.M.W.s.c.), 14s.; 3, R. D. Tong (939 c.c. M.G. s.c.), 405.
Section C : 1, C. E. A. Terry (939 c.c. M.G. coupe s.c.), 30s., 76,62,• 2, T. II. Dowler (1,767 c.c. Triumph), 44s. ; 3, W. B. G. Leith (1,287 c.c. M.G.), us.
One-lap Handicap Final-1, V. Zethrin (Squire s.c.), 18s., 87.53 m.p.h. ; 2, H. J. Aldington (1,971 c.c. Frazer-Nash-B.M.W.), scr. ; 3, C. C. D. Miller (1,496 c.c, Riley), 27s. Two-lap Handicap Final : 1, H. G. Symmons (1,911 c.c. Fraser-Nash-B.M.W. s.c.), scr.’ 90.56 m.p.h. ; 2, R. M. Strang (4,168 c.c. Hudson), scr. ;
3, A. F. P. Fano (1,498 c.c. Fraser-Nash), 3s.
Test Hill Sweepstake—Touring : 1, Y. Fotheringham-Parker (Ford V8), lots. ; R. Latimer (Ford V8 saloon), llfs., J. Eason-Gibson (Lancia Aprilla saloon), 120. Sports : 1, E. K. Farley (H.R.G.) and j. H. Allason (4,396 c.c. Bentley) both 100,
Super-Sports : I. A. F. P. Fane (.1,971 c.c. FrazerNash-B.M.W.), 90.1 2, R. M. Strang (4,165 c.c. Hudson), 90. Crystal Palace Meeting—July 17th A big road-race meeting will be held at the Crystal Palace circuit on July 17th. Entries include two works E.R.A.s, Ian Council’s E.R.A., ” Bira’s “
Arthur Dobson’s E.R.A., Wakefield’s Maserati, Eccles’s Rapier-Special, Bartlett’s Alta, Sinclair’s Alta, Hanson’s Mastrati and an Austin.. The Donington 12-Hour Race
Apart from the twenty-two entries for the Donington 12Hour Sports-Car Race of J uly 24th mentioned in ” Rumblings,” it seems likely that one or more H.R.G.s will run and that Reggie Tongue will partner Baron Darndorf on a BritishSalmson Six.
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