THE WORLD’S FASTEST TOURING CAR
Sir, I have been watching the “World’s Fastest Touring Car” correspondence
which has appeared in your columns with some interest and feel it only fair to ourselves to give authentic figures for the Alta.
I must confess that I have never really bothered about the maximum speed of the 2-litre supercharged Alta touring car, being more interested in how quickly a useful high speed could be obtained.
On the face of things of course it seems rather absurd to worry much about the Mercedes figures as I feel sure its makers intended it as a high speed luxury vehicle.
You mention that using the gears to the full 100 m.p.h. is obtained in 41.5 seconds and this is the figure I think in which most of us are interested.
May I quote a few figures, unfortunately not very complete, obtained by a private owner on a 2-litre supercharged Alta, the property of Mr. A. H. Beadle who has. no connection with my firm.
Running in the Brighton Speed Trials which is a true criterion of any car’s performance, as the half-mile there is. about 2 seconds slower than the mean half-mile at Brookla.nds, this car averaged 69.77 m.p.h. for the standing half-mile. The Alta ran without front wings, but was an absolutely standard model fully equipped with a 6.3 to 1 compression ratio and only 9 lb. supercharge.
Now with regard to maximum speed,. the speed given me by the owner when crossing the line was 124 m.p.h. by rev. counter. It is safe to assume, therefore,. that the maximum is higher than this, and I have frequently tried one of these cars at the Track at 120 m.p.h. and over,. and should put the actual maximum at close on 130 m.p.h. Actually, of course,. the engine of these models is exactly the same as the racing engine except the compression ratio is lower and a smaller carburetter is fitted.
A few comparative figures are perhaps interesting :— The Mercedes-Benz develops 180 b.h.p. and weighs 2+ tons. The Alta develops 158 b.h.p. and weighs 15+ cwt. The wind resistance of the Alta is of course much less than on the Mere.; the results obtained therefore are a fair measure of the results expected when the figures are compared. It would be interesting to hear the Merc’s average over a standing half-mile. I am, Yours etc.,
G. TAYLOR. Kingston By-Pass,