Letters, July 1940

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24

A GOOD SUGGESTION

Sir,

May I take this opportunity of congratulating you on continuing with the publication of MOTOR SPORT: it is the one bright spot every month.

I am the proud possessor of a 1927 3-litre Sunbeam which during 1939 I completely overhauled, including a re-bore with the aid of an ex-racing mechanic, to whom most of the credit is due. Unfortunately, owing to the war I have very reluctantly been -forced to lay it up before it had completely freed.

In spite of not being free and the use of that peculiar liquid known as Pool petrol, it was motoring to the tune of 85 on the speedometer and rev. counter.

At the moment I am running one of the latest Renault “Eights” which I find rather an exciting little car from the performance side.

In these times of evacuation, etc., it is practically impossible to meet anyone and to spend an evening talking about the Sport. I wonder if it would be possible for you to prepare a roster of places where one could meet fellow enthusiasts, one place, say, in every large town (cafés or public-houses, etc.), the only means of introduction being a copy of MOTOR SPORT prominently displayed? I’m sure such a scheme would be welcomed by those enthusiasts in the forces, or evacuated, etc.

I am, Yours etc.

J. OWEN WILLIAMS

Bath.

*    *    *    *    * 

Sir,

We think that you have done a marvellous job of work in keeping MOTOR SPORT going. What we find most interesting in your wartime issues are the articles by various drivers about their own experiences—surely we could have more of these in peace-time? They give the inside human story of the troubles and joys of the enthusiast, which seldom come to light in glib Press accounts.They also provide an amazing amount of information. Who would have realised, for instance, the diversity of cars that K. Hutchison has owned, or that Martin Soames was an expert on the subject of racing Morgans. We are glad to see that Soames (like most of the driver-contributors) is as clever with the pen as with the steering wheel. Incidentally, how he obtained amazing results from his trials Ford V8 should make interesting reading. We are sure that there must be many other drivers who would contribute their experiences—so let’s have more of them.

Here’s good luck to you.

We are, Yours etc.,

R. A. S. WALLETT,

ALEC S. WALROND.

Cookham,

Berkshire.

*    *    *    *    * 

Sir,

I found an amazing looking vehicle, engaged in menial toil, “toiling for victory,” on a windswept island not far from the Arctic circle. It was none other than a T.C. “12/50” Alvis, circa 1927. The chassis had been shortened considerably, the original prop. shaft discarded, and the rear axle replaced with that of a 1928 Morris Cowley, complete with brakes, bolted direct on to the chassis. The Morris universal was bolted on to the fibre coupling behind the Alvis gearbox, thus retaining the original transmission as far as the gearbox.

On to the Morris half-shafts were fitted stout pinions engaging a large tooth wheel, which in turn was bolted on to the tractor road wheels; this unique layout gave the traction, the top gear ratio being about 30 to 1. The whole weight is about 15 cwt., and although a considerable amount of paraffin was used along with the cesspool fuel, this amazing tractor does the work of two heavy horses and never tires. The old engine starts first pull from cold, and emits a stirring exhaust note from its short and open pipe. It is of interest to note that the oil pressure still reads 30 lbs. per square inch.

The front axle remains untouched even to the double “Hartford shockers”; all the brakes work and are cable operated.

Well, here’s to a quick return to normal times. No one will look forward more than I to the day when I can sally forth in my T. type M.G. to Shelsley, Prescott or Donington, my remaining comforts being fond memories as well as the monthly copy of MOTOR SPORT, which finds me in spite of Adolf.

I am, Yours etc.,

“A GUNNER.”

On Active Service.

*    *    *    *    * 

Sir,

Though I have no reason to doubt it, I had been unaware hitherto that an “Alfonso” Hispano I owned three/four years ago had previously been the property of Mr. W. G. S. Wike (vide that gentleman’s article “Cars I Have Owned ” in June MOTOR SPORT).

I, too, “noticed something wrong” with one of the rear hubs of this car, when a wheel came right off as I was returning to the paddock after competing at Littlestone Speed Trials. Sam Clutton, who had very kindly offered to drive the car to and from the meeting for me (I being also a competitor on my “4½”) would also have received similar enlightenment, for on the return run to London, what I at first took to be a real accident, proved to be the Hispano, again minus a wheel. Clutton had, however, been duly forewarned. In the circumstances I am doubtful whether Mr. Wike’s hint (“and/or tip”) was really worth passing on, though there is, of course, the possibility that Mr. Wike, instead of replacing the old razor blades in the worn hub, may have elected to shave with them, that being, I believe, a recently discovered use for old razor blades North of the Tweed!

In any case, Mr. Wike must not describe this Hispano as the one I now own, for very soon after the above related contretemps Mr. Wike’s Hispano (i.e., the chassis) ceased to enjoy corporate existence.

I am, Yours etc.,

F. LYCETT

London, SW.5.

*    *    *    *    * 

Sir,

May I include my motor in your census, a 1933 M.G. J.2 Midget, not a very exclusive wagon admittedly, but able to cruise all day at 55-60, and 70 with a bit of elbow room. Astonishingly reliable and unlike many cars of more expensive marques, you can belt her for weeks, and she’ll still go just as well as when you started.

I am, Yours etc.,

A. G. S. ANDERSON

Nottingham..

*    *    *    *    * 

Sir,

As I now have a good position here in Los Angeles, I must greatly restrict my racing activities. At present, I am working on the organizational plans for a purely amateur auto-racing group. The motor size would be limited to 100 c.c. for o.h.v. and o.h.c. and 150 c.c. for side-valves. This small size would provide safety and low cost. At some later date, 250 c.c. and 500 c.c. classes could be added. The actual racing would be a combination of .American and English types. I will write you more of this plan at a later date.

To perfect the above idea, I will need the technical help and experienced advice of those familiar with British racing. I feel that MOTOR SPORT is best qualified for this position.

I am personally acquainted with the majority of the West Coast drivers and car owners. Many of the Eastern drivers are personal friends, and I know such design personages as Fred Offenhauser, Riley Butt, and many others.

Would you run a little notice in your correspondence column to the effect that I would like to correspond with British race drivers and car owners throughout the world? Will exchange information, photographs, catalogues, and publications on racing and motor cars.

It is even possible that I will be in the market for a British racing motor, or even a complete car. I have not yet made up my mind, but I would say something in the 500 c.c. to 1,500 C.c. class.

I am, Yours etc.,

OLIVER F. BILLINGSLEY.

Post Office Box 1003,

Hollywood,

California, U.S.A.

[Please write direct.—Ed.]

 

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