MILITARISING THE SPORT
NE of the most striking aspects of the war from our point of view has been the number of Army training motor-cycle trials, supervised by civilian instructors (well known as expert tri tis competitors), organised officially, and the sanction of the War Office for their testing grounds to be used for trials, open to both civilian and military riders. The participation of Army motor-cyclists in competition events is no new thing. We confess that when Army riders appeared in such classics as the Motor Cycling Club’s ” Exeter ” Trial in times of peace we felt mildly disturbed. Possibly this distaste arose because of the Britisher’s usual dislike of any change in established things. Perhaps we felt that the underlying idea of the event as test of manufactured products, one against another, was somewhat altered by the entry of military teams with a view to mass training of personnel. Maybe we felt for the amateur competitor who strove to gain an award and who, in any but an M.C.C. event, would find himself at a disadvantage against picked teams mounted on workshop-prepared ntachines, attended by their own service vehicles and tankers. Whatever the feeling then, a different ontlo.ok on military participation in the sport will probably be advisable after the war is won. The war has shown up the value of motoring competitions and should show the world that racing and trials have a significance far exceeding considerations of sport alone. A significance, thrtt is, embracing both training of personnel and perfection of machines. Greater tolerance towat ds motoring competition after the war is something all of us wish to see. Support in the form of prize money, the opening of inivate roads and temporary closing of public highways, for such events, full scale marshalling, etc., will be extremely welcome in the post-war era. If military
interest in fast motoring and motoring off the beaten track is maintained and encouraged the sport may well be usefully assisted and may benefit materially, British participation in International Grand Prix racing may even come about. This being the ease, it may well be unwise to quibble at any militarisation of the sport that comes into being, pleasant as the days were when inter-marque struggles alone were the issue ; in which, incidentally, risks were taken by competitors just as readily as they are to-day by participants in quite another and much more farreaching struggle, wherein men have decidedly more both to gain and to lose.
The Business of the Basic
We do not profess to know whether all the thousands of motorists who attended the Derby did so on their basic fuel rations ; if they did, the outcry against the wrongful use of petrol in the dailies just has no sound foundation. We hope the critics and their supporters put their 35s. a month into War Savings. which is about what a month’s motoring costs the small car man days—and running a car shows a more patriotic return than these
a buying Savings Bonds. . . . We cannot understand the /I ttitude of a prominent motoring weekly in stating, before the Vintage B.O.C.
combined meeting near London on July 13th, “. . . . anything approaching a visible Rally is most undesirable.” It is sad to feel that a motoring journal should show fear of busybodies who, without any justification, point accusing fingers at motorists quite legitimately employing their basic
ration :kyr purposes of relaxation. It is the more unfortunate when such criticism is likely to be levelled at young men who, if they are n,rt on leave, are probably engaged long hours on dangerous work of national importance.
Opposite end of the scale, the car should be capable of running evenly down to 6-7 m.p.h. on top gear. In the interests of flexibility he consilered that a compression-ratio of 5 : WaS
I he maximum for a 4-in, bore, but stated that this vould be inereased to 6 : 1 for racing purposes. So far as economy was concerned, he demanded Lpetrol-c, s sumption of 25 m.p.g. and tin oil-consumption of 1,200 m.p.g. at :30-35 m.p.h.
All these conditions were fulfilled in the ” E ” type ” 30/98,” and this machine set a standard in sports car performatiee which was not improved upon as a whole until a year or two ago, and -which, in some respects, has never been equalled.
This brings an end to Mr. Pomeroy ‘s production designs w ith Messrs. Vauxhall, but perhaps his crowning i.whievements were the 1914 Grand Prix machine, and a design made in 1918 to supplant the ” 30/98.”
Mr. Pomeroy had also been concerned with fast motor-boats, and produced a ” ” head engine which attained some success in this field. Ile delighted to tell the following story in connection with this engine, which had a fixed head. One of his clients was assembling the engine the night before a race, and pushed the piston too far up the bore, so that the rings sprang open above the top of the bore. He rang up the works and asked for a new piston to be rushed down, as he proposed to break up the stuck piston with a chisel and hammer, as being the iinly means of extracting it from the cylindi•r.
Mr. Pomeroy answered the -phone, and without a moment’s thought, instructed the man to insert the valves, screw down one valve-cap and fill the cylinder-head to repletion wit Ii thick grease ; then to put in the second valve-cap and screw it down. The client did as he was told, and the increasingly compressed grease, due to the screwing-down of the valve-cap, forced the ring back into its groove, and drove out the piston entirely unharmed ! The client won his race, and the occasion was properly celebrated.
In 1914, Vauxhalls decided to compete in that fateful Grand Prix which was won SO overwhelmingly by Mercedes so short! V before the outbreak of the last war, and Mr. Pomeroy produced the exquisite machine deri(-ted in our illustration. The engine was a 4?,-litre of 101 110 m.m. with two overhead erunsliafts. The crankshaft was carried in five plain bearings and could be run up to the then fantastic figure of 4,500 r.p.m. ! Even to-day such a speed would be out of the way for cylinders of this size, representing a piston-speed of no less than 4,200 feet per minute. Among other unusual points in design was a gearbox mounted solid with the torque tube. This car was possibly the first in which the front springs passed through the axle. in modern lingatti fashion. It is not khoWil N1 hat t his engine developed, but it is difficult to see how it can have produced less than 1:30 b.h.p. As against this, none of the other competing machines materially exceeded 3,000 r.p.m. and, probably, around 110 b.h.p. The Vauxhalls followed the well-established British tradition of’ being late for practice,
but what little they had showed that they were probably the fastest machines present.
.After the final practice period the carburetter expert noticed that the airpressure in the petrol-tank was 8 lb. per square inch, and to avoid a probable explosion this was reduced to the normal figure a 2 lb. The next morning the ears lined up lot’ the race, hut %Olen the field roared away the three Vauxhalls remained spluttering on the line. and none of them did more than one lap. The disappointed and baffled team returned home, but not until after months of fruitless experiment was it discovered that the carburetter float-chamber needles had a fantastically acute taper, so that, unless there was a dangerously high pressure of air in the petrol-tank, only a trickle of petrol could get past the needle. Two of the team-cars ran at Brooklaiuls in 1921, at which time there was also competing 011eof the successful Mercedes team ; but the llemedes could IleVer get within 4 m.p.h. of the test lap speed of the Vauxhall. The Vauxhall also ecrnreted
at Shelsley It, and also covered 10,000 miles at Brooklands at 85-90 m.p.h. without attention, during the course of some tyre trials..
During the war, Vauxhalls produced quite a successful Pomeroy-designed o.h.e. aero-engine, and the ” D type car gave valuable serVice, mut w’ as generally used as King George V’s staff car. At the end of the war, Vauxhalls found themselves with a quantity of light machinery, and Mr. Pomeroy designed a 3,k-litre V.12 engine to be constructed entirely with existing plant.. Owing to a very low compression-ratio it only developed 50 b.h.p., but rail with turbinelike smoothness. For one reason and another it was never put into product ion.
Also in 1918 Mr. Pomeroy designed the ” II ” type car, which he intended to supplant the ” 30/98,” and had the directors had the intelligence to put it into production they would have had a machine which would have more than anticipated the 44-litre Bentley by nearly ten years, and so, perhaps, never been driven to sell themselves to General Motors. The machine had an improved frame and a four-cylinder engine measuring 100> 140. The engine was all aluminium and had a single overhead camshaft driven by three-throw eccentrics and operating two valves per cylinder. The only thing now apparently known about its power output is that at 2,000 r.p.m. it had the remarkably high m.e.p. of 120, equivalent, at those revs., to an output of about
90 h.p. It may be assumed that the engine would have run up to between 3,000 mid :3,500, and that its b.h.p. would have liceu in the order of 120. Only one of these machiries was made, and it only made one public appearance—at Shelsley 1Va1sh. But a pher-lead came off at the foot of the hill, despite ‘vilich it climbed, with four up, on three cylinders, in 76 seem ds. By the non-production of this car there seems little doubt, that the world lost what would have been one of its finest sports ears ; and it’ it be acknowledged that it would have been an advance on the “80/98 ” that is saying quite something. It was at about this time that Mr. Pomeroy went to America, but before following him there we will stay for a moment to recollect the racing successes of the ” 30/98,” which Vauxhalls continued to produce, rather than advance
with the o.h.e. design. Mr. Pomeroy actually left Vauxhalls at the end of 1918, so that the ” 30.98 continued in production nearly ten years after he had ceased to he coneerned with it ; but although it grew an overhead valve push-rod engine, and front-wheel brakes, its basic design and character continued in much the original form.
As a general indication of Vauxhall’s sporting successes the following results refer only to Brooklands and Shelsley Walsh, although the ” 16/20,” “Prince Henry ” and ” 30/98 ” enjoyed successes too numerous to mention, in sporting competitions of all sorts, and continued to win awards right up to the present war, while Clive Windsor-Richards carried off the Brooklands Gold Star at the Whitsun meeting of 1936 on his ” 30/98,” with a Lest hip speed of 113.68 m.p.h. and an average for the 3A laps of 108.61—a very fine performance indeed.
The following tabulated results how Vauxhall sueees,es at. Brooklands.
VAUXHALL BROOKLANDS SUCCESSES. PRE-I914 PERIOD.
YEAR 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1911 Placings TYPE 1st 2nd “16/20 “… 6 3 ” KN ” 5 ” 16/20 “… 4 1 ” Prince ‘Henry 3 1 12 ” Prince Henry 1 ” EN2 ” .2 1 5 1 1 •• 1:N2 ‘• 1 1 3rd 1 5 1 1 1
1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 192:3 1926 1927 1930 1931 1934 1935 1936 1st 2nd ••1 ” 4 ” GP ” ••• 3 4 ••• 1 ••• 4 8 ” ••• 3 3 2 2 ••• 2 ••• ••• 1 1 ” (1E ” • •• ” OE ” 2 ••• • •• ()E ” 2 1 ••• ••• ••• ••3 0E ” 4 2 • ••
… *OE •• ••• 2 • •• 1 1 • •• ••• ‘* OE ‘• ••• 1 2 • •• 3rd 1 4 2 3 2 1 1
BEST LAP SPEEDS ARE :”
” type: C. G. Coe, 106.19 m.p.h.
1st June, 1925.
“KN ” : A. J. Hancock, 108.08 m.p.h. 4th August, 1913.
” PG” : E. Swain, 108.74 m.p.h. 24th September, 1921.
“OK” : C. W. Windsor-Richards, 113.68 m.p.h. Whitsun, 1936.
VAUXHALL BROOKLANDS WINS BY TIME AND MODEL.
PI aci ngs sl 2nd ;;o1 110 120 … 10 .1 ( I )itto, wit h ifigi(•-scater, streamlined body (1:N) … 1-cylinde1 95 ..140 (Prim e model) •.• 1 1 Ditto, with single seater body (NN2) 1 1.-cylinder Os ‘ 150 ( with 30:98 (ngine) 6 1 (All these wins WI’I’C SC tqlred pf.e-wier ti 1911.)
1911. (;.P. 101 110 twin oil. cam shaft / 1 (in 1921 season) 4-eylitider 98 /150 side ‘,aivc„, y 1% 19 7 1.-cylinder 98 itO ” type I 1 9 7 t. 55 11 23
RESULTS BY YEARS.
Placings ? ,./ 2nd 3rd 1909 6 1 1910 1 1911 No cars entered 1912 3 1 1 1913 191 I. I I … I .? 4 1 920 5 5 s 1921 4 8 4 1922 1923 o. o 2 1921 3 1 :3 11125 As iii above Irk t, 1926-1936 :.1 Sliijslcy NV:elsli the first Vauxhall success come ill toos, when I’. U. knitter livon the handicap class eu a16/20 cur, but III 1909 A. llaticoel, made sevond fastest time on a ” 1620 ” at 81 seconds. ‘Fins is a VVI’V !jilt time for such 🙁 small car, at that (late in part ieular. IN:idner was 3111i!) the same year. In 1910 Milner and 1 lancock were again second and t hird.. Iii 1911 II:micock vas first on f()rniula and in 1912 there was no Nati hall entry. lull ill 1913 came .1. I ligginson’s epic recordbre:LIdtq.r, climb in 35.2 seconds, equal to a. speed or 42 m.p.h.. ?•?.’hile Hancock, din NV;is Litt. ‘voil..,-; (it’jVcr, climbed in 59 seeonds. ()tiler VauxlivIls were also lit si , see( aid, firth 0,11(1 sixth tin t,, Ili,. post-war period. ill 11)21 1):trl: look the 1914 G.P. car up in 5 s.cconds. and II. VV. tool: in 5′; . NVITC’ oisu sccond, tomtit :old ei01111 on formula. There ‘aJill onktuliding 11)::2 and 1923, awl at about this lime Ilic somewhat tedious and tinspeetacitl:ir forimila ChISSt-“-; vrJc IIu4htI. Iii 1921 .11. C. Park Yon the (o..er re class in it ” wi/.1, 53.6 secoiirls, :old in 1925 (;. Coe was first ii liii unlimited eloss N‘’itil 58.8. In 1926, 1927 and 1928 E. H. 1111I look the unlimited sports and att.hig classes with times ranging from 57.6 down to 54.2 seconds. Subsequently,” 30108s ” came second in the urlimited class until 1034, when II. P. Jacot again goi a win with the fine time of 49.1 seconds. while Ronny Hughes and Dr. Beaver veil.: seemed and third respectively. hi I 935 Jaeot was third viI1i 49.6. and I believe that the hist (and fastest) ..ppearance of a • 9) 1). 19:3-7, nhen Clive 1Vind5or-Itichards climbed in 48 kitd, t irig Forrest Lycett’s 4 -litre Bei t ley by a IlaITOW liuLrgifl. As the ” :;e:98 ” was misfiring at high revs_ owing to faulty earhuretter-setting,
this Nvas a very performanee. le connection with these Shelsley Walsh times, it. must be remembered that a ” 30’08 ” has a great handicap on that gradient ow iog to its grossly unsuitable
anif widely spaced grser ratios. In its originally intended capacity of a top-gear sports car this gearbox was quite logical ; taw were its disadvantages so :Lpparent early in its career. Nvlicil the power-weight ratio of the car was so mueli better than nearly all its rivals that a mere matter of gear ratii.is was not likely to rob it of its advantage. Furthermore, the later cars were not ittuicli more powerful, and weighed 50 per cent. more.
ou his arrival in America Mr. Pomeroy made sonic negotiatioes for the production there Of thl! ” 30 115:’ 0,* sOillething 1i1111011.1*, bun I hiese .4*.iicint.‘, diii 110t. to fruitioo. Of about this period, however, presumably comes an unfinished manuscript which was discovered among his papers at his death. As it runs to over 8,000 words (nearly twice the length of this effusion) in its existing form, much of it highly technical, it may be presumed that a very extensive t rcatise, and perhaps even it s tort book, was intended. It is entitled The Fast Touring Car,” and as
it is indicative of enemy’s advanced ideas ill 1919. all(t 41t advanced practice hi general in the early post-war years, it will be interesting and instructive to cull a few remarks from it. A point in which subsequent fashion has differed from him Is Mr. Pomeroy’s preference at that time for the four, as against the six-cylinder engine, though there seems little reason to doubt that his arguments were correct in the light of existing knowledge. In his comparison he set great store by the Isenchester crankshaft ” anti-vibrator,” as he called it. This charming and simple device was, indecil, invaluable in those days, although in the shape of tighter reOpritc:11 ing I mrts and flexible engine .mountings have made it no longer neces
sary. in 1919, however, Mr. Pomeroy stated t hat in primary and secondary. balance :e four-cylinder engine with the Lanoliester device W?IS equal to a six, while in ‘rant ()I’ leh.p. per litre, thermal efficiency, earburat ion, simplicity and weight per h.p., the four had a marked :Advantage. The six had to use two carburetters to avoid starvation owing to the overlap of valve openiogs, and this led to difficulties wfali miming at light and at low speeds. Ii was also easier to obtain elirrect valve timieg and mixture distribution on a four. He then pointed out that the four was less subject to torsional crankshaft vibration, though he advocated that it should
carried in live bearings, owing to the of many three-bearing crankshafts high revs. Mr. Pomeroy stressed the importance aluminium pistons as facilitating in revolution and piston speeds increasing loads and stresses, and this field he was, of course, one of the using the remarkable, Ricardo slipper piston in the type 30/98.” Even i 1010 he was able to that the solution of all the inherent of the aluminium piston was :-dinost He also pointed to an increased to cast water jackets integral the crank-ease, with liners inserted and to detachable heads carrying valves and camshaft. _Recent investihad shown that it was possible to good volumetric efficiency with overhead valves, so postponing a as to whether multiple valves necessary. As current racilig shows, this is a subject upon the last word remains to be said. importance of proper cooling for and sparking plugs is also em
The desirability of light valves as pera high lift is pointed out, and he sortie interesting remarks to make cum-profiles, which niay with he quoted verbatim : ” The points are that at the beginning end of its movement the Nselve is under the influence of the (sun i.e., is independent of the spring so that on the last jsirt ion of upward movement and the first portion its downward movement tfii cam can profitablyhe reduced to the use of comparatively light valve In this light it is difficult to see case for the constant acceleration of cam ; the maximum acceleratioil be at the beginning and end of valve movement.”
Then follows a formula to show that acceleration produced by any cam is function of the diameter of the base of the cam and the diameter of the roller.
Turning to crankshaft bearings, Mr. insists that weight should not cut down unduly at the big end, and lining of the big end beariug should done in such a way that (ontratt ion cooling does not start the w hite metal from the connecting rod. He that loose bearings (which were introduced into car etesines by Henri, the famous Ballot and designer) are not permissible, as developed by the friction of the cannot be transmitted through double oil film. Split bearings have, course, now been a dead letter for very years. Next comes a striking passage, whose has been strongly borne out in the yeor or two ” There is reason to that the life of the bearings could made almost infinite if the lubricating could be properly filtered. Tile oil need not exceed 20 lb. per square It is more inrirortant that the oil go to the right place in the bearing, than that it should be under high
Mr. Pomeroy then signified his preference for the type of carburetter with variable jet and choke, or, alternatively, the venturi choke-tube type, for ensuring flexible running. The exhaust pipe should preferably be outside the bonnet, and follow easy curves. It needs to be of moderately thick gauge tubing if a good exhaust note is required. In this connection, the exhaust note of the ” 30/98 ” is still proverbial, and very few designers of high efficiency engines have paid enough attention to getting their hot exhaust pipes away from the bonnet space as quickly as possible. There can be no doubt that efficiency is seriously impaired if the air under the bonnet is superheated. This does not apply with much force when the car is under way, but if it is kept ticking over for some time on a starting line the getaway may be noticeably affected.
Concerning the mixture there is some interesting data given. Its heat at the end of the induction stroke is at least 330° C., giving a maximum volumetric efficiency of 82.7 per cent. There then follows a long and interesting dissertation on mean effective pressures, from which the conclusion reached is that for an engine such as the “30/98,” with a compression ratio of 5 to 1, the m.e.p. should range from 117 lb. per square inch at 1,100 r.p.m. to 104 at 2,500 r.p.m. Regarding ignition, Mr. Pomeroy makes the interesting comment that “ignition troubles may be said not unfairly to increase as the square of the number of sparking plugs.” He also gives some interesting figures for transmission losses. These, he says, should not exceed 8 per
cent. between the clutch and the rim of the road wheels on direct drive, while ati90 m.p.h. losses!due to the drag of the tyres may consume 22 per cent. of the total power available. In designing the “80/98,” therefore, he allowed 30 per cent. as the amount of power which would be consumed by the transmission and tyres at the maximum speed of which the car was to be capable.
No doubt Mr. Pomeroy considerably modified many of the views expressed in this document, in the light of subsequent experience, but I have thought it worth quoting at considerable length as being such an interesting record of advanced ideas in the period just after the last war. In 1919 Mr. Pomeroy joined the Aluminium Company of America, who commissioned him :to build an all-aluminium car, which he did, and five were made during 1920-1. It had a fourcylinder, 4i in. by 4i in. side-valve unit, developing 65 b.h.p., doing 70 m.p.h. and 25 m.p.g. In 1922 we find the PierceArrow Company interested in the project, and an improved design was got out, and six of them manufactured. These ears had six cylinders, 3i in. by 5 in. engines, developing 75 b.h.p., and the chassis were pressed instead of cast aluminium, and carried front wheel brakes. The wheelbase was 10 ft. 3 in., despite which the complete chassis weight was only 15 cwt.—a really remarkable effort for 18 years ago, with an engine of more than 8.8 litre capacity. When carrying a capacious aluminium saloon body the car was capable of 75 m.p.h. and would accelerate from 10-40 m.p.h. on top gear Hi 12 seconds. The engine was very smooth in operation. All these cars are believed to be still running, and one of them is in England. Their appearance was advanced for the period and incorporated an adaptation of the Vauxhall fluted radiator. The Pierce-Arrow firm ‘intended to put the car into production, but financial difficulties intervened, so that nothing came of it, and the negotiations were not pursued in other quarters, as Mr. Pomeroy was by this time arranging to return to England to become chief engineer to the Daimler Company, and consultant to the Associated Equipment Company and the L.G.O.C., which he did in November, 1926. In 1929 he became managing director to Daimler’s. Perhaps his most important innervation during the ten years he was with Daimler’s was the introduction and popularisation of the fluid flywheel, for which he was an ardent enthusiast. Among the many designs for which he was responsible during this time was a long-distance coach with aluminium back axles and brake drums, and altogether Of remarkably light construction, in 1927-8, while the first Daimler which he designed throughout was the “25/30,” six-cylinder sleevevalve, with aluminium cylinder block, which was later made the basis of the 50-h.p. V.12, and used for their State cars by the Royal Family, He also had a good deal to do with the design Of the 15-h.p. (later developed into the 18-h.p.) Lanehester, of which the present King bought one when Duke of York. Later. Mr. Pomeroy persuaded Daimler’s to take the drastic step of dropping the sleevevalve form of construction, to which they had exclusively pinned their faith for some 20 years, and it is directly upon this change, and the adoption of the fluid flywheel, that the present very substantial popularity of the Daimler may be said to rest, whereas, had they adhered to the sleeve-valve, it is difficult to see how they could have stayed in production. Among the poppet-valve Daimlers designed by NI r. Pf)meroy—possibly the last car which lietiesigned throughout—was the successful straight-8, 4.0-litre car, which was
bought by the Royal Family for their fleet of State cars in 1981-2, and which are believed to be still in commission in that elevated capacity. In 1986 Mr. Pomeroy left the direct field of automobile design, which he had occupied so successfully for nearly 30 years, to become general manager to the engine division of the de Havilland Aircraft Company Ltd., and since the outbreak of war he had been a director of H. M. Hobson (Aircraft and Motor) Components Ltd., and in charge of their Midland branch, which post he continued
to occupy up to the time of his death.
Mr. Pomeroy was a Crompton Medallist, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and President of the Institution of Automobile Engineers for the years 1984-5.
In addition to his technical achievements, and his success in any organising capacity, he was noted as a raconteur and after-dinner speaker, in which respects he is most ably succeeded by my good friend, his son, to whom I feel sure readers of Moron SPORT will certainly wish to express their sympathy upon the untimely death of his distinguished father.