motor sport

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designed 2-seater car powered with an engine of about 500 e.e. and 6-h.p. rating. A car of this size will not perhaps be in any way ideal, but I feel certain that it will come just the same, probably in both touring and sporting forms. Working partly on this theory., I W ant to put forward the suggestion that, in post

ar competition motoring, the 500 c.c. class is likely to receive far more notice than it has ever had in the past. There have been times when attention has been focussed on this doss, as when Count Lurani’s Nibbio attained 106 m.p.h. with an unblown 500 c.c. Guzzi engine, and maintained over 100 m.p.h. for 10 miles, and when special versions of the Fiat 500 have put up remarkable averages in Italian races; but, in general, anything smaller than the Austin Seven and M.G. Midget has been regarded in this country as a freak vehicle. But when motoring Sport is resumed in this country after the war, surely there vill be a different story to tell ; crowded roads and the need for economy will almost certainly keep the British a nation of small car motorists, and surely racing will have to combine utility with entertainment by helping to develop the popular baby ? Gne form of competition motoring it) which the 500 c.c. class should become popular particularly rapidly is sprint work, the last stronghold of the amateur “special ” builder. In a few years after the war new power-units of this size may be developed by various firms, c•?)niparable to the twin camshaft 744 e.e. Austin engines, but for somo time the singlecylinder motor-cycle type of engine should be able to give a very good account of Itself. I am not a motor-cycle expert, but

I have an idea that the modern 500 c.c. engine can easily exceed 30 b.h.p. on petrolibenzole, unblown. and in fact the engine of Nibbi.0 W as said to deliver nearly 50 b.h.p., while with the greater space available in a car the difficulties which motor-cyclists have found in supercharging a single-cylinder engine should not be insurmountable ; clutches and gearboxes designed to take the not-verygentle urge from these engines are readily come by. The production of a chassis to suit one of these engines would call for considerable ingenuity, since weight would have to be reduced to the absolute minimum, but this should not deter the prospective Special-builder ; the chain drive from a motor-cycle type engine and gearbox would Mate up readily with the traditional G.N. axle, or with the axle from a Raleigh van among other things, and as no Very high maximum speeds would be possible under sprint conditions the rest of the layout could 1)e distinctly sketchy, though if the builder wished to run in DoningtOn club meetings (or .their post-war equivalent) a fairly good chassis would be needed. I cannot help thinking that a ” special ” of this size, given fair opposition in its own class (a thing that a pre-war 500 c.c. car would not have had), could give a very large amount of fun in proportion to its cost, and probably, if need be, defeat all but the more professional 750 c.c. machines. That, then, is my idea of one change that is likely in post-war motoring sport. I am

not sore iii! viIl be a eha age for the hetter, but I think it. Will MOW jtESt the same. Ain! from the point of view of the sprint exponent, surely now is the time to decide whether you arc going to take an interest in the extreme baby, for the “early bird ” will have a considerable advantage over the man who awaits the arrival of factorybuilt machines. .1 am, Yours etc.,

Farr tborougli, Hants. ‘This suggestion, coming from one who owns one of the more thoroughbred British 1,100 e.e. sports cars, but who has had ample experience of a friend’s 750 e .e. £5 tax tricycle, is very interesting. However, we doubt whether anyone Will wish to go to work until they are sure that there will be a 500 c.c. class in post-war sprint events. If not, there ssill he only records to tackle, and the 350 e.e. figure of 91.3 m.p.h. (ceechini’s Moscerino) and the 500 c.c. figure of 106.7 m.p.h. (Nibbio) are outside the scope of home-builders. To argue that these 500 e.e. four-wheelers could be built as touring ears while the war lasts is to produce the query as to what advantages they offer over the £5 tax 1,100 c.c.. 8 ewt. tricar. The greater m.p.07. is offset by low performance, and we never tire of reminding readers that Erie Fernihough commenced his fitmous career with a 500 e.e. single-cylinder Morgan, a copy of which gives the best of both worlds, possibly with a 25s. a year tax reduction thrown in. The 500 c.c. fourwheeler, therefore, remains of interest only to those who canna navigate a Wear or who must have a lot of seats a low-power three-wheeler should be quite stable, while with bigger engine excellent performance or four seats become available, still at a most comalwlitive ” taxation rate. Moreover, can time remaining “advantage” of a possible 15-20 m.p.g. difference in fuelconsumption between the ” big “-engined tricar and the ” small “-engine(‘ cycle-car constitute any attraction whatsoever ? After all, there have been about three 350 c.c. or 500 C.C. cars offered since the 1914-18 war, against some 16 threewheelers. It is the old story of power/ weight ratio. Sooner or later the owner wants either imim we urge or greater accommodation or both ; the three-wheeler owner gets it, still at a low tax ; the fourwheeler owner has to pay half as flinch -again in tax and so turns to the real car. The four-cylinder 500 c.c. shaft-transmission type of vehicle is another proposition altogether and if a 500 c.c. class in races and other competitive events is introduced after the war and furthers its development, as the 750 e.e. class events developed present babies, so much the better. The fascination of cycle-car designing and construction, popular hobby in our world up to about 1926, albeit with ” big ” power-units, is not to he denied. But, to be coupled with practicability, it should only be devoted to the evolution of a small-engined, and therefore in all ways economical, three-wheeler, Or a normal high-urge 3-w heeler. We hope shortly to have something further to say about this aspect of special-building.—Ed.]