THE LATE L. H. POMEROY

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THE LATE L. H. POMEROY

CECIL GLUTTON WRITES A BIOGRAPHY WHICH ALSO SERVES AS AN OBITUARY NOTICE TO THE GREAT DESIGNER IN MOTOR SPORT fOT May I Wirol C all article on the early career of Ettore Bugatti and referred therein to t he important NVOrk of Al r. I,. 11. Pomeroy in

the field or en.rly sports car design. Vito eould have supposed that. %vithin a week of that article appearing in print Mr. Politel’OV NVolild haVO died Of :t Stalden and altogether unexpected 1watt-fai1ure ? I had intended to Nvrite this Lath+, in

3″V easeand MrP°JneroY had Promised to ,oive n te all the neeessar., faets from his own mouth. li:nfirrtuoittelv, I was not quick enough in accepting his offer, and I must now write on suelt other evidence as can be obtained. In this, I must tbank his son, the well-known technical editor of the lot(),..” for practically all the facts which 1 tun about to set down. To hegin at the end, :Mr. Pomeroy’s regretted death took plave on Alay 27( II, 19 t 1, at the age of only 57. 1 did not have t he good l’orttme to meet him till within it few months of his death, hut One could not fail to be si ruck with the immense forcefulness of hr. personality : the wide range ..4 hi, iffirrc.,I,. :oid iii’iolowo,gr:tv or the whole rang( itf antomi)14ile design. 1 think it would he true to say I hat his nature was cquallt. frets fr4lin false eon( eit

and false (I It 1111.!.0 V. Ht. 111PliC III) IMIteS libolit his achievements, hut was apparentt? happy to diseuss automohile de4.igtt ai letrath N all t ht’ veriest Ivo). such as rtrN set r.

‘n, continue at the huginning, Mr. Ponteroy’s mechanical le :minus Ii’ lilt’ so apparent at an early age that. his father consent,ed to his starting a purely technical training at. a period in his ‘IVOTIS when most people are still at school, and from there lw went on to various jobs at V:ttixhall’s. His first hiv chance came in 1908. Olen ittri‘avl;:s (11(:411.,14,17.111ittt.trslifit).rsit, 1111:),tric::,1;i: (:::::71::111 and enter :t team in time li.A.C. 2.000-mile

holiday at the time, and the 26-year-1.1d POInCroV Was told to get oil with the jol). lie rapidly produced the 10/20-h.p. ‘• A type Vauxhall. with an engine ()I 90 120 (3-litre (‘apacity). This machine developed 40 1).11.1). (a Try creditable figure for tiK, .hito Nod it quite swept. the board. being; t he only car to complete the 2,000 miles non-stop. Its 11(11-cl-consumption for the distance was 26 In.p.g.. WhiCh l’S a highly ereditable Ii4ture ft (I’ it 3-litre car running under trials eondil ions. During 1909 t his model was devel4Teil to give 52 1,,h.p., and in 1910 it was entered for the Prince Henry trials in Germany. rite formula for this event favoured large cars, but the small Vauxhalls ran nonstop. winning I he Prince Ilenry plaque, tes. Also in 1910 one of I best’ car’… christened was developed as a single-seater raciug-cat and iichievill thr, coveted 100 ni.p.11, at lirooklands oyer it tinned kilometre ; th(r, First time this figure had been reached hv anylinia; like so solidi R Car. linlakiltally, this t Zit’ still holds reeords at Brook lands for what is described as ” ears of 21-h.p. rating.” It

developed 60 b.h.p. at 2,500 r.p.m. and its actual timed speed was 100.08 m.p.h.

In 1911 came the famous ” ” type ” Prince Ilenry ” model of 95 x 140 (4-litre capacity). At a time when giants Vere Still de rigueur ill the raeing held this relatively small car itttained World’s reeinds up to eight hours and had a lap Speed at lands of 95 m.p.h. ‘Hie engine was a. straightforward mono-block. fixed-11cm’, side-valve, very similar to th4″• 30 98 which was to follow it, amid its prodnet ion vas eontintied yenintot _war years as the long-wheell Kis(‘ ” ” type and the less sueeessful O.D.” type, ” 23/60.”

The racing edition of the Pritna. I ten ry.” wit hshodc-sca ter hotly. WaS known

and developed 75 b.h.n. ztt, 2,500 r.patt., and it was succeeded, in 1913, by K.N.3, hy the same car with a ‘• 98 enoine. Ill 1913, .1. Iligginson, who had for somc time held the Shelley NViish record with his 80-h.p. 1,:t Buire, came Ii :Mr. Pootewv and asked hint if he could produce it car to beat the La Mare at Slielsle:v ‘Walsh in six weeks’ time. After von Sit the matter for 24 hours, Mr. Pomeroy accepted tim eledlenge. Taking “Pritt414 Ilenry.” it Was hOrOdutit.LO the maximum possilde 95 Ilt.111, and the erankshaft webs ivere oldstret cited ( ) to give an additional 10 tuan. on the stroke (making 150 man. ill all) till there was barely a thousandth clearance between the crankshaft iL1141 the camshaft. The whole engine was calculated to have a

lilt’ of two minutes. ‘Flue weight tif the complete car was mil) 18 uttl… and with it Mr. 1 ligginsou drove without prat:tire at Shelsley Valsit to lower the record it, 55,2 seconds ; an amtizing jterformanee, coosidering the loose state of the road at t hat thue. From this unlikely heginning emerged the immortal ” 14: ” type ” 30/98 ” Which had a reputation for durability :out stamina

second to none in the world. In production form it originally weighed 22 cwt. with a light but cot tifortable 4-seater body. Although tIte actual birth of tla4 ” 30/98 ” was -I bus, in a manner, fortuitous, it was, in fact, no more than a logical culmination of the 1908 2,000-mile

trial car. along Mr. Pomeroy had kept in the forefront of his mind the several factors which, to-day, are still the critical points in sports car design. Ile stipulated that performance must not be attained at the expense of reliability, economy, or flexibility. lie pointed out that great performance was useless without gt out handling qualities. and that the only way to attain good P”11“1.”1.”-11(.c. a car was hY 11;tving strict, ytTava t.$) rvitm•ii%g the v,ind-rel…,i,:tance, try virtue or smail frontal area : by keeping the weight down : and by develoPilw the reliable high-speed engine. The ” 30 98

ylit• deVV1i1p11 100 1).111.1). :!! 2,500 1.11.01, and was capable„000 r.p.iu t. as a maximum, and while these may not SCelit 1,11-‘ much to-day. they were very high for a 1.1.-litre productionengine in 191 I. So rat’ aswind-rcsistanee is concerned, both in the ” Prince Henry ” raid 95,this was kept down to a most commendable minimum, yet combined ‘vith vcr?,real comfort for four fullsized. passengers. To overoane cooling difficulties the ” Prince !clay had a `hierlOY Puhlted and very Ilaildsolue

radiator, thus combining a large coolingsurface wit It narrow width, but this was not found necessary in the ” 30/98.” The various RN racing-cars were quite scientifically streandined, anti in this field particularly 111r. Pomeroy was an nil

lot ii pioneer. So far as performance wa., concerned, Mr. Pomeroy considered that 80-85 t».p.it. in conjunction with a 1-seater body, was a desirable maximum. and that the host power-unit to give this result was a com e% hinter re engine de ci,Ting 100 11.1). wit hiit speed-range or 600-3.000 r.p.m. and an axle ratio of 3 to 1. At the

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