Out of the Past, July 1946

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A. F. Rivers-Fletcher has sent us a copy of The Car dated April 13th, 1904, containing an account of the 100-h.p. Buffam racing car. Built at Abingdon, U.S.A., this car had an 8-cylinder engine, like the Winton, but this engine was placed well towards the front of the chassis. The tops of the cylinders were well below the tops of the wheels, and suspension was by small spiral springs, final drive being by chain. The description comments on the small ground clearance, rating the car suitable only for cement tracks, and this, coupled with the curious driving position, the driver’s left foot on a sort of stirrup outside the frame, makes us wonder if the car ever raced.

Also shown is a photograph of the 96-h.p. Wolseley “Beetle” in chassis form. It had a horizontally-opposed 4cylinder engine hung low across the frame, with a huge flywheel, trembler coil ignition, and pump cooling, the waterpump being carried on the radiator and driven from the engine by a telescopic shaft. The engine drove by roller chain to the gearbox, with final drive also by chain. The maximum engine speed was 1,300 r.p.m. approximately, internal expanding brakes were used, and wheelbase and track measured 9 ft. and 4 ft. 7 in. respectively. The front wheels carried 34-in. by 3 1/2-in. covers, the rear wheels covers of 36 in. by 5 in.