On Whit Sunday the Eaton Bray Model Sportsdrome staged the first open model car race meeting in this country. The British Model Car Club timed attacks on the mile record over 25 laps of a 72-ft. cement track, and also staged a contest for best time of the day, over five laps. Starting up was universally troublesome, and this will not encourage the public until it is cured. New models were noticed, and there now seems a greater attempt to attain a realistic appearance. However, a 1946-type Alta was rather spoilt by its engine being located just where the driver would sit, and one very nicely-built model bore the E.R.A. badge but looked nothing like the Bourne product. Jones’s 2.9-litre Alfa-Romeo was much more to scale and beautifully built and finished, with correct steering gear and tubular front axle, the steering locked, of course, for its runs. Its 10-c.c. engine commenced easily, and this car carried the day. It did its first mile run at 48 m.p.h., but as it warmed up the mixture improved, the five final laps being timed at 55 1/2 m.p.h. Another attack on the mile gave 52 m.p.h., and the record was finally set at 55.4 m.p.h. The Alfa-Romeo also made f.t.d., covering five laps at an average of 57 m.p.h. Its only troubles were slackening off of its friction shock-absorbers and centrifugal force starving the near-side rear hub of oil.
Middleton had much trouble with his 10-c.c. Hallam-engined “Special,” but eventually clocked 36 1/2 m.p.h. for five laps and 38.3 m.p.h. for the mile. Mr. Russell’s Auto-Union, now incorrectly coloured a bearing a lurid number, crashed into the pylon and damaged its enclosed racing coachwork. As a chassis it averaged 35.3 m.p.h. for the mile. The 5-c.c. f.w.d. Stevens could not manage 30 m.p.h. and eventually seized-up, and Russell’s S.S.100 would not start. Howard Boys produced a rocket-propelled car, able to well exceed 40 m.p.h. Amongst the new technical innovations seen on non-competing models were chain-drive, a V-twin 2-stroke engine, a 4-stroke o.h.v. engine, leaf spring suspension by cantilevers at the rear and wishbones and transverse spring at the front, and a chassis with f.w.d. and independent wishbone front suspension. Another meeting is scheduled for this month, and car enthusiasts would do well to look in at Eaton Bray. The track is just, outside Leighton Buzzard, a pleasing cross-country drive for many of us, and, apart from the model cars, the aerodrome shows you model aircraft that have certainly progressed far beyond the “toy” stage. Loudspeakers, electric-tape timer, “pits,” supply depot and refreshments all featured in the Whit Sunday show.