Reports of Recent Events, July 1948


In the final placings of the competitors in the J.C.C. Jersey race, R. F. Salvadori finished 7th and G. E. Ansell 8th. Our report, and certain other reports, mistakenly reversed these positions.


Hawke’s Bay S.C.C Speed Trial

Fifty vehicles participated in this New Zealand event, a cinder-car covering the mile in 19.0 sec. on a demonstration run. F.t.d. was made by Haley’s Ford V8 in 21.6 sec., in the unlimited class. Other class winners comprised Wright’s P-type M.G. in 29 sec., Pierson’s Singer Nine Sports, in 26 sec., Hanna’s “TA”  M.G. in 23 sec., McKenzie Douglas’  “12/50” Alvis in 24.2 sec., and Vogtherr’s 16-h.p. Riley in 24.2 sec. Runners-up numbered a Singer Nine saloon, a 1-1/2-litre Riley, a 24-h.p. Vauxhall, and a 3-litre Bentley  —  which was a very nice advertisement for British cars. Matchless, Triumph and Velocette wiped up the motor-cycle classes, fastest two-wheeler time being 15.2 sec. by Double’s Triumph “Tiger 100.” The latest importation from England, a Morgan 4/4, gave a demonstration run.


The Bol d’Or

This famous 24-hour small car race, that used to be contested by such odd French cycle cars specially constructed to compete in it, was held over a 21-mile circuit in the St. Germain forest. Scaron put up a magnificent fight against troublesome brakes, fatigue that called for medical attention and shortage of fuel, and won by 47 miles in his Simca-Gordini, averaging 53.46 m.p.h. for 1,295 miles. Camerano’s Simca was 2nd, covering 1,237 miles in the two rounds of the clock, with another Simca, handled by Lecerf, third. That was in the 1,100 c.c. sports-car category. In the 1,100 c.c. racing-cars class Le Jamtel’s Amilcar covered 1,052 miles, winning from Ganneau’s Amilcar-Jeff, no other cars finishing. Molinari’s Simca covered 759 miles to win the 500 c.c. racing-cars class.


Lisbon Rally

British prestige was nobly upheld at Lisbon. The rally was won outright by Count Monte Real’s Bentley, C. Meneres’ Ford taking second place and J. Cabral’s Ford third place. The 750-1,500 c.c. category saw E. Bianca’s Lancia win, but Ken Wharton’s Ford “Anglia” was second, ahead of Alan Hess’s Austin “A40” works-entry. Nice show, Wharton.  G. Andres’ F.I.A.T. won the up to 750 c.c. class.


Paris Grand Prix

This race was held over Montlhéry’s short road-circuit of just over 3-3/4 miles, the 28 starters having to cover 50 laps, or a total of 196 miles. Giraud-Cabantous had no trouble at all in winning in his 4-1/2-litre Talbot from the great Louis Chiron’s similar car. Cabantous averaged 87.8 m.p.h., beating Chiron by 2 min. 0.3 sec. Rosier blew-up his Talbot when challenging Chiron, so that Chaboud’s 4-1/2-litre Delahaye, 8 laps behind, was third, Mairesse’s 3.6-litre Delahaye fourth, Comotti’s 4-1/2-litre Talbot fifth and the Britisher, P. A. T. Garland’s 3-litre T.T. Delage, sixth.


Bari Grand Prix

A Ferrari, driven by the Brazilian driver Chico Landi, came in first in the Bari G.P., averaging 67.1 m.p.h. for the 200 miles. F. Bonetto’s Cisitalia made fastest lap at 69.59 m.p.h. and came in second, 3 min. 22.6 sec. behind Landi, third place being taken by Varzi’s Cisitalia.


Stockholm Grand Prix

“Bira,” driving a Simca-Gordini, finished first in this race, run over an airfield course at Skarpnack, but he was deemed to have jumped the start and was disqualified. This left the race to Biondetti’s Ferrari, which averaged 50.95 m.p.h. and finished 1 min. 20.6 sec. ahead of Schell’s Cisitalia, with Rol’s Simca-Gordini third. Gordini had some consolation, inasmuch as one of his cars, driven by Raymond Sommer, made fastest lap, at 53.43 m.p.h.


Rheineck Walzenhausen Speed Hill-Climb

De Graffenried’s 16-valve Maserati made f.t.d. in this event, in 4 min. 52.8 sec. Von Stuck, reappearing in a Cisitalia, was second fastest, in 4 min. 57.2 sec., followed by Oest’s Cisitalia, in 5 min. 8 sec., and K. N. Hutchison’s Alfa Romeo, in 5 min. 8.2 sec. Hutchison won the unlimited racing cars class, A. G. Imhoff’s Allard the unlimited touring cars class, in which Sydney Allard’s Allard was third, and an “A40” Austin was placed first in the up-to-1-1/2-litre touring cars class.


Indianapolis “500”

This year’s classic 500 Mile race at Indianapolis in America was won at a record average speed of 119.82 m.p.h. by Mauri Rose driving Lou Moore’s Blue Crown Spark Plug Special  —  which is 7.23 m.p.h. lower than the speed at which John Cobb’s Napier-Railton won the World’s fastest 500 Mile race, at Brooklands in 1937. Rose also won the 1947 race. He drove a f.w.d. car with an unblown 4-cylinder 4-1/2-litre Offenhauser engine. Bill Holland finished second, at 119.15 m.p.h. in an identical car and as this was also entered and prepared by Lou Moore, he can feel justified with the results. Third place was occupied by Duke Nalon’s V8 3-litre Novi Grooved Piston Special, fourth position by Ted Horn’s 8 CTF Maserati and fifth position by Mack Helling’s Don Lee Special.  Rex May’s Maserati-type 3 litre straight eight engined Bowes Seal Fast made fastest qualifying time at 130.58 m.p.h., lapping at 131.73 m.p.h., and in these pre-race trials Nalon had lapped at 134.01 m.p.h.

Troubles came fast and frequently, in the race. McQuinn retired on the first lap, with his Maserati’s blower-drive sheared, and Russo’s Maserati was out after ten miles through loss of oil. Andres’ Offenhauser suffered steering trouble, not a thing to have at Indianapolis, Williams’ Offenhauser experienced transmission bothers and Hanks’ Duffy Special a like fate.

After only 60 miles Connor’s Bennet Bros. Special broke a half-shaft as, later, did Carter’s Belanger-Special, the rear wheel coming off in this case and the car contacting the south-east retaining wall, without injury to its driver. Webb’s Bromme Special broke an oil pipe, Hansen was flagged off as too slow, and Sheffler’s Offenhauser threw a rod. The Kennedy Tank Special retired with a useless differential.

Then, with Horn’s 8 CTF Maserati nicely in the lead until its refuel let Mays pass, Chitwood’s Nyquist split its fuel tank, while the famous G.P. Mercedes-Benz, after overheating bothers, went out after 270 miles with lubrication maladies  —  perhaps the letter from Mr. Bayley published in Motor Sport  last month suggests why.

At half distance Nalon led at 120.43 m.p.h. from Mays and Rose. In the second half Mays retired with a split fuel tank, Bettenhausen had a clutch-shaft break, and Cantrell’s Fageol broke a steering arm. Near the end both Nalon and Holland were low in fuel; the former stopped to replenish, but the latter did not and, as his engine faltered, Rose ran on to win. He changed tyres during the race. Only 12 cars finished out of 33 starters and of these five were flagged-in. The race was run in brilliant sunshine and the crowd has been quoted as 200,000!


Vue des Alpes Speed Hill-Climb

De Graffenried’s Maserati made f.t.d. in 4 min. 56.4 sec., and Hutchison’ s Alfa Romeo, the only car in the over-2-litre racing car class, was second fastest, in 5 min. 8.8 sec. Porter’s 2-1/2-litre Riley won the 2.3-litre experts’ touring cars class in 6 min. 52.2 sec., and Sydney Allard drove his hard-used coupé Allard to victory in the over-3-litre experts’ touring cars category, climbing the sinuous 9-3/4 kilometre course with its long straights, in 6 min. 50.8 sec. Miss Betty Haig, using S.U. carburetters and a compression ratio of under 9 to 1 in her “328”  B.M.W., made best time by a lady driver and was second in the experts 1-1/2-to-2litre sports cars class, in 6 min. 4.8 sec. She was beaten only by Dattner’s “328” B.M.W., which used Solex carburetters and a 10-to-1 compression ratio, and was reaching between 90 and 100 m.p.h. on the straights, Miss Haig’s, 80 m.p.h.  In the experts’ sports cars over-3-litres class Warburton’s Allard won in 5 min. 51 sec. from Leslie AIlard’s Allard, which clocked 5 min. 56 sec., both these cars beating Imhof’s blown Allard, which needed 6 min. 0.8 sec. Other British cars which did well were von Tscharner’s Healey, which won the amateurs’ 2-3-litre sports cars class in 6 min. 35.6 sec., Nessi’s Healey, which was first in the equivalent experts’ class, in 6 min. 34.2 sec., Hirt’s Jaguar, which won the amateurs’ over-3-litre touring cars class in 6 min. 27.2 sec., and Leuthold’s M.G., which won the amateurs’ 1,101-1,500-c.c. Sports cars class in 6 min. 16.8 sec.