The International Fuel Economy Contest (June 19th-20th)

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From the pleasant town of Cheltenham the local motor club, ably guided by W. Dembowski, held its annual fuel economy contest, this year elevated to International status, on June l9th/20th. There were two classes. That for standard four-seater cars, on a ton-m.p.h. basis, with the amount of ballast permissible this time wisely limited to 750 lb., had representatives of VW, Ford Popular, Standard Vanguard, Borgward diesel, Austin A30, Simca Aronde and Aston Martin DB2/4. The class for experimental cars was a straight fight on absolute m.p.g., between the Tapp/Drew Buckler, with specially-assembled Ford Ten engine using a high-compression-ratio and ribbed aluminium head, W. Boddy’s normal 2cv. Citroën, and W. Jasilkowski’s XK120 Jaguar drophead, the only Continental entry, relying on it’s big engine to attain speed easily after coasting, because its two-seater body precluded it from the ton-m.p.g. category.

Scrutineering resulted in a Standard Eight being transferred to the Experimental class on account of an S.U. instead of a Solex carburetter and oversize back tyres while the Renault 750’s extra air bleed was disallowed.

The drivers, some, in tennis-shoes, anxious to present a featherweight touch to the accelerator, others relying on using full-throttle in the highest possible gear ratio and a maximum of coasting, were sent off on a course of nearly 600 miles, taken in three loops, the first into Wales, the second, at night, to Yeovil, the last up to Towcester, returning each lap to the Cheltenham control, average speed having to be maintained at not less than 30 m.p.h.

After the second lap the Buckler arrived with very little water, its radiator leaking, and as bonnets were sealed — thereby introducing a reliability aspect, especially with mixtures in some cases fined down to a minimum — this car’s filler being under its bonnet, it looked as if the Citroën might win this class, although its coasting-periods were limited by anxiety on the part of its crew to maintain the required speed, which, however, was quite comfortably accomplished.

Excitement increased as the Buckler was due to check in, but it arrived on time, virtually air-cooled like its 375-c.c. rival, winning its class by 2.9 m.p.g. Wilkins’ Simca Aronde, prepared under instruction from Paris, was intelligently driven to the Standard-car category. This is an intriguing event which we hope will be given S.M.M.T. support next year and attract a bigger entry.

Results:
Standard Cars — 1st: G. Wilkins and A. Gascoine (Simca Aronde), 70.8 m.p.g./ 90.0 ton-m.p.g.; 2nd: G. Heaps and M. Heaps (Standard Vanguard), 59.8 m.p.g./ 87.2 ton.m.p.g.
Experimental Cars — 1st: G. E. E. Tapp and L. J. Drew (Buckler). 86.6 m.p.g. 2nd W. Boddy and H. Birkett (Citroën), 83.7 m.p.g.

” Why 3 Wheels,” by Kenneth Long. (The Star Publishing Go., Ltd., 104, Beverly Road, Whitley Bay, 32 pages, 8 in. by 10 in,; 3s. 6d.) ” “

This little publication, which omits the ” ? ” front it title, is a thinly-disguised advertisement for present-day triears in general and the A.C. Petite, Bond Mark C and Reliant Regal in particular. The Workers’ Playtime, the Pashley, the Gordon and some German

Makes receive passing mention, the Allard and other rumoured newcomers none. There is occasional criticism of a model tested by the author but mostly this is advertising matter, not always convincingly presented.. The material provided could with advantage be expanded, and this book just asks for a chapter on three-wheeler of the past. Collectors, and particularly avid tricycle-fans, will find a Certain fascination about it. The next edition, if any, could he vastly bet ter.–V. B. Writing from Stockholm. Tout Brahmer, secretary of the Stockholm M.G. Mkt, reports that the annual Spring Trial was held May in glorious weather, ending with a speed test on a small eircuit. ” The top awards,” he continues, ” were gained by Tc M.G.s, which soundly trounced all TD and the dismal ‘IT