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Indianapolis 500-Mile Race (May 31st)

1st: R. Ward (Leader Card Special) 135.857 m.p.h.

2nd: J. Rathmann (Hopkins Special)

3rd: T. Thompson (Racing Ass. Spec.)

4th: T. Bettenhausen (Hoover Spec.)

5th: P. Goldsmith (Denler Special)

6th: J. Boyd (Bowes Special)

A V.S.C.C. Ruling

Sir,

Your footnote to Mr. George Burton’s letter in the May issue accuses the V.S.C.C. of “muddled thinking” — an imputation which you must allow me space to refute. Mr. Burton is in error in claiming that his car is classified as a “Historic Racing Car” — it is accepted as a P.V.T. car in the racing category, which is not quite the same thing.

The reasons behind this decision are :

1. The de Dion axle layout was not developed as an aid to roadholding until adopted by Mercedes about 1936.

2. This and other modifications put the car in a category very different to a standard Bentley, and if accepted without question, might give rise to the feeling that unless one could “Burtonise” ones Bentley one had better stay away from V.S.C.C. speed events.

The case of the 2-litre Delage is very different. Whereas Mr. Burton converted his car in 1958 in full knowledge of the V.S.C.C. Competition Regulations, the Delage conversion was carried out over 20 years ago. The definition of a “Historic Racing Car” is roughly “one specially built or modified for racing more than 15 years ago”; so even if the Delage is regarded as a 1938 car, it is still a ” Historic Racing Car.” It is, at present, accepted as a Vintage car because the modification is not considered to confer any great advantage, and the difficulties in the way of restoration to original form are very considerable, though we would all — even, I believe, the owner — like to see it done.

Our other categories of cars are — Edwardian prior to 1916, Vintage prior to 1931, and P.V.T., approved types only, prior to 1940.

In these classes cars are “racing” or otherwise, according to the normal rules of road equipment irrespective of the date of conversion.

As implied above, excessive modernisation may result in a car being “demoted” to a younger category, or even being rejected from the Club.

I am, Yours, etc., H. P. Bowler, President, Vintage Sports Car Club Ltd. Rickmansworth.

[I propose to read this again when it is cooler. — Ed.]

New 850 c.c. Morris and Austin Models

Sir Leonard Lord, Chairman of The British Motor Corporation, has stated that at the end of August new small 850 c.c. cars for both the Austin and Morris companies will be announced.

These new cars, he said, have been through extensive trials and have taken three years to develop. New buildings have been erected and new plant and equipment — using the most up-to-date methods in the world — have been installed, the total cost for which has involved well over £10,000,000. Sir Leonard said that he felt sure that these new models will be considered to be amongst the most advanced small cars in the world. They will be fully engineered, full four-seater cars that will keep up with the rest of the traffic anywhere, and will give tremendous economy at a price that will appeal to the family man.

Our guess is that these will be water-cooled front-wheel-drive cars of ingenious design.

_

Books about Ford and Rolls-Royce

Post Motor Books, Box 897, Arcadia, 5, California, have issued three books, two about the model-A Ford, another covering Rolls-Royce, the motoring extremes, in the photostat style so popular for purveying history in America.

“Rolls-Royce — the Living Legend” is a well-bound, 383-page book covering, with reprints from divers sources, fifty years of Rolls-Royce history. Many technical items from publications of the Springfield R.-R. Company, complete publicity extracts and road-tests from many renowned magazines and reproductions of Rolls-Royce catalogues down the ages make up an interesting souvenir of a period, to quote the sub-title of “Ageless Technical Excellence.” “Know Your Model-A Ford,” by Murray Fahnestock, was published originally in 1930, and although the author’s aim seems to have been to use every argument in his vocabulary to convince the reader that the model-A Ford was quite the finest automobile ever assembled, to day those restoring or operating vintage model-As will find it a mine of information. This one runs to 124 pages. Even more comprehensive is Post Motor Books’ soft cover 319-page 5-dollar book of all the model-A Service Bulletins, as issued by Ford after the demise of the model-T (with accompanying illustrations, 800 in all), commercial versions also being covered. The questions and answers at the end of this book give much fascinating model-A data. Reverting to Fahnestock’s desire to prove model-A the absolute best, he goes to great lengths to prove four cylinders better than six and even shows a picture of eight graves, their headstones bearing the names of defunct American V12s — Austin, Haynes, National, Pathfinder, Kissel, Singer, Hal and Enger! These three books are obtainable in England from Motor Books, 41/42, Parliament Street, S.W.1.

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On July 12th a cricket match is due to be played at Goodwood between the Estate and the B.A.R.C. Moss and Brooks are said to have agreed to play for the latter team.

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We hear that this year the 750 M.C. Six-Hour Relay Race, on August 15th, may be run over the normal Silverstone Club circuit.

*

Elstree Flying Club will hold a Pilots’ Rally on July 19th, at which there will be a small air display, some vintage aeroplanes, sailplane demonstration and parachute jump. Gates open 2 p.m., flying starts about 3.15 p.m. Free admission; a charge will be made for car parking.

*

The N. London E.C.C. is holding an Allcomers’ Rally which will include a simple beginners’ route, on July 18th/19th. Details from: G. Bance, 11, Bath Road, Reading, Berks. The start will be from Paul Street Garage, E.C.2, at 10.01 p.m. on the Saturday, and the rally will finish there 200 miles later.

*

A Siddeley Special is said to be available in the Enfield area — letters can be forwarded.

*

An autocross meeting will be held at Ashburton Park, near Battle, Sussex, by the S.E. centre of the B.A.R.C., commencing at 2 p.m. on July 19th.

*

The Bristol M.C. & L.C.C., in conjunction with the V.C.C., holds its annual Veteran & Edwardian Rally and Trial on July 4th. The trial starts from Gloucester Road, Bristol. at 2 p.m., and tests will be held at Clevendon and Weston-super-Mare.