Rumblings, June 1932



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Shelsley Walsh Again.

IN these columns last month I apparently inferred that Shelsley Walsh was to be no more after this year. What I was really getting at was that the present course would not be kept to after this year, so making this the last chance of breaking the existing record now held by Von Stuck on his Austro Daimler. The M.A.C. have actually renewed their lease for the hill, and in future intend to increase the length of the course, when, of course, a new record will be established and the old battle will start over again.

The fastest British car on this course at present is R. J. G. Nash’s single seater Frazer-Nash “The Terror,” and there is every hope that it will go even faster than before. Another car which is going to make a very serious effort to get the record is that built by W. E. Harker, who has performed well at this event on small cars, and has built a very light car with a 1,500 c.c. supercharged V-eight engine. I hear he has been trying it out on a straight 500 yards stretch and has had it up to 90 m.p.h. and stopped it again in that distance which certainly suggests both acceleration and brakes of no mean order ! The climb comes off on June 25th and all particulars and entry forms can be obtained from Mr. Leslie Wilson, Hon. Sec., Midland Automobile Club, 415, Stratford Road, Birmingham.

Ulster Entries.

Final entries for Ulster close on the 27th of this month, but entries at single fees have already closed with 30 cars, and if the hoped for foreign entries materialise this should be considerably increased. The 1,500 c.c class, always a favourite with the amateur, looks like coming more into the limelight, and this year is given added interest by the team of new 6-cylinder Riley. The entry list at present is as follows :—

CLASS IV (OvER 2,000 C.C. AND UP To 3,000 c.c.).

Alfa-Romeo, $ (2).—Lord Howe and Soc. Anon, Alfa-Romeo. Talbot (4).—A. W. Fox (3) and W. Esplen.

CLASS VI (OVER 1,100 C.C. AND UP TO 2,500 c.c.).

S (1).—E. Coleman.

Aston-Martin (1).—R. 0. Shuttleworth.

Frazer-Nash, S (3).—T. G. Moore, A. P. P. Fane and W. Sullivan,

Riley (3).—V. Riley (3).

CLASS VII (OVER’750 C.C. AND UP To 1,100 c.c.) Crossley (3).—Vernon Balls (3). Riley (4).—V. Riley (3) and V

CLAss VIII (OvER 500 c.c. AND UP TO 750 c.c.).

M.G. Midget, S (9).—Major A. T. G. Gardner (3), Norman Black, S. A. Crabtree, F. S. Barnes, a B. Hailwood, E. R. Hall and G. F. A. Manby-Colegrave, 1 each.

The New Riley ” Six.”

The Riley Six” is interesting, both in view of the racing reputation of its makers, and the fact that a new racing mode is more than welcome in our competitions. This car will have a preliminary opportunity of showing its paces in the J.C.C. 1,000 miles race and then will have plenty of time to attend to details before the Ulster T.T. The engine is a slightly smaller edition of the Alpine Six, so as to bring it into the 1,500 c.c. class. The bore and stroke are 57.546 by 95.2 mm.

The engine has many new features as well as adaptions of those found so successful on the Brooklands “9.” The cylinders are mono-bloc and in one with the top of the crankcase. The crankshaft is carried in three plain bearings. The crankshaft can be threaded in from the end of the case, necessitating a very large centre bearing, the housing of which is water-cooled. The head and valve gear arrangements follow the successful arrangement used in the “9,” that is, inclined valves are operated through push rods from two camshafts, situated on either side of the cylinder block.

Three S.U. carburettors supply the mixture, the system being balanced. The valve rockers are carried on hollow shafts and lubricated under pressure.

A dry plate clutch takes the drive to a 4-speed gearbox with the usual Riley helical third speed, the gears with a 4.77 axle ratio being 5.96 on third, 7.155 on second, and 11.78 to 1 on bottom.

The chassis differs somewhat from previous Rileys in that the frame is nearly straight and is carried from over the front axle to under the rear axle. The engine and also the radiator are carried on rubber mountings. A 26 gallon rear petrol is so shaped that the spare wheel can be carried vertically in the tail, part of it being recessed into the tank. Cable operated brakes are used and adjustment is within reach of the driver.

As it is to be run in standard sports car races, the model is now in production, the price being £595.

The 1,000 Miles.

The 1,000 Miles Race has an entry of 38 cars, so that we should see quite a lot of motoring on the 3rd and 4th. The Talbots and M.G.’s will not differ greatly from last year but the new Rileys will be interesting, while Vernon Balls has been working hard on the Crossleys and has been getting better results. A water pump has overcome the overheating troubles, and he has also gone into the question of keeping the oil cooler. A 2-gallon aluminium sump has been fitted with air pipes running through it transversely to avoid them getting choked with dirt. An air scoop assists in cooling the sump and the oil temperature is now much more reasonable. This race should be an excellent chance of finding out further troubles, so that by the end of the season the cars should be getting really fit. The entries are as follows :—

The British Empire Trophy.

Naturally there has been a good deal of argument about the result of the British Empire Trophy Race, and some wild and heated comments have been heard amongst Brooklands “fans,” so perhaps there is no point in going further into the matter now. However, a good many people have asked, “Why did Eyston lodge a protest ? ” so it will be as well to make the whole of this part of the business clear. Had Eyston been running his own car for his own amusement, he

would have been quite content to leave things alone, but as he pointed out to me afterwards, Panhards sent their car over for him to drive in the race, and said. “Please win,” or words to that effect. When he saw them again they would naturally say “Did you win ? and he would say “No I ” They would say “Why, your car was the fastest.” To which he would only have been able to reply, “1 could not pass Cobb. because there was not room.” The answer to which would only be, “If you were

faster and another car was in the way why the didn’t you lodge a protest ? ” Actually I think it is a very good thing that he did protest, because it brings up such a host of knotty pro blems about track racing with cars which are really too fast for the track. It is suggested in some quarters that such an event should be run as a handicap, an idea which I think is entirely wrong. We have more than enough handicaps and not enough scratch races as it is,. and there is no doubt that scratch events are the most satisfying for spectators, and also for the drivers of anything but the small cars. Also handicap races are liable to give the public an entirely wrong idea of .a car’s, merits, as many of them fail to realise fully what is a handicap, and it is very trying to hear some ordinary motorist holding that some 750 c.c. car is a better motor than some 2i litre racer because it has ” beaten ” it in a race. Everyone has the greatest admiration for

the amazing performances of small cars, but it would be better for everyone if we laid less stress on comparisons which are purely arbitrary.