THE R.A.C. RALLY A GREAT SUCCESS FOR FRAZER-NASH-B.M.W.
THIS year’s R.A.C. Rally to Brighton was a success, even though Rally entries have decreased every year since 1932, when the original Rally
attracted 367 competitors. This year 225 entered, of which 200 started. The road section proved very easy for modern cars and hardly amusing to experienced drivers, especially as the trials section was cut out at the last moment, we believe because of flooded roads. However, Cowdale had to be tackled and failed quite a few cars, and those who paint funny names on their cars and don white flying hats or cricket caps or other funny head gear or display special mascots in and on their carriages, would probably not like to forego this road section. One car broke a fuel pipe, another lost both its front springs, while Anthony’s, Raymond Mays and an S.S. retired following minor accidents. At Brighton the first test was a hillclimb up a 1 in 41 hill, with a reversing test past a pylon in the middle of it. In many ways this was an excellent test, but as the bill was quite long, a highperformance car could still put up a reasonable time afterits driver had made poor showing in the reversing section. We really cannot see what a reverse proves, except to test rearward visibility in a closed car ; a normal restart •test would test clutch, handbrake and bottom gear ratio just as well. In Class 1 Cornish made best time with his model-T M.G., in 24.8 secs., H.F.S. Morgan’s Morgan 4/4 Coupe led class 2, in 28.6 secs. Michael Lawson’s white Meadows-H.R.G. beat everyone in Class 3 with a run in.23.2 secs., 13oughton’s Vauxhall made best time in 80.8 secs. in the equivalent closed car class, and then Leslie Johnson set up fastest liii of all with his Type 328 B.M.W. in 22.0 secs., a really fine dice. Fane (B.M.W.) managed 22.8 secs., and Newsome (S.S.) tied with him. In the big closed car class Don Impanni and H. J. Aldington tied for best show with their Frazer-Nash
B.M.W.s. Some of the reverses were very cautious, some too wild, so that time was lost as the cars slewed round. The Bantam (American for specialbodied Austin Seven) failed on the hill, likewise a Type 500 Fiat, a Singer tried to disintregate his ratio-chest and Miss Stanley Turner took ages to find the gear she wanted on the big Alvis. The 41litre Bentleys mostly showed that they had heaps of urge, getting momentary wheel-spin on the get-away. We took heaps of notes in a miserable hail-storm while watching this test on the Thursday afternoon. But there is insufficient space in which to detail every performance, now would much of value be gained by doing so. We may mention the tremendous low-speed urge of the 3f-litre S.S. 100s, however. On the Friday morning there was a starting from cold test which is quite an instructive test and accordingly Ignored by the Press in general. We would emphasise that two Rileys, and two M.G.s and two Aston-Martins, an S.S. and a Wolseley each lost two marks, and a ‘l’-type M.G. ten marks, in this test. The next excitement was a braking test, with long lengths Of rod as hazards. Cars were timed over a standing quarter-mile and were required to pull up in a quite adequate space, but lost marks for sliding over the hazards. This was a very useful test, in which there was the usual tendency to brake early. Cornish held a slide well and won Group I with his M.G. in 21.6 secs. Morgan’s Morgan again led Class 2, in 23.6 secs., and in Class 3 Mayne’s Aston-Martin did 20.4 secs., with Robin’s H.R.G. almost as quick. Davidson’s Triumph led its class in 23.4 secs., and in the big Class Harrop managed 19.0 secs, in the S.S. and Pane 19.4 secs. on a run in which the B.M.W.s urge was degree of control, albeit it gave sportstype cars an unquestionable advantage. There seemed an optimistic lack of sandbags, extinguishers and St. John’s men at the corners, but fortunately no one came unstuck. However, the family cars did some heart-stopping rolling and lifting and Whalley oh-so nearly tipped up his open Ford Ten, while Symons did a real banked turn in the battered Cape Record Wolseley—by the way, In contrast to the antics of the majority of British family death-boxes, the little D.K.W. and the baby Plat were very stable. Best time of all went to Pane, who drove like the master he is, to occupy only 41.4 secs. Tommy
eased a trifle early. Wisdom had foul luck when his 3i-litre S.S. slid into a hazard after a run in 18.6 sees., and Silcock’s Allard—the new car we illustrated last month—actually did 18.2 secs., and then just tipped the barrier right at the end of the braking area— it looked almost as if the wind were responsible. This cost the Allard a high place in the results. Incidentally, the loud-speakers used for these tests on the Madeira Drive were nothing like as good as that which enlivened interest at the previous day’s test. We hope the small crowd of onlookers appreciated the great braking power of what they normally read of a ” great racing projectiles I” Thenal test consisted of deceleration (for sports-cars) or a speed run (for slower cars) up to a hairpin turn round a pylon, a run back to a sharp right-hand turn and up hill to the finish, the whole thing being timed. Although of a curious nature, this test certainly called for good all-round performance and a considerable
Wisdom was second with the S.S. 100, in 42.8 sees., while Soames, handling the smart new Allard V12 for Sikock, was third and Newsome with the S.S. fourth. Of the closed ears Aldington’s big FrazerNash-B.M.W. was really outstanding in 46.4 secs*, followed by Walter Norton’s Delahaye in 47’8 sees., and Cleland’s old Ford V8, most of its big-ends gone, in 48.2 secs. Leslie Johnson spoilt what would have been a very fine time by sliding before the second turn, taking 44.4 secs. The Results had only to be worked out and, from a mass of figures, it transpired that, class by class, Morgan 4/4, Morgan 4/4 coupe, Meadows-H.R.G., Triumph, 328 Frazer-Nash-B.M.W., and FrazerNash-B.M.W. were the outstanding cars. The drivers responsible for these marque successes were : G. H. Goodall, H. F. S. Morgan, M. H. Lawson, G. S. Davidson, A. F. P. Pane, and H. J. Aldington. Both team prizes went to the Pane, Murray, Johnson team of Frazer-NashB.M.W.s. Of the runners-up they were H.R.G. 9 h.p., old Ford Eight, H.R.G. Lancia Aprilia, S.$., and B.M.W. with second placing in their respective classes, and M.G., Wolseley, Riley, Riley again, B.M.W. and Delahaye with third placings. Obviously, Frazer-Nash-B.M.W. carried the day, or should we say week, with S.S. cars very much in the picture. Incidentally, some evidence of the fact that trade interest in competition work is not entirely dormant is shown by the adverthing copy of Sunbeam-Talbot, Triumph, Daimler, S.S., Riley, Alvis, B.S.A. and Raymond Mays, each of whom proclaimed Rally successes. In the Coachwork Competition held on the Saturday, the Premier Award winners were Miss StanleyTurner’s Vanden Plas 4.3-litre Alvis, A. L. Goodrich’s Talbot Ten, Jack Barclay’s Young-bodied Rolls-Royce “
Wraith” and N. A. Bronsten’s H. J. Mull met Bentley. Some daily Press reports of the Rally very carefully mentioned only the performance of popular cars, advertised in their pages, happily ignoring B.M.W., S.S., Morgan and H.R.G., while Wisdom’s reaction to the Rally was that ” Germany gave us a sound drubbing.” Actually, we would say that the Rally was an enjoyable week’s motoring which, if it proved anything, showed up once again the extreme efficiency and dependability of the Frazer-Nash-B.M.W., emphasised the wonderful performance of the moderately-priced S.S. 100 and reminded us of the essential worth of Morgan 4/4 and H.R.G., both of which embody certain rather vintage features and go as fast as any rivals in the small car classes. There is lots of feeling that ordinary cars stand no chance against sports-cars in this Rally and 110 very clear idea whether it is organised to appeal to the R.A.C..’s touring members, to trials’ drivers, or to the Trade. We rather feel that any live seaside Corporation could organise such an event quite happily on its own—as Blackpool, in fact, does—and that our Royal Automobile Club, governing body of the sport in this country, might now decide to give us an event placing less emphasis on the sporting aspect and having a greater research and publicity value. We have before us a copy of ” The Complete Motorist ” by A. B. Filson-Young, pub lished in 1905. The Appendix consists of a copy of the Report issued by the judges of the trials’ of small cars costing under £200, organised in AugustSeptember 1904. by the A.C.G.B.I., (now our R.A.C.). This Report details the behaviour of each entrant in a 620 mile road run, a brake test, a fuel consumption test, a vibration test, a noise test, an ease-of-manipulation test, a c(anfort test
and a hill-climbing test. Incidentally, there were thirty-five starters and the judges were G. H. Baillie, W. Worby Beaumont, E. H. Cozens-Hardy, A G. New and R. E. Phillips. If the Club
could manage all this thirty-five years ago, surely in 1940 the R.A.C. can give us a contest that is a real indication of the respective and collective merits of various sizes and makes of car ? There is Brooklands, Donington and the Crystal Palace, and miles of little-used by-way and colonial going in this country at which to stage the tests, which tests should show up a car’s average qualities and not its particular ability to behave or misbehave in a circus-dice having no counterpart in ordinary, everyday traffic or 40 m.p.h. averagc driving. We hope the 194.0 event will be based on such lines, planned primarily for the Trade, but not barred to private-owners, who occasionally do contrive to drub Trade entrants. We would very much like to do a leading article about how such an event might be put over, but in spite of the desire of the daily Press to send us all into A.R.P. parlours and to drive ambulances instead Of racing-cars, so many important races and speed events and summer trials are taking place that the available space is occupied in reporting them. But we would remind those manufacturers who advertise Rally successes that an event such as we suggest would have even more Publicity value, also that on September 2nd Our Royal Automobile Club will put over another type of event of truly great propaganda value that merits maker’s support—the T.T. Race.