SUPPORT POR BIG CHANGES IN THE PERSONNEL: TRUSTEES CANNOT ACCEPT H. W. COOK’S OFFER AT PRESENT
THE fate of the new E.R.A. still hangs in the balance, for the initial response to the British Motor Racing Fund has been somewhat disappointing, with only a little over ;61,00o, out of the £8,000 required, subscribed during the first two months since the appeal was sent out. Of this sum, 100 was put up at once by the Derby and District M.C., and at the time of writing this was quite the largest individual contribution (apart, of course, from .Humphrey Cook’s own unstinted efforts).
The trustees of the Fund, Col. Sealy Clarke, Sir Algernon Guinness, Lt.-Col. Moore-Brabazon, and Capt. G. B. T. Eyston, have reluctantly had to decline Humphrey Cook’s offer to transfer to them all the assets of E.R.A., Ltd., including the four’ new cars, valued at £25,000, the plant, and all the equipment, on the ground that at present the undertaking is beyond the scope of the Fund.
However, Humphrey Cook, though still holding to his decision to close down E.R.A. Ltd., on May 26th, has made a last concession that he will continue to be responsible for nnming the cars for a few weeks longer. So the danger signal has now definitely gone up, and it cannot be too strongly hoped that the motcr racing public, which has so often watched with enjoyment the performance of E.R.A. cars, will be stirred to action. Support for the Fund!
The fixture list recently issued by the R.A.C., with a list of clubs and their secretaries, reveals that there are in all no fewer than 475 clubs in Great Britain. Many of these are purely for motorcyclists, but a large majority has car members, and a great number even of motor-cyclists is interested in car racing. Forty of the clubs, to take the minimum number, have agreed to ” support ” the Fund, but few of these have so far subscribed as a club.
Club secretaries are, urged to circularise their members, asking for some quite small contribution, even 2/6 a head, to be sent to the fund in the name of the club. Even with this small sum, £1,000 or more could easily be raised, if only a small proportion of all those clubs would respond. Each club represented in the list would gain an honourable name.
The new E.R.A. has yet to Make its debut in racing, but those lucky enough to get a glimpse of it at Brooklands on the occasion of the International Trophy were full of admiration for its workmanlike build and beautiful lines. The engine, with six-cylinders as before, has a shorter stroke of 80 mm. compared with the former 95.3 mm. With a bore of 62.8 mm., the engine now has a capacity of 1,487 c.c. Aided by the shorter stroke, it is said to have immense revving capabilities, and to develop 240 b.h.p. at 8,000 r.p.m. This is more than the horse power claimed either for the
new 1 flitre Mercedes, or the new Maserati, both of which claim 220 b.h.p. at 8,000 r.p.ixt. The frame has been entirely redesigned, and is now tubular, and torsion bars are
used for the suspension all round. In front the suspension is independent, while at the rear the latest type De Dion axle is fitted, with the gearbox and final drive, both in one unit, mounted on the frame. The gearbox is now synchromesh on all speeds, to avoid the weight and extra complications of the pre-selector box formerly used, while synchromesh has been used to give a quick change.
The first appearance of the cars is expected to be in the Nuffield Trophy at Doningt on on June 10th. Dare one hope that success in this race, possibly against the best that Germany and Italy can produce, would move the donor of the Trophy, and Britain’s greatest public benefactor, to support ?
The whole position is at present in the melting pot, but before that race it is understood that startling changes in drivers and personnel will have taken place. Raymond Mays himself will be racing as an independent for the rest of the season, having bought from Humphrey Cook the car which he drove in the International Trophy. Thus there are big things afoot, but without adequate support nothing effec
tive can be done. Is British racing prestige to die ? Surely the thousands. of enthusiasts will now rally round.