Rumblings, June 1946

At Caterham
Calling in to see Marcus Chambers at Caterham the other day, we found that L.M.B. Ltd. have an excellent man on their staff, in the person of Culling, who was with Lagonda’s racing department in 1928, then joined Sir Henry Birkin in the hey-day of the blower Bentleys; has worked in the racing section of Aston-Martin’s and, of later years, been with E.R.A. and — Auto-Union. When war came Culling got to Berne and so back to his own country. When we were introduced to him he was happily dismantling a Mk. IV Villiers supercharger from a client’s open 4 1/2-litre Bentley. He also helps Marcus with his monoposto Austin Seven, but, well as this motors, it must seem tame to Culling, who was in De Havilland’s jet-engine department during the war. His own car is a s.v. Aston-Martin 2-seater. L.M.B. Ltd. intend to specialise in the fitting of Rootes blowers of Sir Giles Godfrey manufacture (for which they are agents); they have a neat standard installation for the Ford Ten. L.M.B. i.f.s. for the smaller Fords, and an overdrive for those building rapid Ford Tens, are other lines of theirs. A Gough-engined Atalanta 2-seater, a blown Morgan “4/4” 4-seater, a Rolls-Bentley and various Fords were receiving attention in the works, and the H. G. Symmns L.M.B. and Ballamy’s Alfa-cowled 10-h.p. L.M.B. are, or were, for sale.

Marcus was putting the finishing touches to the 1908 Hutton, in readiness for some stern veteran motoring, and the firm’s breakdown car is the 37.2-h.p. Hispano-Suiza once owned by Ken Ballamy. Leslie Ballamy has apparently resigned and set up as an independent consulting engineer.

More New Models
Confirmed Chain Gangsters may be somewhat aghast at such features of the specification of the new Frazer-Nash as bolt-on disc wheels, synchromesh gearbox and a crab-track “the wrong way round.” But, reading between the lines, it seems that the new cars may have taken a leaf out of B.M.W.’s book and possess all those Continental characteristics which sportsmen find desirable, in a car so British as to be made at Bristol with the co-operation of the Bristol Aeroplane Co., Ltd. A 66 x 96-mm, 2-litre, 6-cylinder, 4-bearing engine with push-rod-actuated inclined o.h. valves in hemispherical combustion chambers, and three downdraught carburetters above the alloy head, make one think a bit. This engine goes into a chassis having the traditional high gear ratios (top 3.9-to-1), independent front suspension by a transverse spring, a 9 ft. 6-in, wheelbase, front track of 4 ft. 3 1/4 in., rear track of 4 ft. 6 in., and a cunning free-wheel operative in bottom gear only. The closed bodies are apparetitly rather special, great attention having been paid to the reduction of wind sounds. A close-coupled saloon and cabriolet are planned and a maximum of 90 m.p.h., a comfortable cruising 78, all with a cross-country thirst for fuel of 24 m.p.g., are spoken of. Then, built in small numbers only, there will be a streamlined sports 2-seater able to exceed 100 m.p.h. There is to be inbuilt ventilation and radio. These sound to us like motor-cars worth waiting for.

Rolls-Royce Ltd. have introduced the “Silver Wraith,” most imposing of the moderns. It has an entirely new engine with o.h. inlet and side exhaust valves, reminiscent of the rare 4-litre Bentley, the Ricardo engine of which, we believe, was quite surprisingly efficient. The front independent suspension is by a new system of helical springs with hydraulic damping. The gearbox retains r.h. control and has synchromesh on the three higher ratios, and the famous Rolls-Royce mechanical-servo braking is retained, with Girling front linkage, and hydraulic actuation at the rear. Equipment includes heating, screen de-mister and de-froster, and radio. Mulliner, Park Ward, Hooper, Gurney Nutting and James Young bodywork is available on this magnificent chassis, which is priced at £1,855, plus purchase tax. The touring limousine by Hooper will set you back £4,409 1s. 8d. when purchase tax is included. We hope to include details of the 1946 H.R.G. elsewhere in this issue and trust the Gordano will emerge ere long.

Continental Fashion
It took a temporarily vanquished country – France – to hold a proper motor-race after hostilities had ceased, and on Easter Monday another was held at Nice, with practically all the old glamour of a Continental road race. It is now a matter of history that Gigi Villoresi won the race in a 4-cylinder 16-valve Maserati, at 64.65 m.p.h., covering the course in 2 hr. 0 min. 4.7 sec. His refuelling stop cost him three whole minutes and allowed Sommer’s 3-litre Type 308 Alfa-Romeo to pass into the lead. However, Villoresi re-passed and finally finished a lap ahead of the Alfa. Chaboud and Grignard were next home, in 3 1/2-litre Delahayes, with Ruggeri’s 16-valve Maserati behind them. Chiron, in an unblown 4-litre Talbot-Darracq, had much plug trouble and could not better sixth place. Schell retired after an “incident” with the big Maserati; Etancelin likewise after trouble with his 6-cylinder Maserati, and the tail-enders comprised Veret’s “2.3” Alfa-Romeo, Pozzi’s 1 1/2-litre Maserati, Bianchi’s “2.3” Bugatti and Louveau’s Maserati. The distance was 129.5 miles for blown, and 120 miles for normally-aspirated, cars. Sommer did fastest lap, at 68.56 m.p.h. There was also a race of 89.8 miles for 750-1,100-c.c. blown and 2 1/2-litre unblown cars, won by Scaron’s Le Mans, streamline 1,100-c.c. Simca-Fiat, at 53.56 m.p.h. Brunot’s Riley was next home, in front of Kneppert’s 1 1/2-litre Bugatti. 100,000 people spectated. Over here we had a 1/4-mile sprint … !

Odd Spots
Foulis have reprinted “Wheels at Speed,” by Prince Chula, a well-illustrated account of “B. Bira’s” first racing season. Russell has introduced yet another publication, the Model Mechanic, a 1s. 3d. monthly, part of which is devoted to model petrol-engined racing cars. The Marquis of Aylesbury still possesses a solid-tyred Trojan. Bear broke the back-axle of one of his Bugattis at Elstree,