CORRESPONDENCE. [Owing to pressure of space several letters have been held over.–ED. j
SIR,—With reference to your article in Motor Sport “Great Racing Marques. XI—Austin,” I have perused this with great interest, but was, to say the least of it, somewhat surprised that no mention was made of the 20 h.p. Austin which I regularly raced for some six years on 13rooklands.
In the first place, at the Show in 1920, I ordered an Austin 20 chassis which the Austin Company guaranteed would be capable of 70 m.p.h., but they would not guarantee any more. Before this particular chassis was put into production, I requested them to build the car exactly to my own specification. This (after considerable discussion) they eventually agreed to do, but in view of my specification submitted they unconditionally withdrew any guarantee of speed, and this I quite willingly risked. To cut a long story short, instead of doing 70 m.p.h. the car attained 85 m.p.h.
The success of the specification was so obvious to the Austin Company, they immediately proceeded to produce it as a standardized sports model.
This was the first Austin to race after the war and long preceded the 750 c.c. model, which, of course, was not produced until a year or two after.
The first race for which it was entered at Brooklands was won by an unprecedented margin, at the Easter Meeting, 1921. Eventually, I made my car into the fastest Austin that has ever been built and have lapped Brooklands (official time) at 94.99 m.p.h. and, seeing that the car emanated from standard parts, I should have thought that this was a sufficiently good performance to have merited mention in your notes. • Yours truly,
FELIX SCRIVEN. (We thank Mr. Scriven for drawing our attention to the performance of his Austin 20″ and feel sure that our readers will not have forgotten the famous “Sergeant Murphy.” However, the” Great Racing Marque” series, to be really complete, would occupy several volumes. Under the circumstances, many highly creditable performances by enthusiastic private owners in short distance races, etc., have bad to be omitted in favour of fuller accounts of the big international events.—Editor.)