It. l• UrnblingS
11) 13 OfiffLRGES
Drivers at the Riviera.
THE Monte Carlo Rally attracts wide attention on the Continent, and it was very fitting that Lord Howe, our leading racing driver in foreign races, should have been able to attend the dinner which marked the close of the week’s proceedings. He was returning from Italy where, with the other members of his team he had been trying out the Magnettes for the Millia Miglia. Penn Hughes who had started from Roumania with Symons and whose drive unfortunately was brought to a standstill in a few miles by the snowdrifts which damaged the Sunbeam, was compensated for his train journey to Monte Carlo by being able to drive the Magnette to England. Various detail alterations have yet to be made but the car displayed amazing power and acceleration aided by the self-changing gearbox.
Incidently Penn’s 2.3 Bugatti has been bought by Bowes. It has been completely rebuilt, new chassis, and various other things damaged in the collision with the station wall during practise for last year’s Monaco Grand Prix, and Bowes will drive it throughout the season. It should be a useful car for the Mannin Moat Race in the Isle of Man. Another personage at Monte Carlo intimately connected with the racing world was Jean Bugatti, who was watching the Mont des Mules Hill Climb. I noticed he was wearing the B.R.D.C. badge, a much coveted decoration in Europe, and in conversation he made dark references to what the firm were doing for the Monaco G.P. Those 2.8’s no doubt. Then, getting into his 4.9 saloon, designed by himself, with one of those very
sloping windscreens which have caught on on the Continent, he drove off in true Bugatti fashion, to cause further narrow squeaks on the Corniche Road, the spinning rear tyres leaving black marks on the road.
A Record-Breaker ?
John Cobb’s new car, which is taking shape in Thomson and Taylors behind triple-locked doors, is likely to be ready about Easter. Details may not yet be disclosed, but the power unit is of course a Napier ” Lion ” 450 h.p. aero engine, similar to that which was formerly used on the Blue Bird. The famous 12 cylinder Delage has been bought by Oliver Bertram, who is being taught how to use it by the former owner. Bertram had also decided to buy the 2 litre twelve-cylinder pelage, re
puted to be the one on which Benoist won the 1925 French G.P., hoping to run it in. the Isle of Man, but found that it required more time than he could spare to prepare it.
Bertram does a good deal of trials work and in conjunction with Andrew Vairtiough, the C.U.A.C. secretary, is arranging a really tough trial on the Roost, Yealscombe and various other Exmoor terrors. Readers who are interested should apply to 0. S. G. Bertram, 61, Bateman Street, Cambridge.
By the time MoToR SPORT is on sale, the Oxford Club will have held an acceleration test on the tynsharn Bye Pass, and one hopes that the weather will have been less icy than for last year’s event. The Cambridge Club are holding a Speed Trial at Gopsall on March 4th. Entry forms from A. C. Fairtlough, 3, Bridge Street, Cambridge.
An English Racing Stable.
Sir Henry Birkin will be driving on the Continent in several races during the season. He will be a member
of Earl Howe’s team for the Italian 1,000 Miles, but most of the season’s events will be driving for Mr. Bernard Rubin. The latter was, of course, co-driver with Barna.to on the 4/ Bentley which won the Le Mans Grand Prix d’Endurance in 1928. He has bought a three litre Maserati, a straight eight identical with last year’s 2.8’s except for an increase in capacity. This car has a guaranteed’ speed of 150 m.p.h., with an amazing powerweight ratio.
He has also purchased the Alfa on which Nuvolari won the 1932 Monaco Grand Prix, and these two with one of the new Magnettes should form a stable capable of holding their own on the Continent, especially as the manufacturers have greatly reduced their racing programmes.
The Maserati is to be run in the French, German, Italian and possibly Spanish Grands Prix, and any others that can be fitted in.
The Alfa will be driven at Le Mans, fitted with a fourseater body, and also at Ulster. Rubin will act as second driver in the long distance races, while, where there are several categories in Grand Prix races he will probably drive the Magnette himself. The Alfa and the Magnette will both be run is the Isle of Man races.
THE surface of Brooklands Track having once again been subjected to its annual scrutiny and ironing, all is now set for the opening of the season. The first B.A.R.C. meeting is earlier than usual this year, and some interesting cars have been prepared during the Winter. R. J. Munday has decided that whereas the safe limit of speed, so far as the chassis of the 30/98 Vauxhall is concerned, was reached when he recorded an average of 114 m.p.h. for the Gold Star race last year, there is still a possibility of getting the engine to deliver a few more horses. Accordingly, he has constructed a hybrid machine composed of the chassis of a 1922 G.P. Sunbeam and the engine of a 30/98 Vauxhall, and with this promising machine he hopes to do some good work down at Weybridge.
Another animal in the Munday stable is the Thomas Special. A great deal of work has been expended on the car, which is unblown, and now at last all difficulties have been overcome. The machine will be in regular use throughout the season.
“Paramount presents to BRDC
Although a good many people were away at Monte Carlo, or at any rate en route to that elusive spot at the time, the B.R.D.C. dinner and film-show at Bush House was well attended. Following an amusing Walt Disney cartoon and a highly entertaining instructional film about an artificial larynx, a very good series of Paramount news-reels of speed events throughout 1932 was shown. I was particularly delighted with the next item, an extraordinarily interesting film of most of the French Grand Prix races from 1906 to 1914, as well as some glimpses of the Vanderbilt Cup race in America. The photographer seemed to be particularly fortunate in securing shots of accidents, for the most part harmless, and the film made me realise for the first time how really fierce was the standard of driving in those wonderful pre-War days.
The 1VIaserati driven by Eyston and Ramponi at Brooklands in the Double Twelve, and by the latter at Phoenix Park, has been acquired by Cummings, who is up at Cambridge. The preparation of the car for races during the season will be in the trusty hands of R. F. Oats.
Bartlett has carried out still more alterations to his already very fleet Salmson, and hopes to raise the 1,100 c.c. mountain lap record still higher. Incidentally, he has the black M.G. Midget raced by H. C. Hamilton at his place for sale. Anyone wanting a really quick motor car (which holds the 750 mountain record), please apply.
Horton is by no means satisfied that he has reached the limit of his 500 miles race-winning M.G. Midget’s capabilities. Mucir work has been done through the Winter, and there are rumours of the 750 c.c. Brooklanas lap record going up to 120 m.p.h. in the near future.
I am all agog. A well known concern in the South is reputed to be racing a team of cars from Coventry this season, but I am not allowed to say who or what.
Further thoughts about those 1922 Grand Prix Sunbeams
By writing-up Bill Lake's splendid 1922 GP Sunbeam in the June issue I have let myself in for some more sorting-out of the Sunbeams, or an attempt to do this,…
Letters from Readers, February 1946
Sir, We should like to correct the report of the Bristol speed trials in your December issue. Our Mr. S. H. Allard did not drive "a touring-bodied Ford V8," but…
Book Reviews, September 1986, September 1986
Classic Sports Cars by Graham Robson, (publ. Patrick Stephens Ltd., Denington Estate, Wellingborough, Northants NN8 200, 136 pp, 5" x 8", illustrated, paperback, £3.99) The term "classic car" is an…