letters from readers, March 1933




SIR,—I am writing to say how much I appreciate MOTOR SPORT.

In the February issue I found Mr. T. G. Moore’s account of their adventures In the Monte Carlo Rally especially interesting, and of the regular features, the Continental Notes and Rumblings by ” Boanerges.”

Wishing you every success. G. DENNE-BOLTON. 42, Dartmouth Square,

Dublin, S.W.8.

American Views.

SIR,—In the January issue you speak favourably on page 114 of wood block paving. I wish to protest this. We have several areas of this in New York City and vicinity, and when wet it is slippier than any road surface I have ever met, except wet rails and smooth ice. I have seen seven cars involved in a single crash due to it, and on one occasion I caught a rear tire on a car track which would not be noticeable when dry, and at only 40 m.p.h. completed four cycles of skid before getting quieted down.

My observations indicate that reinforced concrete is the best road surface when finances and traffic warrant. Plain concrete cracks. Tarmac grows waves and potholes and is invisible at night. We have recently used about one to two inch broken stone pre-mixed and rolled with satisfactory results. I am not familiar with the details except that a minimum amount of tar should be used.

The crack-up you refer to on page 61, December, 1932, was, if I am not mistaken, Billy Arnold, in the 1931 Indian°polls 500. He broke a rear axle, spun, was hit by Luther Johnson and went over the wall, suffering a broken pelvis and nose, and cuts. His mechanic had a broken collarbone. Johnson and his mechanic were not injured.

On the next page you accuse us of not being able to shift gears quietly, which I think is unfair. We do not shift without declutching, as our cars have adequate throwout bearings, but we have the pause in neutral well timed, and when in a hurry ” double-clutch ” successfully.

Jumping beans (October, 1932) have a grub filling the shell. The grub bites the inside of the shell and the recoil makes it jump. N. M. 344, West 12 Street,

New York City, U.S.A.

Handicapping—and the Douglas race.

SIR,—With regard to your entitled “David and Goliath,” in the February issue of MOTOR SPORT, it is my humble opinion that motor racing handicapped by c.c. can never be a success. Mr. Aldington’s proposal interested me immensely, but even his idea, if I may criticise such a superior judge to myself, seemed a little complicated. I think that the chief snag with his idea would be that we should have several firms advertising the winning of the same race, which would be very confusing to the and to them with the idea that there was some wangling going on. Then quite apart from that, I can see other difficulties looming up in the near future. At the present time, as we are all noting with pleasurable anticipation, a number of road racing circuits are springing up in different parts of the country. As is bound to happen, the officials of the various courses all have their own ideas about class division, and the relative advantages of supercharging, and if something isn’t done toward standardisation, we are going to have a number of big races on different circuits, with a different class division for each race. This is going to make things very difficult for those manufacturers who wish to support as many of these races as possible, as a car built for one race might have no chance at all in the next. In my opinion we should pick a suitable course and have three big International Calendar races a year, on the same lines as the successful motor-cycle T.T.’s, i.e., Lightweight, Junior and Senior. All other races should be relegated to the “minor importance” class. To return to handicapping, I should use the only fair basis—price! No one can dispute the fact that if a car beats a rival of similar price, it has beaten it decisively, large or small. It would be no use for the loser to point out that the other man had a bigger engine than his, or more h.p. or cylinders, or a supercharger, as all of these components are included in, and covered by, the price, and there is no getting away from it. The next thing to decide would be the classes. Seven very fair divisions by price could be made, viz., Under £250, £250—£500, £500—£750, £750—£1,000, £1,000—£1,500, £1,500—£2,000, and unlimited. However, it would not be advisable to use all these classes separately, as the ideal is to abolish handicapping, and we could not have seven races. Therefore I should classify the three races as follows :—Lightweight under £500, Junior £500-21,000, Senior £1,000£2,000. A winding course similar to that in the Isle of Man would have to be used, so that speed should not be the chief consideration. This would give the lowest priced cars in each class as good a chance as their higher priced rivals, as good brakes and acceleration need not be as expensive to produce as sheer speed. Take a review of the cars likely to be entered in the first race. The c.c. would range from S. 750’s to unblown 1500’s. The actual cars would probably be M.G. Midgets and Aston-Martin, at each end of the scale, which I consider to be a very evenly matched pair. The 1100’s in between Would have nothing to grumble at in a 1500 c.c. rival if the 750 c.c. was satisfied. All of this supposition, of course, is based on a winding circuit, where maximum speeds would be very little used. I have compiled a chart of all the cars likely to be entered in the three races. While on the subject of the light car class, why the ban on three wheelers, might I ask ? Surely the fours aren’t afraid of Mr. Morgan, are they ? Then again in the Junior race the division seems just as fair. Take the probable

extremes again, S. 1500’s and unsupercharged 3000’s, with one exception. The one exception I refer to would be the new supercharged Magnette, which promises to be an exceptional car, and would have nothing to fear in this race, although only a” 1100.” Finally, the field likely to be drawn in the Senior could leave nothing to be desired. As Mercedes 38-250 comes outside the price limit, he would have to hurry on with the new 34-.

LIGHTWEIGHT (under £500).—Austin Seven, M.G. Midget, Crossley, M.G. Magnette (unblown), Morgan, Riley Nine, Alta, Amiicar, Salmson, Aston Martin, M.G. Magna, Frazer Nash (unblown). Wolseley Hornet Special.

JUNIOR (under £1,000).—M.G. Magnette (blown), Riley (li litre), Alfa Romeo (li litre), Bugatti (li litre), Frazer Nash (s/c), Invicta, Maserati, Lagonda, Marendaz Special, Alvis (Speed Twenty), Talbot “90,” Talbot ” 105.”

SENIOR (under 22,000).—Alfa Romeo (2.3), Bugatti (2.3 and 4.9), Maserati, O.M., Bentley, Invicta.

R.EGINALD MILES. 4, High Street, Fordington,


Football and Motor Racing. have been a reader of MoToR

SIR,—I have been a reader of MoToR SPORT for the past three months, and it has put me “Motor Crazy.” It is an excellent book, and is the most interesting periodical I know of.

My friend is a footballer and very keen on it. I am not very keen on it, but am very keen on motor racing. We had a fierce argument the other day on whether “Football benefited this country more than Motor Racing in the matter of money and unemployment.” This little debate, within an hour involved the greater part of our works in a heated argument. Please can you give me some of your readers’ ideas on the subject. By football, all village teams are included, and by motor racing I include all small M.C.C. trials, etc.

J. FURLONG. 41, King’s Road, Haslemere.

The Monte Carlo Rally.

SIR,—The results of the Monte Carlo Rally once again bear out the inability of British cars and drivers to compete with any chance of success in real trials work.

In no other country is the sport of reliability trials carried on so extensively as in Great Britain, and yet this is presumably the best we can do. Mark you I am not forgetting the fact that Donald Healey won the Rally two years ago— but how often does Healey compete in reliability trials at home ? Hardly ever. It all seems to confirm a conclusion that I have arrived at long ago, that reliability trials in England are useless as a training ground for real Continental trials work.

As further proof, the winning Talbot team in last year’s Alpine Trial was con?.posed of drivers who never take part in trials at home.

ANTI-TRIALS. Newcastle.