WANTED-AN ENGLISH AUTO-REUNION

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52

EDITORIAL. WANTED AN ENGLISH AUTO-UNION

SELD0111 has a road-racing season been more full of promise than that which now confronts us. There are plenty of races on the International Calendar, and-1A hat is more important—plenty of cars and drivers only too anxious to have their entries accepted by the organisers. Finally, the racing outlook has been stabilised by the promised participation of at least five official factory teams..

The coming season, then, has all the elements of the exciting Grand Prix days of a decade ago, with carteams of various nations, piloted by the best drivers in Europe, battling for supremacy in race after race. But for English followers of motor-racing there is something missing, something which those years in the early ‘twenties possessed, and which the 1934 Grand Prix races will lack—the participation of an English team. We have got the drivers, at least men who with constant practice may well become equal to the finest Continental aces, but of cars suitable for Grand Prix

racing we have none. What makes the position a peculiarly ironical one is that a vast sum of money is being spent this year by various English drivers and groups of drivers in buying and preparing foreign racing cars to enable them to compete in road races abroad. The usual argument of British manufacturers against building special Grand Prix racing cars is that the cost is too great, but it is safe to say that the money spent by English drivers in buying foreign cars—quite apart from the money they are going to spend in actually racing them—would have easily recompensed an enterprising manufacturer

who set out to build a modern Grand Prix racing car.

But perhaps it is asking too much of any single manufacturer to take on the job single-handed, although one would have thought that the resultant advertisement value would have been all the greater for that. The alternative is to follow the German example, in which the firms of Audi, D.K.W., Wanderer and Horch have pooled their resources and built the Auto-Union racing car to the design of Dr. Porsche.

That our Automobile engineers are capable of designing and constructing a car which could compete on level terms with the latest Continental productions we have no doubt. The sweeping victories of the M.G. Magnette and Midget, in open competition with foreign road racing machines of a similar size last year is sufficient proof of that.

Of course it is too late now for anything to be done for the coming season, but it is not too early to consider our plans for 1935. What is needed is co-ordination between manufactur

ers and drivers. Some representative body, for example the R.A.C., might arrange a meeting between drivers who are known to be interested in Continental road-racing, and manufacturers who are aware of the prestige accruing from racing.

What we need is action, a co-ordination of our activities which will result in England having a team of racing cars to line up at the start of the big Grand Prix races in company with the Bugattis of France, the Alfa Romeos and Maseratis of Italy, and the MercedesBenz and Auto-Unions of Germany.