A VISIT TO THE MONACO GARAGE
A REMODELLED AUSTIN SEVEN THAT TOPS THE THREE-FIGURE MARK IN SPEED
The other day we paid a visit to the Monaco Garage of High Street, Watford, to see all the bright things that we had heard about them since they opened their business on March 7th of last year. This concern is owned by those two popular racing enthusiasts, P. R. Monkhouse and I. F. Connell who are well known to all. I. P. Connell had a fair season last year at the wheel of an Rtype M.G., and later with a 2.6-litre Alfa-Romeo, but between them they have had little time to give to serious motorracing. P. R. Monkhouse’s T.T. Magn.ette was prepared with great care for Le Mans, but since that event was not held, the car was run in several speed trials with great success, notably, Syston., Lewes. Littlestone, and Brighton, where it scored
a first and two second awards. The Magnette is now licensed for the road, and includes a few modifications to the braking system, so that it will be available to take part in road-racing events, in all probability the 12-Hour sportscar race at Donington on July 12th. Connell acquired Briault’s E.R.A. and has covered himself with distinction by being second in the General Classification and first in his class in the Swedish G.P. A most interesting car, an Austin, was beilt last year by the Monaco Garage, for E. C. Brettell, the secretary of the C.U.A.C. This car was originally raced by the Marquis of Belleroche a few years ago. The old car was dismantled, the rear springing underslung in order to bring the transmission in line with the rear
axle and the crankshaft, a duralumin subframe added to accommodate a tengallon petrol tank and the driver’s seat.
The body and framework was constructed of light alloys, use being made of RR.66, which is a heat treated material with properties equal to those of mild steel, but an advantage is that it can be worked cold without annealling and additional heat treatment. The width of the body of the car is only 17i in., being only a little wider than the steering wheel which is 16 in. in diameter. The steering box is mounted on the side of the car which means that the column comes into the cockpit at an angle.
An outside left-hand gear change is fitted and an instrument board containing the minimum number of instruments. Great attention has been paid to the assembling of the engine, and this alone took five weeks, since enormous care was spent in getting the various moving parts as free from friction as possible as there is not much power to spare in so small a unit.
The supercharger arrangements are quite standard and a small Cozette gives a blow of about 9 lb. Lubrication to the blower is via a motor-cycle sight feed attachment, so that it is possible to regulate the flow of oil to the supercharger with accuracy. It was necessary to make up a special exhaust manifold since the standard one was made for a two-seater body. This meant, of course, that the exhaust
pipe would be too far away from the car. All the ports have been matched up very carefully and since they are of a different size in the block and in the manifolds, a special light, alloy distance piece had to be made with tapered ports in order to align them.
The radiator has been set forward in a light steel framework in order to accommodate a larger supercharger driven from the front end of the engine, should this be deemed necessary.
The standard 4.9 axle is fitted and alternative gear ratios obtained by the use of different sized wheels and tyres.
The true performance of the car cannot of course be revealed and it has indeed only done about 200 miles at Brooklands on test, but it is anticipated that it will top the three figure mark in speed, while the acceleration for so light a car is naturally very good. At the end of last season, Monaco Garage modified an M.G. four-cylinder engine by enlarging it to 1,100 c.c. and equipping it with an R-type cylinder head and a double figure compression ratio. The engine was dropped into a hastily reconstructed and temporary test chassis and gave a distinctly encouraging performance. It is hoped that the first meeting for this car will be the Coronation Meeting on May 12th at Donington, when it will be fitted with a smaller chassis
with independent suspension. The Monaco Garage will be only too glad to meet any enthusiast who cares to come out to Watford and show him over their extensive premises.