Enthusiasm in America
Just over a year ago we published some notes and a photograph on. an O.E. 30/98 Vauxhall owned by Robert Lissick Heller Of New York, who had written for particulars of the Vintage S.C.C., which he subsequently joined. Now comes news of another O.E. 30198 which has a home in the U.S.A. It is owned by Dean A. Fates of Cambridge, Mass., where he is Associate Professor of Automotive Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The car has run less than 10,000 miles, being kept in the best possible condition and used occasionally just for the love of handling a real motor car. The same enthusiast also owns a closed Renault “45,” which he describes as “such a grand old car that I cannot let it be broken up for
junk.” We only wish more historic sports-cars were guarded by similar enthusiasm from a last journey to the breaker’s yard.
An Ambitious Sports-Car Race
The Light Car Club has now revealed the nature of its race at Brooklands scheduled for July 16th. Following sprint races down the finishing straight during the morning, similar to those put on by the B.A.R.C. at an opening meeting some years ago when frost and floods closed the outer-circuit, there will be a 250 mile Sports-Car Race over the full Campbell Road Circuit—we believe the only long-distance race that will be run over this circuit this year. It has yet to be decided whether the race will be confined to 11-litre cars or be open
to all sizes of sportswagens But apparently it will be a scratch event, divided into capacity classes, like last year’s 12-Hour Sports-Car Race at Donington, probably with an outright prize for the fastest car. Very strict steps will be taken to ensure that only standard production. cars compete. If this does not scare away manufacturers a magnificently instructive event should result, and we imagine that M.G., Austin, H.R.G., and Delahaye would. be amongst the” works” or ” semi-works ” entries, with a possibility of further Continental support. To the argument that no sane private owner would risk the consequence of driving his car through such a long race there is the answer that many did so in the 12-Hour Race at Donington last year which was put on experimentally
at short notice. This race should fill a gap which has existed since the demise of the Essex M.C. and B.A.R.C. SixHours Races and the earlier J .C.C. sporting-car races, and by reason of the sterner circuit and greater insistence on standard cars, should be considerably more important.
The Brooke Special
Last season H. L. Brooke, of Coventry, competed very regularly in the more important races without much success, with a rather crude-looking M.G. Riley. Apparently he regarded last season as an era of experimentation, and his car will appear in greatly improved form this year. A Daimler independent-suspension unit, liberally drilled to reduce weight, has been welded to the front of the frame. Weaker coil springs than those standardised have been fitted, and hydraulic dampers are mounted above the assembly, which now weighs little more than the original axle. The steering gear, rear axle and. brakes and chassis generally are Riley Imp, with the strengthened rear fuel tank braced with Morris tierods disposed as stays. The engine is a new 1,087 c.c. M.G. unit with special water feed. to the cylinder head and a Zoller compressor mounted on a ” U ” member welded to the front suspension cross member. The supercharge pressure is variable, enabling a high boost to be used for sprint work and a lower boost for long distance racing. A single
carburetter is fitted at present. The crash-type gearbox has been replaced by an E.N.V. self-change box having the control lever beneath the steering-wheel. Lockheed front brakes will probably be used. The engine is expected to peak at approximately 6,500 r.p.m., and the car to weigh not more than 13/cwt., and with alterations to the bodywork 130-135 m.p.h. is expected. The exhaust ports emerge on the near side and the driver sits centrally behind a raked steering column. This is a very interesting car at a time when hybrid jobs constructed for serious racing are conspicuous by their
rarity. It should run at Donington, Brooklands and the Crystal Palace this year.
The B.R.D.C., regarded in some circles as rather more a race-promoting than a race-drivers’ club, has now announced a scheme which is highly praiseworthy, and one that should to some extent place it beyond the missiles of such critics. Race organisers have been persuaded by the B.R.D.C. to subscribe to a central pool to provide a subsidy for those entrants who continue to support racing without getting “into the money.” A marking system is to be used, giving two points to starters per meeting, six points to finishers, plus 50 per cent. bonus marks for the second of any two consecutive meetings. Provisionally, the Coronation Trophy Race, Empire Trophy Race, B.A.R.C. Easter Meeting and International Trophy Race will rank towards this bonus, and it is hoped that six prizes will be possible at the end of the season, the first of which it is hoped will be £250— which will go a long way towards repairing those sump-ventilating apertures which have a habit of forming in racing-engine crankcases. Only British subjects are eligible. It would seem desirable to
limit the marks to those who do not finish sufficiently high up in any race to gain a money prize and the 50 per cent. bonus may be found a little hard on a man who carries on racing in spite of a bad blow-up, but has on that account to miss one or more intermediate meetings. But the scheme is a very excellent one, and will no doubt be established on a thoroughly satisfactory basis after a season’s trial.