The reason why this article headlines a warning to 400-m.p.h. John Cobb is because a reader has sent us a cutting from Mechanix Illustrated for last December which describes Bob Allinger’s Tornado. Designed by him at Saratoga, California, this car has all all-enveloping body, while the engine is a stock Mercury V8 developed by Lee Chapel into an o.h.v. unit giving, it is said, 240 b.h.p. at 6,600 r.p.m. The tubular chassis has a wheelbase of 8 ft. 7 in., is 16 feet long and 3 ft. 5 in. high. A Rolls-Royce radiator cut down, Franklin steering gear, and a 1941 Ford front axle are used, with knock-off hubs all round. The only excrescences on the body are the four “humps” over the wheels, the eight exhaust stubs and the hinge-forward coupé top over the cockpit. The engine is behind the driver, a very short propeller shaft going to the back axle, the space between engine and axle accommodating a 4½-gallon fuel tank. Driven by Ted Ayers at El Mirage dry lake last summer the car did 130.5 m.p.h. Chapel and Allinger, however, plan a stronger chassis for the Tornado this year and with an Allison aeroplane engine think that at Bonneville Cobb’s record “will be a push-over.”
So look out, John! After all, you haven’t get California-beauty-queen Pat Epperson to help lift off the body between runs, have you?