Amazing America

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The Americans are so alive and virile that one is no longer astonished at the things they get up to, although we may sometimes feel a little envious. Recently, for example, a race between a 1911 Stoddard Dayton petrol car and a 1913 Stanley steamer was staged from Chicago to New York, 1,100 miles, by the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry and Popular Mechanics. The driver of the Stoddard Dayton was 70-year-old Rube De Launtry and the Stanley, which was refuelled by helicopter at one point and won by 37 minutes, was driven by 76 year-old Jack Brause. His elapsed time was 53 hr 4 min and both drivers won about £165. Apparently Rube was fined three dollars for defective lamps and Jack seven dollars for speeding at 63 mph—but still !

Then the Glidden Tour of the Antique Automobile Club of America took place again last year and lasted five days, attracting 132 cars ranging from a 1904 Cadillac to a 1932 Duesenberg. One hundred and three cars gained awards, the premier honours going to a 1912 Kissel Kar, a 1911 Chalmers, the 1904 Cadillac, a 1913 Simplex 75, a 1913 Model-T Ford, a 1910 Pierce-Arrow and a 1910 Thomas. 

An economy Standard

Motor Sport would not be concerned with economy cars if Hitler and Stalin had not forced Mr Butler and his fellow politicians to press such cars on people who prefer high-performance. But because of Messers Hitler and Stalin, interest in last season’s 9-hp Austin Seven was widespread and we dealt with it as soon as it was revealed. We now learn that the Standard Motor Company will introduce, probably next year, a real economy car, said to be of “less than eight horsepower.”

If the past history of the Standard Co in the small-car field is any criterion, this new baby should be an enormous success. Before the Kaiser War the 9.5 Standard proved so popular that improvised extensions had to be made to the Standard factory so that assembly could keep pace with demands. After the war a new ohv 8-hp Standard with a very low bonnet line was designed, but few were built. But in 1927 the worm-drive Standard Nine, said to have been laid down in the boardroom in record time to meet financial crisis, a well-known French car providing the basis of the design [Can anyone confirm this ?—-Ed] was an instant success and there are many still in service. Subsequently, and up to 1939, the Standard Eight with long-stroke 1-litre engine and ifs was a popular and notably quick-cruising little car. So the Baby Standard of 1933 should be proud of its ancestors.