The Plastigauge bearing measurer
For some years now the American motor trade have been using a product manufactured by the Perfect Circle Equipment Company for measuring the clearance of big-end or main bearings. It consists of placing a short length of 25-thou, diameter plastic rod across the bearing cap, assembling and tightening, whereupon the rod is compressed to form a wide flat strip of marking on the bearing surface. A graduated scale rule is supplied and the width of the marking can be interpreted into the equivalent thickness which represents the clearance between the bearing and the journal.
A similar product is now being manufactured in this country by the Plastigauge Manufacturing Co., of 181, Brighton Road, South Croydon, from whom further details are available. The product proved very simple to use and gave a consistent reading when tried on the four big-ends of an engine that had just been reground and remetalled to a 2-1/2-thou. clearance. The only disadvantage seemed to be in the business of getting the red plastic off the journal after it had been well and truly pressed on by tightening the big-end.
Memorial to Collins and Hawthorn
Lord Montagu informs us that when the extension to the Montagu Motor Museum at Beaulieu is opened officially on April 5th a memorial to Peter Collins and Mike Hawthorn will be unveiled. Hawthorn’s Riley Sprite and his father’s 2.3-litre Le Mans Alfa Romeo will be preserved in the museum.
Jagura Drivers Club
The Jaguar Drivers’ Club, which has been in existence only three years, now has a membership of 2,500. Branches are being formed in many parts of the world and a full list of activities is planned for the 1959 season. A Club room is now available at 75, Baker Street, London, W.1
Cooper Advanced Students
We are informed that the following trainees have been selected for advanced training by the Racing Drivers’ Training Division of the Cooper Car Company Ltd.:
D. J. Rickman, D. E. Rickman, Maj. A. M. Mallock, J. Forster, J. Blumer, R. H. H. Parnell, T. P. Taylor, J. W. S. Horridge, T. Skelton, W. Lacy, A. F. Jacks, K. Ballisat, Miss E. Jones, P. J. Mutton, K. Shepherd, R. E. K. Norwood, T. Auranen, P. Watson.
Six of the above drivers will, we understand, shortly undergo further advanced training on the Goodwood circuit.
VW Enthusiasts in West Country
The ever-increasing popularity of the VW is demonstrated by the recent formation of the Yeovil VW Club, and they certainly had a bumper send-off, with no less than twenty-five founder members and early prospects of passing the “half-ton,” which must be regarded as a remarkable achievement for a small community.
We are told by their Hon. Secretary, Mr. D. Pettyfer, of 80, Crofton Park, Yeovil, that the most satisfying feature of the Club was the realisation that it is the discerning motorist who became the proud owner of a VW, as among the members are dental surgeons, farmers, and aircraft technicians, all of whom have had a collection of expensive motor cars before their “conversion.”
It is proposed to hold the next meeting of the Club in Yeovil on March 23rd, and anyone so far missed can contact the Secretary.
More old-car discoveries.
As we close for Press news is to hand of a 1926 Trojan van, less radiator, purchasable in Surrey for 20s., of a 14/40 Humber (in need of a rebore) in the Aintree district, and of a 1937 Armstrong Siddeley cabriolet, whose owner, living abroad, wants to find it a good home. Then, in Ireland, someone who is restoring a 1924/5 IS de Dion Bouton has discovered in a cellar two model-T Fords and a 698-c.c. Carden cyclecar, for which any data that would aid its restoration would be appreciated.
British Empire Trophy
The British Empire Trophy will be for F 2 cars this year and will be run on April 11th. The main event will cover 40 laps of the 2.76-mile circuit. Three other supporting races will be run.
Girling have introduced a new 16-mm. colour film called” Time to Stop,” which deals with the braking problems on modern competition cars. The technical explanations do not intrude too much into the film and excerpts from such races as Le Mans and the T.T. can be enjoyed. Copies of the film can be obtained from Girling Ltd., Kings Road, Birmingham.
Jaguar Cars Ltd.
Jaguar cars Ltd. announce that they have purchased their 80-acre factory from the Ministry of Supply, from whom they have rented the factory since 1951. The purchase of the factory provides for the acquisition of an additional administrative block at present occupied by the General Electric Co. Ltd.
Throughout the five meetings to be held at Mallory Park during the coming season various Championships will be organised by the Nottingham Sports Car Club. These Championships will be decided on a points basis throughout the season and will consist of a Production Sports Car Championship, a Racing Car Championship and a Sports/Racing Car Championship.
We have recently received a useful car polisher which is in the shape of a glove. The Mitzi Mitt, which is made of candlewick, absorbs dust and does not scratch paintwork. It can also be used when the car is being shampooed. Priced at 7s. 6d., it is available from Deb Chemical Proprietaries Ltd., Forfar Chemical Works, Helper, Derbyshire.
The B.A.R.C. are planning their biggest season ever for 1959. The first Formula 1 race of the season will take place at Goodwood on Easter Monday, when some interesting new entries will be seen in action for the first time. Stirling Moss will be driving the new Cooper-B.R.M. from the Rob Walker stable, while various other new cars, mainly Maserati-engined machines, will be making their first appearances. Works teams from Lotus, Cooper, B.R.M., and “at least one type of G.P. car which has yet to be announced”, can be expected. In the Formula 2 Levant Cup entries are assured from the Cooper-Borgwards of the British Racing Partnership and a single-seater Porsche to be driven by Jose Behra, brother of Jean Behra.
The Recorder, describing the latest M.G. Magnette in its issue of February 7th, under the heading “Surprise for M.G. Fans,” quotes the front suspension of the new model as being “by coil springs and fishbones.”
In addition to their self-adhesive G.B. plates and shields, decorative emblems of Union Jack with two crossed starting flags, and National shields of Scotland, Wales and Ireland are available, for 3s. 6d. each, plus postage, from The Carolite Mfg. Co., 51, Crutched Friars, London, E.C.3. (Royal 1413-4).
Cars on your pants
Those who want veteran cars on their pants can obtain them in the Lyle and Scott Fancy Pants series, at 10s. 6d. a pair, the car drawings in multi colours on white Celanese.