CAPTAIN J. S. IRVING, DESIGNER OF THE IRVING NAPIER SPECIAL ‘ INTERVIEWS “MOTOR SPORT”
W1SHING to give our numerous readers some first-hand information about the designer of the Irving Napier Special Car “Golden Arrow,we called on Captain Irving and spent a very enjoyable and enlightening hour with this worldfamous designer. who has not only a most charming personality, but a way of making everything he says most interesting. He was so modest that it was quite impossible to get him to talk about himself.
Captain J. S. Irving was with the Daimler Co. until 1910 and then joined Colonel Mervyn O’Gorman at the Balloon Factory, South Farnborough, which is now known as the Royal Aircraft Establishment, where he was engaged on aeronautical work. Joining the Royal Air Force, then the Royal Flying Corps, at the outbreak of war in 1914, Captain Irving served until the Armistice when he accepted a position as Chief Experimental Engineer to the Sunbeam Co., and later became Engineer to that company.
During this time he was very closely connected with the design, development and successes of the Sunbeam Co., throughout its racing career. These successes include the winning of the French Grand Prix in 1923, the numerous Talbot Darracq 1st, 2nd. and 3rd successes; Major Segraves world speed record for the road of over 140 miles per hour. and the 203 miles per hour record speed obtained by the 1,000 h.p. twin engined Sunbeam car driven by Major Segrave in 1927. Captain Irving explained that he obtained very valuable experience and information from the design of this Sunbeam which was of great service to him in so far as he knew definitely what lines to adopt for the design of the faster car.
After resigning his position with the Sunbeam Co.. Captain Irving became Chief Engineer to the Humfrey-Sandberg Co. for the purpose of directing and developing the Humphrey-Sandberg freewheel and easy gear change device. Id was through the patriotic and unselfish action of this company that Captain Irving was granted permission to use part of his time on the design and construction of the Golden Arrow.Captain Irving was given an. entirely free hand in the design of the Golden Arrow and the following details which he gave us of the car may be of interest to our readers.