Rumblings Boanerges, May 1932
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NOW that the regulations for the 1932 race on the Ards Circuit are available, we can see who has been treated kindly or otherwise in the matter of handicapping. The same system as last year will be used, that is, time and credit laps, with the scratch cars having 30 laps to complete. The new rules take into account the last year’s form and also the fact that all cars should be faster this year owing to being run in stripped state.
The supercharged ” 750’s ” which did so well last year have received 4m. 8s. less start than last year, while the unsupercharged editions, which never had a look in last year, are 5m. 50s. better off than they were. Superchargers are also penalised in the 1,100 c.c. class to the extent of a further 3m. 18s., but the =supercharged cars of this size are 2m. 5s. better off.
An unexpected feature of the allowances is the stiffer handicapping of the 1,500 c.c. class, which last year was not in the picture, and a great deal of development will be required if this class is to prove able to shoulder the extra handicap. Supercharged 2-litres are slightly better off, =supercharged 3-litres are unchanged, while the same class with superchargers, which supplied the second car home last year, are docked 11 minutes. The latter class starts level with the =supercharged 5-litres which give away another 2 minutes when blown. The =supercharged Rileys and Talbots will therefore stand a better chance than last year, but till the entries are forthanning it is im
possible to form any definite idea of the probable winning class. The race this year will be held on August 20th. It is hoped that the absence of mudguards will encourage M. Bugatti to enter a team, his views on the subject being very strong indeed.
There is a hope of new entries to the racing field in the form of a Crossley team, while other firms may try different classes. Perhaps the 11-litre Rileys may show up. All entries in this class will be particularly welcome as it has always been one of the most popular sports car sizes for the motorist of moderate income.
Other prospects for the season in this country appear hopeful, and I have noticed various individuals getting busy with their models for the season.
It is a very fascinating business keeping an oldish model in trim for competition work, especially when it has already shown it can perform really well, while an old car whose tricks are known to its owner is often more reliable than a more recent, but less known vehicle.
J. H. Bartlett’s Salmson is a good example of the sport which can be obtained from a comparatively old car, and when I was round there recently he was busy getting it ready for some more 13rooklands work. It is now considerably lowered, and looks very smart, while extensive work on the engine should ensure its keeping up its old and very snappy performance.
R. J. G. Nash has great hopes of
the “ferror,’ his single seater FrazerNash, and as this year’s Shelsley Walsh is apparently the last which will be held, he will be out to attempt to bring the record back to this country. He made fastest time of the clay in the open climb last year, but Von Stuck’s record of the year before is still a second better than anything else which has been done, so that Nash, or anyone else will have his work cut out to better it
A number of last year’s supercharged Midgets have been sold this winter and will be reappearing this season in other hands. I). G. Evans has bought the spare car which was taken over for last year’s Ulster race, and is very pleased with it, while among those who have decided to hang onto these remarkable little cars for another season is Major Gardner, whose car has been going extremely well so far.
Sports cars in demand
The increasing demand for sports cars has been one of the features of the last few years, and now more than ever, motorists are demanding high performance as one of the most important assets of a car. Proof of this is well provided by the FrazerNash concern, who, in spite of having opened a new works less than two years ago, are finding it quite unable to cope with the demand for their products, and I notice that they are now building a large extension. This should be able to keep things up to time for a little, but judging by the number of these cars about now, I should not be surprised to see a further increase in their works before very long.
A visit to the Lea Francis works which I made recently revealed scenes of considerable activity. The well-known 12-40 four cylinder is being continued, but most of the factory’s energies are being devoted to the new two litre “16-70.” The power unit is a six cylinder designed by Mr. Van Eugen of Lea Francis,
and is of noticeably clean finish. Cylinder block and crank-case are in one, and I was told that Invar
strut alloy pistons are used and that the connecting rods are duralumin, with plain big ends. The valves are operated by an overhead camshaft running in needle bearings with further locating bear ings, and special attention has been devoted to lubrication. A down
draft Stromberg carburettor has given excellent results, and allows a speed-range of 5 to over 75 m.p.h. on top. The gear-box is of tubular section and, I should say, should prove ex
tremely strong. It is fitted with a silent third gear and right hand change. The Hyper-Sports 1 litre supercharged, which is, of course, fitted with a Meadows engine and Cozette supercharger, is being continued in two and four-seater form. The lines
of the former have been much improved by increasing the length of the tail. A sensible detail of the four seater cars is that they are provided with two spare wheels.
The 4 litre Hyper Sports costs £550 in two or four seater form, while the price of the six-cylinder is 2445.
At the Track.
Brooklands is beginning to show signs of increasing activity, and when I was down there recently on a practice day a lot of work was going on, both on the track and in the various workshops. R. R. Jackson’s shop was quite full up with work in preparation for the British Empire Trophy and other events, one of the most interesting items there being the new edition of the Horton Special. This is a light chassis with FrazerNash transmission, which was previously fitted with a V-twin etigine. It is now fitted with an experimental Alta engine with a Villiers super
charger, and the results of research on this engine may be used to produce a standard blown Alta.
There is also, of course, the usual repair work on motor ears which have gone a little too fast, and I noticed that Fotheringham’s Bug. had suffered a slight internal derangement which appeared to have something to do with a big-end, but had introduced complications, as the doctors say.
Thompson and Taylor were finishing off Campbell’s Sunbeam (last used by Kaye Don) and the car now has new axles and brakes, and looks very business-like.
Cobb’s big Delage was being got ready for the fray, but his other proposed record car is still on the drawing board, though the engine has been delivered.
Straight’s Maserati, which last season belonged to Birkin, was dismantled for overhaul, and is a very interesting vehicle. The brake mechanism is worthy of note, as it is compensated by differentials on the cross shaft, thus equalising each side, while the fore and aft compensation is dealt with by chains and sprockets at each end of the cross shaft. This bears out the point generally accepted in modern brake practice, that if you are to compensate at all you must do it properly.
The old Leyland Thomas (with touring body) is for sale again at £350, and is said to be capable of 110 m.ph. It has four carburettors.
Driscoll seemed pleased enough with his Austin, as he well might be, but he says that the engine has had absolutely no modifications since last year. He finds, however, that being strapped in is a great help in controlling such a light motor, and enables him to keep his foot down harder.