Here are a few notes on Talbot-Darracq racing-cars.
Most old-time motorists remember the racing successes of Darracq cars and readers Of MOTOR SPORT will recollect the references to them in issue May 1936. But it was not until 1921, when the firm was associated with the English Sunbeam and Talbot Cos., that under the control of an Englishman—Mr. Owen Clegg— it turned its attention to 1,500 c.c. racing and a team of cars was produced and run in International Races. They were powered by four-cylinder engines which were at that time reputed to develop over 50 b.h.p., having two overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, a three plain bearing crankshaft and a bore and stroke of 65 x 112 mm. Ignition was either by coil or magneto, unit construction of engine and gearbox and Hotchkiss drive. They were also fitted. with four wheel brakes which caused quite a stir in those days. With the well known Talbot Darracq radiator and semi-streamlined bodies they were— to my non-technical eye—some of the neatest looking cars ever produced. These models had an amazing run of successes, of which the most outstanding was Sir Algernon Lee Guinness’s win in the last T.T. to be held in Isle of Man, June 1922. He covered six laps in heavy
rain at an average of 53.3 m.p.h. His fastest lap, 55.15 m.p.h., compared very favourably with the 57.7 m.p.h. record lap in the 3-litre class.
In 1924 a supercharged type was produced, the engine of which was stated to have a bore and stroke of 67 x 105.5 mm., two overhead camshafts with two valves per cylinder with a five roller bearing crankshaft which drove a Rootes supercharger at its front end and magneto ignition. It was reputed to develop 100 b.h.p. and was extremely fast, and one of its most outstanding successes was when the team led by the late Mr. H. LeeGuinness finished first, second, and third in the 1924 200 Mile Race at average speeds of 102.27, 102.25 and 102.24 m.p.h. This type was seen more in England than any other as one was raced at Brooklands by Sir Malcolm Campbell and one at Southport in sand events. 1926 saw the advent of the promising eight-cylinder design, a twin camshaft, two valves per cylinder of 55 x75.5 mm. bore, and stroke which you mention in March issue ; this type won the 1926, 200 Mile Race at Brooklands driven by the late Six H. Segrave. Unfortunately the difficulties which beset the S.T.D. combine put an end to its active participation in races, and if 1938 secs the Talbot Darracq back in formula races we shall be able to see how the modern cars carry on the tradition of immediate post war years. I have penned these
few notes to interest the younger generation to whom 1921-6 is history and in the hope that some knowledgeable reader may come forward with some more details of Vintage and S.T.D. racing-cars.
I have compiled a few notes on TalbotDarracq racing-cars which you may consider of sufficient interest to publish.
The late Mr. K. Lee Guinness used two Talbots, the 1922 T.T. winner and also one in the 1924 200 Mile Race, and these are the two types of car to which I referred, and we possibly, by the pub-. lication of this letter, have a description of a model which is still “somewhere in existence.” I was always interested in this marque as I have used 1907, 1909, 1911, 1914 and 1922 touring cars by Darracq at various times ! My first passenger rides were in a 1904 one lunger I
May I, through the courtesy of your columns, thank Mr. J. Tegryd Jones and the writer of article on “Two pre-war Sunbeams” for the interesting information they have given us. I am sure we should like some more notes from both pens!
It will be rather interesting to see if a 1923 G.P. model comes to light, or were they all rebuilt to form the 1924 team ? I am, Yours etc.,
Suffolk. Sir, With reference to your article ” Memories ” :
The Sahnson was Jack Dunfee’s . . . Three-speed box, blue with red wings : he later had a primrose Salmson (San Sebastian ?) four-speed, with which he won several handicap races.
Both Stars were 1927 12/50 models. The same model as those that did so well in Ulster, but with normal touring compression. The Vinot had a transmission foot brake and tried to buck you over its head-12/35 O.H.V. The first time I ran it on the Track I did not notice until I got back to Golders Green that there was a large hole in the side of the base chamber I I ! I also owned No. 4 Talbot 90. Spare race chassis, secondhand Ex-Prince George Inteetinsky, a marvellous car, R.A.C. Rally–Shelsley 58 sees. I am, Yours etc.,
“SPEED OF THE WIND”
Sir, In your March issue you referred to the fact that Captain Eyston used ” Com
mercial B.P.” for his world’s 12-hour record with the Rolls-Royce engined “Speed of the Wind.”
We have no doubt that in saying this you meant that he used B.P. Ethyl as sold to the public. Unfortunately, however, we sell a petrol for commercial vehicles which is called B.P. as distinct from B.P. Ethyl, and the reference which you have made is likely to be misleading.
We shall be very grateful if you can in your next issue make some reference to this, and make it clear that Captain Eyston used B.P. Ethyl exactly as sold from the pump for his long distance record. We are, Yours etc., Slinr,r,-Mtix AND B.P. LTD. Shell Mex House,
Sir, In last November’s edition there was mentioned (in “Club News “) an Opel Cadet (1135). If it is possible, could you let me have details of performance ? viz. cruising speed, acceleration, braking, etc., as I find it difficult to learn details other than sales talk. I enjoy MOTOR SPORT and only wish it came out on the same day every month and so didn’t leave me in suspense
I may say I’ve taken it for several years (this is not to get on the right side of you—only fact ). I am, Yours etc.,
London, W.1. [Nowadays we publish as consistently as possible on the 12th of each month. Will Opel owners please assist Mr. Lobb ? Ed.) Sir,
Can you give me any information in regard to tuning the 2 LTS Lagonda ?
My wagon is a Speed Model, 1929. It was a saloon when I got it, but subsequent operation with a saw etc. have turned it into an open four-seater, very odd I The original saloon-model was not exactly Concours d’Elegance class, so this is a very distinct improvement, though somewhat more open than most motors.
The performance is good, but not startling, and I should very much like to be able to leave all the modern ” buzzboxes “rather more easily than at present. I am, Yours etc.,
JOHN S. GORDON.
Leeds, 6. [Letters will be forwarded to Mr. Gordon.—Ed.]