MID 11111D ;4,11, “v44.•
British High Performance
ALTHOUGH at the present time International relationships are unpleasantly strained, we have no wish to slight foreign products, nor do we intend to discuss politics which have no place in MOTOR SPORT, except insofar as they influence motor-racing. It certainly seems that International trade is essential to peace, and, without aiming Rudge hammers at foreign products, we have every reason to feel proud of our high performance cars—and, remember, nowadays high-performance cars, as distinct from the specialised sports jobs of earlier times, form a consider
able proportion of the total sales’ turn-over. The A.C. people have recently improved their cars and introduced a new coupe. The Alvis models are selling very well indeed, and Armstong-Siddeley has cars which combine all the luxury of the old-style town-carriage with modern requirements in the way of performance. We have heard that the 2-litre Aston-Martin has quickly got into full production and at Staines Atalanta motors are busy turning out the new V12, quite unworried
by world politics. Rolls-Royce Ltd. have recently completed some extensive experiments on bearing materials and the far-reaching results find their place in the production 4f-litre Bentley and Rolls-Royce cars. Incidentally, we should not be surprised to see a Bentley with independent front suspension on the market in the near future. One of the latest customers to purchase a Rolls-Royce ” Wraith ” is H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught, and the new ” Continental ” 110 m.p.h. Bentley saloon was recently made a production model. The Daimler Company introduced a new sportsbodied four-seater in the R.A.C. Rally and intend to put it into production right away. Plans are afoot to build the wonderful Type 828 B.M.W. in this country—not, however, as an emergency measure I The Humber-Hillman-Commer combine, which is responsible for the excellent Humber high performance cars, applies intensive testing and research to its productions, as must have been evident to all who
heard A. G. Booth, Chief Technical Engineer of that concern, deliver his paper “Factory Experimental Work and its Equipment ” before the Institution of Automobile Engineers a few months ago.
Lagonda Ltd., while finding a steady demand for the 4i-litre six-cylinder cars, are now working at full pressure producing the already famous 4t-litre V12, certainly one of the world’s very best cars. It has been the subject of improvements of considerable moment for this season and Le Mans is being used as a basis for further research. Incidentally, while on the subject of the Lagonda car, we inadvertently described in our article last month ” The Le Mans Lagonda” that one of the cars to be driven at Le Mans was owned by Lord Waleran, and the co-driver would be Lord Selsdon, Actually, Lord Selsdon is the owner of this car. The M.G. Car Co., Ltd. exists to produce high-performance cars alone and has a bigger sports-car output than any other British factory. The popular Morgan
4/4 appeared not long ago in “Le Mans” guise and these models are already appearing about the countryside, and the Riley, retaining its famed features of mechanical layout, is now Nuffield backed. Singer and Triumph have introduced entirely new semisports cars and the small H.R.G. and Alta works are both busy, the former on the new 9 h.p. job in particular. S.S. and Sunbeam-Talbot are supplying highperformance, allied to refinement and competitive first-cost, on a very big scale, and, if Vauxhall to-day produces nothing to compare with the “80/98,” they utilise American testing and experimental methods at Luton that have resulted in the institution of highperformance in price-catagories in which it formerly never figured. Other essentially British concerns, like Rover, Wolseley, B.S.A., and Standard, contribute their quota to the output of reliable, refined cars of high performance. And when it comes to economy motoring we can feel proud and secure that Austin, Morris, Standard and Ford are British business institutions. Those firms, making British bodied and modified sports models, such as Railton, Jensen and Allard, report a steady flow of business. Specialist coachbuilders are by no means depressed and, so far as actual useage of cars is concerned, surely the popular highways were more crammed this Easter than ever before—while Brooklands drew a record crowd. People are spending money and spending it on motoring. The British Motor Industry is in a thoroughly healthy state and in a better position than ever before to give its clients good value for money and a genuinely sound deal. It is most cheering to learn that, crisis or no crisis, the new car registration total for February, of 23,509, is not only an increase of 23% over the January
total, but is a new record in itself. Incidentally, amongst the higher powered classes, the 30 h.p. and 20 h.p. cars have increased in numbers. As to whether war is coming or not, lots of folk in our world respect the views of C. G. Grey, who
predicted the trend of things with accuracy in 1914. We would remind them that, in “The Aeroplane” of March 29th, he wrote :— “Personally, I cannot induce myself to regard the present International situation as a dangerous crisis. It seems to me to be one of those awkward situations which so often arise between nations but drift over in time.” Let us hope Mr. Grey is right—and take heart from his outlook.
Before entries closed for the International Trophy Race three works E.R.A.s had been entered—two of the new cars, to be handled by Mays and Dobson, and one of the Zoller-works cars to be driven by Tony Rolt. St. John Horsfall will drive Rolt’s car.
The Conan-Doyle’s ex-mechanic is now assistant to Freddie Dixon, who looks after Rolt’s car.
Twenty-seven cars followed the leader in the “750 Club’s” opening rally on April 16th.
Gordon Wood has taken delivery of a very fine Vanden Plas 41-litre Bentley coupe.
S. C. H. Davis is going into hospital shortly for a minor operation.
The Midland A.C. now has 685 members.
Mme. Itier and Jean Delorme have founded the Union Sportive Automobile Club, with premises a hundred yards from the Place de l’Opera, at 33, Rue St. Augustin, Paris.
Entries for the Crystal Palace Meeting on May 20th, closed on April 26th at single fees.