RUMBLINGS, May 1944

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These days, when things are apt to fall from the night sky, knowledge of what they are and what brings them here is instructive and A Grey Book absorbing. So Faber and Faber are

to be congratulated on publishing Charles Grey’s latest book, “The Luftwaffe.” It runs to 251 pages, is nicely illustrated, is very readable, and tells one practically all one could wish to know about German air power. Now that the Luftwaffe is no longer a menace, but merely a nuisance, this book makes pleasant study. C. G. Grey not only deals with the formation and history of the Luftwaffe but he tells of bombs and guns and other relevant things. He also takes us back to 1914-18 and compares the British and German air forces of those days, while the book contains a table of all the German aircraft known to have been used in this war, compiled by John Stroud. Those who are interested in air warfare should get this book right away—they will begin to appreciate why we -cannot fail to win the war. It costs 8s. 6d. and is a most fitting companion to C. G. Grey’s earlier books, “-British Fighter Planes,” “Bombers,” and” Sea-Fliers,” by the same publishers. We pulled off a long shot, whatever that is, the other day, and it got home. For a long time, as has been mentioned previously in “Rum Long Shot blings,” we were puzzled by the identity of a Singer which de Jongh raced at Brooklands in 1925. Seeing someone of the same name asking for spares in a contemporary, we wrote on the slender chance that here was the same person. A reply from Flt/Lt. G. de Jongh, R.A.F., proved that he was. TheSinger in question was, as we suspected, pre-1914, being a 1911 20-h.p. model with the same bore and stroke as a 3-litre Bentley. From 1911-18 it ran at Brooklands in the hands of Percy Martin, and was known as “Pearly.” The chassis was standard, save for flattened springs and a higher axle-ratio, and even had normal Sankey steel wheels. The engine, however, was a most ingenious

conversion. Normally it consisted of an L-head job with two cylinder blocks on a 8-bearing crankshaft. For racing all the side-by-side valves were used as exhausts, a new camshaft being used, and on the off side another camshaft was built in, driven by gears from the extended timing case at the front. This extra shaft was exposed, but the cams were enclosed in oil-tight boxes. From it unenelosed push-rods operated enormous o.h. inlet valves, almost as large as the cylinder bores. Enormous valve springs, enclosed in metal boxes, were stuck on top of each cylinder. Each of the eight valve caps carried a sparking plug over an exhaust valve, ignition being by two magnetos, driven from the front of the engine, one being driven by the other. A White and Poppe carburetter was set low down on the off side and fed by gravity from a tank in the scuttle, the inlet pipe being extremely long. The cams on the extra shaft were lubricated from the main supply and each exhaust valve had its own off-take pipe to an expansion chamber and tail pipe. The pistons were steel Zephyrs, and the engine ran very smoothly up to its maximum, which de Jongh considers was about 3,000 r.p.m. This curious Singer could do around 100 m.p.h., but this took a lot of getting as the power only came in properly high up, and acceleration was poor. There was little mechanical noise, and the exhaust had a pleasant, not too loud, burble. Transmission embraced cone clutch, 4-speed gate change and a clutch stop. Final drive was by bevel, and all the brakes were on the rear wheels. The pointed radiator was of gilled-tube type, brass plated, and circulation was by pump, so powerful that unless very hefty hoses were used on the inlet side they were sucked flat and water-flow ceased. Lubrication was by force-feed from a gear-pump. A 2-seater body was fitted with a short, round, pointed tail, and hood, narrow wings and dynamo lighting figured in the equipment. De Jongh remarks that he sold the car and was in S. Africa for some years afterwards. He last heard of it in the Coventry neighbourhood about 15 years ago, and wishes he’d got it now. Any clues ? Anyone who has naughtily used half-a-gallon of petrol since September, 1939, for a false purpose, or who has otherwise sinned against the Conscience requirements of the Ministry of Fuel and Power, may care to ease his or her conscience. On Easter Monday some 700 taxis took lovers of horseflesh and easy money to the Windsor races, and Mr. Noel Baker has recently revealed in the House of Commons that London dog-tracks alone get 164 gallons of petrol a week for transport of dogs from kennels to tracks—apart from private cars and more taxis, of course. Visit London main line stations and note the arrival and departure of the taxis and you will feel decidedly better. It would be rather nice if one of the pro-motorist organisations had thought to display posters about the country on the Tuesday after Easter reading something like this :

700 TAXIS ATTENDED THE WINDSOR RACES YESTERDAY: ONLY WAR-WORKERS VISITED BROOKLANDS.

Get something off our chests, it would ! In spite of the articles on the evolution of the racing car which figured in recent issues of MOTOR SPORT, our Veteran Types series relating to Tal bot Types actual historic cars still in existence, and Laurence Pomeroy’s magnificent ” Milestones of Speed,” published every so often in The Motor, motor-racing history remains an immense study. Anyone claiming a comprehensive knowledge of it should be asked to quote from memory the various Peugeot types raced from 1912-1914! Then take the small Talbots or Talbot-Darracqs. Most people, and all historians, know they were invincible in the lf-litre class in the early nineteen-twenties. But how many know there were three distinct types used to achieve that distinction, let alone how to recognise photographs of them ? In 1921 the Talbot-Darracq was a 4-cylinder 65 X 112-mm. plain-bearing job with 16 o.h.v. operated by twin o.h.c. driven from the front of the engine. Twin Solex carburetters were used, ignition was by coil, and cooling by pump. 51 b.h.p. was developed at 4,000 r.p.m., and about 55 b.h.p. at 5,000 r.p.m. In 1922 these cars underwent only minor changes, magnetos being added to supplement the coil ignition. In 1923 entirely new cars appeared towards the end of the season. They had 4-cylinder 67 X 105-mm. engines with two valves per cylinder operated by twin o.h.c. driven by a train of gears at the rear of the engine. Also at the rear of the engine was a cross-shaft, driving a Scintilla magneto. The bearings were roller throughout, dry sump lubrication was used, and a single Solex carburetter fed via a T-shaped induction manifold. The engine was 22 in. long and gave 70 b.h.p. at 5,000 r.p.m. Finally, for the 1924 200-Mile Race an entirely new team of twin o.h.c. cars was built, having a bore and stroke of 67 X 105.5 mm. and supercharged by Roots blowers. These cars developed about 108 b.h.p. at 5,500 r.p.m., and were virtually scaled-down examples of the 2-litre 6-cylinder Sunbeam design. These cars were used again in 1925 and set the seal to

the S.T.D. if reputation.