Sports Model on Every Stand.
In the present Show there are sports models to be found on the stand of every exhibitor of complete motor cycles. The Motor Cycle industry owes its present proud position in industry to the sporting side. It is the motoring sportsman, on road and track, on hill climbs and in reliability trial, who keeps the motor cycle and its occasional complement, the sidecar, ever before the growing generation of motorists, ensuring a steady sale to a never-dying and always-growing market, besides creating a goodwill amongst the older generation who, either from inclination or from necessity, chose the motor vehicle which will, at lowest cost, give them the freedom of the road which they so much. desire. On the other hand, it has also to be admitted— this Show would give the lie to those who would not make the admission—that the motor cycle manufacturers are for ever striving to fulfil the needs of the motoring sportsman, and at Olympia this week there is a variety of machines sufficient to meet, many times over, the needs of every possible taste in sports mounts, from the ultra-lightweight machine to those ponderous distance annihilators which, credited only with the power of no more than eight horses, have more than that of six or even eight times the number.
He would be a bold man who would dare, this year, openly to doubt that the design of motor cycles is progressing. The evidence is so patently disclosed with machines on the one stand hardly a quarter of a century old, cheek by jowl with their magnificent descendants of to-day, in the next. Nevertheless, the casual observer, one who was not well acquainted with the special features of this year’s machines and with those of yesteryear, would be hard put to it to indicate the lines on which progress is taking place. The progress is there, and the evidence of progress is there, but it requires a guiding hand to point it out. In sports machines it takes most often the line of improving the methods of lubricating the engine, and the tendency to rely more and more on mechanical means of achieving that end is marked, although not all are yet agreed that it is best. The overhead valve has no peer for speed work pure and simple, and its notable efficiency is now being increased by re-arrangement of ports, and the provision, as in the case of one notable speed-model engine, of two exits for the exhaust gases. Shock absorbers and steering dampers are coming to be regarded as essential details of the racing man’s mount, while frames are gradually tending towards the tri
angulated form which engineering knowledge told us long ago was best, but towards which makers have had to be impelled by the one argument which is unanswerable, the argument of performance on the track.
The user of the touring mount is reaping the benefit from the sports experience of the maker of his machine. He too is finding his machine equipped with shock -absorbers and steering dampers, and, according to our belief, it is nothing but the added expense of the overhead valve which prevents it from becoming universally employed on the touring mount as on the racer. So far as touring machines are concerned, apart from the points mentioned in connection with sports machines, and all of those we have enumerated in that connection are reflected in the design of the up-to-date touring motor cycle, the only new departure is in the fitting of the larger models with the new balloon tyres. Add to that a general tendency to improve upon the equipment which is provided in the case of ” All-On ” machines, and we think the situation as regards motor cycles of 1925 as compared with those of 1924 is conclusively revi (IV ed.
Death of Count Zborowski.
All our readers will have learned, with very great regret, of the tragic end of Count Zborowski. He was killed on Sunday the 19th ult., whilst driving a _Mercedes car in the race for the Grand Prix of the Italian Automobile Club, on the Monza track. It was during the 43rd lap that the car left the track and, striking a tree, turned turtle and was wrecked. Count
Zborowski was killed instantly, his mechanic, Martin, being slightly injured.
There were four Mercedes cars entered for this race, and the other three drivers retired immediately they heard of the accident. The Count was very popular with all those who took any interest in motoring sports. His fame, as a result of his supreme sporting qualities, spread much further
afield than in this country, where a good sportsman will always find favour whatever may be his particular line.
He came of a sporting family, his father having been an active competition driver in amateur classes during the early days of the sport, and he also met his death whilst driving a Mercedes car, in the La Turbie Hill Climb of 1903.
Count Zborowski first became famous in this country as the owner of “Chitty-Bang-Bang,” a Maybach engined car, first seen at Brooklands in 1920, but he was versatile in his preference for types of racing cars, as in his attitude towards sports generally. He was as famous in America, Spain, Italy and France as here, and in all those countries he had raced. In
addition to road and track racing, he was also an enthusiastic motor boat owner, and in his boats he was partial to Mercedes engines.
Amongst his hobbies, which were many, a liking for model locomotives and an enthusiasm for wireless were prominent.
In his passing, Brooklands, this country, one might say the world, experiences a loss which will long go unfilled.