CORRESPONDENCE

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CORRESPONDENCE

The Editor of MOTOR SPORT.

DEAR SIR,

I was most interested to see in the current issue of Motor Sport an account of the Halford Special and its designer (?). I think there are one or two statements and references which in justice to me should be amended.

I believe Halford’s first success on four wheels was when he drove the ” Razor Blade” Aston-Martin, designed and built by me, to victory at Brooklands on August Bank Holiday in 1923, though he had won several sprints and hill climbs earlier in 1923 on the AstonMartin ” Bunny,” which I also desigried and built. In short, I can claim to have introduced him to car racing and to have ” fathered ” his early efforts.

The engine of the Halford Special and the radiator now fitted are, as far as I know, Halford’s own design, but the whole of the rest of the chassis, which is admired equally with the engine, is a standard Sports AstonMartin, designed by myself.

I built the chassis in 1922 and delivered it to V. G. Barlow, of Winchester, early in 1923. It was designed for and then fitted with a standard side valve engine giving not more than 45 b.h.p., and for that power the margins of safety were ample.

The car then passed into the hands of P. G. H. Harvey of ” Brooklands Squad” fame, and subsequently G. E. T. Eyston acquired it and fitting it with an O.H.V. engine, raced it at Boulogne, where he crashed it. Ultimately Halford acquired the chassis (less engine) and fitted his own engine to it, but from the time it was first sold in 1923 it was never overhauled at the works and very few parts indeed were supplied for its maintenance.

In the Grand Prix, the nuts of the bolts holding the crown wheel to the diff, cage sheared, allowing the bevels to get out of mesh ; these nuts or bolts had, to the best of my belief, never been inspected.

In the Two Hundred, the constant mesh wheels sheared, to which the above also applies. I think Halford’s engine must give 90 b.h.p. Anyway, the chassis has not been intended for more than 45 b.h.p., so I do not think it has done so badly. Yours faithfully,

LIONEL MARTIN.

The Editor of MOTOR SPORT.

DEAR SIR, As a regular reader of your journal since the first issue I feel I must congratulate you about the October

number. Apart from the contents, which are good, the appearance of the front and back covers is a distinct improvement, and several of my friends have already said that they will become subscribers..

I was also very glad to see your stand at the Motor Cycle Show and trust that you will maintain your place with the journals which have been established much longer than yourselves.

As you invite comments on the Contents in an Editorial Note, I trust that we may have some technical articles during the winter months, always keeping the needs of the “home tuner” to the front. Would it be possible to treat a selection of sports cars in the same way as you did the A. J.S. motor cycle and give some hints as to keeping different models in first-class competition order. I know this is rather a large order, but I expect members of your staff have had personal experience with several makes of cars, which would be useful if passed on to readers.

I also notice that the last issue had more pages of reading matter, which I hope is to become a regular thing, as the more we have of really good stuff, the better we like it. Yours faithfully,

H.N.G. (Luton).

The Editor of MOTOR SPORT.

DEAR SIR,

Can you give me any experiences of the overhead valve gear which I understand is made for fitting to the standard Austin Twelve, as I should like to have some details of this device ? Is the method adopted a practical one and what happens about the existing ports where the exhaust and inlet pipes are fitted ? Is there any guarantee that extra acceleration would be obtained as well as an increase in power ?

The conversion set to which you refer is made by The Lap Engineering Co., 28-30, Allsop Street, Upper Baker Street, N.W.1.’ and as far as our information goes is quite a sound job. As we have not actually submitted an Austin Twelve so fitted to a test, we are not in a position to give you any results, but if you will get into communication with the firm mentioned above, no doubt all the particulars you desire will be forthcoming. —EDITOR.