Letters from Readers., November 1931



Letters from Readers.

Value of Racing.

DURING the past few months there have been keen discussions as to the value of racing to the motor car industry. Now that the season is ended I offer my views.

I believe that one big race teaches manufacturers more than they would otherwise learn in months or years of research. In my opinion the manufacturer who races is able to offer the public a more nearly perfect car than his competitors who do not race.

Unless failure is due to carelessness, one often learns more by failure than success. In the case of the recent 500 Miles Race, for instance, our 9 h.p. cars were developing 70 h.p. and lapping at over 107 miles per hour—no mean speed for unsupercharged cars only just outside the ” baby ” category. The terrific speed and the roughness of Brooklands track revealed a minor clutch defect which otherwise might not have been discovered for years. Every part of the engine and chassis of every racing car, no matter

what the make, is similarly tested. The result is that when a car based on racing practice is offered to the public, it is as good as it is possible to make it. Racing is responsible for many of +he best features of the modern car and I believe that to abandon it would be almost disastrous to the British motor car industry.

Victor Riley.

[Riley (Coventry) Ltd.].

A Rolls “Special.”

AFTER reading about the magnificent performance of the Rolls-Royce aero engines in the Schneider Trophy Contest and the recent world’s record achievement, one is tempted to regret that the same designing genius cannot be applied to the production of a British racing car. The supremacy of such makes as Alfa-Romeo and Maserati is due, I understand, to the fact that they are subsidised by the Italian government, and the manufacturers are therefore free from financial restrictions. Under present conditions it

is admittedly impossible for our Government to subsidise such an enterprise of this nature, but could not some wealthy individual or group of individuals (Lady Houston has done her share !) raise a certain sum of money to be placed at the disposal of Messrs. Rolls-Royce, Ltd., with instructions to build a team of three racing cars, and a spare car for practice ? The engine size chosen could be that found most suitable from the point of view of power-toweight ratio, controllability, and minimum wear of tyres.

I for one feel confident that if such a team could be entered for the principal free-for-all Grand Prix races next year, the result would be a season of undisputed supremacy. As for drivers, I would suggest a carefully picked team from the following, Birkin, Campbell, Earl Howe, Brian Lewis, Penn-Hughes, Staniland and W. B. Scott.

I should be interested to hear if other readers have any suggestions to make about this proposal.

K. Leatham.

London, S.W.18.