THERE is no doubt that the cult of the sports car was kept alive in the depressing days of 1931-2 largely as the result of the small economical spOrts car, but there were a good many drivers who lamented the passing of the full-sized slow running units of an earlier era. The welcome appearance of the 31 litre Bentley, the 41 litre Lagonda and the 5 litre 4iddeley Special has been a feature of the present year, and with the hoped-for track revival many of these fine cars should be seen on the roads of Great Britain and _
Two more three litre cars, both produced by worldfamed manufacturers, are promised for next Olympia, one of them being a straight-eight. One also hears reports of another straight-eight this time supercharged, which will delight the hearts of British enthusiasts by the end of next season.
Two Fast ” Eleven Hundreds.”
Horton’s 750 c.c. M.G. with its off-set body was a rather daring inovation, but proved very successful in practice. One of the principal advantages of course is that the driver sits alongside the transmission, and this reduces the frontal area of the car without the complication of off-set transmission. Kesterton, better known for his skill in tuning S.U. carburetters for racing, was responsible for the design, which was carried out by Jensen’s the West Bromwich coachbuilders. Next season Horton tells me he is going to put a similar type of body on the Magnette, so the 1,100 c.c. records will probably get quite a boost in 1934.
Freddy Dixon also has views on the 1,100 c.c. records, and hopes to go to Montlhery during the next month or so to attack the Class Record for the Hour. He has of course completely rebuilt one of his Rileys, with side members straight in plain view instead of being splayed out like those of the standard Brooklands chassis. Quarter-elliptic springs are used at the back, and the half-shafts have had five inches cut off each of them. The front axle is a stock one made for an ordinary touring car.
Sports Enthusiasts Please Apply.
Aston Martins tell me that they have for sale the car driven this year at Le Mans by Bertelli and Davis, and
which finished seventh. It is guaranteed to do 100 m.p.h. and is available at 2550.
Had a note the other day from J. E. Breyer, giving me the latest ” low-down ” on his plans for starting car-dirt-track racing. Apparently the powers-that-be have decided that Greenford as it stands is unsafe for spectators, and no one will depreciate the greatest caution in this respect. The next thing to do is to get the place into good shape, and then presumably races can be sanctioned.
Meanwhile the Autodrome Speedway Club has been formed, and also the Autodrome Speedway. I certainly think that there is a future for car dirt-tracks in this country, providing they are run on business-like lines. The intention is, in time, to send a team to tour the States and hold triangular contests with American and Australian teams. Sounds a bit ambitious, of course, as yet, but I am all in agreement with the “faint heart” proverb. The first thing to do is to get something started over here. Anybody with bright ideas on the subject of how to get this done might very well get in touch with Breyer, whose address is Deny Hill Cottage, Blackheath, Near Guildford.
When Alfa-Romeo declared their intention of not competing officially in 1933, the single-seater cars, which had swept the board so completely the year before, were put into the cellars, caves, bodegas or what not of the Milan factory and only the Monza type was to be sold to private individuals. However, the Ferrari stable managed to get hold of three of them towards the end of the season, no doubt much to the annoyance of their rivals.
Twenty-five of a slightly modified pattern are being built for 1934 and one of them may be seen in England.
Nuvolari at Brooklands.
It was a strange sight to see Tazio Nuvolari driving Earl Howe’s Bugatti round the Mountain Circuit. He quickly became accustomed to the corners, and amused a knot of spectators at the Fork by chipping off a little piece of the sandbank on every lap. Once he waved his hand, threw the car into a series of broadsides,
perfectly controlled, and laughed delightedly. It was a great pity he could not stay for the Mountain Championship, for he clocked within 1/5th of a second of the record on several laps.
Nuvolari’s Mount Next season.
The second ” strangeness ” was to see Nuvolari driving a Bugatti. As a matter of fact I believe he drove a Bugatti at Monza many years ago, before his fame as a car-driver had been gained.
It is just possible that the words Nuvolari (Bugatti) may appear regularly on all the programmes of important races next year. There is a strong rumour that the Italian champion may be the leader of the Bugatti team in 1934. Varzi has officially departed, and so far only two drivers have been definitely booked, Renee Dreyfus and Jean Pierre Wimille.
On the other hand, there is an equally strong rumour that Nuvolari will run in 1934 with an Alfa Romeo—unofficially assisted by the Milan factory. He is reported to have received offers from Maserati and Mercedes, as well as from Bugatti. There is also the news that he has reserved the right to drive an English car in the 1934 T.T.
Those 750 c.c. Records.
The 128 m.p.h. records of the M.G. Midget are so astonishing that it took me quite a good time to realise exactly what their speeds meant with a 750 c.c. engine. Perhaps the best way to put them in a proper perspective is to compare them with records for the same distance in the larger classes. For example, the 10 Mile record of the Midget at 125.43 m.p.h. is not much slower than the 129.29 m.p.h. of Cobb’s Delage in Class A, the Leyland Thomas’s 126.03 m.p.h, in the 8,000 c.c. class, and the 126.48 m.p.h. of Jack Dunfee’s Sunbeam in the 2,000 c.c. class.
The M.C. Team Championship.
After the Sporting One Day Trial had been contested at Buxton, the M.C.C. officials get to work in order to decide on the winners of the team championship for the 1933 trials season. The result was a clear victory for the Ford team, composed of H. Hillcoat and M. L. Curtis on V8’s and G. M. Denton on a 4 cyl. 24 li.p. model. These three had scored 13 marks with their 11 Premier Awards and 1 Silver, a wonderfully consistent effort in such trials as the Lands End, Edinburgh, Scarborough and Sporting One Day.
Here and There.
I went to see Wilcoxson the other day, and found him as cheerful as ever, in spite of the very rough time he has had since he was injured at Donington. His convalescence will, I am sorry to say, be a pretty lengthy one. Overheard at Brooklands : ” Taruffi is quite tarru
fic ! ” BOANERGES.