THE S.9 BLANCH! VIAREGGIO SALOON
IMPRESSIONS APPKEt A LENGTHY WEEK-END RUN
The name of Bianchi has always been one which sports-car enthusiasts have held in respect ever since this famous Italian firm commenced to manufacture cars in 1909, and we looked forward to a very pleasant run when we took one of the S.9 saloons from the sole concessionaries in this country, Messrs. Burton Osborne & Taylor, Ltd., 1, Southampton Street, London. W.I.
Naturally times have changed since the early Bianchi days, and the Viareggio saloon has but little in common mechanically with its prototypes, but it is a thoroughly road worthy successor to the marque. The car was in our possession for a week-end; and during this time covered 500 miles to and from North Devon. The result of this motoring made us realise that its somewhat sober appearance belied its performance and that it had great possibilities for longdistance motoring with the minimum of fatigue.
The first impression of taking over the car was one of remarkable smoothness and silence, and there is no doubt this is of benefit on a long run, as the engine never appears to be working really hard. It is a fourcylinder unit of normal design, with push-rod valve gear. The bore and stroke is 68 m.m. x 100 m.m., giving a rated horse power of 12, and a rapacity of 1,452 c.c.
The springing is by means of semi-elliptic springs, and the road holding above the average. It can be put into a corner really fast, but one has perfect confidence that it will get round. The steering is of the worm and sector pattern, and a fabric universal joint is incorporated in the steering column just above the steering box. The necessity of a run to the Southwest of England gave an opportunity of testing its average’ speed •capabilities, and we found that these are greater than the maximum speed would lead one to expect.
The maximum speed on the level does not exceed 65 m.p.h., but, under favourable conditions, a cruising speed of 55 m.p.h. can be maintained indefinitely, while hills call for but little reduction of speed.
The clutch is very light and slight practice is necessary to become used to the gearbox, in order to effect a silent gear change. The gearbox has synchromesh on top, third and second but only just enough to cover up mistakes.
The brakes are extremely powerful and smooth, and very light to operate, which are Lockheed. The car is well finished in both body and chassis, and should commend itself to the man who wants a useful, sturdy and roomy car with a lively and comfortable performance. The body is the pillowless saloon type but perfect fitting is effected. The facia board is very simple and contains the usual oil, fuel and clock fittings but the ignition switch is unusual. There are five numbers marked on
the panel and the ignition key can be turned to any one of these numerals. The numbers indicate what can be done by means of the ignition. Por instance, position, all accessories are out of action, key turned to 1, all accessories work. No. 2 position is side lights without accessories, No. 3 side lights with accessories, and No. 4, all lights. The ignition itself is operated by pushing and pulling the same key. The car can be left parked and the key removed, obviating any risk of the electrical equipment or the car being interfered with. The upholstery i severe, but there is plenty of
room to both get in and out. The seat cushions, also the squabs are finished in plain dark blue leather.
One or two special points of the Bianchi saloon is a fly-off type of hand-brake lever on the left-hand side of the gear lever, which seemed to hold the car on the steepest slope, and can be most conveniently reached. There is no sliding roof.
In the tail of the body is fitted the luggage compartment, which can be reached from inside of the car.
Another point of interest is the lubricating system, the base chamber is divided into two parts. The outer part serves as an oil cooler and the inner the oil pump supplies to the various bearings.
In conclusion, it is an exceedingly quiet motor, which is very pleasing to drive after one has become accustomed to one or two smaller obstacles such as the accelerator pedal, etc. It is essentially a top gear car, but second and third gears will climb, as they are intended to, all the most severe gradients.
The car is fairly expensive at f,365, but it is the type that can stand up to a great deal of hard work and will last for many years. With the completion of next month’s issue, another volume of MOTOR SPORT will be obtainable. We would offer thanks to those readers who have borne with us so long, many since No. l of the Brooklands Gazette was published thirteen years ago, and welcome those who have started to take MOTOR SPORT regularly since the paper was reorganised at the beginning of this year—the circulation continues on a most encouraging upward trend. We propose to continue the present policy of offering a motoring paper written by enthusiasts for enthusiasts, and of reviewing important happenings in our world in a manner which we hope is fair and impartial. In particular, we shall endeavour to present useful road-test impressions of