Rumblings, November 1943

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Bravo, Ettore!

Those beautiful products of be Patron of Molsheim are generally conceded to be without equal in everything except reliability. So that it only remains to prove the Bugatti reliable to establish it as, perhaps, the greatest of all sporting cars. Very well, listen to this. At a farm near Scarborough a Type 40 Bugatti not only acts as the hack car, but gives yeoman service carrying stock and farm produce. Mr. E.E. Wilkinson, of the Prospect Engineering Co., of Newby, in answer to a request to tell us more of this Bugatti lorry, explains to us that the farm has been owned for the past four years by Miss Turner, who used to race a Brescia Bugatti in sprint events in the dim ages – we seem to recall one of the old pear-shaped-radiator cars with very flaked wings. She tried numerous British and American cars and a light lorry as her farm hack, but the half-mile of private road leading to the farm caused incessant repairing, patching-up and replacing of the road springs of these cars. Mr. Wilkinson describes the road as little more than a cart-track, patched with stones and broken brick, and remarks that “the only way to get any idea of what it is like is to drive over it!” After it had broken the normal sort of car, Miss Turner persuaded Mr. Wilkinson, who services all her cars, to let her try a Type 40 Bugatti, and his life, he says, has been a lot easier ever since. The car has now served for a year, averaging 800 miles a month, for all manner of jobs on the farm, including transporting up to three calves at a time to and from the station and carrying fertilizers, grain and general produce about the farm and the roads. It has given no trouble of any sort, although as Miss Turner is an expert mechanic, the machinery naturally receives decent care and attention. Mr. Wilkinson says that this Type 40 offers positive proof that a Bugatti, if treated right in essential respects, will stand up to virtually anything. Incidentally, Miss Turner also runs a 3-litre Bugatti, on which no track was kept of the mileage after the 250,000 mark, up to when no major repairs had been necessary. Her mother owns a 5-litre Bugatti saloon which has earned their complete respect, and which, we believe, still goes out on A.R.P. duties. It will be remembered that in the article in the September issue of Motor Sport, “Brescia versus Type 40,” Fawcett stressed the economy of upkeep of the Bugatti and its remarkably low fuel consumption. It really does seem as if we shall have to stop calling the Bugatti an unreliable car.

Political good sense

From Press matter which we receive we note that cyclists have had the good sense to form for themselves a sound representative body, namely, the National Committee on Cycling. The constituent bodies are given as the British Cycle Manufacturers’ Union, the C.T.C., the National Association of Cycle Traders, the National Clarion Cycling Club and the National Cyclists’ Union. The president is Sir Harold Bowden, Bart., G.B.E. Motorists, please copy.

Another rare bird

Some while ago we were able to describe a Secqueville-Hoyau from first-hand inspection of the marque, and more recently we have been able to hurriedly inspect another rare bird, in the form of a 14.6-h.p. Sizaire-Frères, stored in a garage near London and seemingly in good order. Of 1929 vintage, this car has full independent suspension front and back by means of transverse leaf springs, a suspension that apparently made its debut at the Paris Salon of 1923. The car we saw has a 4-seater decked torpedo body with sloping V screen and pointed tail, and disc wheels carrying Michelin 145 x 775 balloon tyres. The engine is a compact 16-valve unit with a Zenith carburetter on the near side and a ribbed exhaust manifold with front off-take on the off side. The o.h. camshaft appears to be driven by a train of gears and the exposed flywheel has starter teeth inset round its forward edge. Ignition is by twin coils and distributors, feeding eight plugs. The radiator is an exact replica of that on a Rolls-Royce, and we have heard that Sizaire registered it and then made Rolls-Royce, Ltd., pay royalties to them – which may or may not be true! The clutch action is heavy, the gear-lever central and the facia carries clock and 120 m.p.h. Jaeger speedometer. Fuel feed is by autovae. The car carries three-letter number-plates and looks perfectly sound, and we would be glad to know more of the type.

Coincidence

By a coincidence, an advertisement for a Frazer-Nash and a Bugatti was inserted in a motoring weekly by Mr. J. Marshall about the same time as the condemnation in these columns of “dirty” dealings in sports cars. We would point out that no particular person was implicated – our comments were just a warning to Motor Sport readers to beware of unscrupulous dealers who might attempt to prey on their enthusiasm.

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