Racing at Wealdstone

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The first British model car meeting

The British Model Car Club held its first meeting, and the initial public event of its kind to be staged in this country, at the Kodak Hall, Wealdstone, on October 1st. Cars lapped a “round the pole” course, and there was electrical timing, spotlights, refreshments, a loudspeaker system and a gallery from which the spectators could, in safety, watch the models put up their impressive performance. For this initiative Mr DA Russell deserves the greatest credit. The cars were tuned at the pits and tested during the morning. They comprised Mr Russell’s 10-cc Brown-engined SS “100” ; Mr DBM Wright’s 5-cc Westbury “Kestrel”-engined “Special,” largely constructed of Juneero parts ; “No 4” of straightforward design, running on balloon tyres ; “No. 5,” which did not actually run ; Mr. Gasgoine’s car, which was on view, but only partially finished ; Mr. Cruikshank’s MG ; Mr FG Buck’s “No 2A” ; and Mr Russell’s enclosed cockpit Auto-Union record car, the tiny engine of which was cleverly concealed beneath the cockpit hood—an idea suggested to Mr Russell by the Editor of Motor Sport. The course proved rather smooth, resulting in much wheel-spin, which caused the two fastest cars, the MG and “No 2A,” to throw tyres. In the morning the SS lapped regularly at 21 mph, and the MG, with faultless precision, at over 50 mph. After lunch, the MG at first suffered from four-stroking and could only lap at 28 mph, but on its third run it again clocked over 50. “No 9” then came out, and while it had not the stability of the MG, it lapped at 37 mph, fastest time of the day, in spite of losing the off-side front tyre. The SS failed to run properly and the Auto-Union, on which work had proceeded all night, failed to start at all. It should be a most impressive model when the teething troubles are overcome. Mr Russell closed the meeting with a vote of thanks to Kodak Ltd, for loaning the hall and explaining some of the technical difficulties which had prevented a number of models from taking part. He promised even more thrilling performances in the near future, and reminded us that a Model Car Club had been formed to control the pastime and hold further meetings. For our part we were very glad that model car racing has at last commenced in this country. We hope it will develop healthily and that the models will remain realistic in appearance (which involves proper proportioning) and will become still faster and more reliable.  We hope soon to see banked tracks and duration record runs. There is a big gulf between those who build and run the real thing and those who derive enjoyment from building and operating in miniature. But at all events some car enthusiasts should derive great enjoyment from building models while, especially in the winter off-season, racing folk should certainly not be beneath running model cars at these fascinating meetings, or intelligently spectating.

 

 

 

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