35,000 people saw an Edwardian-car race at Langhorne dirt track, in which the starters were seven Mercers of 1909 to 1922 vintage and a 1909 Mercédès. Alec Ulmann won, but found that the dirt surface reduced the speed of his 1912 Mercer from 80-90 m.p.h. to 60 m.p.h. Ulmann’s 87.2-h.p. Hispano-Suiza. and Grier’s Delahaye were parked in the pits.
A s.s. 1/4-mile sprint organised by the S.C.C. of A. at Thompson speedway was won by Beal’s Duesenberg in 21.75 sec. from Spear’s 540K Mercédès-Benz (24.3 sec.) and Todd’s M.G. Magnette with Willys engine (24.6 sec.). A s.s. 1/2-mile contest followed, in which Beal again made best time, in 38.0 sec., Todd being second this time, in 42.0 sec., and Spear 3rd, in 42.25 sec. A round-the-houses dice came next, Spear making best performance in 70.0 sec., Proctor’s Atalanta taking 72.2 sec. and Linton’s J4 M,G. 73.4 sec. Later, handicap races of the pursuit type were staged, Spear’s Mercédès beating Duby’s S.S.Mercédès, and then John Bentley’s TC M.G. vanquished McNally’s sister car in a level-start match race.
Such European cars as “2.3” and 1 3/4-litre Alfa-Romeo, CGSS Amilcar, Speed Six and Big Six Bentleys and Lancia Lambda, are being rebuilt by enthusiasts in America. Al Garthwaite is overhauling what is believed to be the only Type 50S Bugatti in the U.S.A., this being the ex-Col. Giles coupé. It is reported to ride and accelerate better than a Type 43 or 55 and to give 250 to 300 b.h.p. Speed is given as 125 m.p.h., which sounds a bit Yankee-doodle.
Cameron Peck has acquired the 168 cub. in. Miller entered by Weaver for this year’s Indianapolis race. Peck will probably run it in next year’s “500.”
In a pleasing article entitled “Ninety Million Cars,” in the “Ulster Motoring Review,” “Armakay” recalls early American automobiles — says Duryea built the first American car, that the first Packard, named the Ohio, came out in 1899, that about the most popular car of the 1900s was the curved-dash Oldsmobile, of which 4,000 were on the road by 1902, and that Locomobile advertised itself as having the first 4-cylinder, watercooled, front-mounted engine. Continues that Buick claimed the first o.h.v. engine in 1902, that annual car production was up in the forty-thousands by 1907, that the Apperson of that year made “one think of a car that had melted and set again in the wrong shape!” and that 181,000 American cars were produced in 1910. Cadillac is quoted as starting electrically by 1911, the Willys-Knight of 1914 as looking comparatively modern, and production in 1918 as up to 461,500 private American cars. By 1929 production was near the five-million mark, by 1946 it was up to 90 million. How does all this digest, motor historians?