The annual weekend of record-breaking attempts at Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire saw another big batch of car and motorcycle records broken over sprint distances from quarter-mile to one mile. The World and International record for the Standing-Start ¼-mile was broken by Dennis Priddle in the supercharged Chrysler-powered Dragster “Tudor Rose”, with a mean time for the two-way run of 8.296 sec., at an average speed of 108.460 m.p.h. The four-wheel-drive B.R.M. with 2.1-litre V8 engine of Lawson established Class D records for ¼-mile at 10.936 sec., and it also established a Flying Quarter-mile record for the class at 146.14 m.p.h., while Patsy Burt set the Class C record for this distance to 159.29 m.p.h. with her McLaren Oldsmobile V8. Later she recorded over 168 m.p.h. on the Flying Kilometre. The Hon. Patrick Lindsay drove the 24-litre Napier-Kailton to 134.86 m.p.h. for the Flying Quarter-mile and 146.39 m.p.h. for the Flying Kilometre, but this was not fast enough to beat the existing record. On the Standing-Start Kilometre the Napier-Railton did 26.03 sec., which was not as fast as the time recorded by John Cobb in 1933 when he set the Class A British record of 25.27 sec., which still stands. Staniforth, in a supercharged Mini-engined Terrapin with transverse rear engine, took National and International records, including one from Abarth, and set Flying-Start records at over 130 m.p.h., taking a long-standing one from the Appleton Special.
The motorcycles excelled themselves, 20-year-old J. Hobbs on his home-built supercharged Triumph 500 special took the S.S. Kilometre World record from the works Gilera, among many other records, and the unconventional Dragwaye, powered by a supercharged VW/Porsche engine driven by D. Lecoq became the third motorcycle in England to break 10 seconds for the S.S. Quarter-mile, with a time of 9.859 sec, and a two-way average of 9.97 sec., but it was not quick enough to break Hagon’s existing record of 9.95 sec. Highest speed of the week-end was 182.08 m.p.h. set up by George Brown on his supercharged 1,147 c.c. Vincent motorcycle over the Flying Kilometre.
This end-of-season event for the sprint-world has now become an annual classic and is jointly organised by the International Sprint Organisation and the National Sprint Association. As the Bonnevile Speed Week in America is an annual feast for the maximum speed contenders the Elvington Speed Weekend is for the short-distance sprint world. This year, for the first time for a long, long while, attempts were made on Flying-Start Mile records, the 2½-mile runway just allowing enough overall distance. For the third year in succession weather conditions were perfect and a total of 346 runs were made during the weekend.
While the motorcycle world ratify records as a matter of course, the car world demand something like 50 guineas to ratify car records with the F.I.A. in Paris, so some of the figures recorded may not get into the record book officially.—D. S. J.