SPORTS CARS AT OLYMPIA.

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36

Brief Reference to Some of the Outstanding Examples of “Speed Models” amongst the Exhibits at this Year’s Show.

OLYMPIA cannot exactly be described as the Mecca

of the speed merchant. The exhibitors seem to be inclined to strive more after the luxurious, or, where, by reason of the price of the car, that is obviously unattainable, cheapness of the complete car, rather than make any attempt to interest the buyer who has in mind the sporting as well as the utilitarian use of a car. It will therefore be found that many of the manufacturers of sports models have not been able to find room for them on their already crowded stands, so that the reader of this journal who has any particular make of car in his mind, will, likely enough, find that he will have to content himself with mere paper specifications and illustrations. There are, however, quite a number of sports models on view, quite enough to make it well worth the while of the visitor whose interest is actually confined to that type of car. Those who are in the fortunate position of being able to run a touring or enclosed model car as well as a sports, will find enough of interest at the Show to last through several days of inspection. For our part, in this brief review, we are going to confine ourselves to the sports models actually shown, except perhaps in one or two instances where the eminence of the maker as a manufacturer of sports car, or his novel appearance as such, entitles him to more than mere casual mention.

On the whole, we think it better to deal in alphabetical order with those cars in which we have an interest, leaving the reader to make his way from stand to stand by means of the very efficient map which is a part of the catalogue of the show, or by means of the direction boards, which are now so well arranged.

A.C. Stand 18.

Confining ourselves therefore to that order, we come first to the A.C. car, and already we have to register disappointment, as there is no example of the famous A.C. sports car on view. The next best thing to that is there, however, in the shape of a six-cylinder chassis of this make, and the sporting enthusiast, who is nothing if not mechanical, will examine this with considerable

interest and care, particularly if he bears in mind that the difference between the standard chassis and the sports is hardly to be discerned by the naked eye, unless the details are taken apart, micrometred, and weighed, since it is in the balance, the weight, and the material, allied with certain modifications of valve distribution and compression, that the sports car finds its extra power and speed.

Note should be made of the neat design of the sixcylinder monobloc engines and particularly of the very accessible way in which the magneto and dynamo are mounted. See also the unusual arrangement of the exhaust pipes, affording a quick ” get-away,” for the burnt gas. The clutch on this model is of the plate type, and transmits to three speed and reverse gear box, which is mounted in one with the rear axle. Another point about the four-cylinder A.C. is the arrangement of the hand-operated brake, which is of the disc type, and is mounted at the back of the rear axle case, on the end of the worm shaft. Quarter-elliptic springs, of the true cantilever type, it will be noted, are fitted ; the front ones are supplemented by shock absorbers and those at the rear by rebound snubbers.

The standard six-cylinder chassis is guaranteed to do not less than 60 m.p.h. over the measured half mile at Brooklands. The sports model is guaranteed to do 80 m.p.h. Its engine has a bore and stroke of 65 mm. by Ioo mm. and is rated at 15.7 h.p.

The four-cylinder A.C. chassis is very similar, in its essentials, to the “six.” The bore and stroke of its engine is 69 and ioo mm., the R.A.C. rating being 11.8 h.p. The standard models are guaranteed to do 50 m.p.h., and the sports, 70 m.p.h.

Those whose car interest is wide enough to cover models other than sports, should take a look, while on this stand (No. 18), at the Aceca Open-Closed body, which is exhibited on a six-cylinder model. It is designed to give, at a moment’s notice, and with a minimum of trouble in effecting the change, an open two-three seater car, with all the concomitant advantages, and a coupe.

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