SPORTING CARS ON ROAD AND TRACK.
THE M.G. SUPER SPORTS.
Engine : Four-cylinder, 75 mm. x 102 mm., side valves, detachable head. Gear Box Unit construction, centre change. Three speeds 4.3-r, 7.6-1,
Final Drive : Spiral Bevel.
Brakes : Four-wheel.
Weight of Car, complete : 18 cwt. 2 qrs. Maximum Speed : 65 m.p.h.
Price : Four-seater, £37.5. KNOWN as the “M.G.” Super Sports, the smart little car shown in the accompanying illustrations is a special model of the well-known Morris Oxford
adapted to the requirements of the sporting owner by The Morris Garages of Oxford, the design having been evolved by Mr. Cecil Kimber, who is well known to our readers as a keen competition driver. In view of the remarkable performance of which this car is capable, it may be of interest to enumerate the differences existing between it and the standard Morris production. As a matter of fact, no structural alterations whatever are involved, the process of increasing the
efficiency of the normal chassis consisting solely in attentions to tune, modifications of the suspension and the provision of a suitable sports body in addition to minor alterations. On arrival at the M.G. Tuning Department, the Morris engines are stripped entirely and any attention necessary In the way of further balancing operations are carried out. Another small but important detail is that of cleaning and polishing the engine ports, after which, the engines are submitted to adequate bench tests before being re-erected in the chassis. As far as the chassis is concerned the modifications are very few, and comprise an adjustment of the steering column to give extra rake, the flattening of the springs so as to give a lower chassis line, and the provision of a side lever to
operate the h.andb rake. After several experiments with the suspension system the adoption of Hartford shock absorbers for the rear-axle and Gabriel Snubbers for the front has been adopted as standard. In the ordinary way, the Smith carburettor supplied as standard is used ; but in the car we tested, an S.U.,
had been fitted, which seemed to suit the engine remarkably well, the extra jet control being very useful in regulating the mixture as required for varying conditions, hill climbing and maximum speeds when driving all out.
As may be seen from our illustrations, the lines of the M.G. Sports are particularly attractive, the low straight sides following on from the bonnet in a very artistic fashion. In the front, the adjustable bucket seats give plenty of leg room and a comfortable driving position, whilst an equal amount of room is allowed at the rear, a feature not always to be found on small sports models. Having driven the M.G. for many miles in bad weather we can testify as to its all-weather protective qualities, and when the hood is folded it lies very snugly and inconspicuously under a detachable cover. One of the specially noteworthy features of the M.G. bodywork is the double opening inclined screen to which triangular side pieces are permanently attached, these latter excluding all side draught from the driver when the car is travelling fast.
The front wings slope gracefully down to the short running boards, and the wheels are finished off with Ace aluminium discs.
The M.G. Sports is also available as a two-seater with adjustable bucket seats and an off-side door.
Taken all round the M.G. Super Sports is capable of extraordinary good performance, especially when one considers that it is a practically standard Morris production vehicle as far as structural features are concerned. The makers make no extravagant claims to tremendous road speeds, but have certainly succeeded in producing a very smart, reliable and lively car with sporting
characteristics for the modest sum of 5; a car, moreover, which has behind it the wonderful resources of the world-famous Morris productions. Our first impression when taking the car over recently was that of the remarkable acceleration, the engine leaping into life immediately the accelerator was
touched. On a level road the car will accelerate up to 50 m.p.h. in just over 24 seconds, the first and second gear ratios being well suited for a quick get-away. Speaking of the gears, the change up or down can be effected with ease at almost any speed, though for a silent change a moderate pause in neutral is beneficial. When getting away the engine gives out a most healthy bark, which, if anything, is a little too invigorating as it attracts attention in police infected areas, so unless one proceeds quietly on top, there is a chance of being credited with greater speed than is actually the case.
It is possible that means for driving with a quieter exhaust would be beneficial at times, though the ultrasports driver appears to be willing to risk the costs of a Ioo m.p.h. roar.
A Few Minor Criticisms.
In pursuance of our duties in making the kind of criticism our readers demand, we were on the look-out for any faults in the M.G. Sports which can be expressed in a few words. The position of the side brake lever is a little inconvenient if one drives with the right elbow over the side of the body, and the lever could be a couple of inches longer with advantage. We understand that for the 1926 model, the body will be 2 in. wider, which will give more room for getting at the brake lever as well as increasing the comfort. In flattening the springs, the ground clearance has been somewhat restricted, the tail of the exhaust pipe being too close to the ground for comfortable negotiation of rough surfaces ; this, of course, being easily altered. It would be neater if the speedometer cable from the nearside front wheel were clipped close to the chassis instead of hanging freely in a
long loop where it is liable to damage. Whilst the fourwheel brakes are admirably proportioned and act with great effect, there is just a suspicion of the Morris squeak which characterises their application, but this we suppose can be corrected without much difficulty.
At low speeds the steering is not quite as light as one might wish, but the objection disappears on closer acquaintance with the car. When travelling fast the car holds the road well and there is no ” dither ” or shock transmitted to the driver’s hands. The engine sticks to its work manfully, and on the whole the transmission is good, but as one might well expect it is possible to feel a period or so when the car is forced to its utmost limit of speed, which on the muchused example we tested was in the neighbourhood of 65
with four up. This should not be taken as adverse criticism for there are very few cars—and none of its own particular class—which make less fuss at speed than the M.G. Sports.
Hill Climbing Capabilities.
When we mention that the identical car in question has won a gold on the London—Lands’ End, to say nothing of numerous other trials, readers may rest assured as to its climbing capabilities, for Beggars’ Roost is an incline commanding respect from most cars of to-day. Not having an opportunity of trying it up any famous hill, we contented ourselves with the ascent of a little incline off the beaten track which is seldom used for trials as it is a cul-de-sac. It boasts a very rough surface, an awkward bend and a maximum gradient of r in 3 for about 8o yards. The climb starts with a rise of 1-6 which can only be reached by reversing
down the slope, but the M.G. Sports made light work of the hill and finished with a speed of nearly 20 m.p.h. on first gear. Reigate Hill with four up was taken at 38 m.p.h. on second without any apparent diminution of engine revs., much to the astonishment of the usual crowd of Sunday sightseers gathered at the top, who failed to understand how so much kick got behind the familiar Morris radiator. A run of forty odd miles all out on a good main road proved the engine an absolute glutton for hard work, and the faster it went the more happy it seemed. There is no difficulty whatever in keeping up a steady fifty-five, and on occasional good stretches the needle went well and truly over to 65 without a murmur. Though one would not describe the car as absolutely silky at 65 there is a noticeable absence of unseemly vibration or body noises, the sensation is one getting an abnormal performance out of a normal chassis with a degree of steadiness and comfort that one hardly expects.
Good for Fast Touring.
Apart from its characteristics as a first-class performer over typically competition courses, the M.G. Sports is an ideal machine for traffic work and touring as high averages can be maintained without effort. In gaining the 11/e,
high speed efficiency, nothing has been given away that impairs the general utility of the M.G. Sports, and one can use it as a top gear car without imposing undue stresses on the engine or transmission. Thus in traffic it will run smoothly at 6 m.p.h. oa top gear and accelerate comfortably, without any signs of distress, to a good touring speed. All ordinary gradients may be taken on top gear, unless one is out for really high averages when the early changes of gear are very effective.
The production of a sports car with the kind of performance mentioned above for the sum of f;375 brings the ownership of a fast and lively little car well within the range of many who hitherto have considered a four-seater car with a 14 /28 h.p. engine beyond their means, and having thus achieved success in this direction, Mr. Cecil Kimber intends to introduce developments which will still further increase its popularity. It is probable that in the near future, still greater scholastic honours will fall to the Morris cars which have successfully matriculated in Mr. Cecil Kimber’s Finishing School for Morris cars, where the curriculum includes courses in “Hotting up,” “Hill Climbing,” and the “Correct Deportment of Cars in Sporting Events.”
We hope in an early issue to give full details of the 1926 model, which promises features of great interest.