RECENT NOTABLE FEATS PERFORMED BY BRITISH CARS AND MOTOR CYCLES AT HOME AND ABROAD.
10,000 MILES NIGHT-AND-DAY MOTOR-CYCLING.
One of the most remarkable performances in motorcycling history has just been put up by two Ariel motorcycles in a 10,000 mile reliability test under A.C.C. observation. The machines used consisted of a 500 c.c. o.h.v. model, and one of the new overhead valve Ariel lightweights.
The headquarters of this, the longest observed motorcycle test ever recorded, were at Banbury, and a course measuring 120 miles was covered four times each day. Relays of riders were employed and there were four A.C.U. observers. The test started on 28th September and finished on 23rd October, the observers insisting that the riders should adhere to a schedule of not more than 20 miles per hour.
With the exception of a couple of minor crashes, the test was almost uneventful, the machines running with remarkable consistency. The only time that trouble Was experienced was, indeed, early on the last day, when a cracked carbon brush holder caused misfiring. Since it was dark at the time, it took an hour or so to locate the trouble.
The weather encountered was, on the whole, poor. Each machine had an electric and acetylene lighting set, but the latter was seldom required. Fortunately for the riders there was not much fog, but torrential rain fell at times, particularly during the long night stretches.
At approximately half distance, the rear tyre of each machine was changed. This was not because the tyres were worn out, but because they had become smooth, and it was deemed inadvisable to take the unnecessary risk of skids with smooth tyres on wet roads. During the whole 10,000 miles, the chains and tappets were adjusted twice each only, tappet adjustment being the only attention which the engines received.
It is estimated that the two engines revolved at least 90 million times during the test, and that the pistons actually travelled over 11,000 miles in the cylinders. The average petrol consumption of the two machines worked out at over 100 miles per gallon, and the oil consumption was remarkably good, the lightweight covering the 10,000 miles on less than a gallon of lubricant.
At the conclusion of the test the Ariels were stopped by Mr. Harry Tate, the well-known comedian—well known also in ” motoring ” of another type! The Ariel Company, which is one of the largest of British motor-cycle producers, is to be congratulated on bringing so ambitious a test to a successful conclusion. This, incidentally, is the second long-distance Ariel test ; last year the concern ran a sidecar machine for 5,000 miles without an engine stop and for this performance was awarded the Maudes Trophy.
BRITISH SMALL CAR WINS ON DIRT TRACK.
With the exception of the Single Junior Car Club meeting at Greenford last July, this country has not seen dirt track racing for cars. Yet the public, whose appetite has been whetted by the spectacle of motorcycles on the cinders, is even keener to see cars and what they can do at this new sport.
For any data on this aspect of it we have to go to Australia, where they have had three years’ start, and are well acquainted with the car as well as the motor cycle side of the sport. Hitherto the cars used on dirt tracks” down under” have been almost exclusively big Americans ; but the more recent policy of allowing for engine capacity has given a chance to the Britishers, and with the opening of another season out there some astonishing performances have been put up by British small cars.
News has just reached us of a Singer Junior chassis, taken over three weeks before by a mechanic who had never previously raced, and entered at Penrith Speedway, the ” Greenford ” of Sydney. It swept the board. Using Shell petrol and oil—another combination that we know well in this country—its average speed in the three races for which it entered was 56 m.p.h., and one lap was done at 64 m.p.h.
Such a performance, when both car and driver weer making their debut, has astonished the Australian public. The Sydney papers speak of it in glowing terms, especially in view of the low price of the car—which, by the way, was standard except for aluminium pistons.
This success should be very good for British prestige out there, for, to parody a well-known phrase, the way to an Aussie’s heart is through a cloud of cinders.
1, When, in 1911, a well-known 20 h.p. car reached the A VERY ROBUST BABY.
summit of Ben Nevis—after taking four and a half days in the attempt—the feat was thought to be very remarkable, inasmuch as it had previously been considered impossible. Later, another model of the same make of car made the ascent in n hours—descending on the following day. But in one day (October 6th last) an Austin ” Seven ” accomplished both ascent and descent—taking only 7 hours 23 minutes, and 1 hour 55 minutes respectively! As is well-known, Ben Nevis is the highest peak in the British Isles-4,406 feet above sea level—and the performance put up by this smallest of British cars (driven by an amateur, and carrying a passenger) is a very complete reply to those who think a 7 h.p. car is not powerful enough for ordinary and extraordinary requirements. In this conquest of Ben Nevis, the famous little Austin ” Seven ” has added yet another wonderful record to its long list of achievements.
A remarkable number of world’s records were captured by a Velocette machine recently at Montlhery track. The riders were H. J. Willis, F. G. Hicks and J. A. Baker, and in all 47 records were broken. Fourteen of these were in the 350 c.c. class and included all records from the 500 kilometres to the 12 hours, at from 84.69 to 78.28 m.p.h.
The speeds were so high that they beat the existing records from 500 miles to 12 hours in the 500, 750 and 1,000 c.c. classes, 33 more records being thereby secured. Perhaps the most remarkable of all these records is the 10 hours (in each class), for which the average speed was 80.1 miles per hour. It is interesting to note that the machine used was generally similar to the new K’I’T Velocette which has just been placed on the market at the price of 030.
At a later date the Velocette trio continued their remarkable efforts and succeeded in covering just over 100 miles in the hour, rider H. J. Willis, and Hicks annexed the 5 and 10 mile records at over 106 m.p.h.
FROM OCEAN TO OCEAN.
A most strenuous test of a medium weight British motor cycle has just been brought to a successful con clusion in Canada, where, until recently, the heavy weight American machine has ruled supreme. There is no road across Canada, and some 800 miles of this trip
has to be taken over the Canadian Pacific rail road. No car or motor cycle had previously driven from coast to coast without fitting special flanged wheels for the railway stretch. It was the ambition of J. 0. Oates, once well known in England as a competition rider, to cover the distance on a Standard 500 c.c. all-British Arid l motor cycle, and
so to prove conclusively that the medium-weight British machine was superior to the heavy-weight American.
He succeeded admirably, for he completed the 5,000 miles in 21 days—an average of nearly 240 miles a day— over the most execrable surfaces. Starting from Halifax, Oates had 1,300 miles of good road to Toronto, which he covered at 44 m.p.h. (The machine was fitted with a sidecar, arranged to be suit able as a ” sleeper ” when no other accommodation was available.) Some 500 miles of poor roads followed, and he was then forced to take to the railway line for 800 miles to Winnipeg. Railway sleepers in Canada are not built into the ground as they are at home, and the 800 miles thus consisted of bumps and crashes which should have been enough to break any frame. The Ariel frame, however, withstood the treatment uncom
plainingly as did the engine—the whole railway stretch was covered in first or second gear. Leaving the railway he took to the prairie trails to Lake Louise and the mountains.
Once he struck 36 miles of freshly dumped rock ballast ; one day his machine left the rail track and charged down an embankment into a hornet’s nest : another time he punctured and, having lost his pump, had to stuff the tyre with leaves and grass ; on yet another occasion he ran into an open culvert head first. The tale of his trials would fill a novel, but he and his machine overcame them and he reached Vancouver tired but triumphant, having given to the British moto cycle the greatest” boost “it has ever received in Canada’ It will be interesting to see if his efforts are successful from a sales point of view, and if the British motor cycle will eventually oust the Yankee from Canada, as it has elsewhere. •
“SETTING A STANDARD.”
Tests of 5,000 Miles a Week.
It has never been the custom of the Standard Motor Co. to offer the public a motor car which has not undergone extremely thorough tests. Most motorists, therefore, when they examined and appreciated the new six-cylinder 15 h.p. Standard at Olympia, realised that in buying they were not being asked to find out weak points—realised, indeed, that such weak points must already have been discovered and rectified.
Few, however, knew the lengths to which these tests had been carried. The first 15 h.p. Standard was not tried out casually by designers and directors who would be inclined to overlook its deficiencies. The Standard Co.’s Chief Engineer claims that if he cannot break a motor car no one else can, and in testing the new sixcylinder he exerted himself to the utmost. But, in addition to this’ a car was driven night and day for approximately. 20,000 miles.
The course selected for this test measured 153 miles, and it was covered five times a day. This meant a daily mileage of 765 and a weekly mileage, for a sevenday week was used, of 5,355—as much as many ownerdrivers cover in a year. The average speed during the test thus worked out at nearly 32 m.p.h., including stops. At this speed, which is, of course, high for day and night driving over a winding course, the petrol consumption was 25 miles per gallon.
The car ran with remarkably little trouble, and such as was experienced was of a minor nature. This, however, was only to be expected in view of the Chief Engineer’s previous drastic tests, but the trial was a proof of the quality of the car and the determination of the company to offer only of their best. As such, it must necessarily ensure the confidence of the buying public.
MORE RECORDS BROKEN.
Some remarkable long distance records have just been established by a tiny motor-cycle on the Montlhery track, near Paris. The machine was a French MonetGoyon, but it employed a British Villiers two-stroke engine of 172 c.c. capacity.
In all 12 records were broken in the 175 cc. class, and many of these apply also to the 250 c.c. class. All records from the seven hours to the 2,000 kilometres fell to the Monet-Goyon and in most cases the existing speeds were beaten by over 10 miles per hour. The seven hours record was taken at 51.24 m.p.h, and the 2,000 kilometres (approximately 1,250 miles) at 52.06 m.p.h. The speeds therefore actually increased as more miles were covered–a striking tribute to the British engine which this French firm employed.