Rumblings BOANERGES, October 1932
The Mountain Championship.
IT was a pity to see such a poor race for the Mountain Championship. Sir Malcolm Campbell had the race in his pocket the whole time, and the Sunbeam was never really extended. Last year the race was thrilling to watch, and was run at a much faster pace. Of course, it would have been more interesting if the Maserati had started—and where was the 4.9 Bugatti
“Tiger II ” ? .
Those Jumping Beans.
Personally I was far more emotioned—as our film friends call it—by a most exciting race of “jumping beans” with Cecil Kimber on the evening before the race. We had been looking over the extraordinarily interesting site of the proposed road circuit in Hertfordshire, and finished up at a very comfortable hostelry at Ivinghoe. ” C.K.” was most intrigued by the leaping properties of my beans, and we promptly matched two likely looking specimens for a race.
But” C.K.” got his own back with his famous pennyand-the-glass of water trick later on.
Incidentally, can anyone tell me why they jump ? .
The 12-Cylinder Sunbeam.
I was rather surprised to see Sir Malcolm Campbell’s 12-cylinder Sunbeam beat John Cobb’s Delage at Brighton. In view of the Delage’s standing lap record at Brooklands I favoured its chance of winning, but the Sunbeam was certainly in wonderful form. It is possible that the Armstrong-Siddeley “self-change” gear-box helped its acceleration, but of course the greatest advantage of this detail is made apparent on corners.
wonder whether Sir Malcolm will go out for the standing lap record now ?
Incidentally, there is a possibility of this device being used on certain Continental racing cars next year, which will sound rather heretical to those to whom skill in normal gear changing is a pleasure, but is quite definitely a step forward towards the perfection of the automobile.
Bugattis for next season.
On the Continent rumours are rife as to the car Ettore Bugatti will put into the field next year to cope successfully with the ” monoposto ” Alfa Romeo. Some say
that the 4.9 engine will be put into an entirely new chassis, others say that he will introduce an enlarged 2.3, with a single seater body, while I have even heard it rumoured that he may bring out a 15 (yes, 15) cylinder car. This latter machine sounds very like our old friend the 16 cylinder car which raced at the Klausen hill climb, I believe, a few years ago.
Delage to race ?
Then there are the rumours that Louis Delage will return to the fray, an exciting story this, when one bears in mind the famous 1 litre straight eight. If he does Id come back,” there is every likelihood of Robert Benoist being seen once again. I always remember what a wonderful run of successes this brilliant French driver had in 1927. If I remember rightly he won the Grands Prix of France, Italy, Spain and Great Britain, a feat which secured for him the championship of the world. His position then was rather like that of Tazio Nuvolari this year, although they are totally different in their methods. In contrast to the agitated, fiery Tazio, Robert Benoist was very much like Rudolf Caracciola, calm, never hurried, and always precise. It would be interesting to see him compete on levle terms with the Continental” aces “of today.
In England the Rolls-Bentley is still shrouded in mystery, but the new 1 litre twin-camshaft Invicta should be a promising car in its class, and should be capable of competing in the 1i litre class of unrestricted races. Then there is the special ft litre twin camshaft blown chassis, of which I hear that Humphrey Cook will be running a team in the big races next year. It only needs the construction of a road course in England (and from what I hear things are going along very well down in Hertfordshire) to complete the happy picture.
Hats off to Mrs. Wisdom.
I wonder how many people at the closing meeting realised at the time that Mrs. Wisdom was travelling faster round Brooklands than any woman had ever done before. At a casual glance she looked no faster than Fay Taylour on the ” 105 ” Talbot, but she gained considerably on the Railway Straight and Byfleet
Banking. The slim, almost fragile little figure of Mrs. Wisdom must conceal a considerable amount of innate strength, because the Leyland Thomas is by no means an easy car to handle. I remember being down at the Track one Saturday soon after poor Parry Thomas had met his death, and several well known drivers were doing a few laps on the Leyland Thomas with a view to purchasing it. One man who had had plenty of experience on the Track on cars capable of well over 100 m.p.h., as well as a creditable record in road races, confessed to me afterwards that he had realised for the first time what a powerful man Parry Thomas was, and that the strength required to hold the car steadily on the Banking was far greater than he had anticipated.
As is often the way, the breaking of a record brings the previous performance into prominence, and I shall always be full of admiration of Mrs. Scott’s lap on the 2 litre Sunbeam at 120.38 m.p.h.
. . . And to Horton!
R. T. Horton’s 750 c.c. lap record at Brooklands of 115 m.p.h., was a perfectly astounding feat, and one that will take a lot of beating. It is rather interesting to note that the 750 c.c. lap records both for the outer circuit and for the Mountain course, stand at a higher figure than the 1,100 c.c. figures—and for both circuits the records stand to the credit of an M.G. Midget.
After the Alpine Trial.
I have been glancing at the official list of awards and penalisations in the Alpine Trial, and it looks as though a certain amount of tightening up of the awards might be advisable next year. The list of Glacier Cup winners was a big one this year, and in view of the fact that 23 people actually finished without the loss of a single point, it might be possible to reduce the number by demanding still higher qualities from competing cars. Alternatively, the Glacier Cups could be left as they are, but a special cup given to the best car performance. One somehow feels that such a long trial deserves an outright “winner.”
And how about a timed ascent of the Katschberg ?
A Veteran reappears.
It has always been a mystery to me where some of the cars which used to race regularly at Brooklands have disappeared to. One, at least, has emerged from obscurity, namely, the old ” razor-blade ” AstonMartin. As far as I remember, this old car was built in 1923, and caused quite a stir at the time by lapping at over 100 m.p.h. Later, another engine was put into it, and the car was raced at Brooklands by Capt. J. C. Douglas. After a long retirement, it has reappeared once more in the hands of C. W. B. IVIiiner, at the Lewes and Brighton Speed Trials. Milner tells me that the old car is still full of life, and he hopes to get it into thoroughly good order during the winter for next season.
Talking of veterans, does anybody want to buy Rldridge’s old Fiat, the enormous chain driven monster which once held the world’s speed record ? Any letters addressed to me will be forwarded to the present owner.