Rumblings, October 1952



“Goldie Again!”

Fortunately the prestige-mangling of the B.R.M, and the German victory at Le Mans has been to some considerable extent off-set by the excellent showing of British cars in other spheres. Rover have impressed the world enormously with their gas turbine car records. The 100-m.p.h. 7 day-and-night run of Leslie Johnson’s Jaguar XK120 coupe at the rough-surfaced Montlhery track has likewise proved how good are our production piston-engined cars.

Now “Goldie” Gardner, who seems ageless, but is actually over 60, has further increased British prestige with some record runs at Utah, U.S.A., in that evergreen M.G. Special of his, which already held a long list of International-class records of the more important sort, taken with 3-, 4- and 6 cylinder engines of divers kinds, before the present attack was commenced.

The new records are : —

Class F (1,101-1,500 c.c.):

5 miles: 189.50 m.p.h. (beats former U.S.A. record by 50.3 m.p.h.). 10 kilos: 182.84 m.p.h. (beats former U.S.A. record by 50.3 m.p.h.).

Class E (1,502-3,000 c.c.):

50 kilos: 143.23 m.p.h. (beats former U.S.A. record by 16.43 m.p.h.). 50 miles: 147.39 m.p.h. (beats former Italian record by 3.4 m.p.h.). 100 kilos: 149.72 m.p.h. (beats former Italian record by 20.62 m.p.h.).

In addition, Gardner collected fourteen American National Class F records and five American National Class E records including three at over 200 m.p.h. with the push-rod TD-base engine.

For the Class E runs he used Shorrock-supercharged TD M.G. engine but for the Class F records a new 73.5 by 77.5-mm., 1,973-c.c. six-cylinder Nuffield engine was fitted. Gardner had this to say about this unit, which is in some ways similar to the Wolseley 6/80 engine :—

“For the attempt on the Class E records, an experimental six-cylinder-in-line engine will be used. This is supercharged with a single-stage Marshall (Roots type) blower, and a boost pressure of 8 to 10 lb. sq. in. will be used. The engine has a 73.5-mm. bore by 77.5-mm. stroke, with a compression ratio of 6 to 1, and a single overhead camshaft driven by worm gears. The valves are in line and operated by very simple bucket tappets working direct on to the camshaft. The exhaust valves are sodium cooled. A Lucas magneto is driven from the rear end of the camshaft. A Nitralloy hardened crankshaft, and extremely rigid steel connecting-rods, are running on white metal bearings. The engine oil temperature is maintained at 70 deg. C. by an oil cooler radiator mounted in the air tunnel from the body nose. The clutch is a 10-in. single-plate Borg and Beck, and it is centrifugally assisted to increase its torque carrying capacity.

“The rear axle ratio of 2.8 to 1 used with this engine will give the M.G. a speed of 31.88 miles per hour per 1,000 r.p.m.”

The intention had been to attack Class F records from 50 kilos to one hour or 200 miles, all of which, except the 200 miles, were already held by the M.G.; and also the kilo to 10 miles records, three out of the six of which Gardner held. In Class F the desire was to capture records from 50 kilos to one hour, held mainly by Italy. Unfortunately, after the attempt had been delayed by floods at the Salt Flats, where, incidentally, the altitude is equivalent to a power loss of some 14 per cent., the car hit a marker post after a long-distance skid, damaging the cockpit and engine and cutting “Goldie’s” face.

Bad conditions brought the Class F attack to a premature close.

Nevertheless, although Gardner did not achieve all he set out to achieve, the new records are well worth having and a great credit to the Nuffield Organisation, Enever, Jackson and Benn attended the M.G., and amongst the supplies and components used were Shell fuel. Laystall crankshaft, Tempered Spring Co. valve springs, Ferodo clutch and brake linings. Borg and Beck clutch. Lucas ignition. Bishop steering gear and Dunlop tyres.

A New Baby Allard

Now that the new Allard “Palm Beach” model has been announced as a 1½-litre and 2¼-litre (alternate Consul or Zephyr Ford engine) all-enveloping three-seater, we can reveal that this is not the first “baby Allard” which versatile Sydney Allard has planned.  Before the war he toyed with the idea of a Ford Ten-powered Allard and had the special chassis parts made for it before hostilities intervened.

The “Palm Beach” car is an attempt to enter a fresh market as well as to interest those who seem to have tired somewhat of the large-engined Allards. We must confess that the thought of a 1½-litre Allard is very attractive and we expect the Allard stand at Earls Court to be thronged with enthusiasts eager to make the acqaintance of this smooth youngster.

Into a double-tube (1¾. in. diameter, 16 gauge) chassis with divided-axle coil-spring i.f.s. are installed either a four-cylinder 1,508-c.c. Consul or a six-cylinder 2,267-c.c. Zephyr Ford engine, the former model being designated the Type 21C, the latter the Type 21Z. Ford hydraulic clutch, gearbox and Zephyr back-axle are retained, trailing links and a Panhard rod, on Silentbloc bushes, locating the axle on its low-periodicity coil springs. The tiny wheels. carry 6.10-13 tyres. Girling, hydraulic 9-in. brakes and Armstrong telescopic dampers are fitted. The Marles steering is rather low geared, at 2¾ turns lock to lock. The wheelbase is 8 ft., front track of 4 ft. 3 in. and rear track of 4 ft. 2 in.

Three versions of the “Palm Beach” Allard are available:–

1½-litre tuned Consul engine with compression-ratio raised from 6.8 to 7.5 to 1, four-branch exhaust manifold and twin in place of a single Zenith d.d. carburetter; 68 b.h.p. at. 5,000 r.p.m. Weight 16 cwt, 58 lb.

2¼-litre Zephyr engine 6.8 to 1 compression-ratio; 68 b.h.p. at 4,000 r.p.m. Weight 17 cwt. 46 lb.

All carry an all-enveloping, handsome body, with a bench seat 52 in. wide, having alloy panels over steel hoops. There is a fixed screen, central gear-change (consisting of a very pleasant-to-handle little lever), pistol grip handbrake, trafficators, a hood that vanishes when stowed and a 9-cubic ft. luggage boot with the spare wheel underneath the luggage.

On paper the “Palm Beach” Allard looks very effective, but the proof will be in the driving thereof.

So far, the only performance figures are those issued by the makers, who claim acceleration times of 0-30 m.p.h. in 5 sec., 0-50 in 22 sec. and 0-80 in 38 sec. in untuned 21C form and an easy 100 m.p.h. in tuned 21C or normal 21Z forms.

Inevitably, the new Allard will be compared with the Morgan Plus Four. Weight and power of the Plus Four and 21C are about the same, but the Morgan pulls a 4.1 to 1 axle ratio, which suggests that the Allard’s ratio of 4.375 to 1 may be too low. The difficulty of raising the axle-ratio is that Ford three-speed gearboxes are used, and one wonders how these will be accepted in an age when four speeds are universal for small sports-cars. Like the Morgan the engine capacities are awkward from the viewpoint of the competition driver — 8 c.c. over 1,500 c.c. and half way between 2 and 2½-litres — but this is likely to be rectified in the case of the 21C and it strong feature of the “Palm Beach” Allard is that the two engines interchange merely by alterations to radiator and propeller shaft.

The price of the “Palm Beach” were it available in England, which at present it is not, would be £1,245 18s. 11d, with purchase tax, or £1,347 1s. 2d. with purchase tax in Zephyr-engined form.

Sydney Allard usually knows what he is about and, especially if his latest baby really does do “the ton” (equal to approximately 5.500 r.p.rn. in top gear), it should be assured of a promising future.