Two special Bentleys

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It is traditional that the Bentley D.C. has its own class at the Brighton Speed Trials and this year there were several very interesting cars in this class. There were, for instance, four 8-litre Bentleys, and there would have been five had not Stanley Sears’ ex-Lycett car unfortunately broken a con.-rod while being cruised quietly at 50 m.p.h. after so running-in following an overhaul. Of the 8-litres that were present, W. A. L. Cook’s is a low 2-seater with very modern lines and is absolutely immaculate, from radiator to tail, including the machine-turned instrument panel. R. J. Cooper’s supercharged 8-litre, driven by George Burton, has been described in Motor Sport previously; it seemed to be both over-rich and suffering from fuel starvation – unable, apparently, to digest its aromatics. O. A. Batten’s 8-litre is a familiar performer.

John Goddard’s 8-litre ran in two other classes besides. the B.D.C. class. It has a 1924 3-litre chassis which has been boxed-in right up to the dumb-irons. The engine is-an impeccably-turned-out 1928 8-litre with the rather rare stiff crankcase. The compression-ratio is in the region of 8 or 9 to 1 and carburation is by triple S.U.s. A D-type gearbox with cogs by Rogers of Brixton is used and the back-axle ratio is 3.1 to 1, in conjunction with 7.00 x 19 Dunlop Racing rear tyres. The engine is taken up to a maximum of 4,000 r.p.m. It is covered by two bonnets, one over this impressive power-unit, the other over the scuttle. In raking the steering column a fabric-coupling, as on a Bugatti, has been incorporated. The wheelbase is approximately 9 ft. 6 in„ and the entire car, like all Mr. Goddard’s vehicles, is immaculate. It was built originally by Wadhams of Southampton, later taken in hand by Humphries of Bracknell, and Don McKenzie has helped with the engine. It clocked 29.21 sec. for the s.s. kilometre being second. in the B.D.C. Class.

Another interesting Bentley at Brighton was B. M. RussTurner’s 1936 4½-litre. Last year it ran with a single supercharger but this time it had two big Arnott blowers driven by an elaborate arrangement of belts running over jockey-pulleys at the front of the engine. They draw from Arnou carburetters. The compression-ratio of the engine is now 7.0 to 1, giving an overall boost of some 12 lb./sq. in. The head has been gasflowed and a 1939 overdrive gearbox is used, in conjunction with 16-in. tyres. The body, originally a Mulliner, has been cut down to form a smart, lightweight open shell. This car took 31.4 sec. over the s.s. kilometre, to gain second place in the Unlimited s/c. Sports-Car Class.

Keith Schellenberg was out with the Barnato Hassan Special, running it on 7.00 x 18 tyres and a 2.64-to-I axle ratio. His best time, 27.4 see.—W. B.