Matters of moment, October 1962

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Mercedes-Benz victorious

The toughest of the European rallies, the Liege-Sofia-Liege, that 4,000-mile marathon de la route, in which only 18 cars out of the 100 starters reached the finish, was won by a big Mercedes-Benz 220SE, driven by Eugen Bohringer and Eger.

This surely confirms our opinion that the modern Mercedes-Benz is the Best Car in the World ? The car which won this gruelling contest was no slim sports car but a luxury car, bulky in comparison with many of its rivals.

The first half-dozen placings in this year’s Liege-Sofia-Liege Rally make sound sense. It was won very convincingly by the Best Car in the World. Second place was taken by a Citroen DS19, a car Motor Sport has often described as the Most Advanced Car in the World. Third place went to a Volvo, which is one of the World’s most conscientiously-constructed cars. Another Citroen DS19 was fourth, a Sports Austin-Healey 3000 fifth, and a 3-litre Rover, with such an improbable rally component as power steering, was sixth, a fine debut for these more powerful new Rovers from the Birmingham factory. This second-highest placing by a British car in Europe’s most gruelling rally is a fine breakthrough for the Rover Company’s desire to kill the impression that it manufactures only sedate oldmen’s cars.

The actual finishers – 18 out of 100, let us repeat, were :—

Citroen 4
Ford 3
Austin-Healey 3000 2
Mercedes-Benz 2
Rover 2
Volvo 2
Porsche 2
Triumph 1 
all the remaining 82 cars retired

In fact, Rover and Volvo had the highest proportion of finishers to starters.

This rally, over appalling roads, tested suspension and brakes as well as engines and transmissions, and some terrible things happened. Even the winning Mercedes-Benz’s brakes were a warm red hue after the crossing of the Moistrocca Pass, yet this big all-independently sprung petrol-injection motor car was alone of its kind with the three sports Austin-Healeys and a compact Porsche in being unpenalised. A big “works” Ford broke its front suspension, another “works” Ford ran its big-ends, and although the third big Ford, a Zodiac, finished, it needed new front suspension en route.

One Morris 1100 holed a piston, the other discarded its fly wheel, these little new-corners having been hurriedly prepared. A Porsche ran out of brakes, a VW broke its crankshaft when almost home. One of the Austin-Healey 3000s had the rear spring shackles shear off, much the same trouble eliminating another, which shows how much punishment a rigid-axle car suffers in this testing rally! Even the strong Saab retired, with suspension failure. All the Vauxhall VX 4/90s retired.

It is hoped that many useful technical lessons will be taken to heart when the dirt and dust of the Liege are cleaned off the stricken entries. The Ford Anglias (one, however, with a 1.5-litre engine and therefore not a catalogue model) got through and deserve congratulations, especially as the smaller one won its class, the only under-1-litre car to finish, albeit in the G.T. category. The other class winners were Citroen and the remarkable Rover amongst the touring cars, Mercedes-Benz of the G.T. cars, and Citroen of the sports cars, Citroen winning the Manufacturers Cup, Coupe des Dames and Inter-Nations Cup.

But, by and large, the cars that were proved suitable for the tough terrain many motorists encounter in the outbacks of the Empire or on farms and country tracks at home were Mercedes-Benz, the Best Car in the World; Citroen on its hydro-pneumatic suspension, the Most Advanced Car in the World; and Volvo, one the World’s most conscientiously made cars. Altogether, a very logical result…

Dragsters at Brighton

Last year the Allard Dragster fizzled out. This year it was beaten by normal racing cars. But dragsters might still be a crowd-puller if some American “sling-shots” could he attracted to the age-old Madeira Drive. Allard has shown that with disc front brakes and parachutes a dragster can stop safely at the end of this historic kilometre. Couldn’t American “sling-shots” be allowed to run in 1963, if equipped for the occasion with brakes the equal of Allard’s? The thought of seeing them leave the start standing on their back wheels, with rubber-smoke pouring from their “slicks,” should turn into dividends for the Brighton sponsors.

The Drivers’ World Championship

In some quarters this is thought to distract drivers from the main task of winning individual G.P. races. Certain it is that a new Champion year by year becomes rather pointless—and we say this with absolutely no disrespect for Graham Hill, who is heading for the 1962 honour as we write.

For us, Fangio remains the greatest post-war racing driver, for he won the World Championship five times. In boxing a champion remains champion until he is knocked out. Would it be practical to introduce a scoring-system into motor racing that would have the same effect and thus put paid to an annual Championship? For instance, the new World Champion might be required to win more races and take more lap records than the 1962 holder or, if it could be ensured that circuits be stabilised, win his races at an aggregate higher average speed than the reigning Champion, or something of that kind. Any comments ?

Related articles

Related products