We hear that Mr. B. S. Marshall has sold his famous short Brescia Bugatti racer to an Australian sportsman. This neat black car has long been a familiar competitor at Brooklands, and is this season most conspicuous by its absence. Mr. Marshall is, however, replacing the car in his stud by an exactly similar standard model. When one remembers that these cars are absolutely standard as sold to the public, in every detail, such as camshaft, lubrication, compression, pistons, gear ratios and suspensions, and that ordinary petrol is used as fuel, it will be appreciated that the results obtained are extremely creditable. A similar Bugatti recently owned by Mr. Mones Morey, that ran in the Isle of Man, has also now gone to Australia.
The various designs of car silencers that have appeared at Brooklands this season, have aroused much interest. Perhaps the most ornate is that on Tommy Hann’s fascinating car, “Handy Andy.” Owing to the high position of the exhaust outlet facings, some ingenuity was necessary to conform with the regulations, and at the same time not give too bulky an outline to the car. The result closely resembles a boa constrictor digesting a complete roly-poly pudding.
Mr. Le Champion’s Isotta appeared with a box closely resembling an oil drum ” keeping its tail up.” The finest of all the silencers was perhaps the very neat tapered receiver on Eldridge’s gargantuan F.I.A.T. Cleverly shaped to snuggle into the bonnet and fitted with two sliding expansion joints, it is a masterpiece of artistic design.
Special Hartford racing shock absorbers have appeared at the track this season, made in Duralumin, thereby saving a considerable portion of the weight of similar fittings in steel. Messrs. T. B. Andre are responsible for this improvement in design, and their duplex absorbers of this type are rapidly becoming universal. By the untimely death of Dario Resta, Brooklands lost one of its finest and most popular personalities. I was speaking to Resta only a moment or two before he set off on that last burst of speed. Always an attractive character, it struck me that ” Dolly ” looked particularly fit and vigorous on that crisp September morning. He had no ” gate ” to watch his gallant attempt on the records he hoped to beat ; only a few track officials, Sunbeam personalities, and Pressmen were present. That last drive seemed, indeed, symbolic of the devotion with which he did all his work. All out to win, in perfect form, apparently driving a car which
was all he could wish, and then the end ! The only mercy seemed to be that the catastrophe was swift.
In contemplating the passing of Resta, one feels a particular degree of sympathy with the Sunbeam Company. Makers of some of the finest cars that ever took the road (or the track), the Sunbeam people have of late been extraordinarily unfortunate. They lost distinction in the French Grand Prix through no fault of their own, they were dogged in other displays by petty misfortunes, and now they have lost one of the finest sportsmen who ever drove to fame in a motoring event. One knows that they will retain their position in the esteem of British motorists, but one feels, all the same, that it is time for their racing luck to turn.
During a recent two days’ motor cycle trial held near Marseilles, the time schedule was arranged to include a one hour’s halt at each of the principal towns en route, in order to afford interested spectators an opportunity to inspect the competing machines.
This idea would seem to be an excellent one, except that perhaps our trade protection societies might be a little anxious on the subject of “unauthorised exhibitions” if it were proposed in this country.
A RECORD INDIANAPOLIS
A RECORD INDIANAPOLIS SOME DETAILS OF AMERICA'S CLASSIC " 500 " There is something unusually attractive about a ,race which carries on, year after year, with the same track and…
Book reviews, September 1980, September 1980
"Brooklands Bikes in the Twenties". by Peter Hartley. 244 pp. 81/2" x 5" (Argue Books Ltd, Argus House, 14 St. James Road, Watford, Herts. £6.95) After Peter Hartley had written and…
Memoirs of the journalist who won Le Mans
A book I awaited with expectancy is Paul Frère's My Life Full of Cars (Haynes, ISBN 1 85960 670 9, £19.99). I have known Paul for a long time, and…