Letters from Readers, September 1939

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36

“EX MRS. JO JO” Sir,

Although I have been a regular reader of MOTOR SPORT since 1933 I have not previously written to you and I wonder whether any reader can give me some information.

I have noticed in various race reports that you have made reference to my Austin and have also recognised it as ” ex Mrs. Jo Jo” and I thought that you might have further information about it.

I bought it as scrap in 1937 and although only seventeen at the time I set about rebuilding up the present car out of the wreckage.

Apart from rather weak brakes with so small a drum it still rums quite well and exceeds 100 m.p.h. satisfactorily.

I am enclosing as much of its history as I have managed to unearth which is, as far as I know, authentic. ” BOYD-CARPENTER”

Built in the latter half of 1923 by BoydCarpenter, the car was fitted with a streamlined two-seater body, used as a singleseater with an aluminium cover over the passenger’s seat. The engine was fitted with a supercharger driven off the front of the crankshaft.

It competed in the 200 Miles Race in 1924 driven by (E. R.?) Hall but is be-. lieved to he a non-finisher.

From 1924 to 1927 it competed fairly consistently at Brooklands, driven by Boyd-Carpenter, and it is believed, once by George Duller. In 1927 the ” Autocar ” published a picture of it and said “Both the Surbiton Junior Short and Long Handicaps fell to F. W. Boyd-Carpenter who handled his little Austin Seven well, and lapped

consistently at over 76 m.p.h. This particular car must be one of the most reliable ever seen at the track, and has had a number of successes during the last few years.”

The car had the early 5″ brake drums with the three-nut fixing.

It competed in the J.C.C. Spring Meeting of April 1927 and in the Junior Grand Prix (carrying a passenger) and driven by H. N. Thompson crashed and overturned. “Mrs. JO JO”

The car was repaired and re-built with a slightly square front cowling which made it appear rather ugly. It ran in the 100 Mile Handicap at Brooklands in July 1927 and also in the 200 Miles Race of that year, when it finished third in the 750 c.c. class behind two slower Atistin.s, probably due to trouble. The 750 c.c. placings were :

1, Chase at 58.17 m.p.h.; 2, White ; 3, Boyd-Carpenter.

It competed again in November 1927 at Brooklands.

In the August Bank Holiday meeting of 1929 the car won the President’s Gold Plate at 80.7 m.p.h. driven by Spero (who may have become part owner of the car). “GREEN AUSTIN “

It next became the property of G. C. L. Willis and was again raced at Brooklands in possibly slightly modified form. In 1932 at the Easter Monday meeting it came second in a Junior Short Handicap of 6i miles. The placings were :

1, H. W. Stonard (Riley 1,089 c.c.) handicap 1 m. 21s. at 84.32 m.p.h. ; 2, G. L. Willis (749 c.c. Austin), lm. 10s. ; 3, A. H. L. Eccles (1,496 c.c. Bugatti), Om. 55s.

350 yards between first and second 250 yards between second and third. The car was also driven in a Mountain race at this meeting. In the Whitsun meeting of 1932 it won the first race of the day at 84.02 m.p.h., driven by E. F. Phillips ” THE BRONZE AUSTIN ” The car next passed into the hands of R. Morgan after having a rest of nearly a year. It was raced at Brooklands during 1934 but without much success until the Stanley Cup Meeting in July. It was mainly responsible for the J.R.D.C. winning the Stanley Cup as it came first

in both the Sprint Races for which it

was entered. MOTOR SPORT stated ” Morgan’s Bronze Austin, which has made several unsuccessful appearances this season, seemed at last ‘au point and won by 150 yards from Mrs. Petre on the Appleton Special.”

In the Brighton Speed Trials in September it came third in its class, covering the standing half-mile at 62.07 m.p.h. A picture of the car appeared in MOTOR SPORT with the caption “R. Morgan’s fleet little Austin gets off the mark in a hurry.”

During 1985 it was raced in speed trials by L. Kleinantashi , winning its class at Dancer’s End and Aston Clinton. It also made third fastest time of the day at the former event and second fastest at the latter.

In August ’35 when being driven round Brookland.s by L. Kleinantashi the crankshaft broke in two, wrecking the engine. ” SILVER AUSTIN”

After the blow-up in 1935 the car was abandoned and gradually accumulated a covering of rust. In 1937 the remains were purchased by W. D. Castello and sorted out for all undamaged components.

The car was re-built for road-racing and fitted with a single-seater body and finally completed in time tor a try-out at the 1938 Whitsun Meeting at Brooklands. It ran on the Campbell Circuit but came to grief on Howe’s Bend.

After further alterations and repairs it ran in the Dunlop Jubilee Meeting in September and completed a road race although the handicap put it on the scratch mark. I am, Yours etc., W. D. C.Asna,r,o. Surrey., HOME-BUILT SPECIALS Sir,

As there is always interest in “Homebuilt Specials,” perhaps the photograph herewith of one I built some time ago may prove interesting.

Austin Seven, of course, is the base of the model, but by modifying the chassis considerably, a much lower position is obtained, in fact the height to the top of the scuttle measures only 36 inches, and as the total weight is only 8 cwts., quite a good performance can be obtained.

About six months were spent in its construction. I am, Yours etc.,

A. LIIDGATIC. Coventry. Sir, It is, I think, a belief among many sporting motorists, tliat there is no British car on the market which can be termed a really fast road motor. Therefore they

turn naturally to the foreign market, where they can find their desire.

There is a British sports-car which can fulfil their requirements, in fact, I might say, that it is the fastest car of its size in the world. I am referring to the 2-litre blown Alta.

If anyone cares to look through the sprint results of last year and this year, it will be found, that, considering the small number of these cars taking part in competition work, the results have been to say the least, very satisfactory.

To give just one example of the success of the sports motor, H. j. Griffiths driving a blown 2-litre Alta, in last year’s Brighton Speed Trials, put up a time of 27.36 secs. which represents a speed of 65.75 m.p.h.—fastest sports-car of the day.

One could give a long list of successes, to prove that the car is worthy to be classed with the best, and I can only say, that it is time there were more of these motors on the road. I am, Yours etc.,

DENNis W. BATEMAN. Sutton Coldfield. * * * THE L.C.C. RACE Sir,

May I beg leave to differ from the views expressed in the last paragraph of” Rumblings,” on page 236 of your August issue.

In my humble opinion it is the Regulations alone, and nothing else, which doom the L.C.C. race to failure from the start. If a man is sufficient of an enthusiast to risk bursting his car in a fairly long race, he will also have been too much of an enthusiast to have resisted altering his car in search of that little extra which all enthusiasts desire. My own H.R.G. is ineligible. So are those of Messrs. Delingpole, Lawson Rainey, Ruddock, l’glow and Miss, Redfern—and the one Ken Farley used to own—to name but a few of my acquain tances at random. Literally the only H.R.G. I can think of which complies is the work’s demonstrator. hi fact, it is to works’ teams that such a race must look for support, and they are not

interested in any sort of racing. I do not believe there are twenty sports-cars in the British Isles, eligible to compete and privately owned by enthusiasts willing to race them.

Nor can I agree that potential competitors have abstained from the L.C.C. race for the sake of the T.T. Few, if any, T.T. competitors have cars which would be accepted for the other race.

Club race meetings at Donington and elsewhere continue successfully to draw support, for short events, from enthusiastic owners of not-too-costly machines : there is no public,” and everyone is content with a good day’s racing and little or no prize money. But if drivers are to risk extremely expensive cars over long distances to amuse large crowds, then I think they should be well paid for it, or at least stand a fair chance to be. I am, Yours etc.,

PETER C. T. CLARK. London, W.2.

Since receiving the above letter, several modifications in the L.C.C. SportsCar Race Regulations have been made. The rule now allows any unsupercharged car fitted with open coachwork, where they are produced in reasonable numbers as a catalogued model. Alterations are also permitted to body, engine and chassis. Sir,

In reference to Mr. R. H. Walter’s letter in the June issue of MOTOR SPORT and your own remarks last month in ” Rumblings,” it may interest you to know that the big port block is now being fitted to my Bentley.

Especial care is being expended on cooling the exhaust valves, the heat of which is probably a limiting factor from the point of view of performance, and various other steps are being taken to secure an improvement in speed. This work is being carried out by Mr. Louis Giron, and when completed and run in, the car should be capable of some interesting figures. I am, Yours etc., PETER J. ROBERTSON ROCER. Chalfont St. Giles,

Bucks. THE LAGONDA RAPIER

Sir, .

For several months past I have been an interested reader of your paper and enjoy particularly articks on cars which have been modified and generally tuned up so as to enhance their original performance. I have a 1934-5 Lagonda Rapier which when it came into my hands was very sluggish and. failed at the slightest oppor tunity. It has now quite a good allround performance but I am interested in any modifications on general tuning which will further step up the power output. This chassis in general including the power unit appears to be such an efficient and substantial design that “

hotting” up in moderation should not have any adverse effects.

The power output unit with no special tuning would appear very good in view of the weight of the complete car (Abbott coupe) and any other reader’s experiences in saving weight safely would be very welcome. I am not present in the position to spend much money on alterations but hope to be able later to fit a supercharger. The main difficulty here would appear to be arranging a satisfactory drive. I am, Yours etc., Haskmere. D. G. DEwni_TRsT