Rumblings, September 1945

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New Models

This is a most interesting period from the viewpoint of new models, although many that are announced cannot yet be bought, even with a permit. Lagonda, Ltd., intend to concentrate on a 2 1/2-litre car.

Via the Bugatti Owners’ Club we learn that Ettore Bugatti now intends to market four models. The first is to be a supercharged 1 1/2-litre job with 2- and 4-seater coachwork, offering similar performance to that provided by a Type 57 and easily doing 87 m.p.h. (140 k.p.h.). Quite large-scale production is contemplated for this model. Then there is to be a very special blown car of only 300 c.c., offered with open or closed bodywork. Next, a 4 1/2-litre car, developed from a 1937 design, similar in size to a Type 57. This car will be built in small numbers only and, in blown and unblown form, will have performance superior to that of a Type 57 S.C. A speed of over 112 m.p.h. is spoken of. Finally, there is to be a car like the incredible “Royale,” built in very small numbers and covered by an unlimited guarantee, with overhaul every two years. Ettore says his reputation has been gained largely on power/weight ratio, and mentions that up to 1939 he obtained 145 b.h.p. from the Type 57 which, with 4-door, 4-seater body, weighed 1,450 kilos. His Type 57C was giving 170 b.h.p. This represented about 10 kilos. per h.p. unblown and 8 kilos. per h.p. blown, and these excellent ratios will be considerably improved in the new models. Vive, Ettore !

H.R.G. hope to be in production again shortly, and Lloyd Cars, Ltd., who have been making precision components for aero engines during the war, propose to offer a 650-c.c. car in 1946. Morgan Motors, Ltd., are already producing two 3-wheeler models, the F Super and the F 4-seater, and also the famous Morgan 4/4 in open 2-seater and drophead coupe forms.

Rolls-Royce, Ltd., have announced that their post war cars will be based on, and will closely resemble, those designed before the war. But we believe the Mark V 4 1/2-litre Bentley will be even faster than before. Jaguar Cars, Ltd. — late S.S. — will build the well known 1 1/2-, 2 1/2 and 3 1/2-litre models, and A.C., Ltd., have something very interesting up their sleeve. The new push-rod-o.h.v. Aston-Martin should not be long delayed. Fiats are busy with a 4-seater car, curiously enough having a normal bonnet instead of Fiat’s usual easy-view frontal aspect, which is said to have a 4-cylinder o.h.v. engine of 650 c.c. It is intended to replace the 4-seater Fiat “500,” which was too diminutive to be really useful. Things are up in the Motor Industry.

“Drive for Freedom,”

If you have not already done so, you certainly must purchase a copy of “Drive for Freedom,” by Charles Graves. This liberally-illustrated book, running to 136 pages, is published by Hodder & Stoughton, Ltd., for the S.M.M.T., and is remarkably good value at 2s. It tells the complete story of the immense, indispensable part which the British Motor Industry played in beating the Germans. The story unfolds in a most fascinating way, and the account how Chilwell was founded and of the problems to be faced in the hectic period following the bombing of Coventry, make very interesting reading. What pleases us particularly is that the Sport receives proper recognition from Charles Graves. In Chapter III over two pages are devoted to the value of racing and trials as a training ground for war, and pictures are included of the 4-litre Sunbeam at speed on the Brooklands’ banking, of the start of a classic sports car race at Donington, and of a Singer negotiating a trials section. One reads, with justifiable pleasure, “The type of man who was keen about motor racing was the first to rush off to join the R.A.F. or the motor gunboats or motor torpedo boats of the Royal Navy.” Let us hope peace-time politicians will remember that fact. This book covers every aspect of the Motor Industry at war — production, research, tank development, the Home Guard, N.F.S., W.V.S., transport, and militarisation. The S.M.M.T. has done a fine job of work in producing it, and you should support them by buying your copy without delay.

Organisation

A. F. Rivers-Fletcher, who gave us Cockfosters, did a great deal more than just organise that pleasant event, big task that that was. He saw that every daily and evening news paper, and some dozen magazines like the Tatler, Sphere and Picture Post, each received four advance notices relating to the rally, the programme (which was printed free of charge by Temple Press, Ltd., and contained an article on the value of the Sport) and, later, a report of the event. Rivers also extended this service to the B.B.C. and to the news-reel agencies. He discussed the event with Michael Standing and Raymond Glendenning, of the B.B.C., and a sound-recording was duly taken, with commentary by F. J. Findon. Rivers tells us that he thinks the B.B.C. is now liable to be very partial to future motor-racing broadcasts, and he also believes that running events in aid of charity may further the Sport in this country. He has been asked to run further meetings, but has decided — and in this he has the support of Lord Howe — to hold only one more, at the “Rembrandt” on December 2nd, and then to let the normal clubs take over, as it were. We sincerely hope that this will not mean that Rivers-Fletcher will be lost to the organising side of the Sport. And we most certainly echo his sentiment that the final “Rembrandt ” may be a good “breaking-up party.” Incidentally, Rivers is chairman of the N.L.E.C.C., whose members marshalled very effectively at Cockfosters, while George Symonds, of their committee, was responsible for practically all the fencing of the course, as well as demonstrating his R-type M.G. Bolster, by the way, was not specially warned to be cautious, as our report suggests, as this would have been an insult to his usual safe handling of “Mary” and his common sense — all drivers were warned in writing, and Lord Howe asked that they be again warned on the day of the event. It is to the credit of all that no accidents happened.

The Country’s Cars

Not having taken a census of passing vehicles for a long time, we took one on the evening of August Bank Holiday, on the Leeds-Harrogate road, where some 400 cars passed per hour, without any semblance of congestion. Very few motor-cycles and practically no cyclists were encountered on this cold, rainy evening, and we hasten to assure you there were no accidents. Result: Morris, 23 per cent.; Austin, 18 per cent.; Ford, 12 per cent.; Standard, 10 per cent.; Rover, 6 per cent.; Vauxhall 5 1/2 per cent.; Hillman, 3 1/2 per cent.; Wolseley, 2 1/2 per cent.; S.S., Triumph, 2 per cent. each; Riley, Singer, Jowett, Armstrong-Siddeley, M.G., 1.5 per cent. each; Opel, Lanchester, Buick, 1 per cent. each; Talbot, A.C., Rolls-Royce, B.S.A. 3-wheeler, f.w.d. Citroen, Hudson, Sunbeam-Talbot, Humber, Chrysler and Renault Eight, under 1 per cent.

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Odd Spots

At the V.C.C. luncheon it was announced that the tyre manufacturers will make new models in sizes suited to veteran cars when rubber is freely available again. A.F.N. Ltd., has linked up with the Bristol Aeroplane Co. Ltd. and a new Frazer-Nash car is to be anticipated. When F/Lt. Crook raffled 3d. tickets for charity for a ride in his rather special Type 328 B.M.W., 200 were sold and the winner, a W.A.A.F. girl, was driven at 100 m.p.h. down the main runway.