A Suggestion for Inexpensive Racing

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Motor Sport

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During the war Motor Sport gave publicity to a scheme aimed at popularising racing amongst the impecunious. With club racing still flourishing, the 750 Club, whose scheme this is, has again brought the matter forward. Briefly, the idea would be to persuade those clubs organising races and high-speed trials of the Silverstone persuasion to include therein events for cars not exceeding 750-c.c. which comply with a formula devised by a subcommittee of the 750 Club, this Club to handicap the entry if required and provide special awards for the winners. The whole scheme hinges on the response the 750 Club gets from those anxious to compete in such races. The up-to750-c.c. category in club contests is in danger of fading away altogether and this formula scheme should stimulate fresh interest, because it really would seem able to level-up competition and materially reduce the expense of racing. If sufficient people build cars to the formula, clubs would probably comply with the 750 Club’s appeal for special events. Briefly, entries would be confined as follows: —

Cars to be side-valve, unsupercharged Austin Sevens with the frame, rear-axle, crankcase, cylinder block and gearbox of standard or sports Austin Seven components. The engine not to exceed 2.26 in. by 3 in. bore and stroke (these allowing for a normal re-bore). Bodywork to comply with the pending R.A.C. requirements for trials and rally cars, but hoods not required. Cars to be driven to the course. Freedom allowed in respect of front suspension, and fuel to be unrestricted.

It is emphasised that because it is impossible to raise the compression ratio of the Austin Seven engine to any extent and at the same time improve volumetric efficiency, high b.m.e.p. is not possible with atmospheric induction and consequently expensive rod and crank assemblies should not be necessary. For the same reason alcohol fuel would confer little or no advantage.

It certainly seems that such racing may be what the impecunious have long dreamed of. Enthusiasts could build Austin “Specials” under the proposed formula — perhaps deriving inspiration from the better Austin racing cars of the past — which would be eminently practical ” to-and-from-work ” vehicles. Nor, judging by past Austin Seven achievements and the showing of the Austins in this year’s V.S.C.C. High Speed Trial (55.38 and 52.4 m.p.h. for 21 laps with two and three pit stops. respectively), need such racing be unduly slow. Such “specials” apart, “Nippies,” “Ulsters” and even “Chummies” would be welcome, for a reasonable entry would be essential to ensure the success of the venture — and do not forget that Chaplin’s famous orange “Chummy” covered nearly 60 miles in the hour during an M.C.C. High Speed Trial, or that the Metchim/Masters cut-about “Chummy” averaged 58 m.p.h. for over six hours in the 1933 Le Mans race before clutch trouble eliminated it. At all events, those willing to participate in this 750 Club venture are invited to write to H. Birkett, 3, Pondtail Road, Fleet, Hampshire, who can then keep the Club advised as to the support likely to be forthcoming.

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