Rumblings, September 1950



Gardner and Class J

So as we rather knew he would, Lt.-Col. A. T. G. Gardner has done it again – “it” being to break further short-distance, f.s. International Class records. Again he and his Gardner-Special, Dunlop-shod, went to Jabbeke,. to be officially timed by the Royal Belgian A.C., but this time he had installed an engine of only 332 c.c., for an attack on Class J, up-to-350 c.c. records – or, more strictly, had the same M.G.-base engine that has broken these f.s. short-distance records in Classes F, G, 11 and I, now reduced to a mere two cylinders, after having been docked of two-thirds of its six “pots” for the successful Class H (750 c.c.) attempt.

“Goldie” took the Class J records he was after with ease. They used to belong to Count Lurani’s Italian “Nibbio” at speeds inferior, respectively, by 15.259, 17.133, and. 21.052 m.p.h. The new figures are:

Kilometer – 120.397 m.p.h.

Mile – 120.048 m.p.h.

5-kilometer – 117.687 m.p.h.



Now whoever prepares Gardner’s car must ” know his stuff ” thoroughly, for to lop two-thirds of the cylinders off a pre-war engine and boost it some 40 lb./sq. in. with a vast Shorrocks Supercharger, so that it gives some 45 b.h.p. at over 7,000 r.p.m., is achievement indeed 1 The working cylinders were Nos. 3 and 5.

Over 123 m.p.h.. from 322 c.c. is a fine tribute to British resourcefulness and ability, and these new records give Gardner 60 per cent, of the possible short-distance l’s : International records. As so much interest attaches to racing with tiny engines these days, and some people, Gardner’s own publicity staff included, seem to have become very mixed up over them, I append a history of the fastest records in Classes I and J since their institution :

September 16th sees the post-war resumption of tluit most important sports-car rave, the II.A.C. Tourist Trophy, at the 7.4-mile I nuldrod circuit near Belfast.

The T.T. The course will provide a real test for I he competing cars and, having One long downhill st retch followed by a corner, will put a premium on good brakes, amongst other things. The world’s buyers are sett lug more and more ” store ” on the results of such races . At I. Mans, Aston-Martin and Jowett Jupiter, amongst others, did themselves a power of good. By the time you read this tile winner ()I t iv. Daily Expressj13.R.D.C. Production Car Race will have earned great prestige. The T.T. nicely rounds off this spOrts-car racing. We only wish it were to be of six hours’ duration instead of three. However, this year’s race is in the nature of an experiment and tinkeenness of the local authorities is a tine guarantee for a suceessed future of this race, and racing at Dundrod in &mend. It may well Lie that a 24-hour T.T. will be held lit-re in 1951 or 1952. For I his year’s thee ears have to be production models modified only in respect of type and make (not size) of tyres, type and make of plugs, carburetter and ignition settings, and using SO-octane petrol. Spares and tools have to be carried on the car. Previously the rules lutve allowed rather more latitude.. The handicap is on an average-speed curve, ranging from 60.3 m.p.h. for 750 c.c. to 79.5 m.p.h. for 5-litre cars, the winner lie who exceeds his set mileage by the greatest margin–which

gains hint the Tourist Tropi ty and a500. Practice : September 14th and 15th. The T.T. is certainly a classic race. Revived as a race for the sort of ears which MOTOR SPORT readers held in high esteem in 1928, the race that year at Ards SDK’ K. Don’s supercharged ” Hyper ” Lea-Francis just beat Cushman’s .f.w.d. Alvis. The following year Carateeiolit brought a real International trend to the Ulster race, when he won so sensationally in the rain in the legendary white ” 88j250 ” Mercedes-Berm The next year Titzio Nuvolari proved his prowess, as ever, in his beautiful, beloved blown 1,750-e.e. :Alfa-Romeo, but in 1931 Norman Black set seal to the obvious worth of the little M.G. Midget in blown form. Riley have won three times and Nuvolari pat up tt magnificent show in the 1933 race, winning at record speed in an M.G. Magnette with pre-selector gearbox, neither Of which were familiar to him until a short time before the race. Many of you will be going to see the Affords, Jaguars and Astons battle at Dundrod this year. Maybe you’d like a list of past winners. Here it is :

Regulations received by the Royal Automobile club from the reveal

this Rally to be the mast ambitious ever to he Staged. Open to four-Wheel vehiehis up to seven ton it in weight and barring only racing cars and the use of trailers, the Rally involves a mad seetion of between 9,000 and 9,400 miles spread over a period of nearly two tiamtlts. There will be forty stages; the last one of 952 lodes isdween Johannesburg and Cape Town being run non-stop. Starting pointe are Algiers, Otaablanca. Oran or Tunis, with is choiee of routes over certain settions of the Rally. Basic average speed will be 38 laktmettei per hour (211 mph.) and competitors collect bOrtus marks for bettering this average between stages. Penalty marks are incurred for late arrival. The start of the Rally will be spread over several days to allow for the limited accommodation available at stage points. No night sections take Owe before :Johannesburg.

The Rally will lie no poor man’s competition, as the east for two persons and a car will be In the neighbourhood of £1 .0(10 without counting the return trill from Cape Town. Entritm are limited to iii) and were by invitation from the organisers before July 15th, which was the first closing date. Theactual date of the competition has not yet been announced as it is dependent, Upon 8,(:(X/IluDO(IstiOD mut servicing arrangements and weather conditions.

The Kathy lit 3010111Vd to be organised by the Aulmnobll•• Club de 145ProVince d’Alger with the te*Istand of the Royal Automobile Club of South Africa. and under the patronage of the ‘National Clubs of France, Belgium :old Italy and of the R.A.C. on belutlf of Great Britain.

00::::.npetitors win have to rover all imaginable girls of roads and cross-country going, and the regulations speelly that considerable stocks of toed, water, snare parts, tirst aid kit. unditebing gear-and a firearm must. he carried : this in spite of olalorate breakdown and rescue servleeswhieh tiri.? available at every stage It would seem . to constitute a magnificent test and whatever the outcome. any British manufacturer who proves confident enough to enter his products will not go unnoticed by the world’s buyers.

The Bristol M.C. N L.C.C. Weston-super-Mare Speed Trials cannot be held this year. luit a national race-meeting will be substituted at Castle Coombe miii October 8th.

Following the fatal accident to Joe Fry, no further races will be held at the Blandford Camp circuit. With ” free ” petrol comes news of a resumption of longid mice events. ‘flat 375-Mile Bittlin’s Rally of the East Anglian M.C. starts this month and in Long Distance November the M.c.c. is organisieg a 1,000 mile Rally for the Daily Express. The .:•).(;.(.,. is reviving that excellent outing for Edwardian and vintage ears, the 1,VelsIt Rally, and the Bugatti O.C. intends to resume its stern NVelsb Trial next January. So far there is no news of an R.A.C. Rally. But the R.A.C. has sent out the following information on the Mediterranean to Cape Town Rally, which seems to be gett lug twarer 10 starting and which, if it. does start, will in some ways overshadow other long-distance events :