Matters of moment, September 1958

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The Liege-Brescia-Liege Mini-Car Rally

Not many details have filtered through to England of the ingenious rally or race for cars under 500 c.c. which was held some time ago from Liege to Brescia and back. But we do know that British entries in this minicar contest failed utterly and completely: The Berkeleys had sufficient performance but proved sadly unreliable, retiring through overheating and engine seizures. The Friskysport did no better. In fact, not a single British car completed the course.

That this first high-speed test of minicars was tough is emphasised by the fact that out of 27 starters, only 13 finished. Of these, seven Fiat 500s started and all of them finished, those of Brunetto and Frieder in first place, followed home by the Fiat of Wagner and Donven. Dr. Dante Giacosa and the vast Fiat empire can be justifiably proud of this convincing performance of the tiny two-cylinder, air-cooled, rear-engined car from Turin.

The lone Lloyd, its engine capacity reduced from 596 c.c. to comply with the regulations, finished third, driven by Nokin and Rehetez. The next three places were occupied by Fiat 500, 250-c.c. Zündapp and Fiat 500. Four Zündapp 250s started and four finished. The other finisher was a Citroen 2 c.v.

In the present political and economical situation we cannot afford to ignore the miniature car, and in future contests of this kind British manufacturers of such vehicles should aim to do better. When the Berkeley was introduced we suggested that this unconventional two-stroke, front-drive sports car would not be a real success until it had proved itself in races and other competition events. Since then Berkeleys have won small races and appeared in rallies, etc., and the later 492 c.c. three-cylinder version possesses no mean performance for its size. But the result of the Liege-Brescia-Liege has hardly increased the status of this and the other British minicars which competed. Next year they must go again, fan-cooled and otherwise ready to have a crack at the successful Italian, German and French makes.

To provide an incentive, and an opportunity to prepare, someone might put on an endurance race for non-racing cars of up to 500 c.c. at an English race meeting. Who? Perhaps the B.A.R.C., at Goodwood?

Not for cars!

Following the publicity given to the L.P.T.B.’s decision to use caster oil in the bark axles of London’s ‘buses, C. C. Wakefield & Co. Ltd., makers of Castrol oil, have sensibly issued the following statement :—

” ‘A dose of castor oil for London’s ‘buses.’ No doubt many people were amused to see this headline in their newspapers a few days ago.

“The fact is that London Transport expect to achieve a saving of 3 per cent, in fuel oil by changing the rear-axle lubricant in London’s buses from a mineral oil to castor-based oil. The actual lubricants being used contain oxidation inhibiting additives which effectively reduce gum formation. Probably the best-known oil of this type is Castrol R, which has been famous for many years as a lubricant for motor-racing engines. This oil, supplied by the Castrol subsidiary, Wakefield-Dick Industrial Oils Ltd., is, in fact, one or those being used by London Transport for axle lubrication.

“Castrol-R has the unitive property of being a good load carrier while at the same time possessing a very low coefficient of friction—hence the fuel saving. Motorists are advised, however, not to experiment with Castrol-R in the rear axles of their cars, for there are other factors to be considered.”

“The buses concerned have worm-drive axles while private cars are fitted with straight-bevel, spiral-bevel or hypoid-type axle gearing. In the case of straight or spiral-bevel gears no petrol saving is likely to result by the use Castrol-R, and in spite of its excellent load-carrying properties, it should under no circumstances be used in a hypoid gear, which has unusual load characteristics and for which chemically active extreme pressure oils of the Hypoy type are essential.

“Our advice to the motorist is that he cannot do better than use the grades of lubricant recommended by the manufacturer of his car!”

Jaguars for sale

Ecurie Ecosse tell us that their D-type Jaguars are for sale. Here is an opportunity for some fortunate Scuderia or individual to acquire some fast and historic cars—see advertisement in this issue!

Roskilde Ring, Denmark (August 16th/17th)

Gunnar Carlsson of Sweden, driving a 3-litre Monza Ferrari, scored a narrow victory over Stirling Moss (3-litre Maserati) in the series of races for sports cars held on August 16th/17th at the 1.4-kilometre Roskilde Ring circuit in Denmark.

Three races were held on the Saturday and three on the Sunday, the combined times for all races being taken to determine the outright winner. Non-finishers in any race were credited with the same time as the slowest finisher in that race.

After breaking the engine of his Maserati in the first race, Moss borrowed Naylor’s J.B.W.-Maserati for the second and third, winning both races and setting a new course record in 46.7 sec. On the Sunday, with a new engine fitted to his own car, he reduced his deficit on Carlsson to less than a second by the end of the third and final event.

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