ALFA ROMEO P3

The overhaul of the Bugatti motor for the Ohakea race really got me started in business. The first big job followed when Ron's father A. J. Roycroft bought a 1935 P3 Alfa Romeo. Historically this was quite a famous car, being the one with which Nuvolari won the 1935 German Grand Prix on the Nurburgring circuit, defeating the Mercedes and Auto Union teams.

This car had a 2.9 litre straight eight engine, with twin overhead camshafts driven by a train of gears between two cylinder blocks, which had non-detachable heads. The crankshaft ran in ten main bearings in a magnesium crankcase. Two Roots superchargers, one for each block, were mounted alongside with Weber carburettors underneath. A fierce aluminium and steel multi plate clutch and a three-speed gearbox transmitted the power.


Powerhouse. Alfa Romeo P3.
The car was built at a time when independent suspension was becoming popular, but as applied to the Alfa, could only be regarded as experimental. In front the Dubonnet system was fitted, which is similar to the knee action type used for a time by General Motors. In this system the kingpin is unsprung and the wheel attached by a leading arm.

At the rear, an unusual arrangement consisting of a rigid axle with a separate crown wheel and pinion on each side and two torque tubes was used. The differential was just behind the gearbox in the transfer case and driving the two drive shafts. The axle was sprung with reverse quarter elliptic leaf springs, similar to the Bugatti.

The advantages of this arrangement are rather doubtful. Certainly this allowed a very well sprung seat cushion to be fitted between the torque tubes. The mass of the crown wheels is close to the wheels and the unsprung weight may have been somewhat reduced. Alfa tried swing axles on their next models, with probably even worse results in respect of handling.

The Alfa had been in New Zealand for a few years, won some races with Les. Moore driving and also had been involved in an accident. My friends took considerable interest in the overhaul and they gathered a considerable amount of information on P3 Alfas for me.

The car was completely stripped down and the parts when laid out for inspection seemed to fill most of my 20 X 30 foot workshop. Like many of the older racing cars which came to this country, the Alfa had seen much hard work and was beyond restoration to really good condition, without the replacement of many parts, some of which such as cylinder blocks, were probably unobtainable. This leads to some difficult decisions as to what parts will continue to run with reasonable reliability, and what parts to repair or make.

One cylinder block had been replaced at some time and had inserted valve seats. In the other, probably one of the originals, the valves were seated directly on the aluminium. These valve seats were badly pocketed and some of them cracked. The water jacket was tested under pressure and none of the cracks were found to be leaking. Fitting valve seats looked difficult and due to the cracks was considered too risky. Therefore little could be done other than hope for the best. To avoid a restriction to gas flow, the pocketed seats were flared off with a cutter, with the penalty of a slight drop in compression ratio.

I had heard of an Alfa which leaked water through cracked valve seats but was raced by making rapid plug changes, until the motor became warm enough for the cracks to close. I did not look forward to this as a possibility.

The conrods and valves had at some time been replaced with components which appeared to have been made in England, as they were different from those among the spares we had on hand. The brake drums also looked like replacements.

Some of the valves were bent, showing a slight S-bend just under the head. As a result the head moved to one side but still sat approximately on its seat and had probably been running like this for some time. The leakage of hot gas must have been detrimental in respect of a motor prone to cracking its exhaust valve seats.

One day, when we were looking at some bent valves and the corresponding marks on the high dome pistons, I mentioned to Warren Parkinson that the proper way to find out when valve bounce or float occurs, was with a strobe lamp. A few days later he walked in with a large case, proceeded to unpack a strobe lamp and a very good one too. It was complete with its own motor and tachometer. It seemed that the director of his firm had been on a trip to England and returned with a present for the engineering staff, who had been wondering what to use it for. I soon solved that problem by setting up a camshaft in my lathe, with a valve and spring assembly in a holder on the tool post.

When run at various speeds, it was easy to see just when the valve spring cap failed to follow the camshaft. The behaviour of the double springs had to be seen to be believed. Even when operating at normal speeds the centre coils of each spring would surge backwards and forwards all the time the valve was closed.

However the desired information was obtained i.e. that valve float began at 5,600 r.p.m. and that the valves would be bent at 5,850 r.p.m. As the rev limit specified by the makers was 5,400, this did not leave a great deal of margin for error.

After further experiment, I found that 1/8 inch of packing under the outer spring raised the safe limit by a further 250 r.p.m. and the motor was finally assembled accordingly.


Ralph adjusting Alfa valve gear clearances.

A. J. Roycroft was unusually non-committal about these tests, as if he did not really believe in the magic of seeing the cam and valve appear stationary when operating at 5,000 r.p.m. However in respect of the increase in revs now provided for, his orders were, to not tell the driver! This worked for a while, until the day when George Smith was pressing Ron hard and Ron said he needed to know exactly how high he could go in respect of the revs. A.J. acquired and had fitted a large, easy to read rev-counter and I think Ron was very careful about not exceeding the safe limit.

It was a great day when we finally lowered the two assembled cylinder blocks onto the eight pistons and the crankcase. Fortunately, by turning the crankshaft to suit, only two piston rings needed to be entered at a time.

A great deal of work on the front suspension was necessary, as the fabricated spring housings were cracked and the leading arm bearing housings were out of shape. This work involved welding and making jigs to facilitate re-machining. What is more, the internal hydraulic shock absorbers were not working and it was rather a puzzle sorting out the various parts and arranging the valves so they would operate properly.

After several months of work the Alfa was ready for a test run for which A.J. obtained the use of Ardmore aerodrome for a day. This was to no great advantage, as the surface was covered with small grit that caused wheelspin before Ron could apply full power, and we ran out of fuel before the plugs showed any colour.

The first race entered was on the Mairehau Road circuit and we established ourselves at a Christchurch motor camp. I was very worried about having had no real test running and it was only on the morning of the race that A.J. was persuaded to give the car a trial. We were up early and the car was warmed up and taken out on a straight empty road near the camp, which ran through some farmland. Watching the Alfa rapidly become smaller in the distance, I wondered why it was going from one side of the road to the other. We saw it turn round and on the way back a farmer with a tractor and trailer came onto the road, putting an end to further trials. During a discussion over breakfast, we decided the r.p.m. obtained were satisfactory, but I felt the handling was rather suspect.

There were a great variety of entries for the 150 mile race, which was run with a handicap start and a compulsory refuelling stop. The Alfa was off scratch, 28 minutes behind the first car, a TC MG. George Smith driving his Ford V8 GeeCeeEss special, having an advantage of five minutes, had just completed two laps before Ron started. After 50 miles the Alfa started to misfire a little, but Ron drove a really good race and took the lead on the last lap, thus winning both handicap honours as well as fastest time.

I was very relieved at having the car finish and everyone seemed pleased with the result. I remember a spirited drive by A.J. into the city that evening, for a celebration dinner.

Ron reported wandering at high speed, a locking rear brake and bad front wheel flap on slow corners. Watching him at the corner into the main straight, the wheel flap had looked very alarming and at first I thought the car might be flagged off. When asked how he passed so many cars with the Alfa wandering about the road, Ron replied that he simply waited until the wander was in the right direction.

The following month before the next race at Wigram, was spent trying to cure these troubles, with the aid of various Christchurch engineering firms. A.J. insisted on a wheel alignment check on a machine, but of course they had no figures relating to P3 Alfas. All that could be found was a very slight difference in kingpin inclination and the tubular axle strongly resisted efforts to correct this.

Ron had returned home for a period and therefore I became chief test driver. After a few trials, the wandering was cured by an increase in castor angle. This was done by making stepped keys to replace those which prevented the axle beam from rotating in the clamps which held it to the chassis. We made three sets of these keys which provided varying positions offset from the original position and this enabled us to experiment with changes in castor angle.


The Alfa Romeo front suspension, showing the fixed axle beam and the moving suspension assemblies. The clamps which hold the axle can be clearly seen. Keys within, lock the axle from rotating and fix the castor angle, as referred to in the text.

The axle is fixed and therefore the kingpin angle remains fixed. Suspension movement results in changes in steering geometry as shown.

It is exceedingly interesting that there was no evidence of any change having been made on any previous occasion. One must therefore assume that the car would have been handling badly when Nuvolari drove it to win the 1935 German Grand Prix! What is more, it appears that before the Alfa came to N.Z., previous owners Kenneth Evans and Roy Salvadori, both criticised the handling of the car.

Note : When the Alfa was restored some 30 years later, the stepped keys were incorrectly fitted in reverse. This resulted in the handling of the restored car being sharply criticised by a well known N.Z. motoring journalist, who wrote about it and caused incorrect stories to become accepted and reiterated. It was implied that the stepped keys were an original component, whereas they were made and fitted in N.Z.

The wheel flap, or should I call it shimmy, although the period was quite slow for that description, was gradually reduced by experimenting with harder shock absorber settings, after talking to some mechanics familiar with the General Motors knee action system.

The basic cause of the trouble could be the geometry of the Dubonnet suspension. As the wheel rides over bumps, or the car rolls on a corner, the centre line of the sprung kingpin moves about the tyre contact patch in both lateral and longitudinal directions. This must change the self-aligning torque and pull the steering to one side. The Alfa steering was very free of friction; most of the bearings being needle rollers. Ron found that the wheel flap could be reduced by holding the steering wheel loosely and allowing it to oscillate through his fingers.

The brake drums consisted of a heavy finned cast iron ring bolted to an aluminium plate. All showed signs of heat spots, one of which, on a wheel that locked, had started to crack. Specialists, SafeRBrakes, showed great interest and helped us to get all the drums accurately ground. They suggested trying one of the latest high temperature linings, but A.J. was not so keen. Tests with this lining showed heat spots appearing after only four brake applications, therefore A.J.'s ideas of softer linings were considered.

A search among old stocks produced some moulded lining as used on the older American cars and this material was tried. Result, no heat spots. This lining must have faded much sooner and reduced braking power, but it did save further damage to the drums and lasted reasonably well, except on the drum with the crack, which needed frequent relining. Later, a new drum was made of centrifugal cast iron, but the material must have been unsuitable as the whole surface cracked like crazy paving, after a few brake applications and the drum had to be discarded.

In the 50 mile Wigram Trophy Race Ron had an easy win, the Alfa running well for the shorter distance with no troubles at all.

There were some very interesting cars at this meeting. Hec. Green's RA Vanguard, Haigh's Citroen special and two 1,100 c.c. Cooper J.A.Ps. The Coopers showed a good turn of speed but were plagued with various troubles and I felt that some careful development work on them would prove very rewarding. Christchurch has always produced some well-built specials and the RA Vanguard was a good example and was I think, Hec's fourth special.

Hec. Green and Jack Brewer were running a small engineering shop consisting of two lathes and a milling machine. As well as their bread and butter work, they were doing cam grinding and some racing car construction and repair work. I spent a most interesting two hours there, with Jack Brewer explaining their cam grinding methods.

The RA Vanguard used a mid mounted four cylinder Vanguard engine, coupled to a Citroen gearbox transmission unit. The space frame had trailing link front suspension and at the rear a low pivot swing axle with radius arms to the rear. Springing was by air struts. I do not know if this was the first low pivot swing axle used on a car, but Mercedes were to use the system later on their 2.5 litre GP car.

The Vanguard engine was supercharged to about 14 Ibs per square inch using a large blower, supplied by two SU carburettors. Some difficulties were experienced taking care of the extra heat, therefore sodium cooled exhaust valves from a Rolls Royce Merlin aero engine were fitted.


Wigram Trophy Race 1953. How it was done before sticky tyres spoiled all the fun. Ron with the Alfa nicely set up drifting into a corner.

At Wigram the speed of the RA Vanguard seemed very near that of the Alfa. Considerable trouble was experienced with the transmission casing breaking and at one time the pinion dropped out onto the road. Finally an entirely new gearbox was designed and built with each pair of gears housed in a separate section and all bolted together. The engagement dogs operated through the centre of one shaft, as on the Cisitalia GP car designed by Dr. Porsche.

By 1954 Hec. had built an entirely new car, this time fitted with a two litre unsupercharged DOHC engine, using Standard Vanguard crankshaft, con rods and other parts, the block, cylinder head, camshafts, etc., being all specially made. There were two of these engines made, the other one being used in the Symonds Hellowell Special, which had some similar features to Hec's new car, so he probably had help with the manufacture of his engine.

This new car was smaller and lighter than the previous one. Trailing link front suspension was used, with a large number of rubber bands serving as the springs, making it one of the rare cars for which springs could be bought at any supermarket. The low pivot swing axle was abandoned in favour of the more usual type swing axle with exposed half shafts and less unsprung weight. Hec. told me that while the low pivot type handled better, road holding (adhesion) was mainly a matter of low unsprung weight. Smaller thirteen inch wheels and very wide aircraft drum brakes were fitted.

Hec. drove this car to Auckland for the first Ardmore N.Z.I.G.P. and although it ran quite well in this and other races, it was really outclassed in formula libre company. After racing this car for a few years Hec. made a number of alterations to it. A complete VW front suspension unit was fitted and the rear was changed to double wishbones with coil springs.

Hec. also made disc brakes for the car, the rear ones being fitted inboard and the drive shafts had pot joints at each end, eliminating the need for sliding splines. Larger fifteen inch wheels were also fitted. Unfortunately all this work was much delayed and by the time the car was going again, tyres and suspension technology had advanced so much, that its speed around corners was no longer competitive.

Another car I saw under construction in Christchurch at this time was the unusual Stanton Special, or as it later became known, the “Crop Duster”. This sprint car used a Gypsy Major aero engine of six litres capacity, fitted with a huge supercharger and mounted in a mid position. The drive went to a large crown wheel and pinion mounted right at the rear, then forward by means of two chains arranged to provide two forward speeds, to a swing axle.

The driver sat well forward in the tubular chassis and the front suspension was mostly Morris Minor parts. The bodywork was made of flat panels fastened to the frame and was rather box like. Later a streamlined fibreglass body was fitted for record attempts. The Crop Duster performed well at hillclimbs and held New Zealand standing and flying records for a number of years, (Standing quarter mile, 11.72 secs, Standing kilometre 22.6 secs and flying kilometre 173.8 m.p.h.) With improvements to the brakes, the car was also used for circuit racing throughout the country.


Ron after winning the 1953 Mairehau 150 Mile Road Race. Ralph standing to the left in white overalls.

The next race for the Alfa was the 50 mile Ohakea Trophy Race. The main opposition for fastest time being the 1,100 c.c. Cooper J.A.P. of Gibbons and George Smith's Ford V8 Special. The same jets and plugs as used at Wigram were fitted. The annoying intermittent miss was back again worse than ever, to the extent of causing backfiring in the intake manifold and the popping off of the safety valves which were set to 33 lbs per square inch. However, Ron still managed to win comfortably and came second on handicap.

The N.Z. Championship of 75 miles at Dunedin, on the round the houses (mostly wharf sheds) circuit, was the last race of the season. We had been shopping for spark plugs and tried different types in practice, but any hotter than those we had been using, quickly overheated the porcelains. In desperation A.J. put in an old set with mica insulation, which we had found among the spares, but on these the Alfa spluttered and popped worse than ever. Frustrated, he took them out and hurled them over the iron fence behind the pits.

On well cleaned plugs, the Alfa ran well until half distance when the miss returned, but by this time Ron had a comfortable lead and A.J. slowed him down with pit signals and so he ran on to another win. Bob Gibbons came in second, driving the Cooper 1,100 c.c. J.A.P. carefully to finish as he had done at Ohakea.

Although we had had a successful season, the Alfa had not been running as well as it should have been and we were geared rather too high for most of the circuits, 5,000 r.p.m. being the maximum reached, with 4,700 at Wigram and 4,500 at Ohakea. I had been trying to run with a rich mixture to keep the temperature down and make the block with the cracked valve seats last as long as possible. This problem and being unable to find suitable spark plugs, I thought must be the cause of the misfiring. This was wrong as was proved later.

The next season started with the first N.Z.I.G.P. at Ardmore. It seemed almost unbelievable that we would see overseas cars and drivers here. At the official scrutineering, the opportunity to look over at close quarters, the V16 BRM, Ferrari, HWM, Cooper Bristol and other cars was marvellous.

To be sure of doing the 210 miles involved without refuelling, we fitted an extra tank. Last minute anxiety regarding completing the race without a tyre change led to the making of a quick lift jack and the crew being gathered round for some practice. After some discussion, everyone was allotted his job and A.J. called “go” and started his stopwatch. We all set to and I was surprised that the wheel change took only 37 secs, which compared well with the times of prewar teams in Europe.

During a second try, to see if we could do better, there was a loud pop and a hiss when someone hit a tyre valve with a hub nut hammer. Not being daunted we had a third try, with the manager handling one wheel and again demonstrating how easy it was to knock off valves as well as hub nuts. As a drivers meeting was now due, the crew departed, leaving me the chief mechanic, to fit two new tubes.

Ron drove a very steady race and had a non-stop run to finish fifth and first N.Z. driver. However, by half way the misfiring was back again, even though we had new plugs specially imported from the USA. After this “A.J.” arranged for a magneto test by Tasman Airways, who found it faulty at high temperatures and they endeavoured to repair it, but were handicapped by the lack of spares for the 19 year old Bosch model. Something was gained however, i.e. a lesson in magneto testing!

Memories of this first Ardmore race include the scream of the highly supercharged sixteen cylinder BRM and the need to plug one's ears as it went past the pits. Also the unexpected and pleasing win by the Australian Maybach Special, after all night work when a GM conrod was modified to fit and a new cylinder liner made.

Feeling in need of a holiday, Ces. Hodge and I went on a caravan tour round the East Cape, while the Roycrofts took the Alfa to Wigram. While camped in the Motu Gorge listening to the race on the radio, we were very concerned to hear that Ron retired after one lap and I began to feel guilty for not being there.

We later learned that the day before, when about to start up for a test run, the crew were embarrassed by the appearance of an interested traffic officer. In the resulting confusion, trying to look busy until he went away, no one remembered to turn on the tap on the oil tank and the bearings had been damaged.

We had fitted this tap, as had other Alfa owners, to prevent the need to drain the sump before starting, as was normal practice. I later coupled this tap with the ignition switch. This incident put finish to the Alfa for the season, but fortunately Ron was able to continue with his racing, by using the Bugatti Jaguar.


The Alfa Romeo P3. Driven by John Mansel. N.Z.I.G.P. Ardmore 1958.

The same car now expertly and expensively restored, pictured in an historic race. Sadly the car was later sold and went overseas.

During the winter, A.J. located a 2.9 litre Sports Alfa motor for sale in Switzerland and in due course this arrived together with a preselector gearbox with adaptors to suit the Alfa. When stripped and examined, this motor was not nearly as good inside as the nice coat of paint on the outside led one to expect, but it did provide some good spares. The cylinder blocks were of the later type with inserted valve seats, but many of these were only held in by the deposited carbon and fell out if given a tap with a screwdriver.

Five valve seats were replaced to make two blocks serviceable. This was my first and most difficult reseating job, due to the wide angle of the valves, in the one piece head and block. I was to do a number of valve seat jobs later and the usual method was as follows: -

The recess is trued up with a specially made hand operated fly cutter. New seats are turned from nickel aluminium bronze, two to three thou' tight. An insertion tool is made to hold the seat which can be attached to it with some thick grease. The tool and seat are chilled in a fridge and the head heated to 210 degrees C. The seat should then drop in, but it is wise to have a hammer ready. Speed is essential as the seat will expand rapidly in the hot head and it could otherwise stick half way in. If the seat is too tight and forced in, a shaving may be taken off the recess which will lodge under the seat and it will not be as tight as it should be. A household range is ideal for heating any head, which will go into the oven, but the temperature gauge should not be relied on. I was fortunate to have an aircraft thermocouple gauge available.

Having been advised that extruded bronze should be used for the Alfa, John, who worked with precious metals, offered to roll some of the material. The bronze became so hard when being rolled that he feared the rolling mill, usually used for softer metals, might break.

To heat the blocks we used a bakers' oven and as only a maximum of 150 degrees C was available, the seat and tool were chilled with dry ice. A nut and brace on the end of the long handled tool enabled the seat to be pulled home but speed was essential.

I think that many racing cylinder heads lack sufficient strength around the valve seats, no doubt due to the difficulty of finding space in the casting for the water passages and large ports. The head distorts and the seats come loose. As the head material may be only a quarter of the strength of that used for the seat, possibly the head material thickness should be increased by at least four times in this area, which is what I found when cutting up an aircraft head for inspection.

Now having two magnetos to choose from, both were run on test. Each magneto was set up in a lathe connected to eight old spark plugs gapped at four m.m. A temperature gauge was clamped to the magneto and an electric radiator suspended above. The magneto was run at about 1,000 r.p.m. for two hours while being slowly brought up to 100 degrees C. By reducing the speed even an occasional miss could easily be seen. The old magneto proved faulty at 85 degrees C, while the one on the Sports engine tested OK. The Alfa's days of misfiring were over and this was a great relief.

The four speed preselector gearbox was utilised. While being considerably heavier than the old three speed, it was in much better condition and what was most important, eliminated the fierce multi plate clutch which had tended to buckle its plates.

After assembly, using the preselector gearbox, best parts from both motors and re-metalled bearings, I drove the car for a few miles on the road to settle it down. A run over the hills of the Scenic Drive, which I always enjoyed with the BSA, proved quite unsuitable for the Alfa, which could not be kept going fast enough and oiled its plugs. On the main road it ran better and it was surprising how easy it was to negotiate the holiday traffic as the passing distance could be reduced to a few yards if required. Ces. following in an MG, must have had much greater difficulty!

The next race for the car was the second N.Z.I.G.P. to be run on the Ardmore airfield circuit. In the previous event, the Alfa had let Ron down at half distance with a broken valve. At this point I think A.J. had begun to lose faith in the car.

The Alfa valves have an unusual arrangement, with the cam follower screwed onto the valve stem. The valve spring cap underneath it is keyed to the valve stem so as to act as a locking device. Setting valve clearance with the correct tool is very easy, as there is no lock nut to tighten. Wear takes place on the threads, which appear to be the weakest part, and it was here that a valve had broken, been bent and stuck in the port with little other damage. I had several times examined the threads for wear and thought about making replacements, but the amount of work involved with the key ways and metric threads and A.J.'s likely reaction to the cost, dissuaded me. This proved a wrong decision.

The valves we were using were English replacements made of the latest type austenitic steel, which has the advantage of being stronger at high temperatures. The original valves were of some type of high tensile steel which would be stronger at normal temperatures and as in this case the weakest part is at the cooler end of the valve, the use of austenitic steel may not have been a wise choice.

The next race was at Mairehau and with a spare valve fitted, we set off. Here the opposition had improved since 1953 and although Ron won the first 50 mile race and made fastest lap, Frank Shuter took fastest time in the 70 mile race with his V8 Cadillac engined Edelbrock Special.

That evening we went to the Christchurch speedway where we saw the silly although profitable spectacle of some of the leaders of the day races, slithering about at slow speed on a loose cinder track, for which their cars were totally unsuitable.

Next came two races at Ohakea. In the first Ron, hurrying faster than ever before, broke a rear axle. Another was fitted in time for the main race, taking no notice of A.J.'s advice to hurry up and leave out the split pins! Afterwards I found out that I was being timed by stopwatch. In this the second race of the season Ron came second to George Smith, who had his GeeCeeEss Ford V8 Special, fitted with Ardun overhead valve heads and going really well. The specials were at last catching up with the Alfa's performance.


The George Smith GeeCeeEss Special. Rather crude but highly effective. Modified Ford V8 and Chrysler V8 engines were used.
Pictured after restoration competing in an historic event.

The last race of the season was the N.Z. Championship at Dunedin, which Ron won for the third time, but only after a battle with Frank Shuter who made a very fast start and led for the first five laps. This was Ron's last race in the Alfa and the end of my association with the car, as it was sold to Dave Caldwell.

At the next Ohakea race we saw the Alfa going very quickly, but not for long as a conrod came through the crankcase. Later another valve broke and afterwards another conrod. I did hear that a new set of valves was made during the rebuild and another spare motor was acquired.

The Alfa later went well when Johnny Mansel drove it to ninth place in the 1958 N.Z.I.G.P at Ardmore. The car later had a home in Christchurch where Bill Clark very nicely restored it.


ALFA ROMEO P3 SPECIFICATIONS

Bore and Stroke : - 68 x 100 m.m. Eight cylinders.

Capacity : - 2,905 c.c.

Compression Ratio : - 7 to 1.

Supercharge pressure : - Approx. 8 lbs per square inch.

Valve timing : - 50 18 : 18 50 degrees. Valve clearance : - 0.018 inch.

Max. r.p.m. : - 5,400.

Horse Power : - 210 to 250.

Fuel :- 80 percent Methanol, 10 Benzol, 10 AV73 Petrol + castor oil.

Fuel Pressure : - Approx. 2 lbs per square inch.

Spark Plugs : - Champion R17.

Gearbox Ratios : - 1, 1.32, 1.9.

Alternative final drive ratios : - 4.4, 3.8, 3.6, 3.3.

Speed at 5,400 r.p.m. on 650 X 18 tyres : - 110, 127, 134, 146, m.p.h.


COMPETITION RECORD

31/01/53 Mairehau, 150 mile handicap, Placed first and fastest time.

28/02/53 Wigram Trophy Race, 50 miles. Placed first and fastest lap 1 min. 34 secs.

14/03/53 Ohakea Trophy Race, 50 miles handicap. placed second and fastest time.

18/04/53 N.Z. Hillclimb Championships, Muriwai. Placed second, 40.3 secs to George Smith, 38.7 secs.

01/06/53 N.Z. Championship Road Race, Dunedin, 75 miles. Placed first. Time, 80 mins 45 secs.

06/01/54 N.Z.I.G.P. Ardmore, 210 miles. Placed fifth and first N.Z. driver.

06/02/54 Wigram Trophy Race. Retired with bearing trouble. (Oil tap was left in the off position.)

08/01/55 N.Z.I.G.P. Ardmore. 25 mile heat, placed fourth. GP race retired at 50 laps with a broken valve.

05/03/55 Mairehau. 30 miles, placed first, 75 miles placed second to F. Shuter.

05/03/55 Ohakea 16 mile scratch Race. Retired with a broken axle. 30 mile trophy race placed second to George Smith, GeeCeeEss Special.

11/04/55 N.Z. Championship Road Race, Dunedin. 75 miles, Placed first. Time, 80 mins 7 secs.

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