AC Owners Club
AC Owners Club
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 AC Owners Club Forum
 Vintage, PVT & 2 Litre Forum
 The Race Cars
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 3

jonto

United Kingdom
123 Posts

Posted - 16 February 2016 :  12:35:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Does anyone have any information on this car-



Three were built for RAC Lightcar TT for 1500cc cars 1914, this race in the end was not run due to the outbreak of war. The car was described as being distinctly crab tracked, very wide at the front and narrow at the back. Suggesting there was much difference from standard catalog specs.

Edited by - jonto on 13 July 2017 19:29:10

Old Crock

United Kingdom
264 Posts

Posted - 18 February 2016 :  11:43:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There seems very little written about these cars. Here’s two more photos of one of the cars, on trade plates, at Brooklands. The photos are from Sammy Davis’ diaries – ‘My lifetime in Motorsport’ – S C H ‘Sammy’ Davis (Heilbron). I think the engine was an Anzani (note the ‘low’ exhaust), and not a converted Fivet, the make being used in the production cars (and they weren't 1500cc anyway) – it may have been AC’s first use of Anzani engines. Note the primitive tyres, yet these are pneumatic as valves can be seen on the sideways shot.


Go to Top of Page

jonto

United Kingdom
123 Posts

Posted - 18 February 2016 :  19:26:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"Thus, directly through trials, I at last attained to my first road racing , car, An AC, one of three which S.C. Westall, A. Noble and
myself were to handle, though coming events, had we known it, were to cut short our hopes. Certaily that car looked odd, though never
for a moment would we admit it.The front wheels were well out on a wide front axle, the rear wheels close in on a much narrower axle;
the machine, in other words, was crab tracked. In front was a high radiator, quite unlike that of the conventional AC., which other details of the chassis closely followed; but there was a streamline tail in which sat the the fuel tank, the handle of a big air pump stuck out from the instrument board invitingly.
We watched the beginnings of these cars every minute that could be spared, we fretted when the Calthorpes of more normal design were on the road long before our machines were recognizable, and then one day the first car stood in the works, run in , so they said, and ready for test. Anyhow, it made a most satisfactory noise, so Westall and I, narrowly missing the door doorposts to show the necessary dash, went off to the track. Alas, our much desired car seemed deader than the proverbial mutton, slower than the ordinary sports models. One or two tentative experiments revealed a considerable weakness in the brakes and a black moment, a burst at full throttle completely eliminated a big end bearing. Terribly chastened we took the car back, to be assured that all would yet be well, though the atmosphere was critical. Then a man we had never heard of shot another man in a country......" (S.C.H. Davies. Motor Racing. 1931).
Go to Top of Page

jonto

United Kingdom
123 Posts

Posted - 19 February 2016 :  12:34:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The tyres would be high pressure beaded edge, running at about 60psi, the pressure holding the tyre beads in the rolled over rim edges. They were normal equipment until superseded by the straight sided tyres and rims around 1923. Solid tyres went out of favor in the 1890's except for commercial use.
Go to Top of Page

jonto

United Kingdom
123 Posts

Posted - 19 February 2016 :  13:29:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The French built Fivet engine had a fixed head and integral exhaust gallery, the exhaust pipe bolting to a flange at the rear of the block, so I guess that rules out an overbored Fivet engine in the 1914 TT car.





The four cylinder side valve Anzani engine was not around in 1914, Gustave Maclure the designer putting pen to paper after the armistice when the aero engine contracts were cancelled. There might be a description of the 1914 TT car in the contemporary press.

Edited by - jonto on 18 July 2017 08:14:04
Go to Top of Page

Old Crock

United Kingdom
264 Posts

Posted - 19 February 2016 :  14:22:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The plot thickens....I'm now curious which engine was used, and to which manufacturer AC turned?
Go to Top of Page

Jam2

United Kingdom
140 Posts

Posted - 19 February 2016 :  18:13:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think the Fivet engine in the 10hp cars was 1096cc, I understood that the 12hp cars of 1327cc were also using the Fivet engine, presumeably bored and/or stroked. I don't know enough about the Fivet engine, but perhaps they were able to bore it out that little bit more? As the racing was always a means to advertise, I would have thought it unlikely that they would have used a different manufacturer than that used in the standard cars.
Go to Top of Page

Flyinghorse

United Kingdom
246 Posts

Posted - 19 February 2016 :  19:54:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I also suspect it was a Fivet of some description having just looked at the little 1952 book "history of AC cars" which covers this car in Chapter 5 and comments on it running the 4 big ends.Chapters 2&3 discuss the Fivet engine and it having to be sourced out of the UK as no suitable engines were available in the UK and the switch from cone clutch to Disc and later (1919?) on to using Anzani engines.
Chapter 6 covers the 100miles within the hour run at Brooklands in a 1.5litre in 1922.

Regarding the exit of the exhaust,is there not two pipes coming out of the bonnet near side? I would not put it past them having and exhaust exit front & rear to improve performance. The bonnet of the 1914 car is much longer than the fivet shot above so perhaps this could be accommodated.
A 1924 swift I had came with 3 Swift engines all from 1924/5 and each had a different exhaust exit (on front cast in,one rear cast in and one down as a bolt on manifold)

Graham

Edited by - Flyinghorse on 19 February 2016 20:25:53
Go to Top of Page

jonto

United Kingdom
123 Posts

Posted - 19 February 2016 :  20:58:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

It was common practice on early engines to take the exhaust from the rear of the engine, then by the mid 20's manufacturers tended to move the take off to the front after having set a few floor boards on fire :-)
Racing engines however tend to have horizontal takeoffs one to each cylinder and a straight pipe down the side of the car at cylinder head level.
Go to Top of Page

B.P.Bird

United Kingdom
208 Posts

Posted - 19 February 2016 :  22:27:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Intriguing - could the '100 miles in an hour' 1.5 litre engine have been a development of the engine in this 1914 racer ? Weller and A.C. had been making engines since the earliest days so why not build engines for the racers ? I agree that the low exit height of the primary exhaust pipes from the bonnet does lead to a first impression of a side valve motor, but if you look at the sump it protrudes way below the chassis so maybe the exhaust height is misleading. Could the 1914 racers have been using the first version of Weller's d.o.h.c. 1.5 litre four cylinder. Total speculation on my part with no evidence.....
Go to Top of Page

jonto

United Kingdom
123 Posts

Posted - 20 February 2016 :  09:02:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Yes I agree I think the engine was a Weller design, the beginnings of the post war OHC engines. Look at the front view and you can see that the starting handle shaft is below the chassis frame in what looks to be a subframe, so the engine is mounted low in the chassis, the crankshaft below the main chassis frame. The transmission looks to be special too, narrow track, the only reason for this would be a solid diffless axle. Enlarging the side view, the rear springs appear to be angled inwards, the brakes look to be contracting band brakes, Weller was probably trying to work out how to brake the live rear axle ends.
There exists a portfolio of drawings in the Science Museum collection, its just possible there maybe something there-
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/download/GB%200069%20AUTO
There could also be a description in the contemporary press, the RAC Lightcar TT would have had some coverage.

Edited by - jonto on 23 February 2016 12:45:29
Go to Top of Page

jonto

United Kingdom
123 Posts

Posted - 21 February 2016 :  12:04:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A rare rear view of an early car, (W.J. Brunell photograph).



You can see the transmission of the 1913/14 period, with substantial cast aluminum axle tubes supporting the spring mounting and the hubs/brakes. Just a tool locker at the back, no dickey seat, I think that came along in 1921 at the beginning of the Edge period.

Edited by - jonto on 17 July 2017 15:30:32
Go to Top of Page

jonto

United Kingdom
123 Posts

Posted - 22 February 2016 :  15:50:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

A team of three cars was intended to compete in the TT, there would have been parts in various stages of completion, but it seems everything was behind and untested, its likely that only the one car was completed, its performance was poor and Weller was probably relieved when the race was cancelled. However the car would survive the war to try again....
Go to Top of Page

Old Crock

United Kingdom
264 Posts

Posted - 22 February 2016 :  18:02:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jonto
However the car would survive the war to try again..
Hi Jonto - if you are correct that the 1914 car used the Weller race engine then some serious changes subsequently took place following the war, not least (a) that Weller’s four cylinder race engines (in Hawker's early 1921 racer and also Joyce’s later ‘100 miles in an hour’ car) had the carbs on the left and the exhaust on the right side and (b) I believe these used a 1500cc wet-liner engine derived from Weller's work, after the war, on the 'Six'. Therefore, the engines would had to have been so changed/modified they might not be considered remotely the same.
Go to Top of Page

jonto

United Kingdom
123 Posts

Posted - 23 February 2016 :  12:08:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just a new camshaft would be all that was needed to change sides on the head, a new head would be a lot more work but would have been done if thought necessary.
Go to Top of Page

jonto

United Kingdom
123 Posts

Posted - 23 February 2016 :  12:43:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A nice picture.
Lunch stop at the Roayl Huts Hotel during the Autumn one Day Cyclecar Trial,October 29,1913.



To the right foreground, isn't than the rear of a Sociable? Behind perhaps a Swift, behind again a GWK, back a bit No32 a GN, No1 another Sociable, further back perhaps an AC Fivet and on the left in front of the garage definitely an AC Fivet. In the early days there were many public road events, trials and hill climbs organized by the RAC and regional clubs. Factory cars driven by works personnel were often entered posing as private entries.

Edited by - jonto on 18 July 2017 08:18:58
Go to Top of Page

Old Crock

United Kingdom
264 Posts

Posted - 23 February 2016 :  21:02:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Some more thoughts on this 1914 racecar’s engine. Was it really a Weller engine?

The Autocar, Nov 1914, shows that AC offered customers both the 10 hp and 12 hp Fivet engines and ‘The Red Book’ (1920) confirms AC offered a 12 hp before the outbreak of the Great War (thus the 12hp was not only post-war as has been suggested elsewhere). Before the war, only the Fivet engine was available for the production cars and, after the war, AC again was buying Fivet engines (that company having trouble supplying demand late 1919, when AC turned to Anzani).

If Weller could design and make a race engine in 1914 then why didn’t he produce a 4-cyl. AC engine for the production line? Indeed, why would he need to turn to Anzani? Would Weller have had the staff and production facilities to build a race engine from scratch, considering the pattern making, castings and so on - just think, for example, of the forging of crank and conrods - a complex business for a one-off (or three off) racecar. Would it be feasible to be considering changing camshafts and cylinder heads for carbs and exhaust to be placed on opposite sides from one car to the next? Very complex and surely we cannot be talking of the same engines later used in the 1920 racecars.

Also, this 1914 racecar may not actually have been 1500cc as many cars, with smaller engines, entered and raced in other classes. Also, of interest, is that Fivet did make an engine (after the war at least) with a bore of 69mm = 1495cc.

The picture of the early Fivet engine in Jock Henderson’s ‘The History of AC’ is of poor quality but seems to have a different style head and may have a removable manifold (unlike production engines) – if so, then this may answer the two/four exhaust pipes in the above photos of the car?

It would be incredible if Weller had designed and built a one-off engine from scratch for the race and put this in a primitive crude car that appears quickly put together. Why wouldn’t he modify a Fivet engine that was readily available to him?

I may be completely wrong, these are just thoughts, and the answer will be to find a magazine, like ‘The Motor’ of the time, that may give more information on this little-known car and what engine was actually used.
Go to Top of Page

jonto

United Kingdom
123 Posts

Posted - 24 February 2016 :  11:25:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

There's an old expression, 'cant see the wood for the trees', or is it the other way round in this case :-)
There's an important point that's being overlooked, the car was crab tracked, narrow at the rear, this makes it mechanically special indeed. In the frontal picture you can see the steering box drop arm and its forward mounting with transverse drag link, that could be an adapted production item, the six stud hubs and artillery wheels too are standard, as for the rest of it...
Go to Top of Page

jonto

United Kingdom
123 Posts

Posted - 24 February 2016 :  11:47:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The second AC race car, Harry Hawkers single seater.



This Motor Sport article is worth reading-
http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/october-1998/48/harry-hawker-aviatorracing-driver

Edited by - jonto on 18 July 2017 08:25:55
Go to Top of Page

jonto

United Kingdom
123 Posts

Posted - 24 February 2016 :  12:36:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The following quotes are taken from-

"H. G. Hawker, airman: his life and work", Muriel Hawker 1922
this book is out of copyright and can be downloaded here-

https://archive.org/stream/hghawkerairmanhi00hawkrich/hghawkerairmanhi00hawkrich_djvu.txt

The PDF file is I think the best as you get the pictures to.

These quotes could do with dating, the narrative moves around a little covering different activities.

Edited by - jonto on 24 February 2016 12:37:23
Go to Top of Page

jonto

United Kingdom
123 Posts

Posted - 24 February 2016 :  12:44:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The first mention of the car-

It was never amusing to be towed home by Harry, as I know
well from experience. Once at Brooklands the 6-cylinder A.C.,
then in its experimental stage, had broken something while on
the track, and Harry offered its driver, Victor Bruce, a tow home
on his own racing A.C., then fitted with a two-seater body. Just
before starting, a little delay was caused by someone taking the
passenger seat on the 6-cylinder A.C. for a lift home, which said
seat was apparently booked by another member of a little gang of
speed merchants who forgather at Brooklands, called generally
"Moir," although he has other and very nice names. The
gentleman having been placed gently but firmly on his feet by Moir,
he started to walk up the hill from the paddock towards the gate.
Harry, having tied the six-cylinder on behind with a bit of
thin string he had found lying about, we started off, accelerating
to take the hill. Halfway up, just passing the seat-usurper, to
whom Moir, standing on the seat that he could be better seen, was
bowing with that courtly manner lost to us centuries ago, the
string broke through the jerk in changing gear, and the bow had
a sudden and undignified ending. However, in a very up-to-
date manner, the gentlemen assisted in replacing him, and the rest
of the homeward journey, with the same string, only much shorter,
leaving a couple of feet between the two cars, was of sufficiently
diverting a nature to remedy any discomfort that might have been
felt from the bruises. Harry and I being very late for something
that night, we hurried, making a run home in record time, which
time I should hate to see in print.

This is followed by accounts of preps for the Atlantic attempt and the date of leaving for Newfoundland, March 28th 1919. But as I said the book is not necessarily describing events in chronological order.
Go to Top of Page

jonto

United Kingdom
123 Posts

Posted - 24 February 2016 :  13:24:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The second mention of the car is on August 2th 1920
On Monday morning I decided to go to town, praying
that something might happen to prevent his driving the car. (450hp Sunbeam).
Arriving at Surbiton, I found the only car in the garage was the
racing A.C. before it had come into fame, which I managed to
start, and arrived at Brooklands past the time of the Sunbeam's
first race. I found Harry and Mr. Coatalen beside the car, which had not
been out, as its first race had been passed over through wetness
of the track. Surprised at seeing me, Harry told me to cheer up he had had
some laps in the morning and she was running beautifully.
Go to Top of Page

jonto

United Kingdom
123 Posts

Posted - 24 February 2016 :  13:36:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The third mention of the car-

On September 4th, the date of the Junior Car Club's Autumn
Meeting, Harry, in entering an A.C. car which he had lately
acquired, was to have made his first attempt at light car racing.
His entry was received and accepted, and it was not until the
cars were lined up in the paddock prior to entering the track that
the gods that be decided not to permit him to race as the car
was not standard. The car was a new 4-cylinder overhead valve
model which the A.C. Company had made with a view to a fast
standard sports model production, and the race was for standard cars only.



Edited by - jonto on 24 February 2016 13:37:59
Go to Top of Page

jonto

United Kingdom
123 Posts

Posted - 24 February 2016 :  13:50:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Now there is a discourse on the history of the development of Harry's AC, this comes after dealing with the liquidation of the Sopwith company and the formation of Hawker Engineering.

In the meantime Harry had been working hard at every spare
moment on his A.C., the acquisition of which is very interesting.
One day in the summer Harry went for a short run with one of
the directors of Messrs. A.C. in a new model fitted with an over- head valve engine. It was purely an experimental production,
and after the run Harry wanted to see the drawings. He immedi-
ately saw possibilities as a racing car, and then and there wantedto
buy it.

I suggest that this was probably the 1914 car unless someone can find that another ohv racing AC existed in 1919 or (very)early 1920.
Go to Top of Page

jonto

United Kingdom
123 Posts

Posted - 24 February 2016 :  14:07:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
He did buy it, and then followed months of real hard
work, bringing in its wake alternate successes and disappoint-
ments. From the moment he brought the car home there was little
rest for all concerned with it, his own energy and enthusiasm
being enormous. The engine was hurried into a standard sports
chassis and headed for Brooklands in a remarkably short space of
time, to be back again for modification almost as quickly.

Why would a new chassis be needed if this was post war built car? This new chassis would be the 1919 model with quarter ecliptic front springs. Was the straight tubular axle fitted at this time? The car had it after its second rebuild into single seater form, it used six cyl stub axles as you can see in the drawings, they are the same as those on an early six axle I have. What of the back axle? Cant imagine he would use a standard three speed wide ratio one, the car had its diffless solid racing axle as a single seater, now with the brakes moved inboard. Interestingly the car retained the six stud hubs and artillery wheels right to the end of its carrier with Harry. A picture of the car after its first rebuild is needed.

Edited by - jonto on 18 July 2017 17:04:21
Go to Top of Page

jonto

United Kingdom
123 Posts

Posted - 24 February 2016 :  14:18:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Edited by - jonto on 18 July 2017 17:08:24
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 3 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Next Page
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
AC Owners Club © 2000-2002 Snitz Communications Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000
The AC Owners Club is an independent organisation and is not connected or affiliated with Acedes Holdings LLC or the licensees or manufacturers of AC Motor Cars. The statements and opinions expressed here are those of the AC Owners Club Limited or its members (other than on the Forum, which non-members are also permitted to use) and are not endorsed by Acedes Holdings LLC or their licensees or manufacturers or approved by them. Contributions, opinions and comments by individuals, whether members or non-members of the ACOC are their own and are not approved or endorsed by the ACOC or other company or organisation.