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More than ordinary interest centres in the' motor cycle and side car test road race to take place this week end. The. fact that the race carries with it the championship of the State has stirred all the leading riders and makers' representatives to special efforts, arfd some good records are expec ed.
The Astor Cup, one of - the leading motor speed events of the year in America, re- sulted in a great contest on September 30, at the Sheepshead Bay Speedway, near New York. The winner of the £2,000 first prize, J- Aitken, on a Peugeot, drove right through the contest without a stop, and covered the distance, 250 miles, in the world's, record time of 2h. 23ni. 4s., giving an average speed of over 104- 4-5 miles an hour. Aitken negotiated the first 50 miles in 28m. 31s., or a speed of over 105 miles an hour. A Maxwell driven by Richcn backer, was second about a minute behind the winner, with a Hudson close up third. The crack, De Resta, was put out of the contest owing t» his car catching flj.e in the ninety-ninth mile, when up with Ihe
leaders. By winning this event Aitken i now lead« Resta on points for the Ameri- can motor championship.
The average motor-car owner of to-day has so little trouble with his engine that many drivers never even investigate that part of the mechanism which lies under the bonnet. "I'll wagei," said Mr. John N. Willy«, President of the Willys-Over- land Company, while discussing the sub- ject at his factoiv recently, "that the majority of people who own and drive motor cars cannot give a clear explanation of the meaning of transmission, differen- tial, -or any one of the 50 other semi technical terms connected with thc mecha- nical construction of a motor car, which 1 might mention. While this is true in the majority of cases it does uot follow that car owners are unappreciative of the many improvements that have been made, In tho early days of the industry a man had to bo an expert mechanic before he would venture far in his cor. To-day »ct only the head of the family but also his wife and children «re 'very much at home at the wheel of a motor car. The first things which attract a prospective car buyer are price and general appearance. These being satisfactory, he asks for a demonstration to find out if the car is smooth running and comfortable to ride in. Then he takes the wheel aud is sur- prised to learn how simple and easy it is to drive. Soon he hos complete confidence in himself and becomes fi, confirmed motor- ist. Our smallest Overland, Model 75. is a good example of the type of car ihat is adding thousands to the ranks of inotor dom. Its price is within the reach of all. In appearance it compares favourably with cars selling at a much higher price. Although it is smaller then our other models, it affords ample room for five pas- sengers. Its mechanical construction, also, is so perfect that the inner workings need cause no worry to any driver, no matter how unmechanical he or she mav be."
Motor car manufacturéis in the United States are turning their attention to ways of making pleasing and useful bodies. One idea is the individual and movable front seat. Such an arrangement is very useful^ for not. only can each front passenger en- joy riding comfort, but also the car con be utilised in*a social way by turning these seats around in their sockets. The chairs can also be used on the ground as well, For picnic and camping expeditions. These seats are also adjustable as to legroom, by moving them forward or backward within a wide range.
The Dodge ear recently showed in this State in its record of 13 hours 45 minutes from Perth to. Kalgoorlie what "it can do ever rough roads. Further proof of the power and reliability of the Dodge car hos been given lately in America where the Dodge Brothers' tear known as "Death Valley Dodge," was recently driven from : Calexio through Mexicali and south to the
recently exploited snud volcanoes tíiat are creating such a disturbance far down I In the Mexican Peninsula south of Imper
ial Valley. The only roads through the region an rough trails, first along the banks of the irrigation ditches, then across mesquite covered mesas, and finally over the barren alkali slopes, leading right o the base of the mud volcano. The mud volcanoes' cover a wide area where there are miniature geysers, black oozing mud being ejected above the surrounding sur- face as though it were some gigantic caul- dron filled with boiling molasses. The re- turn trip was made without mishap ia spite of the terrific strain to which th« car had been put in making the outward journey.
Fords that looked like Fords, and some that did not, showed their speed proclivit- ies in the worlds first Ford Speedway Race at Chicago recently. If any of the 10,000 spectators went with any doubt as to rebuilt Fords doing a mile in a minute, or less, they went away with minds re- lieved of that feeling. They saw 20 miles run at an average ol 62.83 miles per hour, 30 miles at 60.4, and SO miles at 62-5 miles Îicr hour . first honours in the former and
atter going to Raul D. Harvey- Just to show that his car had some reserve speed,
Harvey did a lap in the 50-mile event in 1min. 35sec-, or at the rate of 72.5 miles per hoar.. This came immediately after he had lost the lead at the end of 38 mile« through a stop at the pits to change & spark plug. Harvey's time for the 20 miles was 19min. 6sec, and his average speed 62.83 miles per hour- Laznaakve time was 19min.- 12.4sec- speed, 62.49 Jury finished in 19iuin. 21-4-sec., his aver- age being 60.7 miles per hour- H. A. Wolf, Desplaines, 111., was fourth in 20min. 44.2sec- ; speed, 57.87 miles per hour- Th« others were) fiaggod. ¡Harvey won 125 dollars; Laznasky, 75 dollars; and Jury,
The street-cleaning department of Shef- field. England, has found electric vehicles to be more economical than horses in haul- ing garbage. Taking a period of 22 weeks one electric vehicle working during day- light «oat 1.41 dol. per ton of refuse col- lected. For a corresponding time under
similar conditions the cost of the hors« was 1.83 dol. per ton. For nightwork the cost of the electric vehicle wa« 66 cents per ton, and for the horse 79 cents - On the tecond vehicle on another kind of
¿ervice the cost was Idol, per ton as co parea with Sto cents for the hor* syste while at night on this same torvico 1 cost by electric vehicle was 25 cents j ton, as against 62 cents for the horse, 'i tests show that horse labour 6hows an < vantage whore the total mileajre per jo ney uoes not exceed three. I oyond t distance on bin refuse and at I-11 distan on ash-pit refuEC, the elcciJ.cs «How
After repeated enquiries as to what i life of a storage battery should be, t subject has beeu covered in brief by t Willard Btornge Nattery Company
Cleveland. They contend first of all tl its life depends upon its construction,
care, and ttie service it receives. "Tak all together, a storage battery well-car for coate less to maintain than any otl accessory juet as vital. If kept charged proper rata and filled with puro watt the life of a first-class battery averag from one and a half years up. At t same time, a battery, however, well ma and well-cared for, will wear out and nu be renewed, lt is an electro-chemical a para tua constantly changing its conditio to supply current for lamps and start« The better the materials, care and facto service, the longer its life. Some mott lats believe a battery should last indefi itely like a spring or an axle, but tl belief is being overcome by tho education measures of progressive manufacture who want their customers io know wi certain facts arc fa<-tc. Thu Willard Coi pany has dono much alon;* iheso linc and the result is evident in Clip helter ca batteries arc Tecoivinx everywhere;"
Buick's reckon to mil out thia year sor 90,000 famous "sises'' «nd near thia nut ber of other models. The Buick "fix" h. made a name in tho H.S.A. os in Au tralia for being a oar in a class by itself
With'the war still ratring, tho "trend
design for 1917 is unsettled in England tn on tho Continent, as all of the motor « manufacturing concern^ are busily cngag< at munition -work, and vt.ty little caa I accomplished in tho designer's office.
We might expect one or two from tl leading Italian motor factories, who hai been studying American methods, au<l it a well-known fact that at least one of tl leading firms will produce something sei sational. Thia finn ia going to produ< and standa rdise a particular model, n b ic will be equipped with all tho latest fi menta, including self-starter, electric Ugh and detachable wheels. It ia also_ payin particular attention to the springing an ground clearance for colonial conditions and lastly, the price will be very litt] more than the medium-priced America cars now on this market.
We might also look for coinetbin startling from British manufacturers aft« the war, as at present there is somo tal of producing and standardising a mediuir powered car fully equipped, to sell at < moderato price.
For the coming year wc must look t the American oars for the treud of desig «nd 1917 innovations. At least two finn - «re now producing cars fitted with aluraiu
ium engines, which have many novel fee tures and show considerable saving ii weight-' Tho cylinders of these engines ar fitted with cast iron liners and valve seat inga, and aluminium pistons. There is m doubt that we shall heat further of tin aluminium engine when the prie» of thii metal returns to a normal figure,
Generally speaking, the chassis dèsigi ha« undergone very little chango, which is no doubt, due to the fact that the higl price of material does not allow of con slderable changes
The tendency ,is tor the lower price* cars to retain the four'cylinder engine, ant the medium and high priced to favour 6, 8 and I?, cylinder engines- Above last year's figures there is an increase in th« number of Hrma producing 8 to 12 cylinder
A slight modification is- being adopted bv many firms in the drive. Many aro using the Hotchkiss drive (which ls taken through the springs, dispensing with the addition of torque rods). Tho American 'dpa of fitting tho gear box in front of the differential canings is loBi'ng favour, the mt Íority favouring the eugine- and gear box n a singlo unit with the centre gear and
In ignition the tendency is toward the further use of the starting, lighting and fcnitiou in the one-unit system, and the carburetter ha« practically undergone no change, though «very maker now uses the hot air attachment, in order to get as tauch heat as possible to the carburetter, Jud some ate water-jacketing the induc-
. Tne great change that bas been effected for 1917 is in bodywork, and many of thî makers are now adopting a lower set body moro on the European lines, with more room in the front end rear, and better equipped. Several favour adjustable Front ¿eats and a neat ityle of disappearing folding seats in the tonneau.
SWind-screens are now of tho slanting
'Pj>, and the bodywork equipment iñ- udes rug rails, foot rest, and rear %'iew mirror. The accessories on the majority of care include clock, speedometer power
tire pump, and motor meter.
It is anticipated that the 1917 preduc Mon will reach the two million mark and it Í8 «.?onaid?red. by experts in America that Hm, production is not abnormal. The Average hst price of tho cars is expected
to remain about the same.
Most cars are now fitted with forced lu- brication by a positive pump, «nd in »early all there is a tell-tale system 0f some
«ort on-the dashboard, which shows that thc oil is being duly forced through the channels provided. At least, this ÍB the theory, but occasionally cases come under notice where failure "in the lubrication system result's in serious trouble,, oven though the tell-tale on the dash has been working all the time and showed that everything was in order. In a great many, if not ail of these tell-tale arrangements
it is quite possible for the pump to be j working all right and yet for the impor-
tant part of the system to be blocked.1 The tell-tale system is generally a sort of j by-pass, which continues to work even if j other parts of the system are choked. In this' way these tell-tales are a delusion and a snare. They are apt to produce unwar- ranted confidence and to cause the level in the pump to be left untested for lengthen- ed periods. Automatic or forced lubri- cation does not meau that engines require to be washed out less often. Though a fil- tering arrangement for the oil is almost always fitted, this is not a complete guaran- tee that no impurities will find their way into the oil passages. The fact is, an eugine ought lo have the oil run off at least every thousand miles, lt should then be washed out with paraffin, and ruu for a few minutes with, til« paraffin in, so that the pump may have the chance to force the paraffin through all tho oil passages under pressure and thoroughly clean them. Only tuen should the paraffin be run oil and new oil put in up to the proper level. Even then the level of the oil in the sump should Aie frequently tested, and it should be kept well up to themaximnum work provid- ed. If any part of a oar. suffers from over lubrication, it is generally the gear-box. Careful owners are rather inclined to over- do this. It is generally a somewhat messy job pulling up footboards and getting at the gear-box, and the consequence is that whou we "do put lubricant in wo ave in- clined to overdo it, in the hope thal we won't have to do it again for some time. There are two strong reasons against this. One is that we create a pressure which causes tho lubricant to exude from the bearings, and the other is that over-lubri- cation causes a certain loss of power. This
may seem, and probably is, a very negli- i gible matter in ordinary touring work ; yet, it is sufficient to be taken into account ¡ in competitions. In ordinary straight speed competitions over short . -distances gear- boxes have run without ' lubricant go as to obtain the best results. The gear-box was not left dry, but oil was poured over the wheels and into the bearings in suffi- cient quantity to keep them lubricated for the short hurst on top speed, and, the gear wheels were not "allowed to run in oil. as they do" in ordinary use. Many a gear- box which is cursed for its dirtiness hes been brought to that state, and kept in that way, by over-lubrication. As long as the gear wheels are nicely in touch with tho oil, that should.suffice; but sparing lu- brication of tho gear-box means careful and frequent attention.