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The racer that never raced


The racer that never raced
 

When the Gordon Bennett races started in 1900, racing was mainly a French affair. The Automobile Club de France already had held numerous city to city races, whereas racing activity outside France was minimal. The Gordon Bennett....
races were meant to stimulate the awakening car industry, also outside France. And although the Coupe Internationale, which was the official name of the races, was predominated by the French during the races of 1900 and 1901, attempts were made in other countries already from the beginning to resist the French supremacy. One of these countries was England, the first to break the hegemony with their Napier in 1902. During the second Coupe in 1901, Napier, being also in the second year of its existence, was present with a 50 HP racer driven by S.F. Edge. That year the Coupe Internationale was part of the Paris-Bordeaux race. At Couhé-Vérac, more than halfway the race, Edge had to retire mainly because of clutch problems.

Another English make had prepared a racer for the 1901 Coupe, and this was M.M.C.. The Motor Manufacturing Company operated in the shadow of the British Daimler and later Napier, and had never shown any interest in motoring competition. For the 1901 Coupe they decided nevertheless to build a racer with a 4 cylinder engine. This engine was constructed by combining 4 of their Iden-modified De Dion engines. Total power output was officially 20 HP, but M.M.C. stated that an output of 30 HP could be developed. At the last moment however the car was withdrawn from the competition, officially because unsufficient time and space had been available to test the car. Heavy traffic and the “encumbered state of the road” had even prevented to use 4th gear at all. But it is my guess that the performance of the rather improvised four cylinder engine proved to be very disappointing and that M.M.C. thought it wise to withdraw their underpowered racer to prevent a public disgrace. To my knowledge this racer was the first and last ever built by M.M.C. ...

Comments 

 
#2 Ariejan 2017-05-16 17:36
What happened to the car is not known to me, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was dismantled after its unsatisfactory performance.
 
 
#1 2017-05-14 15:52
And, what happened to it?
 

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