Post by administrator on Feb 7, 2014 23:41:51 GMT 1
Another photo of Ronnie Moore in the Atom Car at Wimbledon in 1955. This is a website comment about Moore who crashed the car: "Ronnie Moore suffered a bad injury whilst driving a midget car at the Plough Lane track during trials to see if the sport could be included on Speedway Tracks. Harringay, Wimbledon and Wembley had all shown great interest in the trials being carried with a view to bring back the dwindling crowds."
Post by haflinger121 on Feb 11, 2014 20:02:29 GMT 1
For a car which as far as I know, beyond the occasional demonstration, never actually saw any real action, it's amazing how much interest it generated at its birth in '55 and since. Here's some more views of Ronnie Moore giving it the beans at Wimbledon.
And here it is after restoration by Jack Taylor (squatting by car) with Mirac re-united with the driving seat some 45 years after the crash in it which broke his collar bone.
I agree halflinger121. I have seen evidence about trials of the Atom Car also being held at Rayleigh. Again with a Wimbledon speedway influence: their team manager Ted Brine was in charge of the mechanical side while his speedway rider brother, Wimbledon and England rider Cyril Brine, possibly drove the car. I wonder where the other brother former speedway rider Percy was that day? He was a pioneer stock car driver around 1954 (winning the first ever stock car race at Coventry in 1954) after an enforced retirement from speedway when he lost an eye. Percy later showed his paces with a midget in the Charles Batson midget car at Rye House and Aldershot around 1956 and 1957.
Post by administrator on Feb 23, 2014 16:10:46 GMT 1
I am positive that Ronnie Moore only drove the Allard midget car in trials at Wimbledon - because of the obvious link that he was one of the club'stop (if not the top?) speedway rider at the time. In that case, the driver was probably another Dons' rider Cyril whp drove the Allard elsewhere.
Post by administrator on Apr 10, 2014 16:28:23 GMT 1
by John Hyam
IN the mid-1950s, stemming from Wimbledon speedway, there was an effort to popularise midget car racing as a part of the second-half of meetings.
Former Eastbourne and Wimbledon rider Alan Brett, who was involved in the venture, recalls what happened in regard to what were known as the Allard Midget Cars. He said, “I remember them well and world speedway champion Ronnie Moore turning one over at practice one Tuesday morning and breaking his collar-bone.
“At the time, I lived in a flat at Wimbledon that had previously been the home of Trevor Redmond, who was also keen on midgets as well as his own speedway career. The main developers of the Allard car were Stanley Allard and Charles Batson.”
Years later, Chris Humberstone of Allard Motorsport said, “A meeting between Stanley Allard and riders and management was held at Wimbledon to discuss the possibility of building a small car for use on the dirt.
“The popularity of speedway racing was waning at that time and it was thought that, perhaps, car racing would bring back the crowds. Mr Gill Jepson was called in and working from a few pencil sketches by Sydney, he built up a chassis, using light channel-selection steel. It had a 3ft front track and a straight tube axle mounted with two quarter-eliptic springs and radius rods, while the rear was unsprung, using an axle-tune mounted between thrust races on each side of the frame.”
Humberstone explained, “The rear track measured 2ft 9in, and the tiny wheelbarrow wheels were driven from the centrally mounted engine by chain and sprockets. As with the speedway bikes, there was no gearbox, but a final-drive shaft sprocket was designed for easy removal to permit quick changes of ratio.
“The wheelbase was 4ft 6ins and the completed car and it light aluminium body weighed just 278lb. Painted in bright colours and named “The Atom”, it was put on a raised dias at a Wimbledon speedway meeting, and shortly in October 1955 after was tested on an empty track by speedway star Ronnie Moore.
“It went quite well, though suffering from insufficient head of petrol from the tail-mounted gravity-feeding tank. A pump was fitted, driven off the axle shaft and performance was much improved,. But after several laps Moore overdid things on one corner and the car overturned with him breaking his collar bone.”
Humberstone concluded, “Not surprisingly, his interest waned a little after that and as further tests at Rayleigh with another Dons' rider Cyril Brine driving showed that passing would be difficult and the first man away would usually win, the idea was dropped.”
Gil Jepson, who played a major role in designing ‘The Atom’ added, “It was fitted with a JAP speedway-type engine, but the problem was with the springs which were similar to those used in the Frazer-Nash racing sports car. Even on the straights these tended to cause a sideways movement.
“Ronnie Moore had problems when testing the car and generally we decided that the project was not suitable and the venture was abandoned.”
In 2002, thanks to the efforts of Reg Fearman, Ronnie Moore was reunited with 'The Atom' when he was taken to meet its owner, the former Aldershot and Eastbourne rider Jack Taylor.