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Why Hutton?


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#1 Michael Ferner

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Posted 12 January 2022 - 10:52

The 1908 Tourist Trophy was won by a four-cylinder Napier, thinly disguised as a "Hutton" - the usual explanation seems to be that Napier (and especially Edge) vehemently and very outspokenly promoted their six-cylinder models, so that they didn't want any publicity connected with a successful four, which already sounds odd, but given Edge's somewhat contentious nature it does seem to make sense, sort of. However, now I find in period sources that it was an "open secret" that the Hutton was, in fact, a Napier, and that the winning car was even entered by Edge himself, so the question is: why all this camouflage in the first place? Also, the rules for the Tourist Trophy do not seem to have excluded four-cylinders at all, as Gerald Rose quotes "... for cars of not less than four cylinders..." (or words to that effect), so why didn't they simply build a six for the TT (four inches then 'translating' to something like three and a quarter)? It didn't have to do with Napier's withdrawal from racing, either, as that was announced only on the eve of the Manx races, and reputedly was mainly a reaction to the fatal accident at the Bank Holiday Brooklands meeting, about a week after the closing of the entry list for the TT (for which, it seems, Edge's Hutton was the very first entry anyway, so already "in the books" for several months).

 

The other part of the question would be, why Hutton in particular? I can't find any connection between Hutton and Napier, in fact Jack Hutton was very much a rival of Napier in every sense: having raced a Panhard-Levassor or two in continental events earlier in the decade, he had closed down his production line of mostly small cars several years before, and was now dealing (exclusively, it seems) with expensive foreign cars such as P-L, Mercedes and especially Berliet for whom he was concessionaire. He also raced various Berliets and a former Grand Prix Mercedes at Brooklands, and very successfully too, depriving Napier of a win here and there - what was his interest in the whole episode, since he didn't restart the Hutton production on the back of the TT success and, in fact, accepted a post at Siddeley before the year was out? The only faint "link" I can make out is that he fitted his Mercedes with a tube radiator reminiscent of the one on the Napier "Samson".

 

Can anyone offer an explanation?



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#2 ensign14

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Posted 12 January 2022 - 11:43

Per the Venables book, at the start of 1908, Napier contracted with J E Hutton Ltd, probably for manufacture of cars.  Venables suggests that this was Edge being cute.  The proposed regulations for the TT at that time were for the cars to be 4 cylinders only, and Napier had been pushing 6 cylinders, so Edge wanted to have his cake and eat it.  If a 4 cylinder Hutton won, it would be a de facto Napier; if it lost, then it was a Hutton.  When the regs came out at the end of March, 6 cyls would have been allowed anyway...

 

And in August 1908 J E Hutton Ltd went into liquidation.  By the end of the year Jack Hutton had given up on the idea of running an independent firms. 



#3 Michael Ferner

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Posted 12 January 2022 - 16:01

Excellent, thnx e14. :)

 

No real winners, then, only (at least partly) losers? Perhaps a tiny bit of face saved here or there (not more than half a chin, I'd say), and gunshot wounds in the foot area narrowly avoided... Not that Edge had a "clean" record to preserve after the Grand Prix debacle. As a matter of interest, what is Venables's final word on Edge, he was certainly one of a kind. Was he more of a liability, or a boost for Napier?



#4 ensign14

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Posted 12 January 2022 - 17:26

Well, DM Weigel cast some shade over Napier's Grand Prix vacillations, but which one is the more famous...



#5 Henk Vasmel

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Posted 12 January 2022 - 18:09

Checking the list of participants for the 1908 TT as I have them, shows 3 Huttons participating. Nr. (2) for William Watson, Nr. (15) for Ernest Hutton (Could this be Jack? J.E.?) and another one with a slightly smaller engine. This one has no starting number, but would fit in at the missing (28) and was driven by P.D. Stirling.

All participants had 4 Cylinder engines, the Hutton/Napier cars having the largest at 6384 / 5870 cc.

 

Not at all the definite answer, but a clue to follow. It's only 113 years ago.



#6 ReWind

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Posted 12 January 2022 - 18:29

Ernest Hutton (Could this be Jack? J.E.?)

Definitely



#7 Michael Ferner

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Posted 12 January 2022 - 18:31

John Ernest Hutton was best known as Jack, I gather. And yes, Stirling (I have only ever seen him referenced as P. D.) was #28. I believe only Hutton's own car ("Little Dorrit") had the bigger engine (4*8 inches/6590 cc) because he also used it at Brooklands.



#8 Roger Clark

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Posted 13 January 2022 - 13:56

Somewhat off-topic, but prompted by this thread, I have just read one of the Sideslips articles by Baladeur in Motor Sport November 1950. It concerns a debate in 1903/4 about who was first to produce a car with a six-cylinder engine, prompted, of course by S F Edge, and conducted through the correspondence columns of The Autocar and La Vie Automobile. It is written in Baladeur's usual entertaining style; he starts by disagreeing with recent statements by Kent Karslake and describes one Edge contribution as "a farrago of prevarication".   Well worth looking out if you've got access to the archive.



#9 robert dick

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Posted 13 January 2022 - 17:08

Just a few facts, no explanation:

 

Hutton (in the contemporary press "J. E. Hutton" or "J. Ernest Hutton") had a Mercedes, Panhard and Berliet agency in London, 81-83 Shaftesbury Avenue. In July 1903 Hutton drove a Mercedes in the sprints held at Phoenix Park, Dublin, after the Bennett race. In October 1903 he drove a Panhard Seventy in the speed trials at Southport. In 1906 Hutton had a batch of light delivery vans built, using Panhard frames and engines. In 1906 he entered two Berliets in the TT.

In the French, German and American press it was reported that Hutton had a team of four-inch specials built by the Napier Co. for the 1908 Manx race. Bore-and-stroke dimensions were probably 102 x 180 mm on the winning car driven by Watson and 102 x 200 mm on the sister cars. Weight of the winning Hutton was 2,830 pounds, the heaviest car of the race.

 

The Automobile/New York and Motor Age/Chicago of 8 October 1908 published the same William Bradley text:
"The 'four-inch' race run off here to-day, was won by Watson on a Hutton car - a product of the Napier factory...
The stroke of the winning Hutton is not publicly known, but it is said to be between 7 and 8 inches. Curiously enough, the winning car was not considered to stand as good a chance as its two stable companions, which had several special features."

 

According to the original single-fee entry list published in the Motor-Car Journal/London, Selwyn F. Edge entered three cars in the 1908 four-inch race as Huttons and not as Napiers. In the same list, J. E. Hutton appears as entrant of two Berliets.

 

J. E. Hutton drove his four-inch Hutton "Little Dorrit" on 1 and 3 August 1908 at Brooklands.
Watson had a dealership at Liverpool, W. Watson and Co., Motor Agents, Renshaw Street.

 

Four-inch race report in the AAZ/Vienna:
https://anno.onb.ac....seite=4&zoom=33
 



#10 robert dick

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Posted 13 January 2022 - 17:50

Edge's original entry made in the last week of April 1908 = a Napier;
and a few weeks later in the final single-fee list = three Huttons.
(from The Motor-Car Journal/London, 1908)

hutton08d.jpg

hutton08c.jpg
 



#11 Michael Ferner

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 08:20

Thanks, Robert - excellent info, as usual. I have a slightly different entry list from "The Times", which (of course) I cannot find now in a hurry. Suffice it to say that only one Hutton was entered by Edge, according to that list, the others by J. E. Hutton. Also a few other minor differences.



#12 Michael Ferner

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 08:25

Ah, here it is:

 

https://www.newspape.../clip/92554019/

 

 

And the entries at double fee:

 

https://www.newspape.../clip/92554094/


Edited by Michael Ferner, 14 January 2022 - 08:30.


#13 Sterzo

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 22:39

Somewhat off-topic, but prompted by this thread, I have just read one of the Sideslips articles by Baladeur in Motor Sport November 1950. It concerns a debate in 1903/4 about who was first to produce a car with a six-cylinder engine, prompted, of course by S F Edge, and conducted through the correspondence columns of The Autocar and La Vie Automobile. It is written in Baladeur's usual entertaining style; he starts by disagreeing with recent statements by Kent Karslake and describes one Edge contribution as "a farrago of prevarication".   Well worth looking out if you've got access to the archive.

Pssst... I think the serious people discussing the topic have finished now, so we're safe. I've just reread this article. Tremendous fun, with 'Baladeur' (who was Kent Karslake) being critical of an article by Kent Karslake... A wonderful article, illustrating the perils of claiming or naming the first of anything.

 

I can't be certain, but think I remember reading, in a nineteen-twenties copy of The Autocar, a letter from S.F. Edge, claiming that six cylinder cars (as originated by S. F. Edge) wore the tyres less than four cylinders because of smoother firing. But now I cannot imagine why he would have written such a letter at that time, and maybe I saw it somewhere else.



#14 arttidesco

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 15:29

Pssst... I think the serious people discussing the topic have finished now, so we're safe. I've just reread this article. Tremendous fun, with 'Baladeur' (who was Kent Karslake) being critical of an article by Kent Karslake... A wonderful article, illustrating the perils of claiming or naming the first of anything.

 

 

IMG-2104.jpg

 

I read the slighly wonkey online version which got me wondering if anyone knows how far behind the announcement of the Spyker and Napier six cylinder engines the Maudslay six cylinder came ?

 

If any six cylinder from that period pointed in the direction of things to come shirley it was this beauty, the worlds first overhead cam six a development of Maudslays 1902 overhead cam 3 cylinder engine.


Edited by arttidesco, 17 January 2022 - 15:31.


#15 Michael Ferner

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 07:47

That is really a beauty! :love:

 

Which makes me wonder... I'm not aware of any competition history for Maudslay, but with an engine like this... OHC in 1903!! And a quick google mentions even a DOHC in 1923 - I can't believe these things were never raced?!?



#16 Vitesse2

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 09:19

Maudslay's origins go back to the earliest steam engines in the early 1800s; they are far better known for their commercial vehicles and buses and were a major supplier to the British army during the Great War, so I guess their main focus was always on haulage power rather than speed. Their cars were amongst the most expensive on the market too and are described here as 'heavy, even ponderous, motor-cars, not renowned for speed, but were rugged, durable and very honestly made.' You can find details of the abortive 2-litre sports car there too -

 

The intention had been to make the announcement of the new 2LS Maudslay during the 1923 London Motor Show at Olympia. For this purpose, the design was finalised, and a Show chassis was hurriedly completed. It was sent to the coach-builders for the mounting of its Show body but, before this had been done, the Maudslay was destroyed by a fire that broke out at the bodyshop.

Another 2LS chassis was hastily substituted, which had actually been a test hack, but this effort was to no avail and nothing more was heard of the Maudslay car ...

And even if it had got into production I doubt there would have been many takers for it at £825. That's roughly the price of the contemporaneous Crossley 20/70, BTW - as raced by Leon Cushman. Only (perhaps) 100 of those were sold though.

 

http://www.crossley-...story/1920.html



#17 Allan Lupton

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 09:32

Nick Georgano's piece on Maudslay in the Beaulieu Encyclopaedia makes no reference to competition and I know Alexander Craig, the engine designer, had some interesting ideas. The underfloor engine he designed for the 1903 Lea-Francis had an overhead camshaft that could be hinged out of the way when access to the valves was required.



#18 Vitesse2

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 13:54

The Times seemed quite impressed with the Maudslay - I've just had a look at their Motor Show report, but it does appear from that that the quoted £825 price is for a bare rolling chassis. Other prices for new models - all with bodywork - in the same article:

Bean Fourteen - £427 10s

Arrol-Johnston 20hp - £498

Arrol-Johnston 14hp - £398

Crossley 19.6hp - £775

Crossley 20-70 - £910

Vauxhall 30-98 - £1220

Vauxhall 23-60 - £895 (with front brakes £55 extra!)

Vauxhall 14-40 - £595

Rover 14hp - £495

Rover 21hp with 4/5 seater Weymann body - £1050 (chassis only - £750)

Humber 15.9 landaulette - £950 (or a more basic open-bodied version - £695)

Clement-Talbot 12-30 - choice of two enclosed body styles, both £750

Austin Twenty 7-seater landaulette - £850

Daimler landaulettes were priced between £750 and £2000, depending on the engine size and passenger capacity

Sunbeam 14-40 saloon - £845

Sunbeam 16-50 open tourer - £850

Sunbeam 20-60 open tourer - £950 (with limousine body £1625)

Lanchester 21hp - £1250 (chassis only £950)

 

A Lanchester 40 (chassis only!) would have set you back a cool £1800 ...

 

The average male weekly wage at the time was about £5.



#19 Henk Vasmel

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 19:51

After some thinking, I remember the source of my data. It was the book: L’ Historique de la Course Automobile 1894-1978 by Edmond Cohin. It’s in French, but it is extremely complete, especially on pre-war races. At a last check, some decently priced copies are to be found.

 

For the 1908 TT it has the equivalent of 2 pages in small print with lots of details. I will quote only the relevant things.

 

In the introduction, it states that engines could be no more than 4 cylinders. The formula was D2N is maximum 64. N=number of cylinders, D is bore in inches, so 4 inch max. for a 4 cylinder car. This led to the nickname of the race, the 4 inch race. Minimum weight is 1600 pounds.

 

Among the participants:

Hutton “Spécial” (101.6*196.85) 6384 cm3 : Hutton, Watson

Hutson (sic) (101.6*181) 5870 cm3 : Stirling

 

First lap: Stirling (Hutton) hits a wall and retires

6th Watson (Hutton) 45 min 45s 3

8th Hutton (Hutton) 46 min 34s 2

 

Second lap:

Hutton (Hutton) Slides in a corner, hits a little wall, damaging a front wheel and dislocates an axle. He restarts after repairs.

4th Watson (Hutton) 1h 30 min 32s 1

 

Third lap:

Hutton (Hutton) loses precious time because he stops at each lap to change tires.

4th Watson (Hutton) 2h 15 min 00 s 0

8th Hutton (Hutton) 2 h 21 min 48 s 2

 

Fourth lap:

4th Watson (Hutton) 2 h 59 min 04 s 1

 

Fifth lap:

At Ramsey. Hutton (Hutton) hits a wall for the second time. He damages a wheel and the steering mechanism.

Watson stops at the beginning of the fifth lap for replenishments and tire changes.

3rd Watson (Hutton) 3h 46 min 24 s 1

 

Sixth lap:

3rd Watson (Hutton) 4 h 30 min 09 s 4

 

Seventh lap:

Watson, who sets fastest lap until now (43 min 46 s 3/5, 82.687 km/h) takes second place from Guinness and gets closer to George who replaced four tires at Ballacraine.

2nd Watson (Hutton) 5 h 13 min 56 s

 

Eigth lap:

George is fastest (43 min 55 s) Watson is following closely

2nd Watson (Hutton) 5h 58 min 04 s 1

 

Ninth (and last) lap:

George suffers from a carburettor fire and loses 6 minutes. Watson profits by taking a lucky first place.

1st Watson (Hutton) 6 h 43 min 05 s 3/5

2nd A. Lee Guinness (Darracq) 6 h 45 min 22 s

3rd George (Darracq) 6 h 48 mim 36 s 3 (+ FL @ 83.668 km/h)

 

Tech Sheet

Hutton

Engine 4 cyl. (101.6*177.8) 5766 cm3, 70 hp, Magneto ignition (Bosch), multi disc clutch, 4 speed gearbox, Cardan drive. 1475 kg.

 

[Not that this engine size does not match the one specified above]



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#20 Henk Vasmel

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 20:20

The other part of the question would be, why Hutton in particular? I can't find any connection between Hutton and Napier, in fact Jack Hutton was very much a rival of Napier in every sense: having raced a Panhard-Levassor or two in continental events earlier in the decade, he had closed down his production line of mostly small cars several years before, and was now dealing (exclusively, it seems) with expensive foreign cars such as P-L, Mercedes and especially Berliet for whom he was concessionaire.

He also raced various Berliets and a former Grand Prix Mercedes at Brooklands, and very successfully too, depriving Napier of a win here and there - what was his interest in the whole episode, since he didn't restart the Hutton production on the back of the TT success and, in fact, accepted a post at Siddeley before the year was out? The only faint "link" I can make out is that he fitted his Mercedes with a tube radiator reminiscent of the one on the Napier "Samson".

 

Can anyone offer an explanation?

 

I forgot to reply to this part of the original question, although it should be clear by now.

 

Having Hutton himself as one of the team drivers is enough of a link to understand that this is where the name has come from. On the other hand. there is a (juicy?) story behind this of which the details are not yet known. Keep on searching in the contemporary press, or older books which quote from that.


Edited by Henk Vasmel, 18 January 2022 - 20:21.


#21 arttidesco

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 22:46

That is really a beauty! :love:

 

Which makes me wonder... I'm not aware of any competition history for Maudslay, but with an engine like this... OHC in 1903!! And a quick google mentions even a DOHC in 1923 - I can't believe these things were never raced?!?

 

 

Maudslay's origins go back to the earliest steam engines in the early 1800s; they are far better known for their commercial vehicles and buses and were a major supplier to the British army during the Great War, so I guess their main focus was always on haulage power rather than speed. Their cars were amongst the most expensive on the market too and are described here as 'heavy, even ponderous, motor-cars, not renowned for speed, but were rugged, durable and very honestly made.' You can find details of the abortive 2-litre sports car there too -

And even if it had got into production I doubt there would have been many takers for it at £825. That's roughly the price of the contemporaneous Crossley 20/70, BTW - as raced by Leon Cushman. Only (perhaps) 100 of those were sold though.

 

http://www.crossley-...story/1920.html

 

Richards link above shows a photo of a Sir C. S. Forbes's 32.4 hp Maudslay at Brooklands in 1908, afraid I do not know anything more at this point. :wave: 


Edited by arttidesco, 18 January 2022 - 22:47.


#22 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 00:04

There are a couple of Maudlays, maybe three, in the Alice Springs commercial vehicle museum...

 

This open-topped one is a standout:

 

19-19-16-maudslaybus.jpg



#23 arttidesco

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 04:48

There are a couple of Maudlays, maybe three, in the Alice Springs commercial vehicle museum...

 

This open-topped one is a standout:

 

 

 

Is that a camoflage livery Ray ?



#24 Michael Ferner

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 07:33

... and steel wheels!!  :eek:



#25 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 08:30

Solid rubber, Feenes...

 

And the camouflage effect is partially due to the strength of the sun and possibly reflections. The colouring is strange, however.

 

I looked for it online to find more, there I learned that it's a 1918 model and was used to transport people around a South Australia farm which acted as a bit of a museum for farming and a copper mine on the property for some years before moving to the Centre.



#26 Vitesse2

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 08:35

Richards link above shows a photo of a Sir C. S. Forbes's 32.4 hp Maudslay at Brooklands in 1908, afraid I do not know anything more at this point. :wave: 

So saith WB:

 

The ‘Four-Inch’ races proved popular. Limited to cars of 25.6
RAC rating and under, they were run over varying distances and
saw Stocks’ de Dion, driven by W V Jolley, pull out nearly 74mph,
and W E de B Whittaker lap at nearly 84.25mph in Baker White’s
Hutton. Match-races continued to be the order of the day. At
the Whitsun meeting Leo Ralli (35.7hp Hotchkiss) challenged
Sir Charles Forbes to a 200-sovereign contest over four laps. W
H Cox drove the latter’s 32.4hp Maudslay and proved the faster
by several miles per hour. That was on the Saturday, and on the
Bank Holiday Monday Gore-Browne lost a similar duel against
P Stirling’s Arrol-Johnston when his Piccard-Pictet broke down;
both cars were in the then-popular 26hp class.

That - on page 32 - is the only mention of a Maudslay in his Brooklands book.

 

Ralli, not Ballis, appears to be the correct surname of the Hotchkiss owner:

 

https://www.christop...6/fg06_397.html

 

https://www.cwgc.org...details/326257/



#27 robert dick

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Posted 12 March 2022 - 11:55

A five-cylinder Hutton built for the 1904 Bennett elimination on the Isle of Man could not be finished/or prepared in time:

mojo26mar04p72.jpg
 



#28 Charlieman

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Posted 12 March 2022 - 12:07

A five-cylinder Hutton built for the 1904 Bennett elimination on the Isle of Man could not be finished/or prepared in time:

Oh dear. Two good reasons why J E Hutton Ltd went bust. I know that sounds heartless or unambitious, but those are two concepts which might seem rational to a mathematician and bonkers to engineers who understood the the practicalities of automobiles.



#29 Roger Clark

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Posted 12 March 2022 - 14:05

Lord Montagu's book on the Gordon Bennett races says that the Huttons were to have had six-cylinder engines and "an infinitely variable gear operated by a lever on the steering column, which transmits its effect by means of compressed oil". The Automotor Journal apparently published a lengthy description.