Photo of the month
The 'Stelling Wilma'
Where the rules and 'spirit of the rules' diverge
A 3.5cc class existed at world level from the 1950s, but eventually it was decided in Europe to use this size as a 'junior class'. Amongst the variety of cars created was the Wilma from Edvard Stelling in Lithuania. This was about as 'standard' configuration as could be envisaged with a standard 3.5cc motor, cast in expansion chamber and rubber bush front suspension. The rules that were established essentially recreated the car seen above, which must have been produced in the thousands as they appear for sale regularly, either in the standard form as above or modified.
Ah, modified, and from that moment, the playing field was level no longer. Out came the expansion chamber and in went a pipe, front suspension turned round, new motors and then why bother with the old car at all? In 1996 FEMA came to the conclusion that Juniors were not interested in this type of car and any newcomers were already 30-40 years old. As with hydros it was also pointed out that it was mainly 'existing professional drivers' that were running these cars so the rules were modified to create a free for all. Plate chassis, beam chassis, tuned pipes sticking out the back of the car and finally, full race, front exhaust, Class 3 motors. Ultimately, what was initially Class 5 and later 3B became one of the most trick classes and still the province of the 'professional racer'. Now there are asymmetric cars, damped suspension and the only thing missing is the pipe, which a rule change required it to be within the plan elevation of the car.
This original example was for sale at Hannover in 2018