SPORTING CARS ON TEST
SPORTING CARS ON TEST—continued.
the car bounced in and out of the ruts giving a feeling of solidity, which is one of the big features of this interesting little machine. Turning to the right at the top of the bill, we pro ceeded along the ridge towards Coldharbour, where a very fine colonial section is encountered, and being
familiar with the route, it was possible to travel at a good speed, despite the natural obstruction of gorse bushes and cart wheel ruts, some idea of which can be obtained from Fig. 4, Coldharbour village being clearly seen in the view.
At the time of our test, the engine was in rather a new condition, and as plain phosphor bronze big-end bearings are used, the maximum speeds of which fly.: car is capable cannot be reached until it has run for about 1,500 miles, but nevertheless the acceleration tests showed great promise. For example, with three up and running against a strong head wind, a speed of 50 m.p.h. was reached from a standing start in twentyone seconds and without taking risks with the raw engine, there was no difficulty in going well over the 67 m.p.h. mark, so that when run in the car should be quite good for 70 m.p.h. and perhaps a little more.
Even when running over exceptionally rough surfaces at high speeds the Senechal is one of the most comfortable sports cars I have driven and there is nothing ” tinny ” about the bodywork, which has very smart lines and a nice streamline effect.
The steering is quick and light, and it is possible to jerk the car round sharp right angle bends and straighten up with very little effort. The clutch and change speed gear are faultless, and quick changes can be made up and down the scale, as and when one pleases.
On the return journey, Pebblecombe Hill was taken still with three up at over thirty miles per hour, though the familiar splutter, due to the inadequate petrol supply, began again when nearly at the top.
From a technical point of view the Senechal is interesting in that it offers particularly good opportunities for the keen owner, who takes a delight in ” hotting-up ” processes. The manufacturers have set
out to produce a small fast machine, with robust construction, and therefore such things as aluminium pistons, extra high compression and lightened parts are not included in the specification. The general balance of the engine appears to be quite good for a standard job, though one imagines that a certain amount of money spent in the latter direction would have produced much better results ; but then the machine would not be suitable as a production job for the average owner, as distinct from the high speed enthusiast.
I examined all the component parts in the stores of the Automobile Service Company, and they all appeared to be very strong and excellently made, leaving enough material for lightening and speeding up the engine, if one wishes to do so.
The engine has a bore of 59 m.m. and a stroke of 100 mm., giving a total capacity of 1,094 c.c. The unit is of very clean design and is very accessible, the overhead valves being actuated by adjustable push rods and valve rockers. As turned out from the factory, the overhead valve gear is fed with oil under pressure through a pipe from the base chamber, but it is the practice to shut off this supply by blocking the pipe, relying upon the oil mist for the lubrication of the valve rocker spindle. We understand that this works well in practice, though it would appear better if a regular supply were to be retained for high speed work.
A Solex carburettor is used as standard and this seems to suit the engine very well, besides giving the admirable ease of adjustment for which this make is famous. The clutch and gear box are combined with the engine as a single unit, the former being of the inverted cone type with fabric lining and the latter having three speeds with central control and a long lever within very easy reach of the driver. The standard gear ratios are as follows : First : 13 to I ; second 8 to i ; top 4.5 to I. No differential is fitted to the rear axle, the final drive for which is by means of skew cut crown and