TRYING A “SECOND-HANDER.’
III.–A 1928 GRAND SPORTS SALMSON.
THERE is no doubt that the competition in the 1100 c.c. class has fallen off considerably in the last few years. There are to some fine examples of the performance which can be obtained from an engine of this size, but the fierce rivalry of earlier seasons has been trans ferred in the main to
other classes. However, the fact that this existed was once more brought home to us, when we had the opportunity of trying a 1928 Sports Salmson on the road for a few days recently. Not only does racing improve the breed of cars in general, but a few seasons special competition in a particular class means that the class in question comes in for some very intensive development.
Most of us will remember following with the greatest interest the Salmson-Amilcar duels in the J.C.C. 200 Miles Races, and the way that these ” 1100s,” in their efforts to break each up, began to give the larger cars in these races a good run for their money. Added to this was Goutte’s hair-raising lap of Brooklands at 114 m.p.h. in a supercharged Salmson, a speed which still remains unbeaten on this track by a car of this size.
It was the reflection that these deeds were mainly responsible for the design of the car we were testing that gave the run an added interest, as we were able to take note of the way in which the mechanism had stood up to the power output which racing experience had made available. The car is a typical continental small sports car in which comfort has been considered less important than performance. By this we do not mean that it is uncomfortable to drive, but that some of the refinements which we have now learnt to take for granted such as ease of entry and exit, fullness of all weather equipment, and the collection of gadgets on the dashboard, has been confined more to the essential than the convenient. It is in fact a real sports car, iv that it is a vehicle for the enthusiast who prefers to travel quickly in fresh air and leather coat than to crawl dismally about the country in a closed-in but lifeless “box-on-wheels.” The four cylinder double overhead camshaft
engine was in good mechanical condition, and appeared to have an unlimited capacity for revs. Oil consumption was negligible in the 200-300 miles driving we put in on the car. The engine is silent for the type, with the exception of a certain amount of valve gear noise which is almost inseparable from these engines, but which is not noticeable when driving. The gear box is also quiet and in good condition, our chief criticism of this component lying in the fact that the actual lever is placed somewhat too close to the brake lever for comfort. There are three forward gears.
Acceleration was excellent, and 50 m.p.h. could be exceeded on second. The maximum speed, under fairly favourable conditions was 70 m.p.h. Steering and road-holding are good and bear evidence of the makers racing experience. There is no appreciable wear in the steering box or connections. The chassis is built somewhat higher from the ground than is usual in these days, but in spite of this, cornering was steady and safe. The clutch is a little on the harsh side, but positive and free from ” tricks.”
To those who want a lively performer without buying a new vehicle this car should provide plenty of fun for the money, and it has many thousands of miles of useful life to run.
The car in question was taken from the second-hand stock of Vadum. Ltd., of 352, High Road, Willesden Green, N.W.10, who have a large number of used sports cars. The price asked is 79 guineas.
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