For your " Twenty," thank you, Mr. Oldham., for gracious credit to a very great engineer—somewhat stubborn maybe—but a man with both feet firmly planted in his own wise convictions. And front me, a humble " thank you" to him, for his " Twelve."
Finally, Mr. Oldham, as a free tip from me, ease off your rear Hartfords a turn, your rear-seated passengers may be grateful. I am, Yours, etc.,
Arundel. L. H. Musks:Tr. Sir,
At the close of his letter in the last issue W. J. Oldham disposes of the Austin Twelve as having absolutely nil performance. Study of Brooklands records provides an answer to this, as to most thiags. I find that at the 1925 B.A.B.C. August Meeting a black and aluminium Austin Twelve with the 72 by 102 nun., 1,601-c.c. engine was entered for two races by S. Holbrook and during the afternoon, although unplaced, did a lap at 74.33 m.p.h., driven by II. Cutler. In both cases the car was re-handicapped, presumably because the B.A.R.C. found it " hotter '' than they had expected, and certainly it mast have been good for at least 80.
The car does not appear to have run again, and although I thought I had given all these rather obscure cars fair mention within the three volumes of my " Story of Brooklands," I admit this Austin escaped me. Perhaps those responsible for it will see this and supply some details. There was also a very sporting, looking Austin Twelve which I used to encounter on the Bath Road near London Airport a year or two ago ; it certainly looked to have better than nil performance. I am, Yours, etc.,
London, E.C.I. W. II. Sir,
I was very interested in your remarks in " Vintage Vorings " for February regarding magneto troubles experienced on many vintage cars. Having experienced similar magneto trouble on my 1925 Morris Cowley, 1 overcame the difficulty for the modest outlay of about 10s. and one hour's labour. The average magneto can be converted into an efficient distributor by removing the windings and Condenser front the magneto armature, taking care to see that the centre bolt which secures the contact breaker assembly to the armature is insulated from the latter. It' the high tension pick-up brush leading to the rotor arm is removed and a IT.T. lead from a coil is introduced through the back cover plate of the magneto in such a way that contact with the rear end of the rotor arm is made, the ignition system is completed with the connecting of a Suitable condenser between the body Of the magneto or earth and the " ignition off" terminal on the contact breaker cover plate. By connecting the positive terminal of the coil to the battery in'a an ignition switch and coupling up the earth terminal a very reliable conversion unit is completed.
I have used this system now for two years, having purchased a secondhand coil front a breaker's yard for .a few shillings and it has required no further servicing.
While many " vintagenarians " would regard this as rather infra dig, it has the advantages of easy starting in frosty weather, coupled with freedom from further trouble, all for a minimum outlay. I ant, Yours, etc.,
Slough. C. E. Cox. Sir,
The vintage ears mentioned in the correspondence in Moron Scour are very interesting. Before the war I had a new car, afterwards a secondhand one which was not vintage ; both were a constant source of trouble, even a brand new motor-cycle proving a snare and delusion. .lust before the bad winter of 1947 I bought a 1029 Triumph Eight tourer in which I have done some 31,000 miles with very little trouble. The car was in very bad condition when I bought it, but the engine was quite good.
Apart front hood, upholstery and replacement carburetter, the only florist andard part is a change from magneto to coil ignition, with a home-inade mounting for a Deleo Remy distrilm tor and a Runbaken " Oil Coil." lids was a difficult job as reduction gearing had to be fitted. The magneto was scrapped as Oil leaked on to the windings despite all efforts to stop it.
After doing some 17,000 miles without touching the engine I ran a big-end some 40 miles from home and managed to get back safely by retarding the spark. Then I had it reskeved and remetalled.
Both before and after this, performance was good; with four up I can average 30 m.p.h. on main roads with about 30 m.p.g. To do this I never need exceed 40 m.p.h. as the pulling power is so steady that. I do not lose much even On long hills. There never seems much need to hurry—what a difference front Some engines and how much more comfortable.
Modern designers would do well to revert to the split windscreen which enables me to drive in fog in relative comfort even when cold. There are many little things which do make " Vintage Motoring " a delight; the coach-built body is much warmer than the modern pressings, the headlights are really good, the plain tooth gearbox is quite as easy as synchromesh when one is used to it, etc., etc. My only regret is the high tax and price of petrol which prevent me from buying a Bentley or similar vintage car. I am, Yours, etc.,
Yours is a most worthy journal which gives an inunense amount of pleasure to the most amateurish of amateur motorists. I am just one of those gentlemen, but since I have owned, now for four years, a 1921 16-hp. Wolseley tourer, 1 am also one of the most enthusiastic vintage owners. And for this reason I bring to your attention the fact that in the last twelve Months there has been no mention anywhere in your paper (including advertisements) of this particular brand of motor-car. Now this 1921 Wolseley model was a respectable family car, no doubt--the handbook has a photograph of it with an immaculate chauffeur holding the jack in gloved hands. And it cost something like 1050, I believe,
in those days ; it therefore does not qualify as a sports-car, by your definition in your last issue.
But it does qualify as an example of fine motor engineering. I know a little of its history. The, engine was an offspring of one of the Wolselcy aircraft engines of the 1914-18 war which had a great success. This was one of the first overhead camshaft enginesand coil ignition could be provided as an alternative to magneto. Generally, the engine was a bit ahead of its time, and not Many were sold and Wolseleys went back to sidevalves in '23 or '24 until about 1927, when they re-introthmed the 1021 engine with a few odd modifications.
My particular car is in magnificent mechanieal condition, and has never given any serious trouble except for a noise whirli developed in the gearbox and which I cured by adjusting the -tapered roller bearings (with which incidentally, the whole car is fitted). I have never looked inside the engine, partly because I distrust my mechanical abilities and partly because it just doesn't seem to be necessary. I cruise about the country in wonderful windswept comfort and dignity at a respectable 50 m.p.h., which I lind is just about sufficient to keep Most modern cars where they belong--behind inc and out of sight. There is the occasional upstart who dares pass with a superior grin on his face, which w4ttally disappears when I put him in his place with a slight depression of the throttle pedal.
I would be extremely pleased if other owners Of this type of car could get in touch with me through your columns. I do not know any, and I have never met Oil the road any of our sisters.
With my very best wishes for the continued success of your journal. I,ondon. I ant, Yours. etc., BRYAN Tu WA I T I We did mention seeing a rather sporting Wolseley tourer of this era near llindbraid last year and another is known in the North, and is for disposal. The Wolseley olt.e. gear was probably based on the Dispirit° V8 aero-engine which Wolseley built under licence during the Kaiser War.—En.j
Mr. D. W. Galles, 17, Dudley Gardens, Leith, Edinburgh, 6, is forming a Scottish section of the Alvis Owners' Club, and all those interested, north of the Border, should contact. hint. R. P. Birks, 201, Yew Lane, &fele:410d, Sheffield, 5, is Hon. See. of the Club, width has over seventy members at the time of writing. *
Another Tantplin cyclecar in a very good state of repair has turned up in Wales,. and we hear of a 1921 Phoenix somewhere in Kent. The lagonda Register isinviting tenders for a drawing or design as subject for it picture to be used as a Trophy, which sounds like something many of our readers would be able to tackle—tenders to P. A. Densharn, Dormers Farm, Martin, near Fordingbridge, Hants.