LETTERS from READERS
LETTERS from READERS
I am very interested in the letters appearing in Almon. Sismer, wherein veterao motorists relate stories of bygone days.
I have been driving for 41 years, since I was seventeen, so perhaps you can find. ..space in your paper for a few of ray remi niseenees. The car I drove first was a single
cylinder 0-h.p. de Dion two-seater, often called the doctor's car, it being popular at that time with the medical profession, hind what a reliable little car it was, and quite fast, too, for those times ; an average of 20 m.p.l i. could be Maintained on long journeys. This car had two speeds forward In it SiI reverse. It was it tricky job to adjust the gear clutches to get the correct grip and clearance. The propeller-shaft. was hollow and contained it rack which engaged in pinions, whiela in turn operated right and left-hantled threads inside the segments. I recall, too, the IA-Ii.p. de Dion with all the motive power over the hack axle. This_ model wsis a four-seater, the occupants sitting vis-a-vis. It had tiller steering, two speeds and reverse, top speed about 17 m.p.h. The oldest vehicle 1 drove was an 1898 two-cylinder Dahriler ; the engine had been converted from tube to electric ignition, two cylinders, unequal diameter front and rear wheels, chain drive, solid tyres (the tram lines which had just been laid down around Acton and Hayes seemed to have a magnetic attraction for these tyres as l soon discovered I). It also had tiller steering, and four speeds forward, also four speeds in reverse. The gilled-tube radiator was slung just behind the back axle. I fitted it e011•trivanee, operated by foot pedal, which cut out the tuition of the governors. Another Daimler I drove for many miles was the actual one which competed in the A.C.G.B. and 1. 1,000-miles Trial round England. This car had pneumatics mi the front wheels and solids on the rear wheels. These solid tyros fitted very tightly over the rhos of the wheels and were then lack! in place by two steel flanges will]. bolts right through. I have vivid recollections of driving 50 miles over Scottish moorland roads on the flanges of one back wheel, the tyre having conic adrift. 'Die oil tank of this Daimler held live gallons and the petrol tank twenty gallons. Under the driving seat were welNitted drawers for spare parts, also two cupboards in the " dash.'' Broken inlet valves:: were fairly common, but a ValVe Coltld be replaced in alma five minutes. The ignition commutator was lilted on the dash and Chain driven. The chain would sone:Ibises jump off at high speeds, but could soon be replaced, even after dark, by feeling for a row of centre dots on the two shafts. The .engine would start even if the chain was a link " out," the thnipg could Own be .corrected by shifting the chain one link either way. We improved this car by scrapping the " hit-and-miss " exhaust valve lifters and substituting direct valve lifters. This entailed a new cans:shaft. This Daimler was low built and
N.B.—Opinions expressed are those of our correspondents and Motor Sport does not necessarily associate itself with them—Ed.
good on corners. 1 have done lite eighty miles from (reef own to Newmilns, Ayrshire, over bad roads. in 31: hours. Quite deeent lUlls could he climbed on top gear. Gear changing was very easy, either op or down, thanks to a simple but effective clutch brake. Incidentally I once removed the gearbox and fitted a DCW one to this car in two days at Ton-Moms Hotel in the Wilds of Glen Garry, Inverness-shire.
In 1900, whilst in the Army Motor Reserve, I spent six numths on Salisbury Plain with a four-cylinder 15-1s.p. Panhard, five-seater tonneau body, door at rear. That, particular summer was hot. and dry and the passengers were covered with line chalk dust after a journey of any length. This Potshard had four speeds, mill indirect drive ; it would romp :thing splendidly on third gear with top handy for easy running on the level or down grades. The engine would start •' off the switch " even after standing for an hour or two. Punctures were, fairly frequent in those days ; 1 Iliad 32 span' inner tubes and six covers by me, and I used most of them. Ily far the largest part of my motoring mileage has been in Napiers--from the " 10/20 " 1904 Model to the 15-It. p. Colonial Napier of later years. TI us latter car had a ground elearanec of over 12 inches. The engine revolved anticlockwise So far as memory serves use the Coventry Humber was the only other engine to do this. The 40-1a.p. Napier was a reliable car, though it was difficult to keep the long driving chains properly adjusted. The 110-h.p., and later the 65-1.p. ears were very fast ; they had synchronised magneto and acemmilitkor
One had to be in good fettle to " swing " these big engines ; the 1909 05-11.p. model was the first to be fitted with a half compression device.
I was at the opening of Brooklands in June, 1907, and also a few days later saw S. F. Edge cover the then record distance of 1,050 miles in 24 hours in his Napier. My present car is a 10-11..p. Austin Sherborne Saloon, for which I leave
not but praise. Althoagh I have taken out a driving
I icence every year since Ott, ,l 21st, 1905. there was a period or five years in W?srld NVor 1, mid seven and a, half years in World War 11 when I did very lilt le driving, being away in the Services. I have never reached very high speeds in all these yesars, my highest being 80
on Brooklaials veith an Iris before the first world war.
aril, Yours. etc..
Py rford. F. A. :BATEMAN. Sir, I very much enjoyed your article, " A Cycleear in the ' Exeter '," though I should have liked to hear more of the adventures of the Carden, especially
No. 241, the 1921 Model, of which I leave lively memories. I notice that Mr. Snail:ICS 1924 Carden " had been used for a very short time before Iwing stored awliy." Mine, at two years of age, was alleged to !nave ilone only 200 miles. 'nits short mileage may have been doe to various reasons. There was oiling up ; oil was carried in a scinare Cast alittilitlittiu IMX above the crank-CaSe and fed automatically to the cylinders by capillary tubes mat ',a rate of alsout 30 miles per quart. (Petra might have been better but I never tried it.) The engine was started by a foot lever, inside the body, which operated a sort of toggle by which the big gear wheel on the mainshaft. was hauled ronnd by its teeth. A tiack-fire emild almost shoot the
over the squab, but more usually Isis leg was bent. so tie took it on the knee-cap against the edge of the petrol tank, which was a large cylindrical affair occupying Most of tlae under-bonnet space.
There was no clutch-stop and the plate
Steering was direct ; about one-third of a turn from lock to lock. The brakes, steel bands contracting on a drum keyed to the axle, were effective for only a few miles after each flushiug out with petrol, for the oil penetrated everywhere.
There wits no reverse, but why worry ? All the weight was at, the back so one just picked up the front and carried it round. llowever, the twin-two-stroke engine, if throttled down in neutral with the spark top far advanced, would sometimes reverse itself unknown to the driver. This once nearly caused a tragedy in a street in Catiaberwell when I essayed to alake mu smart getaway frorti some small boys who, intrigued by the unorthodOx appearance of the car and the awful din of' its exhaust., were pretending to push it front behind. Isuekily the engine stalled.
1 must. have covered quite 300 'stiles in the car during the few months I had it. The end value on a Sunday afternoon in Didwiels Park. I had completed two magnificent circuits when a terribly expensive noise broke out. Examination on Be spot revealed that the split pin and washer seeming the starting toggle had fallen down among the gears, bursting the gearbox (min -crankease emitaxle easing asunder. 1 laad the car repaired sand sold it surprisingly well to a poor fellow whose girl had fallen for it.
I still leave lay instrnction book and spareS list. lite COMplete body (there WaS nO ehassis), which was built of a netterial called,. I believe, beaver-board, is priced at. £25. The car was sold at £100 and I have often thought that had it been relined to tle tune of another £100 the resulting vehicle would have been quite useful. Still, when it did go it. could certainly move. No speedometer was fitted but it could probably touch 35 tnp.li. and it --conlinufd from page 189
gave a good 50 m.p.g. One felt quite a lad behind its huge bonnet, but one felt other things as well. The seating was padded with a 1,-in. thick American cloth mattress and the high-pressure tyres were only 21 in. in section. I can never forget the mighty smack one received on the haunches as the Carden took a pothole, its twin cylinders waggling in derision beneath its tail. I am, Yours, etc.,
Bristol. F. A. /4IANSBRIDGE. Sir, I recently received the January issue and found great interest in reading J. Saner's letter about the Scott Sociable,
owned one of these excellent. but naorthodox machines about 1932 :so unorthodox that pulling into the kerb one day a pedestrian got a terrible shock as she thought the car had lost a wheel !
I regret I cannot amplify Mr. Satter's description except that the engine in my car had rotary inlet valves driven by the crankshaft kind in the position normally occupied by the crankcase doors of the Scott motor-cycle engine. The selector in t he gearbox was a form of rotary cam which I saw much too often for reasons I cannot recall now. My vehicle also had a dickey seat capable of carrying two adults. The room in the front seat was really remarkable. Lighting was by an M.L. Maglita charging a motor-cycie battery and this proved the undoing of my Sociable in the end. I was towing it home one evening and as the tiny battery eventually failed my brother-inlaw overran the tow rope wrenching the front wheel to an angle of some 43 degrees. When this happened I went to the house of the blacksmith outside whose smithy the incident occurred and asked him if he would give it to the first scrap merchant who came along. After one look at the machine lw bluntly refused ; eventually I persuaded luin to permit me to leave it provided I came and tot* it away. However, a shepherd near Haddington eventually purchased it for the price of the magneto. the wily article I considered of use to me and which I had removed to use on one of the nine Scott motor-cycles I had at one time or allot her.
Another twin two-stroke I owned, which was not nearly so successful as the Sociable, was a Carden Runabout. The previous owner of the Carden could not start it and exchanged it for ow Connaught two-stroke motor-eyele with an outside flywheel which would not Stay on. I never got the Carden to start and often wondered if he got the flywheel to stay on. The Carden had the air-cooled engine at ttte rear in unit. with a t.WI ?-speed gearbox and the rear axle all suppurted by one hiage bolt kool merely rest O1!.; 4?11 t WO coil springs. I nearly lost the rear axle and engine on a humpy road once when I persuaded my father to give Inc a tow to try to start it. We seemed to get a terrible amount of fun out of kill these things. Twenty-four years ago it did not matter how they went, if they went, and only a certain amount of disappointment was felt if they didn't. Today we grumble if the engine does not leap into lire at the first
touch of the starter. We used to i)tisli for half an hour before we grumbled.
You have no idea larw much *Mare we get out of MOTOR Smiler out here ; it, of course, goes the rounds after I get it and read it from cover to cover. enjoy the articles on vintage and veteran ears parthallarly, although I also enjoy reading a t he /vitae-I/Oat specials, is I would have joined the builders' ranks if I were domiciled anywhere but in ci trackless desert. and even Ilere if shipping were not so expensive. I am, Yours, etc.,
Balirein Island, A. E. NimsoN. Persian Gulf. * * *
* * * JAG17112 versus ALLARD
It was with relief lIeU I read Mr. Alan Clark's letter, published in your Mareh. issue.
Although he does not even attempt to explain Mr. Goldsehmidt's victory at Watkins Glen, in the International Grand Prix, and although it will become obvious after a moment's thought that his comparison of Allard and Jaguar sales in America umacis absolutely nothing, lie does at least. admit that the CadillacAllard constitutes a danger.
But the observation that the Jaguar XI( 120 is more beautiful and more luxurious, must not blind us to the fact that the raeina performance of the Cadillac-Allard has proved superior, and the produetion of a fixed-lwad coupe XE 120, although it will 11011htleSS boost Jaguar sales, does not appear to be about to ehange this state of affairs.
I am an Allard owner and intend to remain one until Jaguars produce a car which can prove itself superior to mine. I am, Yours, etc.,
Windsor. COLIN CLARK. * * *
VINTAGE AIRCRAFT Sir,
Your recent articles on Veteran Aircraft by Air Commodore A. IL Wheeler, 0.11. E., and your notes on the R. G J Nash collection, have been most interesting. As a former R.A.F. pilot I thoroughly enjoyed them and congratulate you on the very accurate and detailed reports.
During the war I came across a De Ifavilland Dawn aireraft—it was a " one-off '• model and I believe I have the name right but memory plays tricks.
Another interesting aircraft was a Folland flying test bed which had a special arrangement for using various types of engine.
Finally I came across a Leopard Moth and a Cierva Antoairo on the same 'dronethe former !Lad a plaque cornmeal/mu in it s partieipat ion in t lie King's Cup Rate in 1933, the tail had a name "Nigel " painted on it. The Cierva was used for k'st int; camouflage schemes. I am, Yours, etc.,
Wm.. .1. 'I'. KisiNtaurfatt-Bovn. Sir, Mr. Hull is doubtful if there are any examples of the Gloster Gladiator and Gauntlet still in existence. While on holiday in south-east Devon 1:1st year I discovered the fuselage of a Gauntlet on a farm near Lyme Regis. As far as I can ascertain it was-given Wit cent :fin local sehool at the outbreak of war and was used for instructional purposes and then left derelict after the war ended. In spite of its six to eight, or 17 \*C11 !mire, years in the 111)(11, OW framework is in quite good condition though 111/1V
fnitirieless. However, I did trace the 11.1.F. serial number. K 5206, painted in small !dad: letters on one side of the engine cowling. I believe all Gauntlets vissessed two-blade propellers lint. K 5200 sports a three-Hader. It is a pity that sinnething cannot he ilone to save this very interesting relic. of a pre-I939 fighter, almost definitely the last of its type.
As for the existence of any Gladiators. I should like also to point out that there is. I believe, at lea.St. Once example still extant in this country, this one. K 8042. being kept as a museum piece at R.A.F., Hendon. Wemust not forget also the heroic Gladiator " Faith " which now rests in Malta's Cathedral, the sole survivor of' three which defended the island early in the war. [" Field boots under the sur plice " I I am, Yours-, etc.,
13eddington. ToN'y Coomas.
HINT AND TIP
So many motorists I come across, and even some girage-s as well, appear to be unaware of the simplest, anil I find, complete cure for that annoying thing, battery corrosion, that perhaps you might think it worth while publishing for the benefit of readers of MoTon. Scowl.. If you think otherwise tear this letter up. Cut two washers from ordinary undercarpet felt, say A to f-in. thick: t hey should be a tight fit on the battery posts zarid just a shade proud of the terminals. Soak the washers in a thick /Al. place them on the posts next to the battery, and fix all terminals on lop of them, wiping away any surplus oil.
I have used thera myself for years, and once fitted have never Witched them again, certainly for two rears or more. Should the washers become dry for any reason, they could easily be re-soaked, but I have never had this happen.
Since using them years ago, I have never had the slightest sign of corrosion on the battery terminals of any of my ears. I am, Yours, etc.)
Barton Is. H. IV. BUNIILTRY. *
I was sorry to see your most excellent magazine spoiled this month by the inclusion of a verse or iseripture distorted almost to the point of blasphemy. To many of us, subscribers to Moliat Seoirr from t ime immemorial. -God is very real :cod the Christian faith means everything. We are liy 110 MeallS " cranks and feel that some sort of apology is necessary. -hot!' to Him who is insulted and those who read and are Offended.
Apart from this unfortunate inclusion, Mffrou Seotcr is the best magazine the new month brings. aM., YOUrS, etO,
Sid111010.11.. T. E. Siiwurr. f We have received other letters on this subject and regret that we have given offence to certain of our readers.--lemi