I do not see the point behind F. Dorman Byers’ letter. Surely no vintagent maintains that the design of his car in original form is necessarily better than current design in all its aspects. What the vintage enthusiast believes is that he possesses a piece of classic machinery which has more character, is much better made and much more fun to drive than its modern counterpart. There does not appear to be any reason, however, why improvements should not be made, for example, to brakes and suspension, which on the majority of vintage cars are not as good as those on the best of the modern products.
I do not claim any great knowledge of vintage matters as I am not a vintage enthusiast, my own particular weakness being the post-vintage thoroughbred (horrible term) in general and the Roesch Talbot in particular, but I imagine that the outlooks of the vintage enthusiast and myself are very similar.
While I consider my 3 1/2-litre model 110 to be one of the best cars ever built, I would very much like to be able to convert the front suspension to independent springing, if this could be done without loss of the 100 per cent, accurate steering and magnificent cornering qualities of the car. I would be most grateful for any suggestions or information on suitable methods of conversion from any of your readers who have dealt with this sort of problem. I would point out, however, that this is less a criticism of Talbot front-end design, than of the shocking deterioration of road surfaces generally, which makes the consideration of such a conversion desirable. Moreover, I have no doubt that had Talbots, in common with certain other great marques, not fallen victim to a change of control and production policy, the genius of Georges Roesch and his design staff would have been more than adequate to have placed his cars in the first flight of modern productions.
By all means let the vintage enthusiast who feels so inclined modify his car in respect of those features which he considers can be improved. It is very mortifying to find oneself outdone by an inferior car, simply because one avoids wrecking a good car over bad road surfaces for which its suspension was not designed, or because brakes are not adequate to deal with modern traffic density at speed.
I am, Yours, etc.,
Lenham Heath. J.G.B. Halden.