RUMBLINGS, April 1960

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It is a sign of the times that flats and offite buildings thrust upward to the sky in modern cities, conserving as much space as possible for

CASTROL HOUSE

space as traffic down below. One hears that in Italy the great new Pirelli building attains new heights in this direction but the B.P. building in the same city is rumoured to be one floor

same to one higher. If similar competition starts here, London will soon be a skyscraper town, fittingly so in the minds of those who look upon England as the 52nd State of America!

So far the finest and most modern building in London -is Castro] House, which was opened recently by the Minister of Transport, Mr. Marples, in a very human and amusing speech. This great building to house 800 members of the headquarters’ staff of C. C. Wakefield & Co., situated in Marylehone Road, is 15 storeys high and covers a site of nearly an acre. Of reinforeed concrete construction, Castrol House has a 12-storey glass tosser which is one of the sights of London, especially after dark when it is internally-lit through opaque green glass panels which surround the building beneath windows on each floor.

Castrol House is 168 feet high and from its top floor, reached by lift in 20 seconds, a fine view of London’s spreading skyline is obtainable. This fine building contains two staff restaurants, has automatic control of temperature, fluorescent lighting and a pneumatic postal system. In the basement is garage accommodation for over 70 cars, with service and wash hays. The entrance hall contains a 50 ft. x 24 ft. cast aluminium mural depicting the story of lubricating oil.

The Wakefield Castrol Group gives impressive evidence of prosperity by moving into this fine new building and is to be congratulated on this, particularly as it has had to fight the dosed shop opposition of tied-garages. Obviously it has won this battle with the petrol companies and Castro!, made by the largest independent lubricatingoil group in the World, remains an extremely popular oil. It appeals articularly to enthusiasts, because Castrol is a name associated with so many great motor racing and, record-breaking exploits. Like the Editor of MOTOR SPORT many famous racing drivers rely on Castro! oil.

” X ” TECHNICS

The Michelin ” X ” tyre is justifiably popular with entlm,iast drivers and it is greatly to Michelin’s credit that it is unnecessary to fit other of Michelin for fit any other type of Michelin tyre for high speed work, the ” X ” having been pronounced safe up to 120/125 famous

This is because its famous steeleord tread resists the separating effect of centrifugal force and prevents stretching of the tread. This obviate.s overheating and greatly raises the speed level at which ” wave, •• in wall and tread occur. Some other aspects of ” X ” technics are worth explanation. The Michelin X ” has casing cord. which are radial, with very few plies. This contrasts with the thick pile of plies in the casings of ordinary tyres. of which the cordare laid on at an angle to the radius of the tyre, four to six in car tyres, eight to 16 in giant tyres, and up to 30 in earthmover tyres. These are slightly displaced and the angle of the cords altered as the cover flexes, causing a temperature rise. This is detrimental to tyre life, and it is claimed that the Michelin” X,” by reason of its girdle of steel and cord plies being very flexible radially (but not transversely), generates. far less heat. An increased mileage of twice or sometimes three times that of ordinary tyres is claimed.

In spite of its suppleness, the ” X ” is no more fragile in the wall than an ordinary tyre; and less so in giant sizes—it is a question Of bending being preferable to breaking !

It is well known that the tread construction of the” X ” tyre gives outstanding road-holding, quite apart from the tread-pattern, and this leads to the accusation that if an ” X “-shod car skids the skid comes suddenly, without warning, although Michelin counter this by remarking that it would indeed be droll if they gave up making tyres with good adhesion so that skids should commence at lower speeds ! Finally, comparing the weight-carrying capacity of the ” X ” with an ordinary tyre of the game size and of normal or even ” extra-ply ” rating, the ‘ X ” scores every time. For example, an 8.25 x 20 cover of 10-ply rating has a maximum capacity of 29i cwt., of 12-ply rating a capacity of 34 cwt. The same size ” X ” goes up to 37 ewt. and is matched in other makes only by a 14-ply cover. This, however, carrying full load, has an average. deflection of only 0.75 in. at 90 lb./per sq. in., whereas the Michelin ” X “, even at 95 lb./sq. in. has a deflection of 1.4 in. In other words, the “extra-extra-ply ” answer to the” X” has a thick stiff casing, which generates heat and gives little more than a quarter of the protection to the vehicle offered by the” X “.

Incidentally, Michelin never claim that the ” X” is a racing tyre: These tyres, by the way, now have a small two-section card attached to them, one’ section giving advice to the tyre fitter and the other part being for the customer who may be new to steel-cord breaker strips and casings of radially-placed casing. cords and who will benefit therefore from the hints and tips contained thereon, particularly if he intends to use the tyres for sustained high speed.

A good tyre this Michelin ” X “.