In your January issue Mr. Laredo lists an absolutely shocking number of faults which have occurred in his Triumph Herald within 27,000 miles. In February we heard from Mr. Arnold who is quite satisfied with his Herald, but states casually that in under 28,000 miles he has had to replace tyres and brake shoes in addition to other minor items. In the same issue Mr. Hulse adds fuel to the flames by describing the Herald’s habit of shedding half-shafts. Now, in March, we have Mr. Evans telling us what a wonderful motor-car the Herald is; this particular “wonderful” car having required a rear hub bearing at 22,000 miles and a decoke at 8,000 miles, giving during this time only 32 m.p.g.—from 1,200 c.c.! Mr. Evans does not say how much “a little oil” is in speaking of the engine’s lubrication.
My present motor-car was purchased new in May 1960. It was my first new car and, as usual, I kept detailed notes on its running. It has now completed 41,800 miles of hard use; frequently with four or five people aboard and normally at a cruising speed of about 55 to 65 m.p.h. I slow down less than the average “fast” driver (in a family-type car) for corners—and this includes the stress-raising slow ones.
In 1961 I toured France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and northern Italy with one passenger in the car, doing a total of over 3,000 miles in two weeks. To show that we were not hanging about I can state quite accurately that one stage of the journey, from a few miles south of the Grossglockner Pass to Venice—a distance of 153 miles—took almost exactly three hours. In 1962, again with one passenger, I did over 2,000 miles through France, Andorra and Spain.
Now what is the “consumption” of my car? Disregarding contact points and fan belts which are replaced before required, new parts required total two speedo. drives, two clutch cables and one windscreen.
Petrol consumption for the first twelve months was 39.9 m.p.g. and for the second year 39.4 m.p.g. Oil is changed in the engine every 3,000 miles—none is required between changes. The original tyres are good for another 5,000 miles at least. I suspect that the brake linings will require renewal within the next year or so. There is no indication that decoke time is approaching and I will he surprised if it is required this side of 60,000 miles.
I consider the car to be much more comfortable than a Herald. (The last Herald I drove left me with a horizontal crease beneath the seat of my trousers.) The finish, both mechanically and bodily, is streets ahead of the Herald—or anything else in the same price range; the handling is delightful (if you appreciate the virtues of progressive oversteer) and consistent; but then I could go on for ever!
I just do not know why anyone buys a Herald when they can be in a position to answer the friendly “One upmanship” wave of another VW driver. Yes, I’m afraid that is the car—as you will all have guessed long before now.