Tuning topics

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VW and Morgan specialists move

W. A. “Griff” Griffiths has moved his conversion and maintenance business from Willesden out to 441 St. Leonards Road, Windsor, Berks. (Tel.: Windsor 60291). Griffiths has built up a high reputation not only as a preparation specialist for Volkswagen and Morgans, but also as a good autocross/rallycross driver in a Beetle equipped with an old Porsche Carrera four-cylinder engine of 1.6 litres. Those with good memories will recall that some years ago Motor Sport presented a feature on Fleet Street journalist Laurie Manifold and his VW autocross achievements, Mr. Griffiths now being one of his most consistently successful rivals. As Griff Griffiths initially used a VW engine in his car he managed to learn quite a lot about the Wolfsburg unit, and that knowledge was useful for road cars as well, for autocross cars need plenty of torque to succeed in the frequently muddy conditions which they encounter. The practical result has been the production of heads, camshafts, rnanifolding and carburation to pep the VW saloon up considerably, whatever its capacity.

Morgan tuning is another art which the company share with few others and their arts can be applied to the TR-engined and Ford-powered versions; Griffiths successfully competed in a TR-engined model himself for a number of years before transferring his attention to the more bumpy sport.

Naturally the firm have taken advantage of the current boom in Ford equipment and will undertake preparation of Lotus Twin Cams or pretty well any sort of Ford inline four for road or competition use. A separate accessory shop under the friendly eye of Glynis Griffiths sells such items as wide rim road wheels, roll bars and many other bits and pieces which are not so easy to come by for the Morgan and VW marques.

At present the current premises offer shelter for five or six cars in a showroom, four Chevron fuel pumps, a workshop (where a couple of Morgans, an autocross Mini, and an MG TD are currently being rebuilt). Griffiths is also an agent for Morgans and for Piper camshafts in Berkshire.

As promised, sir, one Executive Zodiac
Last month I mentioned in the Willment Zodiac test that I would be trying a standard Ford 3-litre V6 Zodiac Executive for comparison purposes. So, having donned my only suit, I set off down to Brentford to pick up an automatic (standard feature) and bottle green Zodiac Executive, complete with cloth sectioned seats.

Power steering the £1,953 car out of Ford press fleet’s headquarters it was easy to recall the friendly warnings of doom that I had received on the subject of the Zodiac’s handling! However the best part of a week passed without stress and I returned the car feeling thoroughly relaxed by the unstressed motoring which I had enjoyed within the Zodiac’s insulated walls. True, I found the car wallowed whilst cornering, but a great deal of lean could be removed by applying brakes and power simultaneously during brisk cornering. The straight line performance of my car seemed about on par with the (just), sub-100 m.p.h. speeds recorded by other testers, combined to a 0-60 time of 13 seconds or so in automatic form.—J. W.