Your reference to Startix took me back to a Triumph Gloria which we had in the family in 1935 and which was so equipped. This automatic restart device was fitted in conjunction with the then fashionable “free wheel” to ensure that the engine was running when the accelerator was depressed to take up normal drive to the back wheels after a period of cranking. Apart from no engine braking there was thus complete control with instantly available power from the engine. The “free wheel” was a great petrol saver (pity not now available) and it gave clutchless gear changes even for the novice. A knurled knob allowed selection of “fixed” or “free wheel” and it was essential to make sure that it was firmly in “fixed” if you wanted normal engine braking. I had the exciting experience of the drive slipping into “free” when descending the steepest section of Kirkstone Pass! That Triumph was a delightful car—well ahead of its time in my opinion. There was even a windscreen washer supplied from the header tank but anti-freeze made a mess of things so it was not so practical. You will remember that “Gloria” was the name of a fashion model—I wonder if she reads Motor Sport.
Tottington Allan Coupe
In 1940 my father purchased a 1935 Singer II (E36) which had as part of its equipment a Startix.
I still have the instruction book which explains the operation of same, but also makes the claim: “Immediately the engine fires, the starter is automatically switched off, when the engine is stalled, it automatically waits for one second before reclosing the main switch, and so delays restarting until the engine has actually come to rest. In cold weather, the delay action automatically frees a sticking starter pinion”. Er, —yes!
We kept the car until the early fifties, a very easy car to drive with independent front suspension, hydraulic brakes, fluidrive, multiplate clutch, four-speed gearbox, free wheel and, of course, the Startix, which was seldom used, the alternative hand control having the driver’s favour.
Ogden Brow ERIC ALLEN