A Marendaz shortcoming

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Sir,
May I, through the courtesy of your columns, seek information on modifications to Marendaz transmission. The standard arrangement is a back axle located by torque tube, but the unusual feature is a large ball-joint forward of the gearbox, which itself moves up and down with road irregularities. “If the car hits a pot-hole, the large inertia of the gearbox prevents the ball-joint operating on a sudden shock, and the back-axle movement would have to be absorbed by springing of the torque tube” (J. 0. S. Wilkinson).

On some cars, the result of this was to cause the torque tube to work loose in the back-axle spigot. It would then rotate, together with the gearbox, until the gear lever hit the floorboards. Unpleasant and expensive things also happened to the back axle. My own car, modified by some previous owner, has had the torque tube removed and the gearbox firmly located on an extra chassis cross-member. The propshaft is now open, the back axle being located by two massive, tubular radius arms pivoting on a large balljoint just aft the gearbox. I have heard of at least one other Marendaz being similarly modified, and wonder if any readers know of others ?

Last summer I had the pleasure of meeting Captain D.M.K. Marendaz at the Cotswold home of John Wilkinson, where he was a guest. Needless to say he highly disapproved of my mods., and told me that a factory modification had cured the trouble.

Oddington, H.D. Brown Kelly