Being a reader of Motor Sport for over 20 years, I have been amused at the numerous letters from readers who have rushed out and purchased a car after reading one of your glowing reports on new models. However, I now find I am eating humble pie. After reading the November 1976 issue, I ordered and took delivery of my first new car. Delivery was quoted at 7-10 days which is almost unbelievable for a British-built car, in fact, not only was this maintained but improved (other UK manufacturers please note!)
Only one delivery fault was apparent being on the transmission. Which was corrected in seconds by a simple adjustment. No other mechanical faults have developed over my two months’ ownership. How many new owners can truthfully say that they can equal this, albeit only after eight weeks’ usage and now fully run-in.
If you knew that I was one of the 320,000 owners of a Mamod steam-tractor, you would have probably deduced that my new car is the latest MaIin production, i.e. a model veteran steam-car. Retailing at under £20 it must be excellent value in these inflationary days.
However a few design faults on a sample of 4, appear to be in evidence and I offer these comments as constructive criticism to enable a good product to be even better. After raising steam, and particularly during the first few minutes of running, condensation, in the form of boiling water and scalding steam, comes jetting out of the cylinder exhaust. The other is the inability to maintain steam and several rests are in order. Both faults I suspect are due to the use of existing components and the distance the steam from the boiler has to travel along unlagged piping.
At present I am fitting a polished mahogany dash-board complete with miniature brass fittings to fill the naked empty painted dash space. A respray in a veteran shade of green (to match my 1914 Swift cyclecar) should just about finish it off.
Windygates, Owen A.D. Price