F. LYCETT’S 8-LITRE BENTLEY
I have read Mr. Lycett’s comments on Bentley gearboxes with great interest. Having had the privilege of travelling considerable distances as a passenger in each of his Bentleys I can certainly testify that the lightning changes he effects are beyond the reach of ordinary Bentleys, and belie the skill which he modestly disclaims.
Indeed, if I may venture a modest tribute I should like to say that I know no finer road driver than Mr. Lycett, while his enthusiasm for real motors makes the Vintage Sports-Car Club extremely proud to have him as their President.
Nevertheless, I am surprised that he considers an ordinary Bentley gearbox tricky. With the exception of the 30/98 Vauxhall. box I have not myself discovered anything simpler than the Bentley A and D boxes, upon either of which (preferably, of course, on my own A type) I would cheerfully drive 100 miles, making full use of the gearbox, without touching the clutch, unless it was necessary to come to teat. I hasten to add that I am not particularly skilful among the ratios, and I am quite certain Mr. Lycett could do the same thing far better than I.
On the A and D type boxes it is difficult to get instantaneous changes except from second to third, but with the clutch-stop well buttoned up very creditable rapidity can be achieved between third and top and the tremendous gap from first to second can be very much hastened. I am doubtless slightly peculiar in this respect, but most of the older gearboxes
(especially pre-1925 or thereabouts) strike me as so much simpler than the modern synchro mesh arrangement, upon which I am quite unable to change speed without the most terrifying noises on each occasion. I am, Yours etc.,