THE CITROEN CONTROVERSY

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THE CITROEN CONTROVERSY

Sir.

Perhaps Mr. McGrath has been unlucky with the particular Citroen he has been running—just as I have, perhaps, been lucky. Moreover, whereas Mr. MeGrath’s car was a 1952 Light Fifteen, mine was a pre-(very) war 12.8-h.p. Nevertheless, despite the short. comings naturally Attendant on a car of such age, I found the Citroen far and away the hest thing I had ever had my hands on, judged as a family-cum-sporta model. First, the. cornering and roadholding : despite lack of the rack and pinion found on present models, this car could be steered into really-sharp earners at speeds right up to its maximum, sitting down on the road as steady as a rock and under perfect control. Second, tyres : I experienced rather excessive front tyrewear to begin with. but I believe this was because I made maximum use of the car’s cornering ability : I was so thrilled by its potentialities that I treated it cruelly, front sheer exuberance. When I settled down to more normal methods—but still as a matter of course taking liberties that would have been impossible on most Cars-1 found the covers showing hardly any wear. Third, acceleration : now, what exactly does Mr. McGrath mean, ” non-existent ” ? The Light Fifteen is not a powerful car, and the 12.8 even less so, but light weight and intelligent gearing produce road-test figures little inferior to the A70, and this is confirmed by experience. I found my own 12.8 a match for most machinery up to 2 litres if I really let the revs, soar remember it’s a five-seater family car, not a Le Mans Replica! That

is another of its charms—it is comfortable, roomy without being big, well equipped, in fact the enthusiast’s complete answer to a critical wife! Mr. McGrath mentions gear-change, and I agree this is not beyond reproach when going from second to bottom at any speed—but how often does one need, or wish, to go from second to bottom at 10+ m.p.h. ? In other respects the gear-change is good. particularly from second to top when really dicing.

For my money, the Citroen is No. 1 choice : beautiful to handle. solid, fully adequate in performance, intelligently designed, roomy, a car of real character. Finally, and very important, the question of actual road performance—as distinct from -figures on paper. On a short sprint, along a clear road, the A70 would probably win easily, hut on a cross-country journey of any length I’d bads the Citroen every time. on cornering ability alone. Moreover, in countrieS where fiat-out driving is possible for long periods, which car would stand up best to a sustained 75 m.p.h., the Citroen, at its maximum, or the A70, capable of seeing a true 80 ?

Coventry. ” THAerrioN AVANT.”

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