Rumblings, August 1961

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A new oil

The elite of the motoring press assembled at Sutton Place near Guildford (built 1520-30 by Sir Richard Weston, 15th and 16th century furniture, 17th-century Belgian tapestries, old masters, home today of 69-year-old J. Paul Getty) last month to learn about Veedol oil, well-known to Continental rally drivers, and now available to British motorists.

After coffee in the 30-ft. high Great Hall, a Veedol spokesman gave a pep talk in the library about the Tideway Oil Company and a film was shown of ”things in fields,” concerned with “Flying A” gasolene from the Delaware refinery.

Veedol will be sold here, like food, in sealed cans, containing pint, quart and 1-gallon quantities, in 5-gallon easy-pour pails, and 45-gallon drums. There is one S.A.E. grading of each product, obviating summer/winter grade changes. The three Veedol Products for private cars are:–

(1) 10/30 Multigrade, in white tins, for all current engines. 2s. 10d. a pint;

(2) 20W/30 Heavy Duty Plus, in red tins, for high-efficiency engines not addicted to multigrade lubricants. This is a Supplement One oil not previously available in Britain. 2s. 7-1/2d. a pint;

3) 20W/30 Premium, in green tins, 2s. 1d. a pint.

Blending and packaging is carried out in Birkenhead, the packaging being, one gathered, rather a hush-hush process. Distribution of Veedol has begun in London and the Home Counties and those who live farther afield will be able to buy it before July 1962. To help publicise this new make of oil motorists will be issued with vouchers entitling them to a free sump drain and Veedol refill at their local garage – it is not related whether they can ask for their old oil back if they don’t like the new!

Some rather extravagant claims were made for the new oil before the journalists adjourned for Veedol cocktails and raspberries-and-cream beside Mr. Getty’s heated open-air swimming pool, which, we thought, made the suburban plastic pools look a little second-rate. Alas, no-one went in, at least while we were present, nor had Mr. Getty put in an appearance.

To revert to oil, it is claimed for Veedol Multigrade that it improves performance “noticeably,” especially in the case of engines having hydraulic tappets, easy-starting likewise,  and give: up to improvement in petrol economy, etc. We merely quote, not having carried out comparative teats, The Veedol (“Flying V”) spokesman very emphatically endorsed these claims. In answer to a question he said that molybdenum disulphide additive has definite advantages for certain industrial applications but he considers it unnecessary for car lubricating oil. Veedol Multigrade and Heavy Duty Plus has a specal concentration of zinc dithiophosphate, known as EPA or “Extra Protection Additive.” General impression seems to be that establishing a new oil in this country will be a tough job.

Veedol announce that next year they propose to support Club and National motor racing in this country – which does not embrace racing round the extensive drives of Sutton Place.

* * * * *

New Fiats

We are waiting avidly the chance to road-test the brilliant new Fiat 1300, with its inclined-valve engine and disc front brakes, which sounds as if it will make many 1-1/2-litre saloons appear to be standing still, if not going backwards.

Meanwhile, Fiat of Turin have announced two more delectable new models, the 6-cylinder t800B and 2300, which replace the 1800 and 2100. The larger car has the fashionable twin headlamps adopted here by Ford and Rootes, both have Girling disc brakes on all wheels, and the unusual rear suspension, which Motor Sport criticised when reporting on the 2100, has been changed for semi-elliptics, with an anti-roll bar.

* * * * *

Allards for Shorrock

Formerly distributors for the Shorrock supercharger kit for the Ford Anglia, the Allard Motor Co. Ltd., of Clapham were recently appointed sole world distributors for the complete range of Shorrock superchargers and to celebrate this fact held a testing day for the press at Brands Hatch. Shorrock Superchargers, Ltd., part of the Owen Organisation, have been compaigning for some time against the old idea that supercharging quickly leads to engine unreliability, and increasing sales indicate that they are obtaining results. With their low pressure eccentric drum-type supercharger, blowing at around 5/7 lbs. per sq. in. Shorrock claim that with the latest metallurgical advances no undue harm should come to an engine and no lubrication problems are apparent with their installation. They further claim that apart from increasing thermal efficiency a low pressure supercharger will prolong the life of exhaust valves and reduce cylinder bore wear, because the surplus oil collected in the casing provides a form of upper cylinder lubrication on starting.

At Brands Hatch the cars available for test were a Ford Anglia, Mini-Minor and a Consul Classic, all being perfectly standard save for the supercharger installation. The supercharged Anglia has of course already been reported on in Motor Sport (July 1961) and we were able to confirm the much improved acceleration accompanied by only moderate whine from the blower. Allards claim a maximum speed of 91 m.p.h. which seems reasonable enough as an indicated 85 m.p.h. came up on the top straight at Brands. Naturally with standard suspension there is some roll and the added power can break the back end away at will so that one has to apply the power with care. An anti-roll bar and competition dampers should improve the cornering power.

The Mini-Minor has a very high standard of road-holding in normal trim but a change of tyre might be deemed advisable in supercharged form as we found that considerable understeer could be induced, making full lock necessary at Druids on only half throttle. Nevertheless, on the more open bends the Mini can be thrown around with abandon, although its gear ratios render it less suitable for Brands than the Anglia, which can be taken round in third gear except for a spell in top gear along the straight. Nevertheless a 0-70 m.p.h. time of 25 sec. is not to be sneezed at!

Last to be tried was the Classic which has benefited enormously from the supercharger installation although the whine on this car was greater than on the other cars tried. A good deal of roll was apparent but the light steering was pleasant to use and the Classic seemed to be a much more interesting car in blown form.

The complete kit for all three cars tested costs £69 15s. and other kits range up-to £84 19s. according to the size of the engine. This seems rather steep at first sight but as a quick and convenient method to obtain real high performance from a production engine the supercharger can have no equal, although petrol thirst is likely to be appreciably increased.