Lotus-Cortina reliability

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Sir,

In the first 12 months of owning one of these delightful automobiles, I covered 34,700 miles. Much of this mileage was done its this country, some of it on the Continent. The only replacements I have needed have been one set of tyres at 23,000 miles, and one exhaust system. Through my own stupidity when driving on French roads, I snapped off the exhaust at the manifold. On this occasion the car was taken to a Ford agent in Montelimar, France, who replaced it with a complete new unit inside four hours, and charged only 176 FFS.One of my regular journeys is between my home at Ashtead, Surrey, and Thorncliffe, which is between Sheffield and Rotherham, 202 miles by the route I take. A great deal of my mileage on this route is on the A1, and it also takes me through the centre of London, via Baker Street and Marble Arch. I have consistently done this 202 miles its 3 1/2 hours, with a petrol consumption of 22/23 m.p.g. On one of my journeys on the Continent I motored 916 miles stopping only for fuel, and eating sandwiches as we drove. This distance was achieved in 14 hr. 7 min., again giving a petrol consumption of approximately 22/23 m.p.g.

The virtues of this car are (1) its exceedingly high cruising speed for such a small vehicle, and (2) its great powers of acceleration, very necessary in today’s traffic. I would also like to point out that I have found this to be the least tiring of any car I have had the pleasure of driving.

Needless to-say, I have at last come across one complaint. This is not concerned with the car itself, but with the abominable service I have received from an Epsom garage. I placed my new Lotus-Cortina in their garage for the 520-mile check, and drove it two miles to my home. I then checked it and inspected the “A” bracket, as per your correspondent who thought this might be suspect. On checking the car I found that the mechanic who was supposed to have drained and filled my back axle had not noticed that various bolts on the differential housing assembly had vibrated loose, causing the oil to leak out. On contacting the Farm Garage, I was told that the tightening of the differential assembly did not come into the 50-mile-service, so it had not been done. I then phoned the Ford Motor Company and spoke to a Mr. B. W. Connell, who advised me to go Pippbrook Garage. Dorking. In the space of eight hours they stripped the back axle to see if any damage had been caused (they assured me that a new axle would have been fitted free of charge if it had been damaged), also new studs had been fitted in the bell housing, new tab washers and nylon locking nuts had been added as an extra precautionary measure, the back axle had been refilled with oil, and molydium disulphide had been added, all free of charge. This once again shows that Ford Service is “5-star service,” and needless to say my car will always now be serviced at Pippbrook Garage.

I should be obliged if you would he kind enough to publish this letter, as I think enough adverse criticism has already appeared, decrying this very fine motor car.

Ashtead.
P. R. Gleed, PH.D. A.I.W.E.

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