Letters from Readers, August 1967

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Short List

Sir, 
It is some time since I last wrote to you. I must apologise for not typing but I am confined to bed.

As usual I am seeking support for a return by the industry to basic principles, bearing in mind that the motor car today is a part of our daily lives. As a bank manager I know that most men will suffer any privation rather than go without the car of their choice, or perhaps I should say, the car the manufacturers have convinced them should be the choice.

When a schoolboy I remember a chauffeur telling me that the perfect car was one which took a specified number of passengers from A to B in comfort and silence at as high a speed as road conditions would permit. When properly driven the passengers should be aware of changes in speed and direction only by visual observation. I should mention that his stable consisted of a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost and a small car which was, I think, a D.F.P.

Now after 40 years of progress the internal dimensions of the passenger carrying part of the car (surely the most important) have become so small that four six-footers would suffer cramp in most makes, while the craze for top end performance has produced a breed of engine which has to have so many revs when getting away from a standstill that a great commotion comes through the thin bulkhead between passengers and over-worked engine.

Lest it be thought that I am a discontented owner of such a vehicle, I hasten to add that my 1955 Daimler Conquest can take four tall passengers in comfort — though an inch or two more headroom would be an advantage — and its fluid flywheel enables me to move off without my passengers feeling anything.

Of course her performance is limited, 82 m.p.h. maximum, and what is nowadays called leisurely acceleration, but the interesting point is that the times I can achieve on regular runs compare favourably with those I have recorded on other faster cars. For example the 100 miles to Byfleet Cemetery to visit Ronny Thomas’s grave took 2.hr. 53 min. in the Daimler, 2 hr. 55 min. in a Mark IX Jaguar and 2 hr. 57 min. in an 1100, all on summer Saturday mornings, while the 15 miles to Canterbury showed a VW 1600 TL slightly the fastest. But, and thi is a big but, only the Daimler allows me to stretch my 6 ft. 3 in. frame and to see the season’s first lambs over the hedges.

You have, I know, just bought a Rover 2000, a car I thought might suit me until I found the pedal angles entirely agin nature and the seat squab ending half way up my back. The Wolseley 18/85 is out because the steering column angle is unpleasant apart from the 19¼ in. squab and the commotion from under the bonnet, and the B.M.C. 3-litres have appalling steering and race horribly. The Mercedes which has most of the things I want is too expensive, so I must search for a low-mileage Daimler 104 (with pre-selector box) or get a 2½-litre V8 Daimler and have the front seats altered thus making it a two-seater.

Cannot one manufacturer realise that there is a demand for a car with the dimensions of the Conquest (the boot is big enough to take luggage for three on a Continental holiday, though the lid does not lift high enough) a little more performance without spoiling the tranquil engine, and the addition of modern disc brakes.

Thinking of basic principles and looking at pictures of the Le Mans winner makes me wonder what the sponsors of the first race would say. Surely it was never intended to become a race for cars far faster than anything in Formula One and which by no stretch of the imagination could be called four-seater sports cars. And what does GT mean now? Apparently the ability to carry two small people and a toothbrush. My idea of Grand Touring is something which would take me and three large farmers to the South of France, including the clothes we should want for day and evening, with the rev.-counter showing 2,500 r.p.m. when cruising at 85 m.p.h. and only a whisper from under the bonnet. The only candidates I can think of for this are the Leyland Eight, the 38/250 Mercedes and the Phantom.

However, this is departing from my original plea for a good quality touring car of reasonable size designed with the passenger space as the starting point and taking the internal dimensions of the Conquest as the minimum. The engine should be of 3-litres, a six with a c.r. of 7 to 1 and a properly designed head and valve gear to give 120 b.h.p., and powerful torque from 1,000 r.p.m. A fluid flywheel and pre-selector gearbox with top giving 22 m.p.h. per 1,000 revs would enable restful cruising at 70 m.p.h. to be maintained. Seats and squabs should be at least 22 in. deep and the driving position high and commanding. Small essentials would be a hand throttle and overriding ignition control and particular attention to preventing wind noise.

The engine compartment should be free of all heating trunking, the proper place to take in air being just below the windscreen, and should be as neat as the old Talbot 105. Apart from oil changes at 3,000 miles no attention should be required except at intervals of 10,000 miles, with a top overhaul at 100,000. Price ?£1,500, any colour you like so long as it is black.

The trade tells me that pre-selector boxes, hand throttles and bonnets which stay open without struts would double my price, so I suggest a little research into cutting the cost of quality as in the export market we need this attribute above all else.

Many thanks for the pleasure your journal has given me in the past 35 years.

N.J. White.
Margate.  

———

Sir, 
I was pleased that Mr. Parkes found my experiences of four years’ M.G.-B ownership of interest; I should like to answer his question “Why did I buy one?”

In 1963 I needed to replace my ZB series M.G. Magnette, which had then done 80,000 miles. I would have bought another but only the Farina models were then available. I had always liked the look of the Sunbeam Alpine, so I bought one. After the Magnette I could not get used to the Alpine’s soggy steering and dreadful carburation. The second time it stalled in traffic on a hot day and would not restart I walked away and sold it. I had then had six months convertible motoring and had enjoyed the experience, so I had a look at the other sports cars available.

The Triumph TR4 had fairly good handling, a good engine, a very desirable Surrey-top; but unknown carburetters and uncomfortable plastic seats; it also seemed expensive at £1,000. I then had a look at the M.G.-B which seemed to fit my technical specification; rack and pinion steering for responsive handling, S.U. carburetters for reliability, leather seats for comfort. The car seemed well designed, well made and good value for money at £850. An hour’s test drive gave me the feeling “I could live with this,” so I bought one, and four years and 63,000 miles later I have no regrets.

I should like to comment on Mr. Parkes’ troubles:

Bodywork leaks: Yes, all MG.-Bs and GTs did and still do.
Hood leaks: I personally have had no trouble.
Differential: No trouble, but I have replaced the clutch due to often having to start in 2nd gear. (At £35 this is an expensive operation, as the engine has to come out.)
Silencers; Yes, this is a problem on all M.G.-Bs. The lowest point on a low car is the exhaust system, which with English weather is always wet. The material used is of poor quality and 10 months or 10,000 miles would be a very good average. Either fit a Servais system at your own expense and forget it from then on, or fit, a new one on warranty every six months, as I do. 
Door locks; Yes, a known B.M.C. fault. I have been locked out twice.
Paintwork: Mine is good, the only troubles have been near the trim strips. These are so designed that water collects inside the hollow strip, the mild steel spring clips then rust and so does the bodywork to which they are fitted. It must be difficult or any engineer to justify such a barbaric form of fastening. If one has to have trim strips could they not be fitted with hard nylon clips?
Chrome: Mine is still very good.

The basic B.M.C. parts are well made and reliable, the bought-out components are not. B.M.C., however, must accept some responsibility for these parts, for they lay down the costing and operational specification to which the component suppliers work. In the four years I have had my M.G.-B I have driven over a dozen different cars in a dozen different countries, and in 1967 as in 1963 it still seems to me remarkably good value for money at £870 basic. I would certainly buy another, but this time I would specify the folding hood, wire wheels with Cinturato tyres and the close ratio gearbox. (This gives much better first and second ratios and, at £45, is much better value for money than £60 of overdrive.) I should think that at about £950 one would then have practical reliable transport, which would also be a pleasure to own and drive. I shall in fact buy the Rover 2000 TC, the technical specification is good, design and construction excellent, and a three-day test drive gave me the feeling “Yes, I could live with this,” although I would have to extend the gear lever as this is too short, making the action very heavy and putting 1st and 3rd almost out of reach.

P. Reaveley.
Limpsfield. 

———

Sir, 
I was interested in your recent article on “Choosing an Editorial Car,” as I have been running an Alfa Romeo Giulia T.I for nearly three years, but am changing to a Rover 2000 TC in September.

Reason: poor agents service and the appalling cost of spares and anywork done. Windscreen wiper blades 50s. a pair. Rear silencer — rusted to bits — £12 10.s. Checking Valve clearances, £3 10s. and so on.

But the Alfa Giulia is the most superb car to handle I have ever owned in nearly 50 years of motoring. The cornering is far faster than most cars, and one can put up high averages with no effort. Admittedly one uses the gears a lot, but, having been brought up on the old crash box, modern gears are just a flick of the fingers.

Just before the abominable 70 limit was imposed I drove from here to Dunheld, Perthshire, 495 miles via east coast route, in 10 hours including stops, for the Alfa just flattens out hills. I have only exceeded this in a TR2, doing 501 miles in ten hours — driving hard.

What really surprised me was going up Porlock Hill in 2nd gear, accelerating most of the way with some wheel spin on the hairpins. Maximum speed with a following wind and lots of road is 114 m.p.h., but normal maximum is about 105. Also, it looks like a normal family saloon to police patrols.

Younger people today don’t realise how effortless driving has been made. Forty years ago I drove a 3-litre Bentley from London to Stirling, 400 miles on A1 and was almost exhausted. This June I drove 640 miles in a day to north Scotland without bother.

C. R. Catesby.
Bradford-on-Avon.

*   *   * 

Dazzle

Sir, 
I must take issue over the part of your article on the Citroën DS21. You say that the Cibié iodine headlamps are embarrassingly powerful on British roads. Surely they are used only when nothing is coming the other way, and, in any case, these quite powerful headlamps could hardly be embarrassing!

One point: only the main wing-mounted headlamps are self-levelling, not the additional iodine ones which are mounted on the decking. This self-levelling system, also made by Cibié, is specifically designed to keep the dipped beam level and to compensate for nose dive when braking and nose up when accelerating. Obviously, it also compensates for extra loading in the boot and in the rear seats. The iodine additional lamps on the decking are purely additional.

C. G. Meisl,
Britover (Continental). Ltd.
London, N.W.2.

*   *   *

Expertise

Sir,
After reading the Shell advertisement in your July issue I am surprised that “D. S.J,” of all people should have led us all astray in our understanding of the F.1 B.R.M. engine. He never told us that the cylinders were arranged as two V8s lying on their sides. And what about those variable-throw crankshafts? Never a mention about that! Such an interesting innovation, too — I suppose the cunning idea is to race as a long-stroke 4-litre and submit to official measuring as a short-stroke 3-litre ?

Seriously, though, it’s a bit much that Shell couldn’t take more care with the preparation of copy which sets out to show “the mark of Shell expertise.”

E. Ulrich. 
Ham.

*   *   *

East African Safari

Sir, 
Having, been a regular competitor in the Safari between the years 1953-1962, and having been out of touch with it through residing in the Far East since leaving Kenya, I am each year always disappointed at the very sparse coverage which your publication affords to this event. It is my opinion that to obtain factual reporting one cannot do better than to subscribe to your magazine but it is noticeable that some events included in the International calendar do not receive the coverage one expects. The events to which I refer are those of a “rally” nature rather than circuit events.

Experience of “stone throwing spectators,” referred to in “Castrol Competition Round-up,” first occurred in 1962 in the Embu-Meru section and I doubt whether the sporting gentlemen concerned were really interested in the entrance fees on the starting ground, high or otherwise. In fact in the days to which I make reference there were no fees asked for to see the start of the Safari.

I feel sure that there is more behind the stone throwing than the mere price of entrance fees to the starting ground but, be that as it may, how much more pleasant would feelings be without this particular form of exhibitionism.

Apart from a small criticism which prompted this letter, thank you for a splendid publication each month.

R. E. Joy.
Exeter. 

———

Sir, 
Surprising statement, that of your East African Safari Rally reviewer, when he says it is the only real road-race left! First, I believe a rally is not really a road-race at all. Secondly, your reviewer evidently is totally unaware of the existence of South America, specially Argentina.

Referring only to the F.I.A. Anex “J” Art. 252, Group 2, Category “A” races, here in Argentina, we have about 20 to 30 road-races annually. Amongst them there is the Gran Premia Internacional de Turismo, organised by the Argentine Automobile Club and which covers about 4,500 kilometres, all types of roads being included. Last year about 500 cars started the race, and 69 finished. The Lion’s share: Peugeot, made in Argentina.

Pablo Lebeck.
Copetonas, Argentina. 

*   *   * 

Rover P4s

Sir, 
How interesting I found your ankle in the May issue and how surprised I was to find that there were no letters amongst those you printed from your reader’s who are or have been owners of one or other of the P4 variants.

Having had my M.G. 1100 stolen from a large Multi-storey car park in this city and having recently bought a house, my fiancee and I decided to keep back some of the money paid out to us by the insurance company (to spend on the house) and buy a cheaper car.

We found a 1958 Rover 75 with a little rust here and there and decided to spoil ourselves for a time. It returns 24 m.p.g. and burns approximately one pint of Duckham’s 20/50 in 200 miles. Both rear springs have settled and need resetting.

The ride is excellent, the silence in such an old car is unbelievable, and all the instruments work.

The car has on its speedometer 66,700 miles, having covered the last 8,000 in our hands.

The free-wheel is very nearly always in use (except on holiday in North Wales, where the hills are steep).

Our main problem has been dirt in the fuel. If the car stands unused in the garage for a couple of days all the sediment sinksto the pump pick up point and we then experience flooding for a day or to.

A. R. Rayfield.
Nottingham. 

*   *   * 

Mercedes Ahead!

Sir, 
I would like to make a small suggestion to Volvo Concessionaires Ltd: regarding their advert for the new Volvo 144. While the car may be all the advert. claims, I would suggest they drop the line about “engineered ashtrays.” After all, Mercedes-Benz had suspiciously similar ashtrays on their 190 models at least ten years ago. Surely Volvo are not that far behind the German firm?

A. Rennie.
Ayr. 

*   *  *

The 70-Limit

Sir, 
There has been considerable correspondence about the 70 m.p.h. limit in your excellent magazine and in some other quite good papers, including The Times However, may I make a few points which seem to have been missed.

The claim that the limit has of itself reduced accidents is a perfect example of the statistical lie. There are little grey men in Whitehall whose sole duty it is to produce figures as required to suit the preconceived notions of their masters. This applies equally whether the subject is the speed limit. Stansted, accidents on Charter aircraft, or many other things one may prefer not to think of.

Of course, everyone is delighted that the accident rate has fallen, and that is irrefutable. But what about some reasons?

Surely one important factor is that Motorways are still a relatively recent innovation in the U.K., and it is only in the last two or three years that the British public as a whole has become more experienced in their use, and the techniques involved in travelling quickly and safely on Motorways. There is certainly much less weaving and dithering nowadays than there used to be.

Secondly, and probably more important, at the same time as the limit was imposed a rule was made prohibiting lorries from using the fast lane. Before this, lorries three abreast all doing about 30-40 were a tremendous hazard to faster traffic coming from behind at, say, 90 with the consequent speed differential of about 50 m.p.h. I am certain that this rule has had a much more important and beneficial effect than the speed limit.

Surely, therefore, we should be grateful for the reduction in the accident rate, and try to draw the correct conclusions so as to improve things even more.

I suggest the following: 

1. Greater education of the public in the proper use of Motorways both in the driving test syllabus and by suitable advertising. 
2. A minimum speed limit of 50 m.p.h. for any vehicle in the fast lane of a three-lane Motorway.
3. More police and greater powers for the police to stop and warn or prosecute fools. This includes those who blind on regardless through fog, ice, torrential downpours, etc., run out of petrol on the Severn Bridge or make tea on the emergency strip (yes, I’ve seen that, too). It also includes cowboys in lorries with trailing ropes, loose loads, flying grit, and all the rest.

Under these conditions the 70-limit would become mostly superfluous on Motorways. But I suppose it is here to stay, even if only to satisfy the puritan and egalitarian mores of Mrs. C.

D. J. Rodbard.
Epping.

*   *   * 

Insurance Profits

Sir, 
I would like to make it known, through the columns, of your excellent magazine, just how shabby is the treatment handed out by some of the large insurance companies. In December, I knocked down an elderly gentleman, and although cleared of any blame by the Police and an eye-witness, my insurers, The Prudential Assurance Co., decided to pay him damages, as a result of which I have lost my No Claim Bonus 50%. Funnily enough, the financial facts of the case are as follows:

Damages to third party, £20.
Increase in premium due to lost of N.C.B., £28.
Profit to insurance company, £8.

My next trouble came in January. A motorist decided to turn right whilst looking left, and, in so doing, wrecked the driver’s door and rear panel of my car. The third party admitted liability, and his insurers agreed to pay my claim (Road Transport and General). Despite repeated visits to their office, and promises of a cheque in the next post, I have still not received their cheque in settlement, it being some six months since the accident occurred.

Little wonder that some motorists choose to take a risk with cut-price insurance, when this is the treatment you get for paying £56 10s. per year to a so-called reputable company.

P. Jennings
Birkenshaw.

———

Sir, 
I am a 20-year-old Lloyd’s Insurance Broker, and have recently been fortunate enough to come into possession of a 1933 Morris Ten.

I required a Third Party policy, including Passenger Liability, but (due to the negligible value of the car) excluding fire and theft. Having jotted down the names of a few long-established and reputable companies which came to mind, I approached them by telephone and, having supplied each with identical details, received the following quotations:

“Eagle Star” … £42 0s. 0d.
“Northern Star” … £28 0s. 0d.
“Royal” … £19 18s. 0d. 
“Royal Exchange” … £17 18s. 6d.
“Legal & General”  … £13 19s. 6d.

The “Northern,” “Guardian” and “General Accident” declined to quote.

I realise that cover afforded by the various policies varies in detail and that the no claims bonus structures may differ slightly, but I wonder if you can guess who will receive my £13 19s. 6d.! 

[Name and address supplied — Ed.]

———

Sir, 
Being insured with the local Co-operative Insurance Society, I did not envisage any difficulties when the Co-op. milk-van damaged my car, which was parked in the driveway to my house. However, they requested that I should ask the repairman to reduce the price which he quoted on his estimate. When I refused to do their job for them, as I was claiming against the milkman’s insurance and not my own, they informed me that I was not conducting myself in accordance with their business methods and, as the injured party, it was my duty to keep my costs at a minimum. What next?

B. Hardy.
Bromborough.

*   *   *

Audi Advertising Substantiated

Sir, 
I am sorry that I. E. A. Barclay dislikes our current advertising for the Audi Super 90 but we do not agree that this is a “knocking” advertisement. We carefully refrained from making any comment at all on the figures we illustrated.

The cars selected to be shown alongside the Super 90 (which has been road-tested by Motor and which did do 0-50 in 7.6 sec. and 0-60 in 11 sec.) were chosen merely to help identify the Audi Super 90 as being in the “executive class” of car.

Erik Johnson, Marketing Manager,
Audi (G.B.) Ltd.
Brentford.
[Other readers have made this point and Audi integrity is vindicated. — Ed.]

*   *   *

Multigrade or Straight?

Sir, 
Your most recent “plug” on behalf of the biggest sellers of oil in Great Britain indicates that 250,000 drivers have changed to the “New Formula” even though it has only been on the market six months. May I ask, sir, if you are one who has changed? If so I am delighted to think you have at long last caught up with the many thousands who have used multigrade oils since 1951. It then occurs to me that you as one of the 250,000 will not have changed your brand of oil but just the grade which rather makes it Hobson’s rather than Boddy’s.

Wishing you every success with your best-ever monthly.

J.D. Gardner.
Accrington. 

(I confess to being caught out! I used to prefer Castrol because it was a comparatively straightforward oil; particularly was this so at a time when additives in another famous brand were proving so effective in dislodging foreign bodies that these got into the oil-ways and caused bearings to fail.

But as Castrol tell me that their New Formula oils do not do this, and have shown me the extensive and complicated tests they carry out in their Bracknell laboratories to ensure this, and that benefits result from the additives they use — yes, I have changed to New Formula Castrol. And I agree that the 250,000 like me, or a great proportion of them, may have changed not from brand to brand but from old to new Castrol. — Ed.] 

*   *   *

Tyres for Bentleys

Sir, 
In reply to your correspondent who asks about fitting radial-ply tyres on an R-type Bentley, may I suggest that he may regret such action. These cars have very good steering when it is in perfect condition and balance, however if anything is done to upset the status quo, the results can be very unsatisfactory, heaviness, wobble, loss of directional stability. In fact we even take the trouble to replace the wheel nuts on the same studs when we take a wheel off these cars.

Also it should be remembered that radial tyres upset the speedometer ratio, and that different makes of radial tyres alter this ratio to a different extent. The Bentley speedometer accuracy to within one per cent., would then be lost.

R. J. Evans.
Crosby.

———

Sir, 
I bought my 1953 R-model Bentley (chassis number B40UM) in January 1962 when it had done about 123,000 miles. I transferred to it the India tyres from my Mk. VI which had done about 6,000 miles at the time of transfer.

The Indias lasted about another 10,000 miles and I then fitted (about Nov. 1962) a full set of Michelin X tyres. About a year later, I ruined one of these in an accident (it was a case of taking a wall on my nearside or a man who overtook on the crest of a hill and I chose the former!) and I then put the other front tyre to spare and bought two new Michelin X tyres for the front wheels. This was when the car had done about 144,000 miles. I discarded the rear pair at just over 190,000 miles so they did about 57,000 miles and still had about 2½ mm, of tread. I discarded the front pair at 198,000 miles so they did about 54,000 miles. At present I have Michelin X (one new, one the spare referred to above) on my rear wheels, the best of the 144,000-mile ones on the spare and two new Pirelli Cinturatos on the front wheels. This last was because apparently Michelin X 6.70 16 are no longer made.

The only complaint I ever had about the Michelin X tyres was that at parking speeds they made the steering very heavy. This effect is markedly less with the Pirellis. The pressures I used, after various experiments, were those recommended by Bentleys — 24 lb./sq. in. front, 33 lb./sq. in. rear. They give one a very safe ride unless you really overdo it on corners on a wet road — in which case the skid is rather unexpected and violent. Although I am a “Veteran” motorist of 33 years standing, I do not dawdle and, before the 70 m.p.h. speed limit was introduced, I reached a speedometer reading of 108 m.p.h. on the M1 — and I have never had the slightest qualm when driving my Bentley shod with radial-ply tyres.

In the result, I can most strongly recommend Michelin X both for safety and long life — and as yet I see no reason not also to recommend Pirelli for safety though I cannot yet speak about life.

G. D. Petherick.
Cricklade.

*   *   *

Tools for Cars

Sir, 
In reply to your question  which car has the best tool-kit supplied as standard?” I would like to put in a “claim” on behalf of the Fiat 500.

I do not expect this to be the most comprehensive list you receive, I have no doubt that some older and more expensive models were handed over to their new owners with veritable workshops on board, but considering the small Fiat as the cheapest four-wheeler on the present British motoring scene its certainly adequate tool kit is an example that other manufacturers might take note.

I own a 1964 station wagon version of the 500D, and in case any reader might think that the car needs the tool kit I must say that I have owned the car from new and found it extremely reliable. May I quote from the handbook.

“The set of wrenches and tools for servicing operations the car owner can do himself is supplied in a bag. The bag contains:
Two double-ended wrenches, 8 x 10 mm and 13 x 17 mm.
Straight punch.
Screwdriver, double tipped (one end is the normal type, the other of “hot cross bun” type).
Socket wrench for spark plugs.
Speed handle for wheel fixing bolts).
Jack.

That’s “value for money,” it doesn’t have provision for cranking the engine but I suppose you can’t expect everything

T. Payne.
Seven Kings.

———

Sir, 
I refer to a letter published in the current issue of Motor Sport and to your footnote thereto and advise that I consider that there can be no doubt that the tool kit provided with the Russian M21 “Volga Saloon” must be the most comprehensive available on any vehicle in current production.

W. D. Clemesha.
Wivenhoe.

———

Sir,
I would like to put in my Ferrari 330GT for the tool kit stakes, with the following entry:

In one roll-up wallet:
2 double-ended spanners. 
1 oil filter remover. 
2 socket spanners. 
1 plug spanner with universal joint shaft. 
1 pair pliers.  
1 slottted screwdriver. 
1 brake bleed adaptor.
2 Posidrivers.
1 hub extractor.
1 Weber Carburetter spanner.
1 fan belt.
All the above good quality chromium plated.

In second wallet:
Mechanical jack.
Wheel chock to use on the other axle.
Lead mallet.
Fold-up triangular warning sign. 
Also a leather,wallet 8 x 6 in., double-sided with lining in watered silk, containing glossy illustrated instruction book in three languages, illustrated spare parts list, and a list of agents all over the world. 
Also two sets of keys and one Prancing Horse key ring.

As a matter of interest my previous 330 GT had seven double-ended spanners from 8 to 22 mm., a grease-gun and a hammer but no Posidriver. Yes, I know it is an expensive car, but it is still nice to get a set of tools like this.

R, P. Abraham.
Little Hallingbury.  

———

Sir, 
I have a Honda S.800, and I think my standard tool kit takes some beating.

Flat blade screwdriver.
Combined pliers and wire cutters.
Cross-point screwdriver.
Combined wheel-wrench and jack
Three open-ended spanners: 9 x 12 cm.. 10 x 14 cm., 17 x 19 cm.
Spark-plug wrench.
Feeler gauge.
Car jack.

The jack has a stowage point and a black plastic cover. There is also a tool roll which folds away neatly and a small tin of touch-up paint.

This is one reason why I went “foreign” for my car.

I. H. Walker.
London. E.1. 

*   *   * 

STP Replies

Sir, 
I was interested to see the letter from Mr. Gibson in the July issue of Motor Sport. He has, in fact, already written to us direct and had a reply from our advertising agents. As my own education was of a decidedly classical, rather than scientific, nature I can only say that the intricacies of the carbon atom are all Greek to me. I am sure that Mr. Gibson is aware that no reputable advertiser deliberately sets out to mislead the public. Apart from it being illegal, it is simply not worth it.

What our agents have tried to do is to present the facts in a simple and readily understood form. The diagrammatic representation in the advertisement on page 569 of your June issue was simply a visual impression of the words, “long chain molecular structure,” and was not intended to be a detailed, accurate blueprint of the composition of STP Oil Treatment. I can assure Mr. Gibson that we are not proposing to upset any other molecular relationships in the future, and if he has seen the advertisement on page 578 of the July issue, he will have noted that the STP Oil Treatment advertisement has become even more informative.

I believe that the more intelligent readers, even if innocent in the world of chemistry, want to know more about the products that they buy and I do my best to supply them with as much information as possible. If any readers of Motor Sport would like fully descriptive technical sheets, giving both the physical characteristics and physical composition of STP Oil Treatment, I should be only too pleased to supply them.

Alan F. Pollard, Group Sales Manager,
Link-Hampson Limited. 
London, E.C.4.

*   *   *

British Supremacy

Sir, 
What a tragedy it is that the British motor industry are not as easily “stung” as Captain Luffman. Surely, whilst admiring his patriotism, this is a matter of opinion.

It is, however, a matter of fact that convenient servicing arrangements exist for any German, French, Swedish or bread and butter Italian car in B.A.O.R. (or most of Europe, including G.B., for that matter!).

The majority in B.A.O.R. may, understandably, find their patriotism strained if B.M.C.’s example in B.F.P.O. 16, which is typical, of appointing an overworked Fiat agent to look after their interests is the best that can be done in a major garrison.

The present concessions on buying and importing cars from abroad are reasonable. But, H.M.G. wants to save on foreign expenditure and our motor industry is crying out for support. Should we not continue to be reasonable with servicemen, cut foreign spending and boost our industry by offering greater concessions to the buyer of a British car? These should be, as in Canada, tax free import after six months ownership abroad and sale after one year in the country. Concurrently, H.M.G. should “invite” our motor industry to earn their sales by providing some semblance of a service network throughout B.A.O.R. Until this exists, neither the members of B.A.O.R. are voluntarily, nor the “natives” under any conditions (Common Market?), going to find British cars “competitive.”

Michael Mulloy.
Binfield. 

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