Sir, Firstly may I start my letter by congratulating Mr. Neve on a fine restoration, and I should like to point out to him that my letter is in no way intended to be a criticism of his achievement.
I found the reporting in this article to be very poor; where some of your “identification of a London-Edinburgh chassis” information came from I shall never know. You quote “Another way of telling the sporting L-E from the more staid Ghosts is the square instead of round (sorry, circular) flange connecting the Rolls-Royce carburetter to the inlet manifolding”. This is quite wrong. All early Ghosts had square-flange carburetters right to the middle of 1913 or thereabouts; the first cars with round-flange fittings came out on the “D” series chassis, chassis numbers PB and YB onwards and continued to the last Ghost chassis.
The comments on the actual test drive were to say the least “funny” and I quote you: “You engage first gear, the clutch gives a slight squeal and you are away”. To the nearest garage to have the clutch oiled, I hope. Starting off in top at 5 m.p.h. is nothing to a well-prepared Ghost, L-E or Alpine; they should all be able to start in top from 0 m.p.h. Your remark on the steering was the most indefinite statement of the whole report. “The steering is half-way between light and heavy.”
I thought that the evidence supporting that this particular chassis is 1701 to be very, very slim indeed. I should like to know what actual part did belong to 1701. From what I can tell from your report, the spring hangers (as you call them) are the only parts that may have belonged to 1701, and as they do not have a chassis number on them, and have been removed from another chassis, I would have thought it ridiculous to suggest that this chassis is 1701. Incidentally, when this chassis left the factory it would have had chassis numbers in four places: (1) A plate riveted to the top of the trembler coil box; (2) a chassis plate riveted to the fire wall; (3) chassis number stamped on crank case; (4) chassis number stamped on the neck of the gearbox.
Some small points for Mr. Neve’s information that I hope will be useful to him: Your car should have no rear number plate, registration number should be painted onto the petrol tank, front number plate should be under the front cross-member and not on top, the double Elliott should be on the right of the steering column, also the five wheels on an L.-E chassis should all be 895 x 135.
Maurice de Montfalcon.