TRYING A "SECOND-HANDER"

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47

TRYING A “:SECOND

HANDER”

WHEN the 30-98 h.p. Vauxhall was produced it quickly rose to a high degree of favour amongst motoring sportsmen. And when it was removed from the famous Luton firm’s programme without a successor there were many regrets. That its popularity still continues, in spite of more modern rivals, is shown by the fact that one firm—Modern Cars, Ltd., of 196, Great Portland Street, W.1., —find it well worth their while to concentrate on the reconditioning and sale of ” 30-98’s ” on a large scale. This concern has found that a large number of potential buyers, with only a limited sum at their disposal, will, after some ,deliberation, purchase a second-hand car of the “30-98” calibre in preference to a new small machine of equivalent value, and in order to see what Modern Cars can offer in this direction, we recently

• took out one of their Vauxhalls on a searching test. Body lines and build have changed considerably in recent years, but though the car placed at our disposal was six years old, it did not have an out-of-date appearance by any means ; judged by

1930 standards, the ground clearance and height are above the average perhaps, but that is all.

The first impression on taking the wheel was a sense of comfort and ease offered by the position of the driving seat which gave good support for the back, and was readily adjustable for reach. London traffic provided a good opportunity for trying its tractability. The clutch was heavy in withdrawal, but was very smooth and the accelerator pedal position just right. The foot brake, however, had evidently been the previous owner’s sole means of stopping, and needed some adjustment. The hand brake was above reproach. Later on, during our run, we decided to adjust the footbrake, but without improving matters very greatly ; so, apparently the shoes needed new linings. The brake drums all round are of large diameter. The gear shift, if requiring some manual effort, was simple, and, changing both up and. down the gate was effected noiselessly and quickly. In traffic the big engine pulled with smoothness and, steadiness, as indeed it did at all speeds. Moreover, it was remarkably free from mechanical noises,

which was an indication of either the good. wearing qualities of the motor or the thorough manner in which Modern Cars had carried out their reconditioning work. When circumstances permitted. we soon proved to our satisfaction that the Vauxhall still retained the fierce acceleration for which it was noted at its inception. We also experienced the charm of its top-gear performance ; at 50 m.p.h. with. its 31 ratio, we slipped along with the engine turning over effortlessly and with less fuss than the “little fellow” makes at 25 m.p.h. The speedometer was not working, but we estimated the all-out speed at 70 m.p.h., a figure which, without a doubt, could be improved upon after judicious tuning.

Taking into consideration the fact that the car under review had not received a final test by Messrs. Modern Cars, and therefore had n.ot been placed in their showroom stock, we carried away the impression that it was a good example of what one may nowadays purchase for round about k150—something which, in spite of its six years’ usage, could. still give service and a performance of sufficic.ntly high standard to satisfy the sporting motorist of moderate means.