Over the last few months, B.M.C.’s advertisements for Minis, Sprite IIs, Midgets and 1 1/2-litre Riley and Wolseleys have been leaving me quite perplexed.
The point at issue is that the people who “together have bought a B.M.C. product” do not have the usual size relationship seen in car advertisements by other firms.
The young couple holding tennis racquets depicted standing beside an M.G. Midget (or was it a Sprite II) are surely not British Standard Size? (Pre-war male 5 ft. 7 in., female 5 ft. 2 in. Post-war as a result of N.H.S., male 5 ft. 10 in., female 5 ft. 4 1/2 in.) Neither are the young pair shown in a Wolseley Hornet in your article “Showdown” in November’s Motor Sport.
There are two alternatives: (a) that people of 4 ft. 9 in. have a predilection for B.M.C. products, or (b) the new M.G. Midget and Austin Healey Sprite have a wheelbase approaching that of the Bugatti Royale and, contrary to my own personal beliefs, the 1 1/2-litre Riley and Wolseley saloons have the same dimensions of bodywork as the large Packards of the mid-‘thirties used extensively as “Bank Hold-up Getaway Cars.”
A little gem I saw in the Daily Mail Motor Show catalogue must incline me to the view that the former is the case. Of the Austin Healey Sprite Mark II it said, “The engine has been made more accessible by a lighter-to-lift bonnet.” After all, it is a simple process to conclude that these smaller people won’t have the strength of ordinary individuals. I should of course be convinced if in the tools for these cars there were supplied a device very similar to the old-fashioned window-pole, so that the “lighter-to-lift bonnet” could be pushed into its position of full extension.