Towards real silence or Ford versus Rolls Royce

Several readers have sent in cuttings of a recent Ford advertisement, which has been appearing in American newspapers. The text of this advertisement concerns the quietness of the 1965 Ford Galaxie 500 in comparison with that of a Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III. Experts having commented favourably on the outstanding quietness of these new Fords, the manufacturer chose to demonstrate this important luxury-car quality—they set out to discover whether a Ford “could match the legendary silence of the car that has long been considered by many to be the best in the World.”

Three of the World’s greatest acoustic experts, supervised by the U.S. Auto Club, made the tests, two Rolls-Royce Silver Clouds and three 289 cu. in. Ford Galaxies, a 500LTD, a 500/XL and a 500 4-door sedan being used. They showed that at 26 m.p.h. the Fords were quieter than the Rolls-Royces by 4.9 decibels, at 40 m.p.h. quieter by 5.5 decibels, and at 60 m.p.h. quieter by 2.8 decibels. Two courses were used and the sound level cheeked by a Bruel & Killer precision octave band analyser, a Nagra precision tape-recorder and by direct observation. Readings were taken at car level in the front passenger-seats with all windows and vents closed.

In this country some authorities say that no apparatus exists which can measure accurately noise in the interior of a car for comparison purposes, but it is significant that the difference in noise-level within the Fords and Rolls-Royces was sufficient to show up clearly in ordinary listening, to quote the official U.S. Auto Club report. The light-alloy V8 engine in the latest Rolls-Royce is known to be noisier than the former 6-cylinder Rolls-Royce engines, and Ford seem to have cashed-in on this. They say wisely that “Of course, no claim is made that a 1965 Ford is a Rolls-Royce. The differences are many and obvious, including the nearly 17,000-dolilar price of the Rolls-Royce. For example, Ford does not have hand-fitted parts, nor seats covered by the same choice leather used in seats in England’s House of Commons [Whatever do the Lords sit on?—ED.] But Ford does have a quieter ride.”

Naturally, America is proud of this achievement in quiet running. So much so that Karl Ludvigsen, although he is Press Officer of the rival General Motors organisation in New York, asked his Public Relations Manager in London to send us a copy of this triumphant Ford advertisement.—W. B.