It is high time that a word or two was printed from the hand of one who is a satisfied R080 owner.
I took delivery of mine in January, 1968—left-hand drive because I could not wait!
Almost four years and over 50,000 miles later I can see no car at any price to match its combination of qualities except the Citroën SM—but even that would, I believe, be more complex and expensive to maintain, especially the engine.
I, too, had four engines! The main reason? A distributor drive-shaft 9 thou. out. The ignition timing is highly critical; 25,000 miles ago Shoreham fitted transistorised ignition (free) and latest type seals. The compression is still within manufacturing tolerance; my heavy foot produces 19 m.p.g.; my wife’s lighter one 26 m.p.g.; it flashes up to 120 m.p.h. and on the right road will hold it effortlessly and silently. The tyres lasted 30,000 miles, the battery 40,000, the silencer 35,000. Plugs? Basil Webb Ware should have tried having them tested under pressure every 3,800 miles. Most of mine last 9,000 miles and when you consider that they fire several times more frequently than a four-stroke that’s not bad.
Micro switch-on gear lever? It is so easy to adjust.
The absence of rust (especially underneath where there are just no built-in crevices at all) is extraordinary.
It is important to have a responsible engineer—especially so far as ignition is concerned—but for a car with so many qualities it is worth learning to do some of these highly important but not complicated jobs oneself.
E. S. Bird.