Why, oh why am I, .a devoted reader of Motor Sport for the last 17 years, still waiting to read a full road-test on what is probably the finest volume production five-door "Eurobox" available today? Matters of Moment, Nov. '76 promises some action in December's issue and many months of waiting will end. Should this be the case then the following may be of interest.
Last March after 13 1/2 years of "repping" calling on householders (annual mileage 30,000 plus, no motorways) in a variety of cars, the last two being o/d Hunter GTs, my company asked me if I would like to try the new Chrysler Alpine-S, this car being one of about four cars Considered as a possibility to replace the company fleet of Hunters. Being a summer canvasser (Europa 390), continental long hauls a speciality, I was a little hesitant at dropping nearly 300 c.c. but in the interests of economy said yes, and on March 24th collected one rather badly dewaxed Alpine-S, speedo reading 246 miles. Some 19,000 miles later I can report the following.
I am tickled pink with this car. It has done everything I have asked of it comfortably, quietly and safely. Performance related to economy is quite extraordinary, since taking it over I have averaged 36.84 m.p.g., and no oil has been added between services. The plugs are original and look unmarked, the front tyres look good for another 19,000 miles, the rears show hardly any sign of wear at all, even the clutch seems as new. The headlamps can be described as almost embarrassing at times (why do so many "mimsers" drive along unlit country roads at night on dip?). With such a specification as appears on this car, the "goody" shops are going to have a thin time. The front brake pads were worn out at 19,000 miles, not too bad for soft linings, but they do make a filthy mess of the front wheels.
Now for the failures. The flexible coupling on the exhaust decided to split and unwind late one Saturday night on route to Devon with caravan. The noise was incredible! This was instantly replaced Monday following by the first Chrysler dealer I found. The second problem was more serious. The wheels are prone to leaking around the weld on the rim. I have had this happen only once but my local garage have a case of one lady having four leaking wheels, including one of the replacements! These are readily available from our main Chrysler distributor if you don't mind a rather nice Silver colour instead of the original off-white!
Incidentally, the company ended up with a fleet of Cavaliers, quite nice, not much room in the back and a bit nasty on petrol compared with the Alpine.
My own car is a 1937 Series II Wolseley 14/56 Redfern Saloon Tourer, the coachwork by Maltbys of Folkestone. Does anyone know where I can get suitable shock-absorbers to replace the vane type fitted? I have had this car 16 years and have never seen another Series II Redfern although a '29 model was advertised in last month's Motor Sport. The hydraulic hood mechanism is intact, the motor works but no lift, does anyone know who made this unit?
Many thanks for making Motor Sport the excellent magazine it is.
Hassocks, Sussex R. J. BURGESS