Proud of Kittens
All readers of your most excellent publication know that even the most outrageous views will get a fair airing if you consider them to be worth publication.
Aften ten months and over 25,000 miles of Reliant Kitten motoring I feel I can now stand up and blow a trumpet for these magnificent little British cars.
It is interesting that other motoring journals have done comparative road tests—one against the Peugeot 104 and another against a small Toyota. Surely it is a measure of the qualities of the Kitten that people tend to compare it with vehicles which cost £200 more, neither of which can reach even 65% of the Kitten economy. One would have thought it would be more reasonable to compare the British car with the Continental babies, or perhaps the Mini and Renault 4, but the Fiat 126 will just stagger to 60 mp.h, and yet cannot do 60 mpg., the small Citroen seems to have stopped advertising and only claim 40 m.p.g. One realises that the Kitten is in a different class with a maximum speed of 80 m.p.h. and 60 m.p.g.
We now have two. I will not claim they have been trouble-free, particularly my wife's, but the main troubles with that car have been due, I think, to the fact that it was forcibly run without water. This was due to a very silly and equally small design fault. Otherwise, we have cut our motoring costs by 501'4 in comparison with twelve months ago, and that is taking into consideration increased fuel costs, insurance costs, every ruddy cost.
What about the car itself? You said you thought it had a wide ratio gearbox. Well if 65 in third and 80 in top is a wide gap for a prosaic motor car, show me a close one. The simple fact of this little car is that with 40 b.b.p. and 9 1/2 cwt., it does not take much mathematics to work out the b.h.p. per ton, and then it takes very little further mathematics to find out why such as BMW 1600s, MG-13s, etc., etc. give up on the traffic light drags. It demonstrates why I managed to do a run along an auto-route not a million miles from Swindon at 81.5 m.p.h.—average both directions, and total distance of some 100 miles. Granted it is not much to look at, but a French motoring journalist of my acquaintance described it as une petite voiture sport. Its extremely precise handling, light and delightful controls and brisk engine and gearbox are just like a little sports car. Further it must set the standards of the superlative for economy cars. It is a proper little motor car, not a twin-cylinder cycle car. The advertising blurb can be proved to be true—not just blurb. This is a car of which the British should be proud and we should see no further sales of little Renaults, Citroens, Hondas, Fiats, Toyotas and what have you. In Britain we have the best in its class, so let's see some more of you supporting the home team.
DR. ROBERT ELLIOT--PYLE Robertsbridge.