Letters - Unleaded Petrol

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Sir

I feel that I must reply to the letter from Mr Garnet W Wrapson (MS Oct. 90) concerning unleaded petrol. The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs is well aware of the problems that have arisen from the loss of two-star petrol and that we may have to face up to a situation where no leaded petrol is available.

Through our news sheet we have been keeping clubs informed of what efforts are being made and we have set up a liaison between various clubs that are conducting research into the use of unleaded fuel in older engines. Certain clubs have already started to carry out research into the areas suggested by Mr Wrapson and we have learned of tests that will be undertaken to carry out hardening processes to existing cylinder heads. At this stage much of the research has yet to be proved but we in the Federation are anxious to hear from anyone who can contribute with knowledge that can be usefully pooled together. We already know of engines where valve seats have been suitably inserted although we are aware of a large number of engine types where valve seats are impossible to inset with present day technology.

There are a number of additives which are being marketed and research is also being encouraged as to whether these are effective. We would like very much to hear from anyone who has run on unleaded petrol with such additives for a long period of time. We are also aware of additives apart from lead, some of which are as dangerous, if not more so than lead.

Those who have expressed an interest in dealing with this research have already made good contact with the petrol companies and we sincerely hope that some benifit will result from this.

I must point out to your readers that there is no policy of non-involvement by the Federation as indicated by Mr. Wrapson. we are as interested as anyone in seeing that suitable fuel is available but we have to accept in the end that if there is only a very small demand for unleaded petrol, then the market itself will govern what fuel is available at the pumps. We therefore wish to support the efforts being made by the Clubs trying to research the problem.

P.L. Glover
Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs