LUXURY IN MINIATURE
The Continental Coupe M.G. Magna Combines the Duties of Town and Open Road Sports Model.
ANYONE who has had much experience of traffic driving in London will not need reminding of the advantage of a small car under such conditions. If one adds fierce acceleration, light but positive steering, superlative cornering ability and powerful brakes, to small overall dimensions, the resulting car forms just about the most rapid form of traffic car it is possible to find.
But for every day work in our variable climate, however, comfortable closed coachwork is essential, and it is a combination of all the above qualities which makes the M.G. Magna Continental Coupe such an extraordinarily attractive little car.
The performance of the L type M.G. Magna chassis on the track and open road has been fully dealt with already in these columns (vide. Moron SPORT, November, 1933). It is with the Continental Coupe as a town-car that we are concerned with at the moment. The lines of the car, like all current M.G. models, are perfectly balanced, and in complete harmony with the traditions of town-carriage coachwork.
The driver and passenger occupy comfortable bucket seats, and behind them is room for an occasional passenger or alternatively plenty of luggage. Furthermore there is a trunk at the rear which will take baggage in addition to the spare wheel. The sliding roof has large slats of celluloid inserted, so that the interior of the car is pleasantly light. An arm projecting from the steering column bears controls for the horn, direc
tion indicators, and headlight dipping, and altogether the handling of the car has been reduced to as effortless a process as possible. The direction indicators, by the way, are part of the special illuminated number plate in the rear panel of the trunk. We recently spent a week of very delightful motoring with one of these cars,
and were more than pleased with its p:rformance.
The Continental Coupe is an ideal combination of quick town-carriage and fast sports car, and at £325 should be the solution of those who seek a high class duel purpose ‘car. The range of colour schemes available, by the way, is extremely chic.
Sole speed is conveyed by the lines of the Alois Speed Twenty Charlesw3rth saloon.
gear was sufficient to get by every vehicle we encountered.
But such driving methods, while amusing for a short time on a strange car, are by no means necessary for the Alvis to be appreciated. It is extremely flexible, providing the ignition is retarded, and will crawl about in top gear in the best town-carriage style. Acceleration on the direct drive is also good, and a depression of the throttle at 50 m.p.h. sends the car forward in an invigorating surge.
With regard to actual figures, the accompanying graph speaks for itself. It must be remembered, however, that the car we tested was fitted with a strongly made saloon body, so that an open car will give even better results.
Acceleration is assisted greatly by the new all-synchromesh gear box, which enables very quick changes to he made absolutely silently right up through the gears. Actually, there is a point at which, after a slight pause, each gear engages with a minimum of effort, but quick changes can be made at all times. Downward changes are deprived of the necessity of accurate speeding-up of the engine, a dab on the accelerator pedal being all that is required to give a silent, shock-less change of ratio. 40 m.p.h. and 60 m.p.h. are useful speeds at which to change up from second and third gears respectively, when fierce acceleration is required. Timed over a dead-level quarter-mile by stop watch the Alvis Speed Twenty ” Charlesworth “saloon registered a speed of 81.3 m.p.h. During the test the speedometer was found to be fairly optimistic, but the actual speed recorded is a very creditable one for a saloon car of
2,511 c.c. capacity and weighing 27 cwt.
On a good main road the Alvis cruised quite happily at a genuine 65 m.p.h. and gave the impression that it would maintain this speed all day if conditions allowed. This speed is restful for drivers and passengers alike. The driver has the benefit of rock steady steering, completely accurate, and without a trace of road shocks, while corners and curves merely give him an opportunity to show up the roadholding of the car at its best. Only on one occasion, when the car NN as cornered rather violently on a rough road, did the front wheels judder. At all other times, and on wet roads, the tail slid first in the approved manner.
As for the passengers, seldom have we encountered a car which gives smoother riding. Hydrotelecontrol friction sh oc kabsbrbers are fitted, so that the suspension at the rear can be adjusted to suit varying speeds and road conditions. On an average macadam main road (as distinct from an arterial road), the rear passengers can read a newspaper at 65 m.p.h. Just try this on your own car, and the marvellous suspension of the Alvis will be brought home to you forcibly. The brakes are fully in keeping with the high speeds of which the car is capable. Especially so is this noticed when braking hard from over 70 m.p.h. A fair amount of effort is required, but this just makes for ac’euracy, and the car slows down without a
trace of pull on the steering, and without affecting the smooth riding of the car.
A word of praise is due to the lighting system. The headlamps are enormous Luvas P100’s, and provide adequate illumination at any speed up to the car’s maximum. If a reduction in light is required the usual switch on the steering wheel cuts out the headlamps and turns of two Lucas fog-lamps situated immediately below the headlights. These foglights are extremely effective, and illuminate the road surface for a long distance ahead without dazzling an oncoming driver. When a mist renders the powerful headlights useless, these fog lamps enable a fairly high speed to be maintained without danger.
The ” Charlesworth ” saloon body is a beautifully finished example of the coachbuilder’s art. It is completely free from draughts, does not rattle, and the windows provide good ventilation without discomfort to the passengers The seats are perfectly comfortable, so that the car is ideal for long distance touring. The rear passengers sit on a slightly higher level than those in front, which increases their vision of the road ahead. The internal fittings are luxurious, and include little cubby holes on each side of the rear panel, which are illuminated and contain a vanity set and a smoking outfit respectively. Finally, there is plenty of room for suit cases and luggage in the locker at the rear.
At £825 the Alvis ” Speed Twenty” Charlesworth saloon should have a strong appeal for those who require a roomy, comfortable, fast, and hand made car which will give them years of pleasurable motoring.
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