I am delighted to see in your last three issues evidence of a campaign against the vandalism which prevails in many parts of the motoring world. The best -defence against that of the Trade (who are only following the natural law of supply and demand) is, as the Editor implied, for owners of historic or highlythoroughbred cars to sell only to approved private individtials, or to those rare traders who can be trusted properly to select their clients for Suitability. Young enthusiasts whom the war has prevented from gaining any practical motoring experience may be well-me:tiling offenders : t hey often have no idea at all of the money and knowledge required to run their 4,’,-litre I1ent ley satisfactorily, for example, especially immediately postwar. Loftily scorning, any small (hut
practicable) sports machines, they hope U) waive their apprenticeship and blossom into mature vintagents overnight. Just picture young So-and-SO let loose in his ” 30/98,” simultaneously learning to drive and trying to ” do a hundred ” I would implore any owner of a sporting light lorry who has less than 10,000 miles’ driving experience, and under £500 a year assured, to commenee building himself an Austin Seven Speeial in which to go motoring.. For he will surely be obliged to sell his lorry when peace breaks out, Imartieularly if it is one with a built-in following wind. In his article last month, ” Preserve or Perish : ” Marcus Chambers must have caused many of us to do sonic. heartsearchin. But. time slight sneer attached tO Ii iS em tegorisation of the ” engitio
swapping fraternity should, I think, be more properly al plied to the ” enginedropping fraternity,” who confine their activities chiefly to bar rooms and firesides. Engine swapping is closely allied to the master craft of special-building, whose devotees may hold up their beads with pride. When there eNkts in fair numbers a chassis famed for its superlative roadholding and brakes, zinci for its mediocre performance, who can deny us the artistic ..and creative joy of fitting to it a good power unit from a car that motors rapidly straight on at corners ? The amateur, you see, is untrammelled by production and jig requirenients and patent specifications, so is able, as a rule, to improve time manufaeturers. products. To do this, however, he must carry out the installation with thoroughne$s and imagination, and must give full consideration to the attendant problems of linal drive ratio and weight distribution. The inelusion of parts from a number of different makes in order to overcome structural problems is a mistake, in view of subsequent servicing and replacement.
I would not., myself, select. a Ford V8 engine for a Lancia ” Lambda.” because the Very low b.h.p. per litre scarcely justifies the loss of a reasonable gearbox, and the sense of bathos on opening the bonnet. But what or m ” Paris-Nice Totelikiss engine. or evea (dare I smuggest it) a ” 30/98 ? I nun, however, agai»st fitting other makesof engine b) Umigat.1 is, because I
believe the excellence of their steering is largely due to the immense rigidity of the crankcase and the intimate attachment of the frame thereto. I see that Marcus Chambers will tolerate engine swapping within the confines of one make, so I will confess to the intention of stealthily fitting a ” Brescia ” Bugatti engine to a Type 40 car, appropriately raising the axle ratio. ‘Phis is an attempt to eliminate faults inherent in both types, to make a pleasing and reliable touring car, and to be at once Vintage and Moisheim on a small outlay.
Chambers’s article concludes with a list of outstanding examples of vandalism. In interesting history of the VauxhallVilliers and the Type 51 Bugatti is contained in a letter on page 39 of MOTOR.
SPORT for February, 19 The two were mated together and the result was not really better than either of the originals. Active steps are now being taken to restore both cars, not to their former state, as the necessary parts are not available, but they will be rebuilt with components of the same manufacture so that emit etiq dat ion of them will result in few, if atty. (Tie,: of” Shame ! ” Marcus thamhers also mentions an
” Talbot. I wonder if this iTfers to one of which I recently saw the body adorning a Bentley chassis. I was told that it was from the ex-Mike Cooper machine, yet this car figures in the (hallenge to Peter Hampton from 1′. T. Whalley, published in ” Rumblings ” last month. Does any reader know what has happened to this Talbot ? I am, Yours, etc.,
Fleet, I tants. (All very sensil de, and we are in entire agreement with most of Hirkett’s propoundings. We shudder, however. at the t hough t or the very excellent Lancia front suspension having to support a ” 30/98” engine : actually, if you niusi be a vandal, the Ford V8 motor goes in quite easily, and Allard-like performance should then result. Ilov, ever. was the Sill series ” Lambda ” engine so very far behind, at all events for speed and longevity ? The bo(ly of the ex-Cooper-Talbot is Oil (!alfe’s 41-litre Bentley, but the Talbot is, nevertheless, likely to appear again after time war.–