Last month, at the time when anticipation over branded petrol was at its pre-realisation height, we were present at the Redex International Headquarters in Chiswick when some tests were carried out. A 1952 Ford Anglia was driven by the same driver and with the same load, over a four-mile route, on different fuels and oils. On each occasion two simple acceleration tests, one on the level, the other up-hill, were incorporated. We prefer to ignore the first of these, because counting trees as a means of ascertaining improvement in performance does not seem sufficiently accurate, but the up-hill speedometer-reading comparisons were of more interest.
The journalist is apt to be “blinded with science” by the Redex people with their engine-testers, compression gauges, thermo-testers, Redex robots, etc., but there is no denying the efficiency with which W. J. Holloway, the Sales Manager, introduces the magic or the convincing effect of his tricks.
Some people think that Redex in engine, gearbox and axle oil, and fed above the pistons improves urge and m.p.g. merely by thinning the lubricants; many others, including racing and rally drivers, believe that its secret lies in its mysterious constituents. We write “mysterious ” advisedly, because the oil supplied to the Redex organisation is treated behind locked doors before being fed into attractive cream barrels which are distributed to the outside world at the rate of tens of thousands of gallons a week. All we know is that a wax content is believed to improve the “slipperiness” and adhesive nature of the basic oil.
Reverting to the tests in question, the Ford was run first on Pool, with an ignition setting that did not promote “pinking.” Fuel consumption, mainly at a steady 30 m.p.h., and checked with the useful Redex test equipment, was 44.91 m.p.g. Premium petrol was tried next, with the ignition setting somewhat advanced. The up-hill acceleration improved to the extent of adding approx. 2 m.p.h. at the hill top, but petrol consumption was inferior at 39 m.p.g. The Ford was then given a Redex mixture in engine, gearbox and axle,
The hill-top speedometer reading now rose by another 2 m.p.h. and fuel consumption improved to 48.31 m.p.g. As a final check we left the ignition advanced but reverted to Pool fuel. The hilltop reading fell by 1 m.p.h. but fuel consumption reached an all-time high of 50.17 m.p.g.
There you have it, gentlemen. The test-driver, Mr. R. Marshall, did not appear to have anything up his sleeves and we confess we do not know how it is done.
One day we hope to conduct some more scientific tests of Mr. Wayne V. Myers’ Redex—he, by the way, is an American chemist, who motors in a modern Rolls-Royce—but for the present these tests suggest that Ford Anglia owners do not need premium fuel but that Redex about the place can do a lot of good so far as greater urge and m.p.g. are concerned, providing their cars are in a sound state of mechanical health.—W.B.