AMERICAN PRAISE FOR BRITISH CARS
I have been a devotee of and competitor in motor sport for many
years. Therefore most of the world’s motor magazines find their way to my home quite regularly. The British one.s have given me much to think about, recently. Reason ? A serious doubt which seems to exist in the minds of British consumers, drivers and writers, that their cars, the average little English motor car, is a fine and reliable product.
Let use, an objective observer and driver, give a “shot in the arm” to all those Doubting Thomases. We, who compete in American motor races, are confronted with
a mass of cars to choose from. We buy these cars for reasons other than national sympathies. We buy them because they are at the right price, perform with reliability and give us a fair chance of lugging home some ” silverware ” post-race. Result ? Eighty per cent, of the cars fielded at the average American event are British made. And, believe me, the U.S. amateur race driver does not whistle “Rule Britannia” before breakfast . . . his loyalty is to himself only, and he believes that British products will win for him. Why this predominance of British cars at our races ? Most of us race production cars in events for series production cars. To race a ” modified ” car in the U.S. is dreadfully expensive. Parts cost a fortune. Good mechanics must he” brought along.” The cars must be transported on trailers, and our rates are often thousands of miles apart. We can drive our production ears to the races, we can do much of the last second mechanical work ourselves or with the aid of local mechanics. We can get the parts for very little money. Therefore : production is the predominant choice of our drivers. Now, let’s have a look at the cars we can buy : German : Porsche : good, but expensive, and many of us dislike the handling
of the ” touring ” Porsches. The Spyders cost too much. Mercedes : 300SL too much money. 190SL can’t get out of its
own way in Class E races.
Volkswagen : A joke in its class at races. Italian :
Ferrari : Too expensive to buy, keep running and repair.
M.,serati : As above. Alfa : Only the Guilietta has a chance at winning a production
race, and it’s quite expensive and by no means reliable overall.
Osca : Forget it, unless you are a millionaire. French : DB: Too much money for a ” trick ” car which cannot be used
daily. Renault : O.K. if modified, but then no longer has a chance in our
production events because it would be disqualified.
Gordini : Like Osca above. Spanish :
Pegaso : No comment. British :
M.G., Austin-Healey, Triumph, Morgan, Jaguar, and Allard. All of these are inexpensive compared to German, French and Italian ears, are easy to maintain, conform to our series production stan
dards, are reliable and can be used daily. I was the Morgan Team Captain at the last Sebring Race. We
drove our ears 1,300 miles to the race, took third and fifth places in our class, drove the cars back and continued to use them for daily driving and racing all this year without major repairs. I have just ordered a new Morgan for the coming Sebring race from the Morgan Company, and this year we intend to do even better.
Come on, you in Britain. You are building ears we can be proud of. Why can’t you be proud of them, too ? I am, Yours, etc., New York City. JOHN WEITZ, * *
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