AGIN AMERICAN AUTOMOBILES!

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* •* AGIN AMERICAN AUTOMOBILES! Sir,

Whether or not they intended to, the four gentlemen from Cheltenham make one smile with their letter about American ears. Could their obvious dislike of” know-ails “be a natural consequence of their own ignorance ?

They loudly applaud chromium plating on American ears. Funny that, because at the Show most of the American cars had stainless steel fittings, not chromium ! They also obviously haven’t asked an engineer about chromium plating. If they had, they might have found that, apart from its doubtful decorative value, chromium plating is of practically no use at all. In the good old days, when chromium was put on over nickel and copper, it was protective, but the modern manufacturers seem to have forgotten that chromium plating itself is porous !

Now for their last pointless and futile statement about the performance figures of the Aston Martin DB3S and the average American saloon (hardly counterparts surely ?). Nevertheless it appears that performance. comparison to the four gentlemen consists only of engine power irrespective of capacity, weight of car, or power lost. before it gets to the rear wheels. Not only are their figures totally inadequate, they are inaccurate ! They state that the power produced by an average American saloon is 210 b.h.p.. which I am prepared to believe. It happens, however, that the 1956 1)1135 also produces 210 b.h.p. !

Surely the. only logical way of comparing engine performance is on art equal capacity basis. The b.h.p./litre figures for the best American ears are as follows : Cadillac 50, Ford 484 Lincoln 4’7, Chrysler 46, Buick 45 and Packard 45. The best British are as follows : DB3S 72, 1)-type Jaguar 73, Mk. VII Jag. 55, Bristol 53, Frazer-Nash 53–all of which are superior to the best American makes. These, figures speak for themselves.

In terms of road performance, most of the American cars will just top 100 m.p.h., the best being the Cadillac with 110 m.p.h. The DB3S will do 150 ! Weight, of course, affects acceleration. The kerb weights of the Americans range from 38 to 43 cwt. The DB3s weighs 20 ewt. No comment. Concerning roadholding and cornering, the less said about that, from the American point of view, the better.

Your four correspondents offer to enlarge upon the subject. May I, for one, vote against ? I tun, Yours, etc., Pinner. I). A. J. BENTLEY (RX.M.E.)

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