N.B. –– Opinions expressed are those of our correspondents and “Motor Sport” does not necessarily associate itself with them. –– Ed.
A Two-stroke enthusiast
Most interesting letter from Major Valiance, and nice to know that the Auto Union people will carry on with their two-stroke engines.
The Major’s impressions were quite good and he obviously knows how to drive a two-stroke which most people do not. They do require a slightly different technique than the four-stroke engine. My first two-stroke was a Scott, and I also had a 1938 D.K.W. 500 to which I fitted a Burman 4-speed. This generation does not know what it is missing. Regarding the spare under the bonnet of the D.K.W., there is a reason. All the space under the bonnet of my 40s Junior is taken up by the oil tank With its separate pump, and the solenoid to vacuum tank for the automatic clutch— slipping with the change of gear. This clutch, being centrifugal, also disengages and engages itself. There is no clutch pedal.
Auto Union have no need to look into Issigonis’ efforts. In case any of your readers catch some of our (D.K.W. owners) enthusiasm, I might also refer to the gears; four indirect—top ratio 3-1/2 to 1—autobahn stuff obviously—so one does not consider it as a 4-speed. Rather a 3-speed and overdrive: and that is the way to drive it, remembering to use your toe right as the Major says. These machines do not need any running in, and you are not asked—as Mr. Pitchers was—to finish the factory’s work for them. They are quite economical despite Mr. Boddy’s test last year. I average over 40 m.p.g. A recent trip to Dovercourt showed 150 miles using approximately three gallons (autobahn top gear). Oil (Castro) C.R.20—100% detergent) is at a ratio to petrol––40-1. And you do not have to throw any away because the sump is not drained and refilled.
I regard with scepticism some of the current marvellous engines that require an oil change at 6,000 miles, or more. The manufacturers must have constructed special sludge traps in the sumps. Everyone knows—or should know—that approximately a gallon of water is produced on burning a gallon of petrol—you can see the steam coming out of the exhaust pipe—and some of this water must get into the sump, with the usual results. Back to the D.K.W. I would like to remark on the battery, as there has been some correspondence on this subject. My battery (a Varta) is nearly four years old: six volts, and does everything that is required of it—any weather, day or night. The point is this—it is not undercharged and more important it is never overcharged, which is what does the damage. The voltage control works perfectly. All the electrics are Bosch—the headlamps by Hella. Any of your readers having trouble with their batteries should look to this point, or better still, change over to Bosch. The engine of this 40s Junior is 741 c.c. and will propel the car at 75 m.p.h. (speedo. reading) indefinitely. It is beautifully made and assembled and it has of course a 4-bearing crankshaft (I see that B.M.C. and Fords are getting excited about their 5-bearing cranks). I have no tappets to be adjusted, and no water pump to worry about. The rad. is filled with my own special mixture: distilled water plus 1/2-pint inhibitor – 1/2-pint methylated spirits. I could go on, on, on, on. You must be familiar with the odd car crank. (Yes!—Ed.]
R.D. Hollis – London, E.11.