Various items


I was very interested to read the paragraph about the Daimler road-train. By a remarkable coincidence I have just read a book called “The Story of the Flinders Ranges”, which is a history about the same part of Australia and gives in detail the story of carrying copper ore from the Yudnamutna mine to the railway siding.

The ore was originally carried by team waggon using horses, bullocks or even donkeys, but to cut the cost which was eating up the profits the English directors of the company decided to use mechanical transport consisting of three steam traction engines each with a train of six waggons capable of carrying a load of 50 tons.

Cartage costs would thus be cut to 25s. per ton or less, but to the delight of the bullock drivers who surrounded the engines at their first attempt the engines were a failure owing to the deep and loose sand in many places. As this took place in 1863 it probably accounts for the renewed optimism which must have been present when the Daimler attempt was made about 50 years later.

The January copy of Motor Sport has another very interesting item which I consider to be one of the best pieces of car photography in colour for detail and background for some time, the picture of a 1930 Bentley which purely as a photograph is well balanced and focussed. If this is to be the forerunner of a series it sets an even higher standard of colour photographic reproduction than ever, and though Motor Sport was tardy in using it the standard has been much higher than in many contemporaries.

The astonishing claims made by Mr. Dodd and his Rolls are surely undermined by the intervention of Linda F. Martin, in that she omits the most important information of all, what is her time for changing nappies. As the father of a six-month-old boy I feel that Motor Sport did not give sufficient thought to this aspect before throwing the letter into the bin. My cross-country averages have never been the same since I became a father and I trust that any test in which the Editor takes part will reproduce the original conditions baby and all (cradle?). One can hardly expect the Sunday Times to have considered this point, since expert advice on these matters will not have been available for many years.

Best wishes for 1971, continue to sort out the wheat from the chaff, though a little of the latter can be more amusing than is often intended.

J.C. Armstrong.