This month’s copy had to be written after an all-too-brief visit to the Racing Car Show at Olympia, so I have tried to compress as much as possible into this monograph, both from the Show and outside. We begin with an old subject: Capri lights. The latest company to supply parts to solve my winter problems has been Marchal, the brand being marketed in this country by Trico-Folberth on the Great West Road in west London. Our Capri now boasts a pair of their Starlux ultra slimline units (2 in. deep by 6 3/4 in diameter) covering fog and long-range uses; prices are £7 12s. 9d. complete with bracket, switch and cable. The only snag is that brackets are not yet mass-produced for the Capri, so it will be a little while before everyone can enjoy the excellently controlled and powerful beams offered by Marchal.
Both Broadspeed and BVRT were showing radically modified version of the Ford 3-litre Capri at the Show, both with aerodynamic spoilers of one sort and another, plus a degree of interior sophistication. Broadspeed’s car was based on the 3000 E version and is listed at £1,995 complete with a claimed 190 h.h p. from the V6, road tax, seat belts, comprehensively modified suspension and braking, new frontal styling similar to that we saw last year when testing their 1600GT, Miura-style rear window louvres, jazzy topside paint finish: even registration plates are supplied, though we were disappointed to see an electric fan listed as a £17 extra.
Just before the Show we tried a Centron GT fitted with a 1,900-c.c. VW engine giving approximately 120 b.h.p. The telescopically-hinged canopy provided petrol station attendants with something to laugh at, although it worked efficiently, which is more than can be said for the wipers, which knitted themselves together on our pre-production prototype. Overall I was most impressed with the excellent ride and handling on VW components, the seating position being not unlike that of a Matra Group 6 car, and the driver’s view cannot be that dissimilar either for the wings bulge into sight. The engine was designed for torquey power, running out of puff above 6,000 r.p.m. after shifting the car along in exhilarating style almost anywhere in a 2,000-r.p.m. band below this point. Fuel consumption was approximately 19-21 m.p.g., but we will have to try the attractively-finished production for longer in order to verify the car’s performance accurately.
Talking of the Centron reminds us that we said last month there would be other VW-engined devices at the Racing Car Show, and there were, including the Silhouette, Futura (from the Mini-Jem people and featuring four headlamps underneath the wedge-shaped windscreen) and Siva Engineering’s Spyder. The latter is interesting in that it was shown in open form and it features a good luggage space plus some unusual styling details which should assure it of a ready sale when production gets under way in the Spring, which is about the same time as the Probelike Futura should be ready for public consumption.—J. W.