The North American market

For 18 years I drove and enjoyed a succession of British-built automobiles. These varied from such mundane machinery as a Standard 8, Morris 10, Austins A40, A60, A95 and Vauxhall Velox to more sporting types—MG TC, MG tourer, TR2, TR3A, Sunbeam Talbot 90, Aston Martin DB2/4, and five different Jaguars (ranging from Mk. VII to XKE). With a bit of rallying and racing thrown in, these were great years and the nature of the cars greatly accentuated the delight of such pursuits.

Unfortunately, a penalty was involved—that of frequent minor but annoying failures of components, especially Smith’s instruments and Lucas electrics. To this was added spares delays, all of which you’ve heard before from many of us in North America who love your car designs and regret seeing your market almost disappearing here.

In 1968 I transferred my allegiance to a Pontiac Firebird and have enjoyed trouble-free motoring ever since. Not really the greatest fun motoring, mind you, but the absolute quintessence of reliability and serviceability.

Now many of my friends who have also switched to North American cars are wondering if you have yet or will soon overcome quality control problems. Because of some resentment against the USA for recently holding economic pistols at our heads, many Canadians would like to buy British again. Will those who do, tell those of us who don’t, that we’re missing something again, and this time without the penalties? I hope so because I feel there’s an opportunity for Britain to crash again our North American market. Right now my two children are driving an MG-B and a Spitfire IV respectively. I wonder what they (and I) will be driving three years from now?

Finally, thanks to you and your staff for continuing to send out each month a delightfully blended mixture of entertainment and information on the motoring scene.

Jack Curruthers.
Ottawa, Canada.