Letters from readers, February 1974

N.B – Opinions expressed are those of our Correspondents and MOTOR SPORT does not necessarily associate itself with them– ED



Speaking of after sales service I would mention that about 1966 I had an early Mercedes 250SE. This proved to be most unreliable and left me stranded five times. The guarantee on this car was for 12 months or 12,000 miles and when it made expensive noises at 11 months and 11,000 miles, Mercedes, without quibble, supplied me with a new car to my choice and colour, and this subsequently proved satisfactory in every way.

I wonder how many manufacturers would do this?

Stevenage Hans Edwards

Pooled Results


If the current shortage of petrol continues and motor racing is banned throughout Europe, will the Grand Prix results be decided by a committee of the FIA in the same way as the Pools Promoters guess football results when it, snows? Please ask D.S.J. to assure all readers this will not be the case. Unless, of course, Graham Hill and James Hunt won all the races in British cars.

Skipton A. W. Hodgson



I am surprised that Mr. Gordon Sorber found my remarks about the ban on musical and multi-toned motor horns “hysterical”. They were intended only as an introduction to a mildly light-hearted attempt to pull the chain upon the insidious activities of regulation-mongering bureaucrats.

I hope Mr. Sorber will not be mystified by the expression “pull the chain” which I deem to be not inappropriate to “po-faces”, though I must confess to finding it difficult to give him the precise etymological definition he seeks. As the “po” in “po-faces” or “po-faced” is nothing more than the pot de chambre, vase de nicessite or common English chamber-pot I suppose it could be said that the expression arose because the haughty, superior, disdainful expression one associates With minor officials and jacks-in-office is not unlike the pained expression of one who urgently desires to make use of a “po” or its equivalent.

Potbridge Anthony Bird

Non-M of T Tested


In recent months there has been a lot of talk about MoT tests and the EEC standards.

Recently I had to get an excavator to cut and fill. The machine that arrived on site was a five-year-old 3c JCB. On giving the driver his instructions, I had a look at Mr. Bamford’s product and I was disgusted with the state of repair.

Three inches play in the front wheel bearings. Brakes, well the pedal went to within two inches of the floor, the steering had five inches of play before the spongy feeling of the fluid took up.

This JCB is taxed and used on the road. On asking about MoT I was told they are not needed. On walking away in disgust I saw the rear light had no glass.

In my opinion I reckon it’s about time these monsters were tested and the vintage boys given a chance.

Bromley A. Sheppeck

Opinion on the Triumph Dolomite Sprint


I am well pleased with the Triumph Dolomite Sprint, and quite content, as yet, to suffer its faults. However, considering how long many of us waited to see it marketed, it is disappointing that they are there at all really.

When I rang the supplier to thank them for an enjoyable car, but to point out that it had started not to go into reverse the bland reply was: “Oh, none of them do”.

On Michelin ZX its roadholding, etc,, is better than I had anticipated. With overdrive and with less of the early ones’ very bumpy low speed ride it could be almost many people’s practical ideal, though more boot space and better headlights would also be needed, I think.

I have been meaning to write to you to remark that I believe Col. “Goldie” Gardner’s record breaking MG pre-war had a quartic steering wheel, as well as the inwards inclined valves, of course!

Thank you for many years of escapism over the years.

S. Wimbledon E. H. O. Mitchell

Fifty Forever?


On this first day of “voluntary” reduction of speed on our roads in an abortive effort to stave off the onset of fuel rationing, I am greatly worried by two factors.

Firstly, I fear this is the ready-made excuse our transport ministry have been waiting for to lower the overall speed limit on our roads, for all-time, to a dreaded 50 m.p.h. and, secondly, even on day one, the quite appalling bunching and nose-to-tail effect this is having; which should be a severe lesson to those in authority not to countenance such a move, but I fear that it will have the opposite effect.

Please continue to campaign hard to keep the status quo and preserve the marginal “freedom” we still enjoy.

Southwater M. C. Holt

Press Rally Coverage


Once again the soccer and horse racingbesotted Press have missed one of the big action stories of the year. I refer to the RAC Rally—the World Cup and Grand National of motoring sport—and am moved to question the criteria of the Press in assuming readership interest in any particular activity.

The RAC Rally is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious events in the world of motoring sport. This year it was estimated— and the event is so scattered Nation-wide that one can do no more—that more than two million people watched it, many of them turning out to the remoter and more inhospitable areas of Britain at all sorts of ungodly hours. This year 18 nations were represented and there were sixty foreign entries in the field of 200.

Why, then, do newspapers first of all not recognise rallying as a sport—the bald reports are almost without exception in the news columns—and why do they apparently believe that no-one in particular is interested?

No other single event in this country attracts greater spectator support; 7,000 Club members give up their time not only on the day hut for weeks beforehand to ensure the smooth running of the special stages in the world’s best organised rally. And yet, with the exception of the Daily Mirror, who sponsor the Rally, coverage is sparse. The drama, the spills, the thrills are all missed. Is it not time the Press reassessed its priorities and accepted that rallying is one of the most popular sports in Britain?

Birkby M. Knutton

[Could it be that when one big newspaper sponsors an event this’ is a signal to the rest to virtually ignore it? We got the news we wanted of the closing stages of the RAC Rally while driving somewhere between Burford and Newbury. But one aspect troubles us. The position of the rally leaders was described as one car being so many minutes and seconds ahead of another. Any layperson listening (or listening-in, as we used to say in 2LO days) could be forgiven for believing that a furious road-race, rather like Paris-Madrid, was at that moment impinging on York. Which isn’t the case at all, is it? —En.]

No Green Covers!—or Over to the GPO

The country’s in a shocking state,

We’re falling as a nation,

We rapidly become third rate,

The victims of inflation.

Made in GB,

That once proud line,

Just isn’t what it used to be.

We suffer a decline.

Our cars won’t start,

We make too few,

They fall apart,

It just won’t do.

About to fall, we’re worth * * * all,

All strikes and blow you Jack.

But we’ll take all, rise or fall,

Get up and come right back.

All this and more we’ll tolerate,

Our country’s in a shocking state.

But things have really gone too far,

When MOTOR SPORT is late!

Summercourt Ian S. Bolton