Overdriven New Cars

I motor a lot on the A12 and A604 and have become disturbed at the treatment meted out to many brand-new cars being driven on Trade Plates. This has increased significantly in the last two years, presumably as more and more “British” cars are made on the Continent. By abuse I include “Stirling Moss” starts and stops, travelling at speeds “way above 70 m.p.h.”, and pressing on when enveloped in smoke or steam.

Mainly it is Ford cars, with several other makes in smaller numbers. Most cars are heading towards London. In the opposite direction, mainly new Japanese cars and a few Fords proceed very rapidly.

Presuming delivery mileage is truly recorded on the mileometer, surely the average purchaser has a right to know it has been driven only within the running-in limits recommended in a particular manufacturer’s handbook, or doesn’t it matter any more, in which case why do they include directions for running-in engines and bedding-in brakes?

Incidentally, I feel privileged to have started motoring in 1937 with Velocettes and Austins, and with supreme pleasure in 1950 I used to commute weekly between Streatham Hill and Bearsden (North Glasgow, in an 18 h.p. Armstrong Siddeley Hurricane coupé, 428 miles door-to-door, which regularly took shout 10 hours, including a stop at a pub or hotel. No motorways in those days!

I feel equally privileged to have gained my Aviators Certificate in 1949 on Puss Moths and to have motored extensively in India, Malaya, Java, and Australia. More than a generation ago.

Maybe of interest, the last car I purchased to satisfy my hobby of fully restoring and then using interesting motors was a Jowett Javelin, in 1971 bought for £25, what lunacy now pervades in that market.

My wife drives daily a split-screen 803 c.c. Morris Minor I purchased new from Britnall & Crowther in 1955. They used to be in Petersfield. Still going strong and virtually original with no rust.

Dovercourt, M. W. Trenerry