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32

SPORTING CARS on TEST. THE TH. SCHNEIDER SPORTS MODEL.

By RICHARD TWEINETREES.

SPECIFICATION:

13/50—H.P. SPORTS TH. SCHNEIDER, 1926 MODEL.

ENGINE. —Monobloc, bore 72 mm. x120 mm. R.A.C. Rating, 12/9 h.p. Tax £13. Overhead valves. Forced lubrication by geared pump. Thermo-syphon cooling and fan.

ZENITH Carburettor, triple diffuser, strangler on dash. TRANSMISSION.—By Cardan Shaft, four speeds and reverse. Central control. Leather cone clutch.

SPRINGING.—Front, half-elliptic, 33.} ins. by 1 ins. Rear, 572ins. by 210-6 ins.

BRAKES.—On all four wheels. Diameter of front wheel brakes, 15 ins. (Perrot system). Diameter of back wheel brakes, 21 ins.

Foot-brake operates on all four wheels. Hand-brake on rear wheels only. All brakes are internal expanding. Hartford shock absorbers fitted, also spring gaiters.

WHEEL BASE.-9 ft. 10} ins.

WHEF,L -TR ACK .-4 ft. 5 ins.

CHASSIS WEIGHT.—Eighteen hundredweight.

STARTING AND LIGHTING SYSTEM.-12 volt, silent starter. WHEELS . —Detachable wire wheels and spare, fitted with 765 x105 Michelin Cord Tyres. Spare wheel carried at rear of car.

AccEssoms.-2 Head lamps, 2 side lamps, tail lamp, dash lamp. Clock. Speedometer. Revolution counter. Electric horn. Jack. Pump, and full kit of tools.

SPEED.—With full load, up to 75 m.p.h. on top, 50 m.p.h. on third.

PERHAPS one of the most interesting features of this particular test lies in. the fact that the Schneider already had some 18,000 to its credit, so that, in addition to being well run in, the car was able to demonstrate its durability and wearing qualities. We are accustomed to expect various forms of wear and need for adjustment in a fast car after such a mileage, but I must say that the Schneider impressed me as being a particularly solid job notwithstanding work it has accomplished. Though Mr. Smith of the Welbeck Agency, who holds the Schneider concession, forewarned me as to certain faults due to the mileage the car had run, and I was pleasantly surprised to find it in excellent condition. The Schneider is certainly a ” sports ” car and not just a sort of glorified touring model fitted with a special body and a few extra engine refinements, but at the same

time it handles well in traffic besides being delightfully comfortable at ordinary speeds.

On a Colonial Section.

As part of my test was to include a run to Cambridge and back for the purpose of delivering a lecture to the members of the Cambridge University Club, I thought it would be a good plan to put the Schneider over my pet bit of Colonial stuff before going on a run where no gradients were likely to be encountered. The illustrations reproduced as Figs. 2 and 3, give some idea of the conditions of the place where an ” American ” climb was attempted, and though the gradient was not too severe for the willing little o.h.v. engine, Jack Frost had played “old Harry” with the surface so that the wheels began to spin after climbing about fifty yards of the pebble strewn slope. Finding a piece of road which was not too icy, I let the car go on its speed test and from a standing start was able to reach 72 m.p.h. in 34 2 /5th seconds. By revving the engine up to 3,600 a speed of 52 ‘m.p.h. can be reached on third gear and the construction of

the gear box permits of a slip change up without feeling that the crown wheel takes any abnormal shock.

After spending the morning harrying the Schneider by:various passages over rough country, I came to the conclusion that the car was built of first class material, for under all conditions it felt particularly robust and perfectly reliable.

Whilst there are a few details which in my humble opinion are capable of improvement—and who has ever driven a perfect car ?—the Schneider is a car which promotes a good deal of affection, a likeable sort of vehicle, in short.

In a Critical Mood.

The few defects, if such they may be called, are not noticeable until one gets on the open road and proceeds

to drive at speeds which cannot be called respectable. For instance, the steering though delightful up to 50 m.p.h., and when driving on winding roads where accurate cornering is essential, occupies the attention of the driver when the 60 mark is reached. There is nothing much wrong at this speed, but one has to hold the wheel instead of resting the hand upon the rim.

Should a quick change down be desired say at 55 m.p.h. the top gear has a tendency to stick in and speed has to be slackened slightly before the change can be made. This, I am told, does not happen on the newer models, though it may be accounted for to some extent by the employment of a cone clutch, which as a type does not release so readily as those of the disc variety. The slight harshness of the indirect gears I put down to wear and tear, but, otherwise, the transmission was particularly sweet. At all speeds the suspension is beyond criticism and rear as well as front passengers

can enjoy real travelling comfort for hours on end without experiencing fatigue.

I had nearly forgotten to mention another point, which a ” blister ” has called to mind ! Up to 40 m.p.h. the noise from the exhaust causes no comment, but after that the engine gives out an extremely healthy, if somewhat expensive, bark. I discovered this at the exact moment when a very young constable outside Baldock arrived at the same conclusion, but it seems desirable to make such discoveries without police assistance.

Pleasant Four-Wheel Brakes.

The four-wheel Perrot brakes are veryeffective without any of that violent action characterising some systems, they begin to operate with the slightest pressure on the

pedal and engage progressively without jar or interference with the steering of the car applied when taking a curve. As the road conditions during the recent frost were very trying for a fast driven car, I can give the Schneider full marks for its braking system. At 60 m.p.h. the car can be brought to a standstill without locking the wheels, in a distance of 66 yards. The side brake which operates an extra set of shoes on the rear wheel drums is also effective and the drums are 21 ins, in diameter. A 4.8 to 1 top gear is fitted which, together with the high performance of the engine, enables the Schneider to surmount most main road gradients without serious diminution of speed and the 6.8 to 1 third gear ensures fast climbs of fairly stiff contours. In addition to being an attractive car to handle over rough going, the Schneider shows up well at very high touring speeds and can be driven for long distances at speed with great comfort.

A Complete Instrument Board.

A good feature of the car control is the entire absence of any levers on the steering wheel, the hand control for the throttle and ignition taking the form of two short levers projecting from the instrument board in front of the driver. Above these a mixture control lever is situated, and the speedometer clock and revolution counter are all arranged so as to be easily visible even when driv ing fast, a convenience which is not so common as one might think. By means of a small lever, also mounted on the dash, extra oil can be admitted to the overhead valve gear, thus this mechanism can be kept properly lubricated without danger of swamping the valves or wasting the oil. During the test of some 250 miles no measurable amount of oil was consumed and the petrol consumption averaged out at 28 m.p.g., including traffic and fast driving.

Sporting Appearance Combined with Comfort. The accompanying photographs do not give the best impression of the graceful lines of the bodywork and the

RUSSIAN MOTOR SPIRIT.

An important statement has been issued by the Directors of Russian Oil Products, Ltd., from this Company’s head office at Moorgate Hall, London, E.C. In this statement it is mentioned that, in consequence of the circulation of a leaflet published by the Association of British Creditors of Russia, they have been sometimes questioned as to the origin of their Oil Products. Correspondence has been published on this matter, we understand, in the “Financial News,” and reference to the whole subject has appeared in a number of papers.

The Russian Oil Products, Ltd., have asked us to state that their Company imports the entire quantity of its Oil Products exclusively from the Black Sea Ports, Novorossisk and Batoum, and that their Products have been known since the middle of last century as Russian. The Company does not represent its Products as American, Mexican or otherwise, but always point out their Russian origin.

aluminium bonnet and dash form, to my way of thinking, too decided a contrast with the leathered covered body. If, however, the coachbuilder is allowed full scope, the results will be most attractive, and finished throughout in accordance with English ideas the Schneider is a most handsome car. For fast driving, the low sided body is admirable and very comfortable withal, there is plenty of leg room in front and enough behind. The hood is of the collapsible variety and together with its removable supports, fold up to go in a locker behind the rear seat squab, the whole being capable of mounting in five minutes. Both the gear and side brake lever are situated conveniently and the location of the pedals avoids ankle fatigue.

All things considered the Th. Schneider impressed me very favourably and at the price of p80 with an English built sports four-seater body, presents remarkably good value for the sporting driver who wants a fast car which can be relied upon for hard competition work and speedy touring without constant attention in the way of tuning and adjustment.

A FIAT SUCCESS.

The 10 h.p. Fiat which completed a record six-days’ run at Monza was a standard production model, fitted with a Silvani ” superculasse ” overhead valve gear. During the trip it was driven continuously by Messrs. Silvani, Belgir, Botta and Mangcarotti ; and, besides gaining the six-days’ record, lowered twenty-eight world’s and forty-five international records.

R.A.C. AND MOTOR-CYCLISTS.

The R.A.C. has recently appointed a special committee to deal exclusively with all matters relating to motorcycling. There is now a very large number of Associate Motor-cycle members of the R.A.C., and as the problems and difficulties which confront motor-cyclists differ in many ways from those presented to car drivers, it is felt that their interests would be better served by a committee consisting of men who are closely in touch with the movement.