A MODIFIED MIDGET

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47

A MODIFIED MIDGET

ATTRACTIVE _JARVIS BODY ON WELLKNO14/N CHASSIS.

HEN a sports car attains popularity with the swiftness of the M.G. Midget, it is good proof of the soundness of its design, especially when this is backed up by

success in competitions. This is certain to lead in its turn to a demand among discriminating owners for a model which will be a little different from the general run in the way of coachwork.

Therefore, although the M.G. Midget was no novelty to us as regards the chassis, we found a great deal to arouse fresh interest in the Jarvis Midget which was in our hands for a few days recently. Some coachwork attracts by its appearance, while some depends on its practical and useful lay-out to capture the owner’s fancy. This particular model, however, is one of those rare examples which combine real good looks with a maximum of convenient accommodation.

There are many small sports cars on the road to-day which, while very nice for showing off their owner to advantage on short runs, present considerable difficulties when a long journey is undertaken with any luggage or equipment. Although it must be admitted that there are numbers of sports car owners whose first thought is appearance, and whose journeys rarely extend beyond the main street of their home town, we like to forget them as much as possible, and hope they will decrease rapidly. It is to the normal man, to whom a car means a quick means of getting far afield, that the Jarvis model should appeal. It is, in our opinion, the most practical sports body we have ever tried on a car of this type and size. The actual construction and finish of the body are excellent, as might be expected from a firm who have so long specialised in sporting coachwork, and these may be taken for granted.

The actual lay-out is a miniature of the short 3-4 seater type which is often seen on 1 • litre cars. In this case the rear compartment is intended chiefly for luggage, although it would be useful on occasion to give a lift to an extra passenger for a short journey. A large inspection door in the floor of this compartment gives convenient access to the rear axle for greasing, etc., while a second flap at the rear opens the tool compartment, which is built under the floor level in the form of a dummy petrol tank. This is of ample size, and, as well as a large tool kit, provides room for those many items of spares and equipment which always seem to accumulate. The only criticism of this arrangement is that if the rear compartment is full of luggage, some of this will have to be removed to get at the tools. This is not likely to happen often, however, and the convenience of a really large tool box makes up for it.

The bucket seats are adjustable over a considerable range, and though in the experimental body we tried there was not really sufficient room for anyone over 6 feet, the leg room is being increased in the production model to remedy this. Pneumatic upholstery will also be included in the standard specification.

A neat and really efficient hood is another good point and the lines of the hood are in keeping with the rest of the car. When this is not in use, a combined hood and tonneau cover ensure the contents of the rear compartment, if any, being kept free from dust or damp. By its behaviour on the road we were able to prove that the weight distribution with this particular body was excellently as the road and comfort

at speed were re ally remarkable, and continually gave the impression of a much larger vehicle. The steering, in common with all Midgets, was very light indeed; in fact, too light for our liking, as we should have preferred rather more caster combined with a somewhat higher

gear. At present from full lock to full lock (not a very great angular movement of the front wheels in this case) requires two full revolutions of the wheel. On such a light car a considerably higher gear would still call for no appreciable effort, while when “scrap ping” on a winding road it would give a rather quicker and more ” live ” control. The steering was very pleasant, however, and perfectly steady, while some people may prefer the very low gear. Although MOTOR SPORT has previously published accounts of the M.G. and its performance, we cannot refrain from again referring to the running of the engine. In addition to its remarkable power for its size, it is one of the smoothest 4-cylinder engines we have ever driven,

and feels almost like a six. With suitable attention to the ignition control it will travel smoothly at a walking pace in top gear, while its maximum was 68 m.p.h., at which speed it was quite free from any signs of overrevving. On second gear, 40 m.p.h. was reached quickly, and this was the best speed at which to change up if maximum acceleration was required, though considerably more than this

could be attained before valve bounce occurred at between 45 and 50 m.p.h. With stronger valve springs this would not occur, but it is evident that its most useful range in second is up to 40 m.p.h. And there is no point in exceeding this in ordinary work, as to do so is simply increasing

general wear and tear on the engine.

The brakes, operated on all wheels by the pedal, are positive and powerful, and are an improvement on the earlier models of this chassis, making high average speed quite safe. The hand-brake is rather too far forward for convenience, but as this is used chiefly for holding the car when stationary, this small point is of minor consequence. The job as a whole is well planned and carried out, and is a notable improvement on an already attractive little car. The price with a very full equipment, including side screens, is 425. The

makers are Jarvis & Sons, of Victoria Crescent, Wimbledon.