A CAR WITH A HIGH PERFORMANCE AT A MODERATE PRICE.
TAKE a powerful and smooth-running V8 engine developing 65 h.p. and put it in a light chassis. The result is acceleration, the most desirable quality in a sports car. The acceleration figures of the V8 Ford are comparable with those of cars costing double thy’ price, and are put up in an effortless manner which should preserve the chassis from premature wear and tear. The petrol consumption is about 15 m.p.g., and the £30 tax is offset by an insurance premium of £15. The eight-cylinder engine has its two four-cylinder blocks mounted at 90°, and the bores are offset so that two connecting rods operate on each crankshaft throw. The throws are arranged at 90° to one another and the two big-ends operate alongside one another on a floating steel bush faced with white-metal inside and out. The crankshaft runs in three plain bearings. Aluminium pistons are used
The side-by-side valves are operated by a single camshaft which is carried above the crankcase between the two blocksThe distributor is driven from the front end and the petrol pump at the rear. Fuel is drawn from an eleven gallon tank at the rear of the chassis and supplied to the large down-draught carburettor. This has a large mushroom shaped air filter, and an easy starting device in the form of an auxiliary jet supplying rich mixture when the choke control is pulled out onthe dash. The throttle is slightly Opened at the same time.
The ignition advance and retard is automatically controlled by a vacuum diaphragm on the induction pipe. The induction manifold occupies the space between the two cylinder blocks and through it projects the oil filter. The sump holds a gallon of oil, and a pump circulates it to main connecting rod and camshaft bearings.
A belt from a pulley on the fore end of the crankshaft drives water-pumps on each cylinder block and also the dynamo and fan. Adjustment is effected by moving the dynamo. The engine-gear-box unit is rubbermounted on two cones at the front end and on a rubber-faced plate resting on a
cross-member at the rear. When the accelerator is depressed, the whole engine rocks an inch or more, and also the gearlever and brake-lever. Petrol and other pipes are therefore flexible. When the car is on the road, the power-unit does not move perceptibly, but the flexible mounting damps out any vibration which may occur. A single-plate clutch transmits the drive to a three-speed gearbox and second gear is a silent ratio, driving through hell
The acceleration chart of the V8 Ford.
.cal gears, and is also provided with the synchro-mesh mechanism. An open propellor shaft is used, with spiral bevel final drive.
The chassis frame is dropped fore and aft, and the transverse springs, for so long a feature of Ford cars, have been retained. The axles are located by radius rods. The four-wheel brakes are operated by rods and the hand lever applies the rear brakes only.
The ” Greyhound” open body, which is marketed jointly by Arthur Gould Ltd. of Upper Regent Street, W.I. and W. Arthur Perry of North Finchley, provides comfortable accommodation for four people. The front seats have pneumatic upholstery and can be moved backwards or forwards on slacking off wing-nuts. The driving position brings all the controls under the driver’s reach but for a longlegged and tall driver the steering column might with advantage be two or three inches longer. This should not be difficult to arrange. The Ashby steering wheel provides a comfortable grip. The rear seats are well padded and have good legroom even when the front seats have been moved back, and the high body sides protect the passengers from wind and cold.
The car is fitted with well-fitting hood and side curtains, but in order to allow the front ones to be fitted close to the windscreen on future models the doors will be hinged at the forward ends.
The suspension with normal tyre pressures and shock absorber settings was too flexible for fast running, but by increasing the former and tightening up the Andre friction dampers, fitted additional to the hydraulic devices, a satisfactory degree of steadiness was attained. The acceleration graph shows the very good performance of which the car is capable, and up to 40 m.p.h. a very useful speed in traffic and on crowded roads, few sports cars, even at double the price, can hold it. Even up to 70 the VS holds its own, and 60 is reached from a standing start in 21/ seconds, which shows the value of a light chassis in getting quickly ” unstuck.” All this is accomplished in almost complete silence, without vibration, so that one can use the car’s acceler
ation to the full in crowded areas without attracting unwelcome attention.
The three-speed gearbox was such that the absence of a fourth ratio was not felt. Comfortable speeds in the gears are 30 and 50, at revs. of 4,100 and 3,900 respectively, while at the maximum speed on the level, 76 on top, the engine is running at 3,700 r.p.m. By advancing the ignition another 6 degrees, which the distributor adjustment allows, the concessionaires hope to reach an even 80 m.p.h., a fine performance for a car of the Ford’s comfort and flexibility.
Second gear is completely silent, and though the simplest of double-clutching ensures a silent change, the synchromesh mechanism is worth using simply as a matter of interest. To make use of this, the clutch is fully depressed and the gear-lever moved gently into the second gear notch. Cones on the pinions are brought together and synchronise their rotational speed, and they engage silently. The clutch pedal is then released gently, preferably with a depression of the accelerator to bring the engine speed up to that of the clutch member which is being driven by the back wheels. From 40 m.p.h. the brakes brought the car to rest in 69 feet, which is not up to the normal sports car figure. In prac
tise owing to their smooth action and the fact that the car did not swerve at all when they were applied, we were not inconvenienced. Furthermore, by taking advantage of the synchro-mesh device the brake pedal can be kept on right up to a corner, the accelerator not being required for the change-down. Handling the car on the road, we found it would maintain an effortless 60-65 indefinitely without fuss or noise. The steering, which is rather low geared and without caster, behaves well on the open road, as it is light and accurate, but for
twisty by-roads the steering wheel has to be wound about a good deal. The headlamps give an evenly illuminated field of view, and allow 50-60 m.p.h. to be kept up in safety. A control in the centre of the steering wheel dips the beam or switches off the headlights for town running. Olv The V8 Ford combines sports car performance with silent running and easy handling, all at a moderate price. With its compact build and high power ratio, it should be an ideal trial car, and its good acceleration makes it superior in getting away to a good many cars built initially as a sports production. T.G.:NI