Up in Grimsby, Lloyd Cars Ltd. are building a car refreshing on account of its individuality in an age of growing standardisation. Briefly, the specification comprises a water-cooled two-cylinder two-stroke engine of 654-c.c., driving the front wheels through a three-speed gearbox and 5.24 to 1 final drive. The chassis has a 7 ft. 9 in. wheelbase and all round independent suspension by coil springs and wishbones. The body is an open two/four-seater and the price is £375, or £479 18s. 4d. with p.t. The engine is reminiscent at first glance of that in a D.K.W., and is set transversely across the car; it idles merrily, flywheel in full view.
Recently, by the courtesy of Guy Salmon Automobiles of Thames Ditton, we were able to take an afternoon drive in a Lloyd, turning our wheels, incidentally, towards what is left of Brooklands Track. We were advised that the car had done under 900 miles, and at 700 miles had had the latest engine, with alloy block, installed, and thus was far from run-in. Nevertheless, the little car buzzed along very smoothly and willingly with the speedometer at 40 m.p.h. and later reached and held an indicated 51 m.p.h. In second gear it wound up to 30 m.p.h., and the acceleration was quite imposing. The smoothness is as pronounced on the over-run as under drive and erroneously suggests use of a free-wheel. The steering, through a 14 1/2-in, diameter solid wheel, has very slow castor action, but, given attention, is accurate, and the little car holds in nicely round corners. Just over one turn takes the wheels from lock-to-lock, and there seems no perceptible change in the steering as between drive and over-run. The suspension tends to be lively over bad roads, and to produce slight pitching, but it offers an extremely comfortable ride and enables the Lloyd to be put round corners surprisingly well. The bucket front seats provide excellent support and real comfort, although pinching a little at the shoulders. Moreover, leg room is ample and the doors usefully large, while two big cubby-holes, door pockets and a luggage locker are provided. The rear seat is reasonably generous.
Vision is excellent, both front wings being visible to the driver through the large single-pane screen, although the rear-view mirror rather blanked a view of the nearside wing. The left foot can be rested comfortably below the clutch pedal.
Possibly due to the newness of the car the Lloyd mechanical self-energising brakes, although undeniably powerful, were rather too energetic, while the clutch came in only at the end of the pedal-travel, making get-away from rest rather a delayed action. It also proved difficult to engage the gears, which are controlled by a steering-column lever working in a real gate, with the car stationary and the engine running. Once under way this difficulty vanished and the change from top into the second-gear of 9.61 to 1 was exceptionally easy; bottom gear (17.4 to 1) was seldom required except for starting. Top gear is 5.2 to 1.
The engine makes a noise and leaves behind a haze of blue smoke that will delight the heart of any two-stroke enthusiast. It seemed most willing and dependable and exhibited no desire to emulate the firing impulses of the popular Otto cycle. Sometimes it had to be spun for a while on the starter before it fired, but an ample dynamo-charge looked after that. Lubrication is effected by pump, not by the petroil system, but the pressure is quite low, merely a few lb./sq. in., the reading looking somewhat droll on a gauge calibrated up to 100 lb./sq. in.
The Lloyd impressed us as a jolly little car, which we would like to try over a greater distance. Items noted included twin Lucas screen-wipers; good all-weather protection; rear-hinged doors; horn button, lamp dimmer and direction-indicator control carried on a steering column extension in front of the gearlever (the horn button a trifle tucked away); small, high-set, brightly plated headlamps; 75 m.p.h. speedometer.; Goodyear 4.00 by 17 tyres.