Unsprung old 'uns ?

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Sir,

I feel I must join issue with your correspondent, Mr FW Bottomley (November issue) on behalf of some “modern machinery,” when he says of the Riley Nine that “the steering was a delight and the whole car had that solid, safe feel on the road that is completely absent in modern machinery.” Obviously he cannot have driven a modern Morris Minor.

No one admires vintage cars more than I, and as I have been motoring, man and boy, since 1900 and have personally owned 45 cars of all types, several of which were what are now known as “vintage sports cars,” including two Rileys (1933 and 1935) I feel I am qualified to express an opinion as to the performance of ancient and modern cars.

I think it will be generally agreed that the older cars, particularly of the “sports” type, were invariably held down to the road by almost inflexible springs assisted by tight shock-absorbers (although why they were so-called I could never imagine) and while this desirable feature was usually satisfactorily achieved, the springs hardly fulfilled their true function, which is to insulate both car and occupants from road shocks. In course of time both steering and springing systems, and also shock-absorbers, have been so vastly improved that most examples of modern “tinware” (as your dyed-in-the-wool vintage enthusiast loves to call the modern car) not only steer and hold the road as well as, if not better than, most vintage cars, but also provide an exceptionally comfortable ride for the occupants. Admittedly the Morris Minor, with its torsion-bar front springing, is an outstanding example, but there are many modern cars with other springing systems which compare more than favourably with the best vintage cars in these respects, and certainly provide a far more cornforbible ride.

While I share your correspondent’s admiration for many or the good qualities of the old ‘uns, it is, to my mind, not only unfair but slightly ridiculous to shut one’s eyes to the enormous superiority of the modern car in many respects, not the least of which is its springing.

I am, Yours, etc,

H Lennbert, London, N3. 

You may also like

Related products