THE 8-LITRE BENTLEY

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THE 8-LITRE BENTLEY

Sir, Apropos of remarks under the heading ” Ratio-Shifting ” in the May issue of MOTOR SPORT may I correct a anis-statement with regard to the clutch on my 8-litre Bentley ? This, and everything appertaining thereunto, is not Borg and Beck, but standard Bentley, albeit judiciously lightened. (I believe I am correct in saying that the maximum b.h.p. transmissible by a Borg and Beck private-car type clutch is in the neighbourhood of 170, whereas that developed by the Bentley is probably nearer double.) Then, with regard to the ease with which the various types of Bentley gearboxes may be manipulated, I cannot but envy the implied skill of the gentleman, referred to as “knowing Bentleys very well indeed,” who declares that with the exception of the wide-ratio B-types, very rapid changes be made with any box and, further, that no box is tricky. In sorry contrast is my own lack of cog-swopping skill—full fourteen years’ experience of these boxes, and still tricked by all in turn l—and so it is that I am curious as to the extent of your informant’s experience in fast work with the F-type box, such as fitted to my 8-litre, which in actual fact is far from being the closeratio affair his remarks might lead the uninitiated to suppose, seeing that the all-important third speed approximates the third speed of the wide-ratio B-type box rather than that of the close-ratio A or D types. The actual gearbox ratios are .—B-type 1.453, F-type 1.345,

A and D types 1.23. That lightning changes are now possible

with the F-type box on my 8-litre is entirely due to factors unconnected with the box itself, most certainly such changes were not at one time possible, nor can they to-day be described as simple, for the period of time during which silent engagement can be effected is brief in the extreme. Boxes of the D-type are fitted to both

my 3-litre and 4i-litre Bentleys, but they are not operated with equal facility (for which there is good reason), nor, in some respects, with the facility of the widerratio F-type box on the 8-litre (for which, again, there is good reason). Consequently, I have long since come to regard the old-type Bentley gearbox as a law unto itself and moreover not a safe subject for dogmatism. Sooner would I voice an indisputable fact—that every month MOTOR SPORT gets better and better. I am, Yours etc.,

FORREST LYCETT. South Kensington,

London, S.W.5.