Vintage postbag, July 1965

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Austin v. the Flat-Twin

Sir,

Sir Herbert Austin may not have liked 2-cylinder engines, and I know many people would agree with him without even a trial drive, but surely in this age of higher and higher engine speeds there is much to be said for the unhurried gait of the 2-cylinder, even if it is only a sense of high-geared well-being and unflappability in the best vintage tradition to contrast with the undignified scurry of today. Moreover, the cost of any major attention to the engine is practically half that of a 4-cylinder, and the way is open to a simplicity of design that must appeal to any man who likes to work on his own car. From the purely technical aspect there are also advantages that some engineers would go so far as to say fulfil an ideal, though it is not a particularly cheap engine to produce.

What a pity it was that those in charge of Jowetts after the last war did not fully share their founders’ faith in the flat-twin: it would not have let them down, and nor would their customers. In fact the mistake was tacitly admitted and steps taken to rectify it by the introduction of the CD Bradford whose i.o.e. flat-twin was to power a 2-door saloon in addition to commercial versions. Had this project been ready a year earlier, perhaps the company would have survived and I know that I, far one, would now he the proud owner of a Bradford saloon.

Harrow Weald.
John McEvoy.

[I tried to save the prototype of this i.o.c. Bradford private car project, which had rubber suspension, when Bristol-Siddeley took over the Jowett factory. Alas, it vanished before I could do so.—ED.]

“The Vintage Years of the Morgan 3-Wheeler”

Sir,

It was of great interest to read your article “The Vintage Years Of the Morgan 3-Wheeler.”

Your references to the various successes and record attempts of the late E. B. Ware, were of particular interest to me. My late father, Arthur H. Church, was very closely associated with E.B.W. at the J. A. Prestwich works on engine development, chassis/body improvement, the “burning of much midnight oil” prior to meetings and as passenger/mechanic to him for many years.

I look forward to your continued account of those wonderful “Maggie days.”

Cheshunt.
Geoffrey C. Church.

[We thank the many readers who have expressed their enjoyment of this article, which is continued in this issue—ED.]

Roesch Talbot Road-holding

Sir,

I have read the correspondence re Roesch Talbot Road holding with some considerable interest. I have owned my Talbot 90 (GO 8057) for 34 years, repeat 34 years, and my Talbot 75 saloon for 15 years. The “90” has taken me in complete safety for more than 200,000 miles and I have never had an anxious moment due to the road-holding. And this covers a personal age range from 1953 with the same car.

This was the car driven by Georges Roesch himself in the “Tour of Celebrities” at Goodwood in 1955. It has had two major overhauls in 34 years, one in 1935 and the next in 1953.

I have owned many other cars in addition to the two Talbots and at the present time I have an E-type Jaguar and Daimler SP250. But there is some real character in the Roesch Talbots.

Leatherhead.
John D. Harris.

Bad Show, Henlow

Sir,

I have just returned, horrified, from the “Concours” of vintage motor cars held at Henlow R.A.F. base in Bedfordshire, advertised in your June calendar of Veteran and Vintage events.

The Concours seemed to consist of four vintage cars and a fire engine amongst a few modern cars.

I was glad that there were no more vintage cars, because the treatment to which these vehicles were subjected was absolutely appalling. The organisers of the event, apart from charging visitors an extra shilling over and above the general entrance fee to the airport, showed no interest in the conduct of the spectators, with the result that the ignorant offspring of irresponsible parents were allowed to jump all over the cars, blow the horns, switch the lights on and off, and jerk the steering wheels to and fro violently.

The genuinely interested visitor dare not venture near to the cars for fear of getting a horn-blast in one car and an airborne child in the other—they were jumping out of the cockpits by standing on the door-tops.

It seemed that there was not one parent there who was interested in teaching his children a sense of respect for other peoples’ property, let alone teaching the difference between a kiddy-car and a rare and valued piece of machinery.

I left, wondering if, like everything else, the case of the last generation must be sacrificed to blind indulgence by the present generation of every misguided whim of the future generation.

Luton.
J. M. G. Leeder.

The Fastest Edwardian

Sir,

I am not surprised to learn from Oliver Hears letter that the 10 1/2-litre Fiat has been up Prescott in the very capable hands of his father, quicker than the Itala in mine. It was always the faster car of the two, and only since the war was it allowed to decline into the deplorable state which we have witnessed all too often. But the event he quotes was an international meeting of which I have no record, and of course, Edwardian class records are only set up at Vintage Club meetings.

London, S.W.1.
Cech. Clutton.

[Could the Lorraine-Dietrich “Vieux Charles Trois” have been even faster? It, too, has deteriorated until it is in no state to prove anything. But I think we may see the Fiat, driven by Frank Lockhart at this month’s V.S.C.C. Silverstone meeting.— ED.]

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