Mr. Goatman’s somewhat complacent dismissal of my April letter reporting that when on the jack the rear axle of my Victor 2000 is supported by the brake hose, calls for a rejoinder.
I can assure him (a) that no one has in any way tampered with the suspension which remains as standard as it was on the day I bought the car, and (b) that my imagination is not over-morbid in “conjuring up” the possibility of this trouble being extrapolated to at least some of the umpteen thousand Victor 2000s which, like mine, have been intelligently looked after by their owners and their local agents. It is perhaps just possible that my own experience of cars and automobile engineering extends over more years than even Mr. Goatman can claim, and I’m quite prepared to stick my neck out and criticise as bad engineering a design that places on the shock-absorbers the additional responsibility of acting as rebound-stops where coil springs are the suspension medium. It might also be of interest if I quoted from a well-known workshop manual for this model, whose author acknowledges Vauxhall Motors’ “unstinted co-operation” in its compilation. Under the heading “Rear Dampers” are the following words: “If the car is raised to facilitate damper removal, the axle must be supported to prevent the dampers from becoming fully extended.”
To suggest, as does Mr. Goatman, that “no driver of such a car has need of the warning Mr. Peel issues”, is to say the least of it a bit ostrich-like and I feel that in publishing my (perhaps) isolated experience Motor Sport has ensured that readers who own this otherwise satisfactory model keep their eyes above sand-level and watch out just in case. Verb. sap.
As a newcomer to Motor Sport I am not certain whether you permit or encourage continuous correspondence on the same subject, but I feel I must have my two pen’worth on the subject of the Vauxhall Victor 2000.
Derek Goatman in particular and Vauxhall Motors in general are not, I am sure, mechanical idiots, but neither am I and I can assure he and they respectively that on jacking the rear off-side of the car the axle is suspended by the flexible brake hose and some further travel is required by the axle before the shock-absorber stops it from going any further. No modifications of the type to affect the travel of the axle downwards have been carried out and if Derek Goatman doesn’t believe it he is quite welcome to come and have a look. I don’t know what it was that Mr. Peel suggested but I would imagine it was related to the danger of the pipe being stretched to destruction on the road; if this was the suggestion I can assure him that part of my week involves taking cars out of contact with terra firma and if he or anybody else can get a Victor 2000 airborne for sufficiently long to cause this damage he’s apt to be some driver and its got to be some road. If he is really worried about it either an extension or a longer pipe can be fitted, but be careful it doesn’t foul.
On unladen performance, bearing in mind that it is only a mass-production 2-litre, the car cannot be faulted. I had resigned myself to an early road-going grave at 23, in favour of comfort and quiet, but was pleasantly surprised to find I could still join in the traffic lights grand prix with the best of them.