We readers stand like greyhounds in the slips, straining upon the start. But the Game is not afoot. One follows one’s spirit, and charges to the papershop to Cry God for Boddy, England and Motor Sport. (Exeunt. Alarum, and chambers go off). Why is the game not afoot?, because Motor Sport has been held up by some silly dispute. So here we are at the 3rd or 4th of June with no sight of the loved magazine. Who are these bounders who are stopping us from our monthly quota of Sporting Motoring in print? “I must leave them and seek some better service, their villainy goes against my weak stomach, and therefore I must cast it up.” (Exit).
The only bright spot came when the girl in the shop said, “Don’t worry love, they are much better than some other books; we never know from one day to the next if they are going to come in.” However, please try to get things sorted out; I don’t want to go and buy the other trash that is on the railway bookstands, or the too expensive American journals.
Now then, to return to a more light-hearted mood. This is going to be rather difficult as I have not, of course, got the latest Motor Sport. Since I last saw you I have therefore strayed from the fold and bought a copy of “an inferior”, to read about the Austin Allegro. Apart from having a dull-looking body it appears to be very good in many other areas.
However, I wish to comment on the “Quartic steering wheel”. Well, for starters my Dictionary states that . . . Wheel 1, n. 1. Circular frame or disk arranged to revolve on axis and used to facilitate motion of vehicle . . . .
Quite clearly this device fitted by Leyland is not a wheel, as it is not circular, and from my own experiences I can say that these devices do not facilitate motion. In fact they are most off putting. I had one on a big Chrysler in the USA. as a company car, and I grew to hate it and the car. On entering a corner one would move the steering in the correct direction, of course, and just as one thought that all was going well one would be holding thin air or on the other hand when leaving a corner the corner parts would give one a sharp rap across the thumb or the joint in the first finger. I used to moan about it but none of the Yanks took me seriously, telling me that I should fit a steering ball, which I thought was even worse. How glad I was to see my darling 220SE. Leyland tell us that this device is being fitted so that the driver can see the instruments better, which brings forth the comment, “What instruments?”. I looked at one of these cars in a local garage, and was surprised to see an almost total lack of dials. Perhaps Lord Stokes will now fit Quartic Road Wheels to fit into the Quartic Pot Holes. Start buying shares in the replacement steering wheel business, I can see many people having the “wheels” pulled off as soon as they can.
Again with reference to Lord Stokes my dictionary says under wheels something about . . . ., Motion as of (street-arab turning wheels in the gutter.)
I wish that Motor Sport was out right now as we could all see what you have to say over this important new car, but I am sure that you must make some comment on the fact that many engineers have stayed up late at night to get this car into production (already held up by stupid disputes), they have, one imagines, really gone to town on the good handling qualities of the car, made a new body, developed a new type of road spring, and worked to produce a practical working tool, then someone spoils it by putting on what can only be called a styling feature having no real use in life. Maybe I am wrong. Perhaps you will tell us, I just have not had the time to go and drive the thing, even if I wanted to.
If Motor Sport does not come out on Monday
Ten thousand bloody crowns of mother’s sons
Shall ill become the flower of England’s face,
Change the complexion of her maid-pale peace
To scarlet indignation, and bedew
Her pastures’ grass with faithful English blood.
You have been warned.
M.G.C. Potter – Hemel Hempstead.
[We are sorry that Mr. Potter had to wait for his June issue of Motor Sport, but encouraged that it means so much to him. Since the present proprietor took the journal over it has never failed to come out, on time, each month, for 37 long and eventful years. Slumps didn’t kill it off, Hitler didn’t prevent its regular publication, in spite of the fire and explosive he rained on London during the years when Motor Sport was playing its small part in sustaining the morale of the (motoring-enthusiastic) Forces. But what Hitler failed to achieve some workers in the printing industry have at last accomplished; their near-anarchy present attitude has, at last, delayed even the publication of Motor Sport, which German bombs and aggression never did.
We apologise, very sadly and unhappily, to our patient and staunch readers (for we have had hundreds of similar letters) who will no doubt read into this note the highly disturbing overtone of an increasing threat to British Industry and the British way-of-life. . . .
As to the Austin Allegro. W.J.T. has been sampling one and after 750 miles is liking it more and more, but the square steering “wheel” he likes less and less! W.B. will sample the car as soon as he has disposed of other test cars and has steeled himself to go Quartic!—W.J.T./W.B.