THWARTING THE CAR THIEF
THWARTING THE CAR TI-II F
IT is a remarkable fact that in spite of all the existing methods of making a car thief-proof, nearly 6,000 cars were reported stolen in the Metropolitan Police Area alone during 1932. In the majority of cases, of course, the cars were found abandoned later, having served their purpose as a rapid means of transport to and from the scene of the bandit’s activities.
Note the word rapid. Its significance lies in the fact that the essential quality in a car stolen by bandits is speed and acceleration, in order to cope with the fast cars of the Flying Squad in the event of a chase. This means that bandits have a strong leaning towards sports cars, as doubtless many of our readers have learnt to their cost. It can be argued that since the car is invariably found later there is no real need to worry about preventing theft. This is a fallacy, for it is well known that car-thieves stress the engines of the cars they steal to the utmost, and in many cases run them until there is no petrol nor oil left. To a sports car owner who takes a pride in the mechanical condition of his car such rough treatment is repugnant in the extreme, especially as no apparent damage may have been done— and therefore no relief may be obtained from an insurance company. Now at last it seems that a positive means of preventing theft has been found in the Donford Car Lock. We recently had an opportunity of inspecting this device, both in model form and actually fitted to various types of cars such as
Aston Martin, Lagonda, Wolseley Hornet Special, 8.8.1 and Rover. Briefly, the Idea of the Donford Car Lock is to control the ignition switch, and further to baffle the thief by locking the bonnet and so prevent tampering with wires. This is accomplished, not by a given means easily learnt, or by a lock and key which can be opened with ease by an experienced lock picker, but by a combination lock giving no less than 17,576 different combinations. These combinations can be set by the owner himself, and changed at will. The combination lock—an attractive ebonite dial—is clamped to the steering column, below the dash, and has three pointers and a central push-and-pull button. When the driver parks his car he pushes the button in, thereby switching off. With a flick of his fingers he dis
arranges the three pointers, and the ignition cannot be switched on again until the correct combination is set. With the button in either of these positions the bonnet is automatically locked, and can only be released by sliding a slip ring below the lock downwards (with the pointers in their correct combination), and pulling out the button to its limit.
The price of the ‘Donford Car Lock is 2 guineas, and one of its great advantages lies in the fact that it can be fitted quickly and without difficulty to any make of car. It is certainly the most ingenious and practical fitment of its kind we have ever seen.
The address of the manufacturers is Car Lock Ltd., 11, Waterloo Place, London, SM.1, from whom full descriptive literature can be obtained.