Rumblings, June 1947
We have waited a long time for the Jovvett Javelin. Now that details of it have become public property we find ourselves in no way disappointed. Indeed, it pleases us to discover that the old-established and ever-individual Bradford concern has introduced a world-beater — a car of which Britain and the enthusiast can be proud. That Motor Sport considers it high time this country woke up to the fact that her bread-andbutter cars are behind the times (one well-known designer of high-performance cars recently accused most of them, in our hearing, of being positively dangerous!) our readers know well enough. It would seem that at Bradford they have woken-up!
Let the specification, rather than flowery words from a possibly biased journalist, convince you.
What Jowetts have done is this. They decided that, admirable as their old flat-twin and flat-four pre-war models were (indeed, the former stalks along astonishingly well in production form as a useful Utility, today) for the post-strife market something was needed that would sell throughout the world, to critical folk who know just how decently good Continental everyday motor-cars handle and run. It had to be not too expensive as present-day prices are, modernistic and British in conception, and, above all, practical and effective. For quantity production an all-steel integral body, chassis and sub-frame were evolved — but independently-fitted unstressed panels make it possible to repair damage to the body. Into this rigid, simple structure Jowetts installed their well-tried, smooth-running, flat-four engine. The very nature of this engine fitted in with the modern design, because, being compact, it permitted a low bonnet line and, set well forward, enabled the rear seat to go ahead of the back axle and the big luggage locker not to overhang. This engine has 4 cylinders in opposed pairs, of 72.5 by 90 mm. giving a capacity of 1,486 c.c., or an annual tax of £15.
The block is of die-cast aluminium alloy, with wet cast-iron cylinder liners. The valves are overhead, push-rod actuated from a centrally-located camshaft, zero-lash automatically adjustable tappets being used, while the cast-iron heads carry 14-mm. plugs. Cooling is by pump and fan, thermostatically controlled, the sump holds a gallon of oil which circulates through a fullflow filter, and ignition is, of course, by coil. In short, a suitable and interesting power unit for a futuristic car.
Two carburetters endow it with plenty of urge.The gearbox is a straightforward four-speed synchromesh box, having ratios as high as 4.86, 7.31, 11.6 and 18.9 to 1. It is operated by a steering-column lever. Final drive is by hypoid bevel, and steering is that excellent thing, an internal-gear-and-pinion layout.
This new chassis has a crab-track of 3 in., front track being 4 ft. 3 in., and a wheelbase of 8 ft. 6 in., while its ground clearance is the useful one of 7 3/4 in. minimum. (Trials addicts, take note!) The fuel tank holds 8 gallons and there is Lucas 12-v. electrical equipment. One expects independent front suspension with such a design and this is provided by torsion bars, which also look after the normal rear axle. The outline is that commendable balance between the full-aerodynamic and the pre-war, so that high speed is available for a moderate expenditure of petrol and, as the engine-type assists materially in keeping the c. of g. low, on its torsional suspension the new Jowett attains a sportscar standard of controllability. The convenient features of its bodywork and detail design and its performance abilities are dealt with in our Road Test report. We genuinely enthuse over the new Javelin. Its makers quite honestly admit that they have incorporated what they consider best in British, Continental and American practice. Their aim is to offer the best value in up-todate, restful, personal transport, backed by service from nearly 250 main agents in this country and more than seventy agents abroad. This they would appear to have achieved and we shall watch the Javelin’s future with keen interest.
Incidentally, just before penning the above description we encountered a twenty-two-year-old product of Bradford still chuff-chuffing about its business — but when it meets a Javelin we fear that it will just topple off its wheels!
A. T. Norton, working single-handed, has been doing detail-mods. to his Mephistophalgatti. It has a V12 Lincoln engine (which may be endowed with three Stromberg carburetters) in a Type 30 Bugatti frame. The front axle is believed to be from a Lombard. Norton spent the winter fitting new rings, polishing ports, fitting separate exhaust pipes, etc.
Salvadori has acquired the ex-Evans’ “2.9” racing Alfa-Romeo and Tony Rolt a “2.9” of the same kind. Harold Webb is going to run the ex-Hutchison Allard.
Strang has fitted a new gearbox and back-axle layout to”the Strang ” 500.”