Letters from Readers, June 1949

I have been very interested in the recent correspondence which has appeared in your columns with regard to the H.R.G.

It seems to me that this is a very overrated car. After all, the M.G. was doing 15 years ago what the H.R.G. is doing now. The 1,100-c.c. L- and K-type M.G.s were genuine 80-m.p.h. vehicles but the current H.R.G. 1,100 c.c. seems to have a 75 m.p.h. maximum. Fifteen years younger, 5 m.p.h. slower!

I’m sure, too that the M.G. steering and roadholding is just as good as the H.R.G.

Coming to the current M.G. “TC” model, this attains approximately the same high performance as the H.R.G., and the steering and roadholding are just as good. But surely the difference in price between the two cars is the biggest factor. I feel sure that the M.G. at approximately £400 cheaper is by far the better proposition.

I am Yours etc.
A.C. Butts.
Croxley Green Herts.

Mr. Frost is to be congratulated upon his patriotism in championing the small British family car against its Continental equivalent. His argument, however, is regrettably lacking in support from facts. From road tests I have culled the following figures: —
Standard Eight 1947 model – Capacity: 1,009 c.c., Bore: 56.7 mm., Stroke: 100 mm., Max. Power at 4,000 r.p.m.: 28 b.h.p., Max. Speed: 57.5 m.p.h., Road Speed at 2,500 f.p.m. piston speed: 54.0 m.p.h., Standing 1/4-mile: 26.5 sec., Dry weight: 15.5 cwt.

Renault 760 1947 model – Capacity: 760 c.c., Max. Speed: 57.3 m.p.h., Standing 1/4-mile: 28.0 sec., Dry weight: 15.5 cwt.

Lancia “Ardea” 1947 model – Capacity: 903 c.c., Bore: 65 mm., Stroke: 68 mm., Max. Power at 4,600 r.p.m.: 28.5 b.h.p., Max. Speed: 67.5 m.p.h., Road Speed at 2,500 f.p.m. piston speed: 83.0 m.p.h., Dry weight: 14.0 cwt.

It will be seen from these available figures that the Lancia, with 97 c.c. less engine capacity, has an easier and better performance, while the little Renault, with an engine of nearly one quarter of a litre less Capacity, has a performance only slightly inferior.

However, it is not in the going, but in the manner of going that the Continental scores so heavily. I can think of no small British family saloon, built prior to 1947, which can hold a candle to the pre-1947 Continental car of similar capacity and price as regards roadholding, steering, suspension and general reliability, when driven regularly above 40 m.p.h. That is why the less well-to-do enthusiast hurries to buy a 1,100-c.c. F.I.A.T., 570-c.c. F.I.A.T., an “Aprilia,” Citroen or Peugeot. Such cars as the Austin A40, Morris Minor, and Morris Oxford may well refute this, but, alas, they are neither as cheap nor as available as the pre-war Continental of equivalent performance.
I am, Yours, etc.,
R. de Y Bateson.
London, N.W.1.