I have followed the long duel between correspondents, many of whom are overseas and are possibly embittered by their experiences.
My contention is that any cheap car is “cheap,” and that “cheap” cars last longer in the U.K., due to excellent roads and short distances, than anywhere else in the world.
But in the course of visiting some 43 countries since 1940 – on business mainly – I have found the same old argument in bars, messes, hotels, etc, – in fact wherever the British abroad congregate.
They mostly can’t afford the more expensive vehicles and buy a “cheap” one, then expect it to bat across the desert or through the jungle on sand, murram or cotton-soil in temperatures up to 120 deg. in the shade indefinitely – hopeless, of course.
But I do think that for the “outposts of the Empire” the American vehicle is more suited due only to its physical size; and don’t believe the story – “not a rattle after five years” (your April issue) by Mr. Meridith – that is tripe. The average “Yank” rattles after a month – but usually goes on moving for a longer period than all the European products put together. Therefore the conclusion I’ve come to is: to cope with the “bush” conditions of these countries, a loosely built, high-powered, physically large vehicle is the only solution !
I am, Yours, etc.,
P. J. E. HODGKINSON.