The ultimate trend of design


I am dismayed at the continuing trend of everything being too much trouble and too tedious, which has now reached motoring and is highlighted in your recent article on grease nipples and servicing of motor cars. Servicing and maintaining a car is just as much a part of motoring as steering or, I was going to add, gear-changing but that also is apparently becoming too tedious. One may argue that progress in design has made manual gear-changing and servicing unnecessary. but this is only the beginning and the logical outcome will be the gradual elimination of all physical effort on the part of the owner, with automatic gear-changes to avoid fatigue, servicing eliminated as too tedious, no oil changes to avoid the discomfort of dirty hands, electrically-operated doors and windows for passenger comfort, and no doubt steering controlled by the latest in beams in the interest of overall safety of the greatest numbers, and of course the push-button self-selecting wireless to avoid passenger boredom. Ugh! Is this where Motor Sport is leading its readers with apologies of economy and expediency to gloss over the ultimate, and of encouraging motor cars which require nothing from their owners and which in return have nothing to offer!

This week-end I shall be going over the relevant graphite and oil points on my 6-litre Minerva; three of which require attention at 200 miles, 15 at 300 miles in addition to 42 brake and steering connections needing oil, a further three at 600 miles, three at 1200 miles, eight at 3,000 miles, five at 5,000 miles and, finally, 4 gallons of oil in the sump every 2,000 miles.

There is nothing tedious about servicing the Minerva, no discomfort, no passenger fatigue; just an endless source of satisfaction and wonder at how well a car can be made; the absolute antithesis of the modern trend. Perhaps, after all, that is why Motor Sport discourages its readers from using a grease gun as the sight under the bulging chrome is too ghastly to contemplate. But, seriously, if manufacturers are continued to be encouraged in their present trend it will result in the gradual elimination of everything that means Motoring, until eventually we arrive at the ultimate design where everything is eliminated and the motor car like the snake that started to eat its tail comes to a horrible end.

RJ Hill. Seremban, Malaya.