Automobile Accessories Reviewed

Elwell Motorist’s Shovel

British winters are seldom bad enough for drivers to need all the paraphernalia of the rally driver, and few people own tyre chains, studded tyres, or snow mats. However, the winter of 1962/63 made many people wish they had been wise before the event, and one item that many people may like to pop in the boot is this shovel, used by many Monte Carlo rally competitors, which is only 31 in. long and weighs 3½ lb. The forged steel blade is curved and pointed so that ice-chipping is facilitated, and foot treads are fitted so that it could also be used for digging the garden! The shovel costs £1 2s. 6d. from Edward Elwell Ltd., Wednesbury, Staffs.

Marleyfoam Back- and Head-Rest

Most modern car seats are badly designed. The only way round this is to fit one of the excellent, but sometimes expensive, proprietary seats in place of the standard one. Alternatively, for the majority who cannot go to this expense, there is the back-rest, which itself has several defects. The major faults are lack of adjustment and poor lateral location, but these appear to be insoluble problems at present.

The latest idea on the back-rest/head-rest theme comes from Marleyfoam Ltd., who have tried to get over the problem of adjustment by having a foam cushion fitted on adjustable straps and attached to a large foam head-rest. The position of the backrest can be adjusted to place it in the small of the back and the straps tightened up to hold the head-rest in position. This one is not the complete answer, for the head-rest is not sufficiently well located on top of the seat back to withstand any great impact from the rear. The Marleyfoam head-rest and back-rest costs £4 18s. 6d., and is available from Marleyfoam Ltd., Lenham, Kent.

Eltron Car Kettle

Summer picnics are often spoiled by lukewarm tea or coffee dispensed from flasks. The Eltron car kettle obviates this problem for it allows hot drinks to be made by using the car battery for power. The kettle is shaped like a teapot but has a hole in the lid for an immersion heater to be dropped in. The heater is connected quite simply to the voltage regulator and it will boil the 1¼-pint kettle in 15 minutes. Eltron recommend that the heater be switched on while still driving to conserve the battery, but of course the kettle should be rigidly fixed in the car as any sudden braking could shoot hot water all over the car. The kettle is made in 1¼- and 1¾-pint capacities, and Eltron also make a frying pan which uses the same heater element. The combined price of the 1¼-pint kettle and Carfri is £2 19s., but they can be bought separately. Details from Eltron (London) Ltd., Strathmore Road, Croydon, Surrey.

Erecto Boxes

If your garage is like ours, it is cluttered up with old tobacco tins filled with rusty nuts and bolts and all the useless bric-à-brac that a motorist seems to collect over the years. The answer to this is to buy a set of Erecto workshop boxes, which are small plastic boxes with open tops. They have a lip at the rear to hook over any convenient rail, and two slots if screw fitting is required. The boxes are 1s. 6d. each and are available from ironmongers and handyman shops, or from Erecto Slotted Angle Company, Newport Road, Hayes, Middlesex.

Carver Rack Clamps

For those who tackle more ambitious jobs at home, clamps are almost inevitably required eventually. The latest series from Carvers have deep throats and the largest model has an 18-in. capacity. The uses are many and varied, including metal fabrication, glass-fibre moulding, welding and pattern making. The jaw can be reversed to provide a jacking effect. The clamps range in price from the 6-in. capacity at £1 19s., to the 18-in. at £8 5s., and can be obtained from Carver & Co. (Engineers) Ltd., Eldon Street, Walsall, Staffs.