Matters of Moment, June 1966

What shall we do with poor Anne Edwards ?

Columnists writing for the sensational newspapers have the power, if not the right, to express themselves forcibly on any subject they think will cause comment, and win them sensation loving readers. So Anne Edwards of The Sunday Express was simply conforming to type when, on her women’s page on May Day, she took “a long cool look at the whole mystique of racing drivers.”

It is, perhaps, to her Editor’s credit that, although this Newspaper Group has backed motor and motorcycle racing at least as far back as 1953, since the war has sponsored those Daily Express meetings at Silverstone, now backs dangerous Off-shore Power Boat racing, and accepts valuable advertising from the petrol, oil and components companies of their contribution to motor-racing victories, he did not prevent this middle-aged housewife from stating that she deplores and abhors and detests the whole mystique of racing drivers or stop her referring to motor racing as “a pursuit about as useful as potholing”—or, she could have added, the puerile following by self-conscious females of the constantly changing fashions about which this journalist is normally concerned!

Indeed, the Editor of The Sunday Express was extremely fair to this arch-enemy of modern sports—he did not blue-pencil her remark that “I don’t give a hoot whether the makers of the one I buy have built a car to do 225 m.p.h. And it may come as a surprise to some manufacturers to know that whether some race was won on X’s oil or Y’s tyres influences me not one jot when I go to a garage.” Anne Edwards is obviously blessed with a very fair and tolerant Editor, but one might prefer not to be in the shoes of The Sunday Express’ Advertisement Manager!

This columnist was surely flaunting sensational journalism in expressing her opinion that “racing drivers, apart from doing no one any good, actually do harm to many,” unless she honestly believes and can prove this, and in asking if she was the only one who saw a connection between the popular hero worship given to famous racing drivers and the accident rate at Whitsun?

We are sorry for this lady who feels compelled to attack exciting modern sports and Britain’s considerable achievements in the sphere of high-speed motoring. We feel absolute contempt for a writer who chose to make her article in The Sunday Express the focal point of a quite uncalled-for attack on John Surtees at the very time when he had so bravely overcome the physical and mental stress of returning to racing after a serious accident, had won so courageously at Monza, and was to do so that day at Syracuse.

But, even greater than our pity and contempt, is our surprise at this poor mixed-up woman scribe, whose opinions change even more quickly than those ladies’ fashions she writes about. For earlier this year the oddly-opinionated Anne expressed the view that “racing driver Graham Hill, who is a very fine fellow and rather more renowned (than Brian Statham),” should have been included in the New Year Honours List. . . . So if you see a matronly figure across Surtees’ knee . .!

A Vital Rebuild

Whether you are of blue, red or pale pink political persuasion the Budget must presumably have been received with relief. Certainly the Rt. Hon. James Callaghan is the first Chancellor of the Exchequer who has not directly hit the already grossly-overtaxed car owner and the Motor Industry when times are hard. He has provided stimulus to rebuild Britain and rid this country of the balance of payments deficit, and to that end we all should strive. Foreign cars are fascinating, but Britain, too, makes good automobiles, from Mini to Rolls-Royce and sports and high performance cars which are in very considerable demand in America.

Let workers and management alike take heart from a lenient Budget and really push out the boat to make Britain, through British Industry, a power in the World instead of an insignificant, if pleasant, little island. It can be done; it must be done, and the most important factor in this vital rebuild is the Car Industry. Mr. Callaghan has called for maximum effort in exporting manufactured goods. Barbara Castle must now take off her 70-m.p.h. brake on the British Motor Industry.

New Castrol Oils

Last month Castrol introduced new Castrolite and Castrol XL engine oils, which are described on page 520. They offer a further significant safeguard against rapid engine wear, better cold starting and greater operating economy, thanks to the addition of a new tungsten additive and other improvements.

We have long been staunch advocates of Castrol for lubricating the engines of the Editorial motor cars. It has always seemed to us sensible to use oils refined by a company specialising in lubricants. instead of those which are by-products of larger petroleum distillation interests. We have never been advocates of buying separate additives to put in the oil and, rightly or wrongly, have tended to turn a blind eye and retain an unlightened wallet when such things are offered to us, believing that what should be in the oil for the good of the engine will have been put there by the lubricant manufacturer. . .

Nor have we ever felt much desire to drain off the oil in our sump to see how far the car will run on the graphites or whatever is deposited by proprietary additives on the engine’s moving parts. In short, Castrol has proved good enough for us, as it has done for so many leading racing drivers and aviators down the years.

Having investigated New Formula Castrol and seen how thoroughly and scientifically it is tested, we shall continue to use this make of oil in the higher output, faster cruising (with Mrs. Castle’s permission) cars we hope to drive in the near future, with the confidence we have long felt for “the masterpiece in Oils.”