What's wrong with hot air?

I have been a Jowett Javelin enthusiast for a great number of years, but the Achilles heel of these cars has always been their vulnerability in heavy rain. Nagged by my wife, who has had many breakdowns in this context, swayed by your own good opinion of them, I bought a VW 1300 three weeks ago. If one accepts the fact that this car is really only a two-seater, at £650 it is incomparably better than any British car up to £1,000.

Now to the real point of this letter. Why is there not a British car which is air-cooled? Why does water have to sloth round engines, radiators leak, cylinders crack when one forgets to put in anti-freeze in time, and so on? Does the ugly phrase (dare I whisper it) “vested interests” creep in? After 1,000 miles in the new VW I see no disadvantage in an air-cooled engine, and ten million customers cannot be wrong, anyway.

As a boy, I remember a handsome American car called the Franklin which was air-cooled. I wonder why this failed? I have not heard of one at any V.S,C.C. meeting, though doubtless there are examples left in America.

Bromley. W.J.D. Clarke.
[Perhaps the idiosyncrasies of the Franklin’s full-elliptic suspension and wooden chassis killed it off. The six-cylinder, in-line, fan-cooled engine was satisfactory I believe, and in this country Gilbert Frankau the novelist, was among those who enthused over them.—Ed.