I suppose it is an inbuilt weakness in human nature to start knocking the opposition when ones own affairs are in a right old mess. Thus British Leyland is at present belittling other makes by judicious selection of published figures for petrol consumption and blazoning the result in full-page advertisements in the national press. For example, they quote the fuel consumption of an Imp at 32.4 m.p.g.
It happened that I ran a perfectly ordinary Imp for about 10,000 miles two or three years ago and it never returned less than 40 m.p.g. Further, in runs of 295 miles, between Canterbury and Swinton in Lancashire (before the M1/M62 link) it often gave me 46 m.p.g., and covered the journey in six hours, including a stop for a bite. Truly the Imp engine is a most elegant, willing and sweetly-revving unit. If only the car were quieter inside, and less like a small aeroplane in high winds, it would be almost perfect for its size.
Lest the magnificent petrol consumption is attributed to my style of driving, I quote the following experience with other cars. Escort GT, 26 m.p.g.; Rover 100, 22-25 m.p.g.; Rover 2000 TC, 27 m.p.g.; and a second Rover 2000 TC, 31 m.p.g., this latter on a fast run from the Lakes to Canterbury.
If British Leyland are really concerned with economy, they may, although I doubt it, be interested to know that this latter, much loved and cossetted Rover 2000, with 30,000 miles recorded, is showing rust creeping through the body panels where brackets are welded on underneath.
Maybe I am old-fashioned, but I have an obstinate opinion that a “quality” car which now costs over £3,000 (just work out what this represents to the private individual before income tax) should be thoroughly rust-proofed and meticulously assembled.
If only British Leyland had gone for pure quality rather than badge-engineering and such revealing details as the “quartic” steering wheel, they might have had no need to attempt to disparage others.
Canterbury R. G. ROBINSON