Jowett steering

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Sir,
In the “Veteran to Classic” article on the Jowett Jupiter (Motor Sport, February 1989) a mention is made on page 157 of the first Jowett sports-car, made about 1928. In 1931 I stupidly swapped my faithful push-pull 1924 Salmson for a terrible 1922 Talbot Eight. This creature, rather to my relief, parted with a connecting radon Bucklebury Common and left me carless for some years, but about that time I had a trial run in the sports Jowett. There are probably very few survivors who actually drove one. It did have artillery wheels, a pointed tail and skimpy mudguards; it looked awful. Futhermore it had direct steering. The steering column was bent at a right angle at its lower end and connected by a link to the steering-arm of the offside stub axle. Exactly as in a Tri-ang pedal car.

If this was the arrangement in the car that lapped Brooklands at 66 mph, the driver should have been awarded a medal on the spot. I thought it was quite undriveable, and could not imagine how the worthy Jowett people came to turn out such a horror and even to sell one or two.

Another Jowett came my way in the 1950s. A long long fabric saloon dating from the late Thirties. The twin-cylinder engine (of 7 nominal hp!) was exactly as it had been since 1911. and just as powerful. Careful tuning meant ensuring that both plugs were sparking, and then a brisk stamp on the accelerator would produce a burst of apathy that was not quite breathtaking. Nevertheless these curious dinosaurs had a unique appeal.

VP Geoghegan, Chichester, West Sussex

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