SPORTS CARS FROM TEN POUNDS
Having noticed in the February issue of 1110TOR SPORT the large amount of space devoted to details of reconditioned old cars it prompts me to give you my own experiences. In common with Mr. Braun I have a champagne taste in relation to cars and a beer income. Consequently the best I could manage to buy was a crashed Austin Seven. All that had to be done was to straighten the front axle and replace parts of the steering. This was duly carried out. The car, I may say, first saw the light in 1925 and consequently performance had to be gained by subtlety. Therefore the engine was stripped and much elbow-grease produced a moderately well polished cylinder head. A copper gasket was put in, about 1 nun. thinner than standard. Then I turned my attention to the brakes, notorious on this model for their com
parative inefficiency. After replacing the felt washers in the rear axle, oil leak was eliminated and braking became less a matter of praying and hoping. This work being completed I ran the car for some eight months and covered a fairly small mileage. Due to my habit of competing with more modern cars in little matters of acceleration and so on, I eventually had to replace three timing
drive bearings and also the crankshaft. Prior to this, however, the car had held 55 m.p.h. for some distance and on one occasion did 42 in second gear, checked by an accurate speedometer. Acceleration to 30 was equivalent to many much more modern cars because the gearchange on this model was exceptionally quick. Finally, this car was dissembled and its chassis, front axle, and steering, altered almost beyond recognition. It now has a central steering column. The motive power for this new” Special” is a 1-litre eight-valve Anzani pushrod twin. Transmission is ex-Raleigh van with numerous other odd parts, mostly
collected from local junk-yards. The estimated weight is about 01. cwt., and its sole purpose in its new life will be to compete in Speed Trials just a little quicker than the other chap. As construction is still progressing, further details are not available. I am, Yours etc.,
D. CAMERON SMAIL.
Edinburgh. * * *