Vintage Postbag, March 1953

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Sir,

I was most interested to read Mr. F. Ivan Carr’s article in Motor Sport and in particular his reference to an early steam car made by his father. It so happens that I have a photograph of the vehicle in which Mr. Carr, senior, once gave my mother a ride.

It was a wet day with a strong wind and the fire under the boiler was continually being blown out, while the passengers became extremely wet.

I have several times asked my mother for details of this remarkable vehicle, but as she is in no way “mechanically minded”  I am no wiser.

Mr. F. Ivan Carr’s reference to his Morgan reminds me of an occasion when I once went to tea at his home. I was taken out to the garage where I saw the Blackburn engine dismantled on the bench. In those days, although having always been interested in cars, I really didn’t know much about them. However, I recognised a Blackburn when I saw one and I said : “Oh, a Blackburn, nice engines!” or something equally fatuous. Whereupon with an air of deference which I certainly didn’t deserve, F. I. C. said : “Oh, you’re an expert I can see.”

I am, Yours, etc.,

John C. Barlow 

Northfield

***

Sir,

As a keen but not very “genful” vintage owner may I ask for the advice of your readers on two perhaps elementary points which do not appear to be dealt with by any publication:

1. Where does one fit a television suppressor to a magneto (Bosch) ?

2. Is it safe to use a detergent oil in a vintage vehicle ? I recently purchased a widely advertised detergent oil from a garage in town, but when I mentioned to my local garage that I proposed putting it in the old ‘bus (1927/8 Humber 14/40—mileage 44,000, never rebored) they were so urgent in their advice not to put it in that I did a straight swap with them for five gallons of Castrol XL. Their argument was that the detergent oil would so thoroughly clean my engine as to remove deposits on which they tell me I rely for my compression, etc., and consequently bang would go performance and up would go the oil bill. I don’t like believing this because I don’t like to think my engine relies on dirt. Does it?

I am, Yours, etc.,

H. Howell Thomas 

Bromley