The Ford controversy.
I have only just seen your issue of January and feel urged to add a word on the other side of the discussion which is proceeding regarding Ford cars in general and Consuls and Zephyrs in particular.
Mr. English's claim to being objective would appear to be somewhat flimsy—if alone from his ill-chosen remarks about " tin fittings."
I have been driving Ford cars of various types for a considerable number of years as well as others and took delivery of a new Consul in October, 1953. To date the car has done over 22,000 miles. The sole replacements have been a new petrol pump diaphragm, a new bracket for the coil and a new windscreen-wiper motor.
As I am a salesman—not connected with the Ford Motor Co. or indeed with the motor industry—the car has to work hard and it is rare that I can spare it for a day off the road. It is true that it is maintained regularly, tyres changed round each 2,000 miles, etc., etc., but this I do not feel to be unreasonable. It NEVER spends a night in a garage.
It is true that ham-handed drivers need a boot full of ballast and that it is impossible to change gear with one's teeth whilst the hands are otherwise engaged, but for the normal driver in full possession of his senses—and a driving licence—the gear change is as sweet as anything I have ever handled except the short sports and racing-type lever jobs. Having been brought up on "crash" type gearboxes it is possible that I do not notice any difficulty in getting into bottom gear from second, but Mr. English also claims to have some experience.
Overall petrol consumption for the 22,000 miles is about 26 to 26.5 m.p.g. and since much of my driving is in London it would appear not to be difficult for this to be improved upon. Fast, long journeys NOT restricted to 60 m.p.h. show a consumption of 29 to 30 m.p.g. Oil consumption is still about 1,000 m.p.g., not including oil used in changing each 5,000 miles.
In a word. I would stress that I have made no effort to turn a hardworking saloon car with first-class performance for its type into a super sports or racing car, but I fear that it is usually used as such.
If, at any time, Mr. English can spare the time and would like a demonstration of the capabilities of just an ordinary Consul I would welcome the opportunity to prove to him that there is no justification in charges of vibration, frequent repairs, tyre wear, etc., neither will wheelspin or skidding set in unless one is driving on a skating rink. Even on ice I find no difficulty in maintaining a reasonable average speed well above the normal, if one is to judge from some of the specimens one sees about. I would also ask Mr. English if he can claim—as I can—over 20 years of accident-free driving on the road; if he cares to think about that it may strike him as not entirely irrelevant ! To avoid any charges of " selling " or advertising (although I repeat my disclaimer from any connection with Ford Company) will you allow me to sign myself just
London, S. E.13. "Salesman."