I am surprised at the adverse critics of the Ford Zephyr, as I have done 28,000 miles on one during the past year, and replacements have been confined to tyres at 22,000 miles, and a split battery, due to a pair of large bolts dropped into the housing at assembly. The head has not been removed, and the rear axle is intact despite a large mileage towing a heavy trailer, and the car free of rattles and mechanical defects performs as well as ever.
Frankly I cannot change into bottom gear, but many of my friends could not change from bottom to second on my 4 1/2 Bentley without a noise, so the complaint is quite aristocratic, and the lever is conveniently placed, unlike the atrocious arrangement on my Citroen.
The most serious defect is the transmission vibration, which also occurred on some JavelinsI understand it is better to unbalance the prop-shaft, but it is a point the makers should rectify.
So far as reliability goes it seems unlikely that such wide variations can occur on the production line, and I suspect careless servicing to be to blame, certainly in the case of your correspondent who suffered rapid front-tyre wear coupled with hub-bearing failure. Suffering the same symptoms I traced the trouble to end float and discovered that the mechanic had merely filled the cap with grease, instead of removing the assembly, greasing the rear bearing and readjusting, and I would imagine that exhaust pipes which drop off and engine bearers that fail are due to an initial failure to tighten up.
I would therefore advise your unhappy correspondents to change their garage, not their Ford, now that the only better car in its class, the lamented Javelin, is, alas, extinct.
I am, Yours, etc.,
Sutton-cum-Granby. C. P. MOON.