My experience over many many years of car ownership is simply— buy a battery from a firm of repute—remember reputation can never escape responsibility, and judiciously use a trickle-charger.
I have recently after nearly three years of use replaced a Lucas battery which was issued with my new 2 1/2 litre Riley in December, 1951; my garage is unheated, and the starter never failed to start the car every day.
I am, Yours, etc.,
Parkstone. George Pemberton.
As a vintage enthusiast I have been as interested as anybody in the correspondence in Motor Sport over the appalling quality of both vehicles and service, particularly from abroad, of the post-war British product. However, I take no satisfaction in reading of this state of affairs beyond the fact of being devoutly thankful that I possess a pre-war vehicle of high quality that I shall endeavour to keep for a long time to come. It is with great pleasure. therefore. that I comment on Mr. C. P. Harrison's letter with reference to car batteries. Instead of buying a cheaper battery, which for all I know may be just as good as the standard one he has been using, may I suggest he buys an Exide ? I have no experience of the new Silver Exide, but I can vouch for the Double Life. I fitted one or these batteries to my 16/80 Lagonda in 1938, transferred it to a 4 1/2-litre in 1939, ran the car to the middle of 1940 when it was laid up and the battery kept charged and occasionally used, if needed, by my garage. It was put back in the 4 1/2 when I took the car in use again early in 1947 and satisfactorily started that large engine until the following winter, a total period in use of nine years. Or course I have no connection whatever with the makers. but I thought this was a marvellous performance, and I wrote and told them so. Though they thanked me,! didn't think they were unduly impressed ! It was presumably the sort of service they expected their batteries to give. Of course that was a pre-war product, though I naturally bought another, and that gave faultless service till I sold the car three years later. When my present car (a 4 1/2-litre Bentley) required a new battery in October, 1951, I naturally fitted a Double Life Exide, so that this has now served me for three years, and I shall be very surprised if it doesn't last for another three. I take care or my batteries, of course, and use a trickle-charger in the winter.
Now, a word to Mr. A. Hill about the Rapier. I have had two of these cars, one before the war and one just after, and entirely agree with him. I consider it was the finest small car of its era, but it was introduced at an unfortunate time in Lagonda's history. Announced at the end of 1933, it was some time getting into full production and when the old Lagonda company failed in 1935 it was carried on as a separate entity, as the Rapier, by its designer among others. It was expensive (and well worth it), but without the Lagonda name and backing it carried on for a year or so and then faded out. I've always felt this was a tragedy. The engine was a beautiful piece of work, most sturdily made, and as it built up its revs. almost as if supercharged (there was, of course, a supercharged version with a simply phenomenal performance) and delighted in them, the self-change gearbox suited it to perfection. Its steering and road-holding were outstanding, and if only it were possible to get engine parts (and I believe it isn't) it is the one and only small car that I would enjoy driving again.
I am, Yours, etc.,
Bedford. R. Baille