The t. c. rear-engined Fiat MuItipla six-seater.

L’..1 l V ERAL noteworthy new cars have been released recently. Fiat have announced their brilliant Multipla, which is a

tiny car based on the Fiat 600 but with a forward driving position obtained by using 1,100-type cod-spring i.f.s. in place of a transverse leaf-spring, so that six scats can be installed. Various combinations of seating are possible, from two scats forward and a flat luggage floor behind. to the full six seats. The engine is the rearlocated 633-c.c. unit, pulling a final-drive ratio of 5.78 to 1, compared to 4.82. to I of the 600. The Multiple is a new conception of economy car which should have an enormous following-56 m.p.h. and 40/ 50 m.p.g. are claimed for Dr. Giacosa’s clever four-door kombiteagen. Colin Chapman has introduced a revised version of his famous Lotus, the Mk. II, which is lighter, more efficient and more refined than former models. The space-frame has been revised, and now comprises 1 in. by l• in. round and square-section tubing of either 18 or 20 g., the propeller-shaft tunnel now being a structural member. This frame is some 2 in. lower than before and the engine has been re-positioned to give access to carburetters and rack-and-pinion steering. The swing-axle i.f.s. has been given a lower roll-centre to offset inherent disadvantages of this layout, and the de Dion rear-end has been improved in detail, including provision of a diagonal bracket the equivalent Of a 64-in.-long Panhard rod and oil-sealswhich save approximately t h.p. ! The body has been reduced in sire and weight and cleaned up aerodynamically, the Le Mans version having a head fairing for the driver and fully wrap-round screen. Three versions of the Lotus. Mk. II are offered, the 1,100-e.c. Coventry-Climax-engined Le Mans car, giving 88 b.h.p. at 6,850 r.p.m.. for which a dry weight of 7;{ cwt. and 230 b.h.p, per ton is claimed; the Club model, with Girding drum instead of disc brakes, a normal rear axle and detachable full-width screen; and the Sports model, similar to the Club model but with .Ford Ten 100E power unit. All models will have two doors and 7-in. inbuilt headlamps and a wheelbase of 7 ft. 2 in. Later a detachable hard-top will be available for the Club and Snorts models. Chapman will probably

instal an enlarged version of Climax engine in his competition cars, giving 100 b.h.p. at 6,200 on a lower (8.6 to I) compression-ratio. There is also a twin-cam Climax engine in preparation.

Rex McCandless has evolved a Ford Ten-engined sports car with a very lightweight tubular backbone frame, and exciting rumours concern the Sunbeam Rapier, some suggesting that Routes’ acquisition of Singer Motors will see the twin-cam Singer Hunter engine used in the new car, while others flatly deny this.

Renault are about to launch a 5 c.v. saloon on the lines of the present 4 c.v. but with smoother outlines and obviously greater performance, and Fiat have plans for a 400-c.c. rear-engined Car, believed to be an air-cooled two-stroke. They arc likely to drop the normal 1.100 to concentrate on the TV, but are expected to have a new *litre four-cylinder sports model at the Turin Show which opens on April 21st, where other new models are expected to include a Fiat 1,600-c.c. six-cylinder luxury saloon With torque converter, a 3-litre Alfa-Romeo luxury saloon and a 4-litre four-cylinder front-wheel-drive air-cooled Lancia, probably in open form.

In this country Aston Martin are believed to have a new car, the f/B4/4, on the stocks, rising the existing twin o.h.e. engine in a new multi-tubular frame with two main cross-members and disc brakes. Apparently it corners So fast that the wire wheels have been eollapsing and special ones from Italy are tn be tried.


On March it Meccano Limited released two additions to their range of Dinky miniature vehicles, a Morris G.P.O. van with realistic ladder on the roof and an Aston Martin DB3S. sports car. The latter is driven by a w-hite-oVeralled driver and carries the competition number 22. It is complete with representations of bonnet straps, air-inlets, air-outlets, fuel filler, etc. Look for them in your sports shop. Incidentally, has anyone thought of building stretches of road in the attic or spare room, representative of England, France, Germany, etc., for the display of the now very extensive range of Dinky miniatures ?

Among the many wood, plastic, cast-alloy and steel model cars of the ” construction kit” type on the market, one of the best we have seen comes from Revell Incorporated, of Venice, California, U.S.A. It is of the plastic pressure die-casting type and is of art open four-seater 1929 Model J Duesenberg, and is one of the most detailed and accurate of these assembly kits.. There is a basic lloor-cumchassis onto which the body is fitted, and then every possible component is attached, such as instrument panel, brake and gear-lever, lamps, horns, bumpers, hood, number-plates, mudguards and So on. Under this basic floor are chassis details galore, springs. axles. prop.shaft and even engine sump and lower half of the gearbox casing, and the road wheels are held in place by hexagonal wheel nuts. All the parts arc in -smooth plastic and are easily stuck together with Durofix or some similar product, while the painting of the finished car can either be as recommended in the instructions or to one’s own choice. There is a great deal of pleasure to be obtained by planning one’s own colour scheme and, in spite of the maker’s recommendation to the contrary, it was found easier to paint the components before assembly.

Model-car enthusiasts should keep a look-out for the Ge-Gri range of replicas, to a generous scale and with electric propulsion and stub. axle steering, when they are on vacation in France this coming summer. At the present rate of exchange these realistic models cost about 18s, each, and Simea Aronde, Peugeot. 203 and Sinter’ Vedette Versailles are included in the range.


Sir Bernard Docker, K.B.E., has formed a non-political ” Cut the Costs ” campaign to encourage people to attack waste on the part of the Government. In a speech to the Press at the Savoy Hotel on January 26th, he said that last year the Government of the country cost us £940-million, but this year is to absorb some £4,600-million of our money. Sir Bernard hit hard at the Civil Departments and the Services, remarking on the sum of about £11,600,000 spent by civil servants on travel and that just before the war, when the Navy had 133 major ships in full commission it needed 8,118 Admiralty staff to run them, but in 1954, with only 73 ships, the staff numbered 33,788. He cited R.A.F. stores worth £15,900 being sold for £10, and pointed to the strength of the Civil Service, now numbering over 600,000, or two-thirds more than in 1938.

Sir Bernard calls for a reduction in Government spending of 1 per cent. (£46 million) before the next budget and a further 1 per cent, reduction in local government spending dictated by Whitehall-1 per cent. of £1 being slightly less than the cost of a 21d. postage stamp. Re calls on every voter in the country to pelt the politicians with postcards and petitions, to tell them not to waste the people’s money, and to sign the Cut the Costs petition. As motorists are the most heavily-taxed members of the community and as our readers are individualists. we draw their attention to this campaign. Details are available from the Cut the Costs Campaign, 64, Chandos Court. Buckingham Gate, London, SAVA. (Abbey 6151.)


At the Dorchester Hotel on February 1st the Roads Campaign Council held a Press reception. Mr. W. Andrews, Chairman of the Council, made a speech on the lamentable state of British roads, the Government’s road programine and the very small sinus of money which are being expended on this important prablem which is affecting the country’s economic situation. A film, ” The Great Hold-Up,” depicting some a the results caused by these totally inadequate highways was also shown.

In our January issue we omitted to state that the water-injection bomb which we tested was manufactured by Ridley-Industrial, Ltd., of Leamington Spa, and not as previously stated, Stanley V. Lipscomhe, of Boveuey, Wiudsor, who is the London agent.