Rumblings, March 1958
The New Ford Thunderbird
Lincoln Cars Ltd., Great West Road, Brentford, Middlesex announce that they are the U.K. distributors for the new four-passenger Ford V8 Thunderbird, which, however, is available only in left-hand-drive form. This new Thunderbird has twice the passenger capacity of the former version, yet it is only 24 in. longer and a mere 4 in. wider. Ford claim that although the Thunderbird is 4 in. lower than the average of all U.S. luxury cars it has more room per passenger than any luxury car and that its headroom, front or back, is within a fraction of an inch of that in other American prestige automobiles. Moreover, they claim one of the widest door openings of any U.S. automobile—48.74 in.
The new body is of unitary construction with over 8,000 welds and the backs of the front seats fold flat to provide clear access to the back seat. Between these separate front seats is a console table carrying the heater, air-conditioner, power window-controls. Radio speaker and ashtrays are also installed there.
Ford, who introduced the Thunderbird as a feeler with the sportscar market in mind, sold 53,166 of the two-seater version. They say they have tested the new four-passenger model in the mountains of Mexico and that it compares favourably in handling qualities with the earlier model. The 1958 Ford Thunderbird has a wheelbase of 9 ft. 5 in., is over 17 ft. long and derives its power from a 352 cu. in. o.h.v. V8 oversquare engine which develops 300 b.h.p. at 4,600 r.p.m., using a four-barrel carburetter. Power brakes, steering, seats and windows are optional, and there is choice of normal, overdrive or automatic transmission.
Gear-Lever Extension for Dauphines
The introduction of the Renault Dauphine with its rather short gear lever has prompted Weston Electric Units, Ltd., to market another of their gear-lever extensions for this model. The firm already makes similar examples for Morris 1000, Jaguar, Wolseley 1500 and Riley 1.5 models. The price of the extension for the Dauphine is 8s. 9d., from Weston Electric Units, Ltd., Foulridge, Colne, Lancs. — I. G.
American Tyres in Britain
One of the popular American tyre companies has acquired factory space and manufacturing rights to produce tyres in Britain. This is the Kelly-Springfield Tyre Co., Ltd., whose premises are at 1-3, Redhill Street, London, N.W.1. Kelly tyres are well known in America and their comprehensive range is now available in Britain.
In the Pictorial Review last month we published a picture of a Morgan Plus Four effecting a sensational ascent of Simms Hill in the last M.C.C. Exeter Trial. Inadvertently we ascribed this piece of “Simmsmanship” to E. H. Dent. In fact, the skilful driver was E. H. Denis.