Good British Cars


I first started reading Motor Sport when I was 17-years-old. I am now 29-yearsold and in this time I have never written a letter to any magazine until now when I feel it is time to back British cars. I have personally owned five BLMC cars, all of which have been second-hand and all have given trouble-free motoring.

Readers therefore may be interested in the cars I have owned.

My first purchase in 1963 was a 1959 Austin Cambridge A55 Farina with 37,000 miles on the clock. This car was sold in 1965 with 49,000 miles on the clock, the only work needing doing, other than servicing, being a de-coke at 40,000 miles.

My second purchase in 1965 (a 21st birthday present) was a second-hand MG Midget 1,098 c.c. having already covered 20,000 miles. I kept this fresh-air runabout until 1966 when the luxury of wind-up windows persuaded me to purchase my third car, a 1965 Austin Healey Sprite with 6,000 miles on the clock. This car stayed in my possession until 1971 having then reached 42,000 miles and the only replacement other than brake linings at 10,000-mile intervals being a new clutch at 40,000 miles.

My fourth purchase in 1971 was a 1969 MG Midget 1,275 c c. with 8,000 miles on the clock. How different from the last; reclining seats, stow-a-way hood a female can easily operate, better performance, especially in the 50-70 m.p.h. speed range. Alas the following year my wife gave birth to our baby daughter which meant I had to sell my Midget and the thought of a saloon car really depressed me. My wife however (God bless her) insisted we keep to freshair motoring which gave rise to the problem of purchasing a reasonably-new, fairly spacious, low mileage, good performance convertible for around £800, and in my mind it had to be British. Well what? A Triumph Herald—too slow. An MG-B—too cramped regarding carry-cot, also somewhat overpriced. Triumph TR5—sarne as MG-B. Then at last the answer; a Triumph Vitesse 2-litre (1969) purchased for £750, being a three-owner car with 21,000 miles on the clock.

To date, the car has given no trouble having covered 38,000 miles with a new clutch being fitted at 37,000 miles. I feel this to be another successful second-hand buy as all my cars seem to have been. It will cruise comfortably at 90 m.p.h. (law permitting) and returns mileage figures of 24 m.p.g. in town, reaching 32 m.p.g. on long steady runs and this without overdrive. The hood must be one of the easiest to erect or fold away and is completely leakproof.

I therefore conclude that there is no reason why British cars cannot compete with foreign cars (i.e. Triumph Dolomite Sprint) judging by my own experiences, or perhaps people think I have just been lucky, but I personally will continue to buy British and second-hand until I can afford a new car.

Addlestone J. W. Ryan