I was most interested in your article in the January issue on the diesel engine, especially the phenomenal speeds achieved by some before the war.
You asked for the views of those with experience of running diesel engines. I have had 45,000 completely trouble-free miles over the past two and a half years with the 2.1/4-litre Rover diesel engine fitted to the Land-Rover. The vehicle was a year-and-a-half old and had 20,000 miles on the clock when I bought it for private motoring, having had previous experience of running three petrol Land-Rovers. The engine has had no attention whatsoever in its life apart from the injectors being removed and tested for spray every 12,000 miles, as laid down in the servicing schedule, and it is running as sweetly and efficiently as the day I bought it. As the agents said to me recently, at its present mileage it should be “just nicely run in”.
Fuel consumption is of the order of 30 m.p.g. overall, including a large amount of town driving, and this has been slightly bettered over the past nine months with the fitting of free-wheeling hubs to the front wheels. It is only right to mention that since the present fuel crisis was created, the supply of diesel has been more erratic than that of petrol to garages.
As you observe, the diesel may be in for a revival in private transport with its greater noise and lower top speed no longer being of such importance.
The Land-Rover may not be everyone’s ideal vehicle, but to the true enthusiast it is a way of life. With its non-rusting alloy body and separate mighty chassis and eight forward gears what more could any Motor Sport reader desire? Mine has proved totally reliable and has needed minimal repairs. Its almost vintage-like character was a refreshing change after two enforced years of dudgeon and despair with a Dagenham Dustbin.
Bristol Philip Barry