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SO much has been said of streamlining recently that the opinion of one of our leading bodywork designers is particularly interesting.
Mr. Stanley Riley, who is responsible for the chassis and body design of the 9 h.p. car bearing his name, believes that so far as the ordinary motorist is concerned, the only merit of streamlining is found in its appearance. He states that it can be of no practical value until 50 per cent. of our cruising speeds exceed 70 miles per hour !
Up to this speed, says Mr. Riley, the ideal theoretical shape varies with every mile per hour and attempts at streamlining, whilst they may be attractive, are valueless. He contends that for normal road use, the most practical shape is a smooth skied square or oblong with, of course, as small a frontal area as possible.
When he designed the Riley Nine, minimum wind resistance was considered in conjunction with appearance and safety. The extremely low floor level was the key to the situation. It allowed a low roof and a low centre of gravity—appearance and safety respectively ; but at the same time it very considerably reduced the effective frontal area and, in consequence, the 'wind resistance. From a performance point of view, practical streamlining of this nature is obviously of more value to the motorist than theoretical streamlining, which can only be of value at speeds which are never reached !
The Late Lieut.-Col. Benson.
It is with deep regret that I hear of the sudden death of Lieut.-Colonel A. E. Benson, London Manager of the Triumph Company.
He had not been well for some time past but no serious developments were anticipated and at the time of his death he was playing golf. He suddenly collapsed and did not regain consciousness.
It may be remembered that Colonel Benson joined the Company in the years immediately following the Great War. He was extremely popular and will be keenly missed by Triumph owners and by his many friends in the Trade.
The Directors of Rolls-Royce, Ltd., at a recent meeting decided to recommend at the Annual Meeting at Derby, that a dividend be paid at the rate of 8% per annum together with a bonus at the rate of 2% per annum for the 12 months ended December 31st, 1930, to be due and payable on 17th of last month.
The profits for the 12 months ended December 31st, 1930, were E147,170 16s. 10d. The last accounts were for a period of 14 months.
Wanted—First-class Car Designers.
Mr. T. G. John, Managing Director of the Alvis Car and Engineering Co., Ltd., states that" one of the biggest handicaps to progress of the motor car industry in this country is the lack of first class designers and men with sound experience who can carry the necessary responsibility; those of us who have them are fortunate.
" At the present time this is a regrettable feature of several big industries other than the motor car industry, but because of the intensive nature of the product possibly it is more felt in the latter than in most others.
"Whether the prime cause is due to the falling off in the brains or stamina of our younger generation, whether it is due to the depressing political atmosphere in which this country seems to be cursed, or whether it is due to the very hot pace set by the demands of the industry, are questions worthy of serious consideration."
In Mr. John's view one of the troubles ever present in the motor car industry is that clever design is not easily separable from expensive manufacture ; this is where the directing genii of the business find most scope for initiative and ingenuity.