As a regular reader who appreciates the unbiased manner in which you write about motor cars, I would like to put the following question to you.
Everyone (except your journal) speaks of the great superiority in performance of the Mark VI Bentley over its pre-war counterpart. One has read of this difference on many occasions, and if one dares to enter one of those exclusive London showrooms where such cars are sold, it will be about the first utterance made.
Yet when I look at back numbers of the motor papers I find that the reverse is the case. Indeed, the early car would appear to out-perform its post-war descendant to quite a marked degree. Here, for instance, are some acceleration figures given for the 1936 4¼-litre and the 1947 Mark VI Bentley. Both, for the sake of fairness, are taken from the Autocar.
0-50 m.p.h. Mark VI 12.5 sec.
0-50 m.p.h. 1936 4¼-litre 10.3 sec.
0-60 m.p.h. Mark VI 17.5 sec.
0-60 m.p.h. 1936 4¼-litre 15.5 sec.
0-70 m.p.h. Mark VI 25.8 sec.
0-70 m.p.h. 1936 4¼-litre 21.1 sec.
It might be thought that some freak conditions mitigated in favour of the early car to refute all that has been said and written. I thought that this must be the case until I looked up road tests for the 1937, 1938 and 1939 cars. But here again it was the same story. In each case the pre-war car out-performanced the Mark VI. I cannot, unfortunately, give you a fair maximum speed comparison because the Autocar in respect of the Mark VI remains silent on this point. It does, however, give me a “best” figure over the ¼-mile of 94.74 m.p.h. for the 1936 job, while “The Motor Year Book” gives 92.9 m.p.h. for the Mark VI.
I suppose that some people might say that there is “nothing in” all these figures (although that is not my view, particularly when I compare the acceleration from 0-70 m.p.h.). Whatever is said, however, the fact remains that on Autocar evidence, the Mark VI does not outshine its ancestor.
I am, Yours, etc.,
Lyndhurst. Andrew Lloyd.
[The latest Autocar figures for the Mk. VI to 50, 60 And 70 m.p.h. are 13.9, 19.5 and 28.3 sec.—Ed.]
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Your contributor “Baladeur,” whose most interesting comments on the Wolseley gyro-car appeared in the March issue, may be interested to know that the Giesberger two-wheeled gyro-chassis was shown at the 1921 Paris Salon. It had a water-cooled, four-cylinder engine, three-speed gearbox and double shaft-drive. The gyroscope was in the rear wheel and the front wheel was flanked on each side by the radiator.
I am, Yours, etc.,
[We do not necessarily associate ourselves with opinions expressed by correspondents. We regret that owing to pressure on space many letters are held over.—Ed.]