• • • TALE OF WOE
I have read with interest the various letters appearing under the heading of “Tales of Woe” in your recent editions. If I may, I should like to add a few more words of woe to those already recorded.
The greater part of my life is spent in my car, and until recently this has been a happy state of affairs since I am a keen motorist. Alas, like many others, the days of” real motoring” departed with the arrival of a family and all that goes with it. I now have to content myself with a monthly drool over MOTOR SPORT, followed by a beautiful series of day dreams and unsatisfactory financial calculations.
For the purpose of my business my firm provides me with a vehicle, my present being an Austin A55 Cambridge, dreamed up, one imagines, after a particularly indigestible meal, by Farina. Never before have I had the misfortune to have such an utterly loathsome means of conveyance.
It is the acme of sheer discomfort. I am 6 ft. 2. in. tall, which necessitates the driving seat being back to its loll extent. In this position the steering wheel is so far away that one is driving with virtually straight arms. In pre-war days ears of ihkcalibre were often fitted with telescopic. columns. but this now ,i•esoto be something unobtainable except on the very much more expensive ears.
The ” springing ” is virtually non-existent, and is reminiscent of a farm cart. Cornering is an exhausting business, as understeer is pronounced. The body rattled badly in the first 1,000 miles and, despite frantic efforts, is becoming steadily worse. The engine can only be described as flatulent, although, in fairness, once 60 m.p.h. is reached (and this takes time and patience), it will motor well on a good surface between 60-65 m.p.h., but it is excessively noisy. It is sluggish in the extreme through the gears, and even a mild incline requires a change-down.
All possible has been done to improve matters, but with little avail. My model is described as “do luxe,” though why I do not know, unless it is because of the windscreen-washer fitted as standard. This ceased to work after one week, and I am now tired of having it repaired.
The same vehicle, under the disguise of some of the most respected names in the motor industry, trundles around the roads in great profusion. I have never driven any but the Austin version. It would be interesting tq hear the opinions of the M.G., Riley and Wolseley members of the family.
In conclusion, there are two excellent points : an enormous boot, sensibly designed, and a very pleasant gearbox.
My wife has a Renault Dauphine, which, whilst having certain faults, explains to me, at any rate, why quite a number of motorists are no longer “Buying British.” I am, Yours, etc.,
Windsor. D. H. G. BEAMAN.