RUMBLINGS

RUMBLINGS

The Volvo t2.2.S has a fine reputation for high quality and now that it is available with the new 1780 c.c. 90-b.h.p. BI2 engine and disc front brakes it has a very good A VERY GOOD performance as well. It is becoming an MOTOR CAR All-Right car here, for Tim Carson, Secre INDEED tary of the Vintage S.C.C., seems to have

discarded a .series of Citroens, 30198 Vauxhalls and post-Bentley Bentleys in favour of one, and other discerning Volvo users are Gerry, Crozier and Douglas Mull.

A full road-test report on the 122S was published in Mo-roo SPoxr for February 1959 and a detailed description of the precision methods of manufacture at the Volvo factory at Gothenburg appeared in the issue dated June 1960. As the car remains virtually unchanged apart from engine and brakes, to write of it at length would be mere repetition. But one was reminded that this is a very satisfactory motor car indeed. At first the Volvo Strikes one as somewhat old-fashioned, for the driver has before him a lengthy bonnet, reminiscent of that of a pre-war American car and about as undistinguished (giving no hint of the individual, aggressive twin radiator grilles), that conceals the near-side front wing. Also, the car does not ride particularly well over had surfaces, undulations disturbing the 5.90 15 tyres (Firestone tubeless on the test car), which thud and transmit shock, to which the rigid back axle contributes, although it is properly located and suspended on coil-springs. The suspension is too lively and sway is transmitted through the steering wheel,

Having said that, la it be agreed that the body is beautifully finished and equipped, the control layout excellent (except for a previously-noticed tendency for the knobs to unscrew,. which is particularly trying in the case of that working the panel-lighting rheostat), that the doors Shut nicely and if the long central gearlever is not quite so pleasant as a stubby remote lever, due to longer movements, it Selects all the gears, including reverse, very smoothly.

Indeed, refinement is the key-note of the Volvo. The steering, heavy when parking, lightens up pleasantly once on the move and is smooth and accurate into the bargain. The 5-bearing 11.18 engine is silky smooth and gives no clue to its increased output by way of sound or roughness. Extremely impressive is the excellent carburation from the twin S.U. 45 carburetters with their drum-type Cooper (Volvo original) air-filters. Not only does the engine open up responsively without trace of a fiat-spot " but on zero-temperature mornings it starts instantly with a minimum of choke and pulls away at once without a trace of distress. There is available an electrically-actuated Laycock overdrive; this engages smoothly

by means of a r.h. stalk control, a facia light indicating while overdrive is 'selected. It steps up the top gear ratio by o.756 tox and is, therefore, not merely a Motorway overdrive but one that can be used even in built-up areas, for the engine runs without snatch in overdrive to below 30 m.p.h. This no doubt contributes to the excellent fuel economy. On a rapid run to Goodwood and back this worked out at just under 24 m.p.g.; crossing London and in local running the consumption dropped to over 27 M.p.g., the overall average being 25.6 m.p.g. (Easo Extra). This Compares favourably with the 27 m.p.g. we got from the 1,583-C.c. 22S and approximately 23A m.p.g. from another I22S Volvo that we used in Sweden in 1960. The tank holds just under to gallons, thus providing a range of approximately zso

The disc front brakes, which are self-adjusting, shielded to4. in. x A in. Girling with triple operating cylinders and a rubbing area of 29 sq. in., feel more like good drum brakes, needing fairly heavy pedal pressures for loll retardation but having none of that sudden action at low speeds, and being progressive and completely silent. The performance, With the B18 engine, is exceptionally good for a spacious, solidly-built .4-door saloon of 1,780 c.c. The Vdo ribbon speedometer will show 30, so and 70 m.p.h. in the lower gears, top speed is a genuine 99 m.p.h.; acceleration is excellent —o to so m.p.h. in 11.9 sec., o LO 60 m.p.h. in 16.4 sec., and o to 70 m.p.h. in 24.6 sec. (Slightly better than the MercedesBenz 190, although that car's all-round-independent suspension is superior to the Volvo's beam axle rear suspension.)

Such items as neat instruments and very neat, labelled facia warning lights, good quality minor controls, effective Robo headlamps (with full-beam daylight flasher), Hella sidelamps, Bosch electrics, Tudor battery, pockets in the front doors, small underscuttle shelf in lieu of a cubby-hole, coat hooks, radiatortblind, 2-speed wipers-Wm-washers, cigar-lighter, under-botW' rustproofing, a good finish, and mud flaps are Volvo features, and, being a Swedish car, it not only starts promptly but possesses a real heater (with quiet 2-speed fan) and properly-fitted Volvo seatbelts. The driving seat is extremely comfortable and one sits in a natural, upright fashion, while the pedals are directly before the driver. There is a simple but effective cold-air ventilator. Wind noise does not intrude. No oil was required in 775 miles. Certainly, a very fine car!

As tested, with overdrive, the inclusive price Id £1,459 t is. sd. The car is handled here by Volvo Concessionaires Ltd., 28, Albemarle Street, London, W.I.—W. B. When we received an invitation from the Public Affairs Staff of Ford of Britain to travel to Silverstone and see and try three new models. thoughts turned to indepen

NEW FORDS dent rear suspension, overhead camshafts, petrol injection and similar design factors which represent modern practice, at all events in Continental design offices. But as these brave new Fords arrived at the circuit driven by the elite of Britain's motoring writers they were seen to be very

much as before, with Macpherson-strut rigid back axles on long cart-springs under rather cocked-up tails, and with normal water-cooled in-line motors up front, driving the back wheels vict a propeller shaft. In appearance they were a curious mixture of Falcon and Taunus, with more than a hint of Pininfarina about the tail-fins, and three different grilles, of which those on the Zephyr 4 and 6 had clearly been copied from the Simca Vedette and had presumably been blown in by wind pressure. They came in all colours, front a handsome blue to others too horrible to contemplate. The engines were new—a 4-cylinder 3-bearing 82.55 x 79.5 mm. (1,703 c.c.) push-rod o.h.v. unit developing 78A gross b.h.p. at

for the Zephyr 4, and a 6-cylinder 4-bearing 8:2.55 79.5 mm. (2,553 c.c.) unit giving io6 gross b.h.p. at 4,750 rp.m. for the Zephyr 6. The latter engine, made to yield 114 gross b.h.p. at 4,800 r.p.m. on the same (8.5-to-t ) compression-ratio, is used in the new Zodiac Mark III.

These net,v engines were mated to a new 4-speed all-synchromesh gearbox. alas with the old Ford " bent wire " column-change. High gearing is now the order of the day : 17.21-, 9.17, 5.87 and 3.9 to r on the Zephyr 4; 11.21, 7.86, 5.ot. and 3.55 to 1 on the Zephyr 6 and Zodiac. Overdrive is available as an extra. or you can specify fully automatic transmission. Retardation is by 91 in. dia. front discs and 9 in. dia. rear drums, with hydraulic servo assistance, the tyre size is 6.40 13 and the wheelbase measures 8 ft. it in.

The people mainly responsible for these new Fords are Sir Patrick Hennessy, Chairman, Ford of Britain; Executive Engineer Ernest Page; Victor Raviolo. Director of Engineering; Terry Beckett and his Product Planning Staff, and Roy 13rown. Ford's ( anadian-born Chief Stylist, while the man who has got to sell 'em is John Read, Director of Sales. Points which these gentlemen make in favour of the new Fords include a 211 cu. ft. luggage hoot, o-6o m.p.h. in approximately 15 see. front the 21.-litre versions Ithe Fiat I 5oo does this in under 15 see.). special att emit in to noise reduction (a claim Vauxhall made for their new cars), a heater on the Zodiac proved in Sweden, lubricant») and oil-change at 5,000-mile intervals, care in rust-proofing that is now commonplace in many factories, Such as Saab, Volvo, Vauxhall, etc., and dtiors that " close at a touch." The new Zephyr has been tested for more than one million miles in Europe and America; so it seems strange that the fact that, a screen-Washer is standard fitting is apparently a matter of some

pride and that heater and demister are extras on the Zephyr 4 and 6!

Performance claims for the newcomers are over 80 m.p.h., a cruising 70 m.p.h. and an average of 33 m.p.g. for the Zephyr 4 and cruising in the 8os, with up to 30 m.p.g. at 30-70 m.p.h., and a top speed of too m.p.h. from the Zephyr 6. The Zodiac Mk. In has a walnut-finished facia and dual headlamps. We naturally prefer to reserve judgment until full road-testing is possible. The " dicery-" round Silverstone was most enjoyable but didn't prove much, except that the control layout is fussy and garish and that oversteer is so pronounced you don't need brakes on the corners. 'The Zephyr 4 went to a speedometer 65 m.p.h. in 3rd and felt more stable than the Zephyr 6, which was good for approximately So in 3rd gear. Overdrive is of the kind that. engages automatically but can be locked out with a toggle lever— a flick-switch is far more useful. The brakes are very light and powerful. Wind noise round the closed quarter-light on a Zephyr 4 was excessive. Visibility is excellent. The clutch seemed to engage unduly sluggishly on two of the Zephyrs we drove. This "

motor-racing,' by the way, was by grace of Cleveland fuel and Firestone tyros.

In this fast but limited experience we don't feel wildly enthusiastic. Even if our plea that support in 1962 should go only to those enlightened makers Who provide i.r.s. and have eliminated the prop.-shaft does not meet with your approval (many readers have quite rightly pointed out that a light beam rear axle properly located can be very good indeed), one may, perhaps, be excused for hoping that the great Ford concern would have designed rather more modern automobiles with which to replace the old Consul and Zephyr models. After all, even llenry Ford got rid or the planetary transmission and trembler-coil ignition of the model-T in the course of Little....—W. B.