Where's that Patriotism?

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Where’s that Patriotism?

I was hoping that by April’s issue of MOTOR SPORT some other reader with a modicum of patriotism would have aired his or her views via the readers’ letters on the present “knock anything as long as it’s British” trend by the editor and his staff.

Unquestionably BMW turn out reasonable motor cars but MOTOR SPORT’s somewhat fanatical allegiance to the breed is surely degrading to what is, after all, the best magazine of its type. I chose the word degrading with care—MOTOR SPORT’s readers are discriminating but they do not tolerate lack of consistency in reporting and testing of motor cars. No, I do not own a BMW, but I have driven the fastest and most coveted of the breed—the 34itre CST… How would this car have fared under the same critical eye as C.R.’s on his appraisal of the new Lotus Elite last month? In the editor’s Common Market trip in the CSI. a couple of years ago how much space was given to the ridiculous cost of the machine, when one looks at the poor standard of trim and pathetic paintwork? What is more, the standard of

road-holding in normal trim was, and presumably still is, inadequate? Was the test car running on normal, or competition, suspension? The point that I am attempting to get over is that whilst unquestionably the new Elite is overpriced, and C.R. makes great issue of this, no such aggressiveness was ever shown against the Munich product. Forgive me if I am wrong—it may be underpriced!

Many of your more less-gentlemanly readers may he forgiven for thinking that the C. T. Hocpner Trophy was given for “services rendered to the cause of BMW” rather than for furthering Anglo-Saxon understanding for motoring and the motor industry”. Prove us all wrong Mr. Boddy, and let us have a little less of the anti-British approach.

If given the chance of an airing in the hallowed pages I would like to offer a view on the present 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70 m.p.h. restrictions, which we are all stuck with at the present moment. I am at present covering some 25,000 miles per annum-95% of which I am legally restricted to a sedate 50 m.p.h. (has anyone any view on the legality of coasting at more than the fuel restricting limit, by the way?) in either my Big Healey or Rover 2000TC. Now, according to the mass-media and Government statistics, I am far less likely to either have an accident and what is more, less likely to have a serious accident at these low speeds. Now for the crunch—have you tried to persuade your insurance companies that the gross loadings on your performance cars should be reduced because of the restricted speeds? I have and I might as well have saved my energy and the cost of a 1st Class stamp! The fact that I can only legally travel (on the roads that I use) about 1,200 miles per annum at between 50 m.p.h. and 70 m.p.h. is totally immaterial. Swansea G. R. HOWE

[Down the years MOTOR SPORT has given as much, or more, space to British as to foreign cars. So far as the articles that have irritated Mr. Howe are concerned, had Jaguar been prepared to find us a V12 Jaguar for the “Common Market Trip” we should have published a British product, whidh was our intention originally. If Rover had had the courtesy to reply to our queries about the odd feel of the road-test Rover 3500 S. I would be using one of these British cars regularly, instead of the excellent BMW 520i. We can only report on things as we find them!

Top cars are invariably expensive—the BMW CSL, Lotus Elite and the Rolls-Royce Camargue. It would be only fair, when comparing British and foreign prices, however, to take heed of the prices charged in the country of origin. Mr. Howe joins my “friends” in his comments about the Hoepner Trophy. I can only say that its presentation to me was a complete surprise and I wonder if our correspondent attributes a similar bias to previous recipients? If it is any consolation to him, The Guild of Motoring Writers has avoided any reference to the award in its newsletter. Commendably patriotic, perhaps? As to reduced insurance premiums under the prevailing speed-limits, only an optimist with no experience of the Insurance world would expect them! And it could be suggested that lower speeds are causing lack of concentration and dangerous manoeuvres—a few hours ago I saw a very crumpled Mini and a Mercedes-Benz on its roof after an accident on a straight, wide, dry road, in good visibility.—ED.j

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