Not just a loser!

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Sir,
Under the heading “A Serious Business” (Motor Sport, April 1988) you refer to the 1000-mile RAC Rallies around Britain which commenced in 1932, and to Marendaz Special entries over the years.

You specifically mention one Marendaz Special which “in the tests smoked to excess before stopping”. This was due to the driver forgetting to push the choke out of action, and was no reflection on the car. In another year, you say “Mrs Lace in a Marendaz Special was the last to arrive”. You have not recorded the last car to arrive in all the other rallies.

In 1932 Mrs Aileen Moss (Stirling’s mother) entered her 13/70 Straight-Six 1869cc Marendaz Special (the smallest in the range from 1930-1936) competing against 3-litre 4-cylinder Bentleys which cost three times as much, among others. The RAC published figures for this, the only Marendaz Special entered, and the best Bentley in each test:

Braking: The Marendaz Special pulled up from 30 mph to stop in 24ft, the Bentley in 67ft 7½in.

Slow Running in Top Gear: The Marendaz Special covered 100 yards in 42.8 seconds (about 4 mph), a Bentley in 29.8 seconds.

Acceleration: The Marendaz Special (single carburettor, side-valve) did 100 yards in 9.6 seconds, a 3-litre Bentley (two carburettors, overhead camshaft) in 9.2 seconds.

Mrs Moss also won the first prize for coachwork in her class.

Marendaz Specials are the only cars in the world whose brakes were never vacuum, mechanically or electronically-aided, and were standard from 1930 onward on all models, giving the same braking figure with or without the engine running.

Commenting on the 1991cc 15/90 Marendaz Special in its test results from 77 different makes, published on December 6, 1933, The Autocar said: “The Marendaz Special had the best braking figure in the open section, and among the British cars the open Marendaz Special acceleration figures stand out against the best in a way that does credit to the car’s performance.”

DMK Marendaz, Louth, Lincolnshire