e”‘,..-“1”.””ki-o’Ve’Ar”#1, “e”•1,.””NrovV.”1”-Wel SPORTING CARS ON TEST: THE “WINDSOR SPECIAL.” By RICHARD TWELVETREES. 4″e”….”11.4-1 “..e”,”.#41,..-1…4″4″,”.”•-410.,r4.”4ev-INev-oVe4
AS there has always been some doubt as to the exact interpretation of the term ” Sports” car, Messrs. James Bartle & Co. Ltd., have described the most sporting car of their range the ” Special Model “Windsor, an example of which I had the opportunity of testing recently. In my opinion there is quite a clear line of demark
tion between the” Sports car” and the” Sporting car,” in that prospective owners expect a maximum speed of about 80 m.p.h. in the former category ; whilst an easy ” sixty ” with occasional splashes of ” seventy ” are considered a reasonable limit for the latter class to which the Windsor belongs. After all, a car of the Windsor class brings successful
participation in competitions within the reach of sportsmen who are obliged to look at the pounds, shillings and pence, when placing an order for a new model, and, as far as my observations go I should say that this little car is stunning good value for the modest £345 at which it is priced. There is another thing which certainly adds to the
usefulness of the Windsor, in that whilst capable of a good performance in competition events, it has characteristics which appeal to lady drivers and therefore will serve the dual purpose of a Sporting ‘bus and a handy little vehicle for Madame should she have aspirations in this direction. As may be seen from the accompanying photographs
the ” Special Model” has a very attractive appearance and is certainly one of the smartest three-seaters on the road. As to performance I know from experience that the ” Windsor ” will stand up to hard work, having followed two old demonstration models during the whole of the last London-Exeter on a much more powerful and expensive sports car of another make. The Windsors were ” all there” and went through the trial in a most creditable manner, which, as a matter of fact, inspired my interest to write the present review.
Preliminary Tests on the Circus.
Before taking the car through the standard test run, I made acquaintance with its general capabilities by running it round my circus, which happens to be conveniently situated near home and includes some wiggly turns, a few fairly stiff gradients and a circular track of undeclared highway, round which speed tests can be
made without danger to the public or risk of interference. Th s circus is also useful for taking times of short sprint tests, from which comparisons of performance can be easily made.
Having discovered that the four-wheel brakes were quite effective and would bring the car to rest in twentyfive yards from a speed of forty-five miles per hour, I proceeded to make a few tests for acceleration, from which it was found that the speed could be increased from 10 to 30 miles per hour in 6 4-5th. sec. on second speed, the test when using third speed producing a figure of 9 seconds and on top gear 18 seconds.
This for a car that will pull steadily on top gear at 6 m.p.h. struck me as being quite good, though naturally one would expect something a little more exciting from a hot-stuff 80 m.p.h. car, which as I have said before the Windsor is not. Leaving the circus, I made for the open road and indulged in a drive of about thirty miles along good level roads, where the maximum speed could be reached. Here I found that sixty miles per hour was well within the limits of the engine and at this pace the motor turned over without any fuss, whilst the rest of the chassis behaved quite happily. When it came to forcing the car above this speed, except for short stretches under very favourable conditions, one was conscious of having to push it with a certain amount of effort, under which
the machinery was obviously being stressed beyond its normal powers of resistance.
Nevertheless, the car is capable of high average speeds, especially when one makes full use of a carefully selected set of gear ratios and a delightfully nippy gear change, for any change can be made with speed and certainty with a lofty disregard of the theories which are supposed to control the manipulation of the gear lever.
The steering is light and certain, the front wheels castoring accurately in a manner that almost entirely eliminates driving fatigue. The pleasure of driving is furthermore enhanced by the skilful arrangement of all the controls, all of which are in the correct position in relation to the driving seat.
Leaving the main road a little later, our test route took us across a portion of heath, the rough surface of which gave ample opportunities of testing the suspen
Hill Climbing Capabilities.
Returning from the cross country test, we made our way back to Dorking, through which we trickled gently on top gear trying to look as if we were out on an ordinary pleasure trip, instead of working hard on an” M.S.” destruction test and then made for the famous “Goat Track “, dear to the hearts of the organisers of the Surbiton Cup Trial, on which the Windsor put up as good a performance as any of the cars which took part in the last competition. A fast run on bottom gear showed that the engine was no stranger to quick revving and did not evince the slightest tendency to overheat, or otherwise misbehave itself.
It is hard to pass near Dorking without making attempts at a fast run up the Zig-zag leading to the top of Box Hill, for here one can approach the hair-pins at high speed and—if one is lucky—get round these sharp turns, without hitting the bank or bringing the car to_a standstill across the road.
sion, for at times the wheels dropped into galleys that not only flexed the springs beyond their normal limits, but also showed how the frame behaved with its various members under severe distortion. On one occasion when the rear wheels were deeply imbedded in a rut, I handed the wheel over to my passenger, who reversed the engine to extricate the car, whilst I observed the action of the springs. As the clutch was engaged the torque was taken up quite smoothly and after a little wheelspin, a good bite was obtained on the soft earth and the car came out with very little difficulty.
The next test was that of driving the car over a liberally pot-holed road, which taken at about 30 m.p.h., showed that the springs were capable of acting quickly without transmitting any undue vibrations to the frame or upsetting the comfort of the passengers.
Approaching the first bend on second gear, we took the first left hand curve quite rapidly, with a quick change into first, then accelerating up the gradually increasing incline, gave her second. The second bend was taken at well over twenty-three, the car accelerating cheerfully to thirty-eight before the brakes had to be applied for rounding the very sharp bend near the top. As luck would have it, we encountered a car on the way down so no exact time could be taken, but the performance was perfectly satisfactory with regard to speed, cornering, acceleration and braking. The four cylindered Windsor engine is rated at 10.4 h.p. (t11 tax) and measures 65 mm. bore by 102 mm. stroke, which gives a capacity of 1,350 cubic centimetres. On full thfottle it is capable of developing 30 h.p., which is largely due to the careful design of the
overhead valves and well-balanced reciprocating parts. The engine is of very neat and compact design, its small overall length being accounted for by the use of a two bearing crankshaft, of sturdy design and supported in large diameter bearings of adequate length. Further rigidity is secured by casting the rnonobloc cylinders integrally with the upper portion of the crankcase. A very convenient feature is the provision of separate water passages between the cylinder water jacket and that of the detachable head, thus avoiding any possi
bility of water leakages into the cylinders in the event of a gasket failure. The overhead valves are completely enclosed by an aluminium cover and are operated from the camshaft by means of adjustable rockers and push rods.
Great care has been devoted to the design of the lubrication system, in which the oil is circulated by a plunger pump positively driven from the camshaft. Surrounding the pump is a large filter and a stream of oil is delivered to troughs under each connecting rod, adequate means being provided for suitably lubricating the other parts of the engine. The smooth and light working of the clutch is accounted for by the design adopted, which is of the single plate variety, with Ferodo lined surfaces. External adjustment is provided for regulating the clutch, should this be necessary at any time, a provision that is some
times lacking in other cars.
The four speed gear box is bolted direct to the clutch bell-housing and is fitted with right hand change. The following gear ratios are standard :—Top, 4.44 to 1 ; third, 7.5 to 1; second, 10.4 to 1 ; and first and reverse 17.7 to 1, the latter providing a ratio that will permit any of the worst hills on competition hills to be climbed without any difficulty.
Conventional design is followed in the case of the rear axle, which is of the vertical banjo type, with spiral bevel drive and a bevel type of differential.
The whole chassis and its components are of very sound construction throughout and the Windsor has all the characteristics of an exceptionally sturdy and durable car, capable of acquitting itself creditably in the hands of the type of owner who has aspirations for competition work at distinctly moderate cost.