I This happens to be a true story. it is, however, so fantastic that both the car and the owner had better remain anonymous. If you recognise them it is not our fault.–Ed.1
IWAS motoring home from business in my Exiwerful Continental motor-car and had just swung into one of those back-street detours I always adopt to avoid One of East London’s few remaining traffic jams. At this point one turns left under a railway arch, leaving the Main road, with its inevitable tramlines not Yet ripped up, and immediately turns right on to a minor road. We turned left quite normally, but When I spun the wheel over for the righthand turn the car sailed straight forward and subsided on the nearside kerb like an elephant doing a curtsey. Fortunately we were travelling slowly enough for this evolution to be performed without
damage. As I alighted to inspect, the ever
present constabulary arrived and aptly said, ” Cor !” I felt a similar emotion, for the front wheels were lying roughly 45 degrees out of the vertical, although still parallel to one anot her and apparently attached to the steering arrangements.
Inspection showed that. the eentre-bolt of the single transverse leaf spring had sheared, leaving the spring free to float sideways under the side-thrusts of cornering, thus robbing the wheels of all compulsion to stand upright. By carefully reversing the car and then pushing sidevrays — assisted by the constabulary—on the radiator cap, we restored the front wheels to something approaching equilibrium, and it was found possible to drive home at a very modest speed. I need hardly say that the
steering was. not particularly accurate. My point is simply this. I have not measured the offending bolt, but roughly it is the metric equivalent of a normal 1mild steel type. Upon this single bolt hangs the whole affair. It is subjected to all the side thrusts developed, when cornering, by the front end of a car weighing nearly 2 tons ; if it breaks, 1.1w entire suspension system collapses.
I think this should be borne in mind by those who think that any form of independent suspension or retractable front under-carriage is the panacea for every road-holding and front-end difficulty. I also wonder if a certain charming blonde Frenchman realised it when cornering as he did in a certain sportsformula race late in 1938. . . .
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