HIGH PERFORMANCE AT EARLS COURT
THE Earls Court 35th International Motor Exhibition was an occasion for our overseas buyers, for the unfortunate British visitor couldn’t purchase the excellent cars on show. Like the B.R.M. at Goodwood they were inaccessible to ordinary mortals. So we propose to confine this report to a few remarks about the more outstanding high-performance cars and new Models.
The sensation of the Show—and justifiably—was the new Mk VII Jaguar saloon, kept secret until its release at a Grosvenor House pre-view on October 16th. Unquestionably, from every angle, it is a winner. American connoisseurs will count the days until they can take delivery.
The XK 120 160-b.h.p. twin o.h.c., sixcylinder engine, not detuned or ” watereddown ” in any way save for the addition of an air cleaner and silencer, installed in a beautifully styled and proportioned saloon able to seat six in comfort and to carry a vast amount of luggage in its capacious 17 cu. ft. boot, with side-slung fuel tanks carrying 17 gallons, add up to a very fine motor-car indeed. ” But,” said the critics, ” what is the price ? ” When it was announced as .098 (t1,275 19s. (hd. with British p.t.) everyone realised that here was the Car of the Year. flow slower, less capacious, not quite so stylish rivals, at anything faun two to four times the price, will survive in the face of Bill Lyons’ latest, we don’t pretend to know. Maybe they won’t ! American distributors stated enthusiastieally that they could sell the Mk VII Jaguar in competition with any of Omir own country’s cars and an Ontario distributor promptly placed an order for 500. Altogether orders totalling about it, million were received as soon as the new Jaguar was announced.
The Mk VII weighs 33 cwt , has gear ratios of 14.4, 8.56, 5.84 and 4.27 to 1, Dunlop 6.70 by 16 low-pressure tyres and a wheelbase of 10 feet. Its maximum speed should lie between 105 and 107 m.p.h., with acceleration and roadholding in keeping, and it has vacuumservo hydraulic Girling-Dcwandre brakes. The traditional radiator shape is skilfully incorporated in the modern lines, upholstery is leather, the roof slides, and the Jaguar walnut instrinnent panel and remote gear-lever are retained.
The XI: 120 was the ” guinea-pig ” around which the Mk VII was developed, and the competition successes of that great car further enhance the allure of this newest Jaguar. We proclaim it unhesitatingly as one of the really great cars of the present era. * * In many ways the smallest cars portray greater progress than the larger ones. No one, unless certified, could honestly say, examining the Renault, DynaPanhard, Simea and FIAT 500 C, that he Would prefer an Austin Seven, Singer Junior or similar small car of twenty years ago. But vintage-minded types, critically discussing the More expensive vehicles, could find many shortcomings and not always such very superior per ‘l’o bash any. part of these bulbous moderns against hard objects is to throw fabulous amounts of money (yours or the insurance company’s) down the drain, and then there is the thought of your wife trying to get. a punctured wheel off, let alone persuade the spare wheel out_ of its hiding place and replace it with the useless (and dirty) one. Spare wheels present one of the unhappiest problems to the modern designer. The body stylist wants to cover-in, not. only it, but the wheels it is due to replace, so that detaching them is a nightmare. The rubber engineers insist. On bigger and bigger tyre sections, that fill rip much of the luggage boot in which the distraught designer hopes to hide his spare. Even the new Jaguar and the new Fords put theirs in the boot, but sensibly stand them upright for comparatively easy removal. Full marks, in this respect, to Jowett, for the Javelin’s under-the-boot winddown spare wheel tray. * New Fords are a major event in
motoring. The ” Five-Star ” Consul and Zephyr Six were released at the Dorehester on October 17th. As MOTOR SPORT pre( bet ed last month, they have o.1. v. engines and i.f.s.—-the latter an ingenious coil-spring, vertical-slide layout. The four-cylinder 1 -litre Consul develops 47 bhp. at 4,400 r.p.m., pulls a top .gear of 4.625 to 1, loss an 8 ft. 4 in. wheelbase, weighs approximately 21 cwt. The sixcylinder 21-litre Zephyr Six develops 68 b.h.p. at 4,000 r.p.m., has a 4.375 to 1 top gear. 8 ft. 8 in. wheelbase, weighs approximately 23 cwt. Both have the signqicant btwe amt. stroke of 79 by 76 ntm. Both are American-styled, rather square, rather stubby bench-scat saloons, priced. respectively, at £415 and £475. Ford has gone for high performance but hasn’t entirely thrown utility away-for the Anglia and Prefect are continued.
Austin led us up the garden about a complete rang,e of new models. owing to a misunderstamling. A40, A70. A90 and Sheerline are continued, the A70 1 lereford with a longer wheelbase, and to saucy new front which personally we disliked. There zeos a new inodel-the A40 two-door Sports four-seater with disappearing hood. The engine has twin 8.11. carburetters instead of the single Zenith of the ordinary A40, giving six extra 1).h.p. at 100 r.p.m. higher peak engine speed, while the back as well as the front brakes are Itydrar d ie–presumably sufficient justification for calling this the ” Sports Model.” It. has clean lines and should be a practical, lumdy little car. Quite the most exciting car at the Show
from the enthusiasts’ point of view was the left-hand drive Simea-Gordini Grand Sport sports/racing car. It was a very low, all-enveloping aerodynamic twoseater with strapped-down forward-hinging bonnet, two snug bucket seats in a wide cockpit and a wheelbase of 7 ft. 41 it). The between-the-legs lumdbrake, big fuel cock on the floor, and the letters ” Equipe GOrdini ” on the nose were exciting details of an intriguing cur. The centre-lock Budge wheels (British sports car designers please copy) were shod with diamond-tread racing Dunlops. Th.e 11-litre ” square ” o.h.v. engine was said to give 100 b.h.p., the car to weigh 111 cwt.. and its speed to be 136 m.p.h. No price was quoted but this must be no production model, because the S.M.M.T. doesn’t allow racing ears to be exhibited at Earls Court ! * *
Exponent of good power/weight ratio is the Morgan ” 4/4,” for there is Scarcely anything of its chassis. So, with the 68-b.h.p. Standard Vanguard engine, the new ” Plus Four ” model should have an unusually brisk performance ! Another interesting British car with the same power unit. was the Triumph Roadster. Following the lead set by the Austin A90, it brings American conveniences to the field of British design. There is eleetro-hydraulic actuation of the coupe top, hydraulic seat adjustment, a 3.58 to I overdrive top gear, hydratilieally-operated windows, built-in heater, flashing indicator lamps. and electricallyoperated flaps to hide the headlamps by day. Opinion seemed to be equally divided as to whether this Roadster was more beautiful or less practical than the one it supersedes. For our part., we hope it is entered for the next Monte Carlo Rally so that we ean see what happens when the headlamps are switched-on in
” ” conditions-.
As we were leaving Earls Court on preview day we were thankful to see, as the four Hotchkiss exhibits were driven-in. that this make retaim its traditional older-style appearance, the new bulbous radiator grille spoiling it only a little. Tiw exhaust notes n3 the engines were revved-up made it easy to recall successive successes in the Monte Carlo Rally and to believe the maker’s claim of 95 m.p.h. for the sober-look ing Paris-N ice ‘• Anjou ” saloon. Great cars, these !
The 3-litre Alvis sports two-seater is another car which has a good imitation of a radiator. It looked very II ice t his year-and the Sante applied to the charming model who was sitting in it beneath to battery of are lamps. Nuffield have not. yet thought it opportune to provide more ” steam ” for the delightful-to-drive Morris Minor, but Continued 000 page 558
it has been given impeller (sailing to Rumour its exhaust valves, which were prone to distort, and l’our doors to bring it into line with the 4 CV Renault in respect of ease ()I’ entry and egress. The Nash-Healey is completely the American car except for its place of origin. A pity the ” Silverstone ” has been
discontinued. • The “TD M.G. was exhibited as a chassis displayed above a mirror, and with, tiny figures clustered over it pointing out salient technical It stares, their odd and soiled dress very evidently stamping t hese little pc, plc as mot or sport
cut husiasts ! lec The Jupiter had the distinctitm of appearing, in effect, as ” new car that has seen two Shows. Unfortunately the Stabalimente Farina coupe shown on this chassis in Paris (how these Continentals press on !) wasn’t at. Earls
M.G. CAR CLUB (MIDLAND CENTRE) AUTUMN TRIAL
liEsT PERFoRMANCE IN CtAsS A. 1′. D. Fullwood.
( ,250-e.e. AIM.), 211 marks lost. first PERFORMANCE IN CLASS .‘ward (hie
to insufficient, ,4ario; in (‘lass).It. 0,, llopkinson I .172.c.c. Bancroft Speci(rl). 10 marks 1,1,1(..
BEST PERFORM A NCE IN CLASS C..1. C. Wild)). (2,OsS-(‘.c. Standard k’attruard), 13 inarkS lost. FIRST-CLASS AWARD:4.—J. F. Ilaltott (1,250-c.c. 25 marks lost.; C. A. Moss (1,250-c.c.
30 marks lost ; C. It. Jordan (1,250.c.c. MO.) St marks kgit.
1,11,3313D-CI.AsK AWARDS. .1. Itemrose II.25(0-e.c.
51.11.), 32 marks lost.; (1, Itcasky I 1.250-c.c. St (1.). 37 marks lost.
TEAM AwARD..Winby (2.055Ae.e. Standard Vanguard) RIO P. D. FI)BWO011 (I.250-e,c. 39 marks lost.