PORSCHE IN SURREY
ANinteresting pre-Show experience was a brief ride along the historic Portsmouth Road in the Type 850 Porsche count’: imported by Continental Cars, Ltd., for the Show. This car got a good ” Press,” as the first German (actually Austrian) car to be shown in England .since the war. NVe were more concerned with its technical features. The 1,286 c.c. flat-four air-cooled Volkswagen engine sits in an upholstered compartment at the back ; the presence of this leather-upholstery points to faith in the efficiency of oil-seals and cooling duet. Endowed with. alloy ()Aix. heads and two d.d. tiolex carburetters, 44 b.h..p. is claimed at 4,000 r.p.m. The cooling fan draws air from an aperture in the base of the pressed-steel cltassis. The late Dr. Porsche, whose name is coupled unforgett:itily with. SSK Merce,di,sBenz, Austro-Daimler and Ante-Union. chose torsion-bar independent suspension or’ all four 10-in. wheels, Continental lawkheed 21,S brakes and t., orm steering wi It divided track-rod for the Porsche .chassis. This gives very line road-elinging in true Continental style–even when the chassis lifts and falls the wheels retain their intimacy with the road. The very beautiful, all-enveloping, truly aero dynamic body pays dividends, such as absence of wind-noise, amid a fuel eonsumption of eiren 35 m.p.g. with a maximum of sonic 85 m.p.h, in overdrive top gear. The gearbox is controlled by a delightful little central lever, rigid as a valve-stem. It is of the ” crash ” variety, albeit belying this term at the hands of drivers of a calibre to appreciate this sort of car Idling, the engine is noisy, but in motion such aural intrusions are flung back at those without. Visibility is near-perfect, but with only the 12-gallon fuel tank ahead of you the accidentwhich-never-happens seems fascinatingly close. The little. car is virtually a twoseater, but there is is spacious if lpmpy compartment. behind the cloth-upholstered front. seats. In any ease, three people routti he accommodated in front, particularly if one of them happened to be a young woman from the enlour illustrations iir the Porsche folder ! The finish is of it very high order, the doors, for instance, edged with highly polished veneer which may have been metal, hot wins probably real wood—penknife incisions were verboten before the Show. even to roadtesters ! The Porsche toadses so effort
lessly at. 115 k.p.h. (70 m.p.h.) tied only the road rushing past the windscreen suggests a pace higher than 50 ni.p.h. There is an over-steer tendency, because of the engine location, and some roll, but the steering is well able. to cone and corners can be rounded so fast that the passenger craves a closer-fitting seat. to assist in countering the effects of G.
Instruments comprise, speedometer, clock and oil thermometer—quality dials grouped before the driver. Oil temperature never climbs over 80° C. and this is a sump reading, as the thermometer element, is actually combined with the dip-stick. Mere oil-pressure, or lack of it., is a matter for a warning light. A hotair heater and wi nkimcg direction-indicator lamps are installed. Incidentally, the Porsche is quite a baby, being only 4 ft. 8 in. high with a wheelbaseof 6 ft. 11 in. ; its dry weight is quoted as 14.6 Cwt. In Germany this impressive little car Sells for about £1,200. Here the Show models were priced at £2,100. With claimed speeds of 20, 40, 05 and 85 m.p.h. in the gears, a range of some -1.20 miles, and an impeccable appearance, connoisseurs no doubt considered this within their expenditure compass.—)AT.B.