There have been many letters from your readers spotlighting the shortcomings of many British post-war cars, but while they are of great interest and serve to strengthen the enthusiast’s conviction in his cause, there is a further aspect of sharp practice (this being loosely defined as any action or state of affairs resulting in a marked lack of value for money) of ever greater importance to Motor Sport readers which I cannot recall having noted in your columns. I refer to the charges made by manufacturers for spare parts, particularly for older vehicles.
My recent experience is relevant — £2 5s. for a “knock-on” hub cap and £20 for a crown-wheel and pinion (the hub cap, incidentally, being listed at £1 5s. about 12 months ago). This is downright exploitation, and while the stock answer is “these old parts have to be made in small numbers” I know that this hub cap could be made for 7s. 6d. easily, so why add 37s. 6d. for profit and overheads?
No doubt many of your readers have had similar experiences, and I for one would certainly release all the information available on this topic so that one could be forewarned before purchase of a particular car. Incidentally, I have hastily sold the Speed Twenty before a major “blow-up” occurred which my bank balance could never cover with spares at such fantastic levels. A friend has also sold his Speed Twenty for the same reason, and finds it cheaper to race a “500”!
Finally, could I crave your indulgence and ask if any readers have had experience of fitting a Ford Ten or other power unit in a Lloyd 650 roadster? Any such information would be gratefully acknowledged.
I am, Yours, etc., V. A. Plumley. London, N.W.2.