The annual Motor Show Test Day at Goodwood, organised by the Guild of Motoring Writers, was this year attended by some very distinguished foreign visitors and nearly 70 cars were made available by their manufacturers, including a D-type Jaguar and an Aston Martin DB3S. Jaguar allowed anyone to sample the docile D-type but Aston Martin only let the DB3S be driven by holders of a Competition Licence.
The day took heavier toll than usual, for the Daimler Conquest Roadster was abandoned after, it was said, a valve had dropped into a cylinder, the Sunbeam Alpine had fuel pump failure (soon cured), the Allard Palm Beach burst a water hose, and the Healey 100S was withdrawn to preserve it for future competition commitments. ln addition, a rather inexperienced Irish photographer hit a concrete wall with the Sunbeam and later inverted the Jaguar XK140 drophead Coupé at Woodcote, luckily with more damage to the car than to himself. Earlier the XK140 had shed to rear-wheel spat.
Foreign visitors had first call on the cars, but we were able to enjoy the Triumph TR2 hard-top (in spite of a loose floor panel and hitting one’s hand on the dash in changing from third to top) and commit smooth lappery in the Ford Consul, and dignified lappery, surrounded by lavish and nicely-planned fittings, in the Rover 60.
The Morris Oxford has a remote, silvered dashboard, a horrid clutch and a steering-column-gear-lever with astonishingly long travel, but shows an indicated 60 m.p.h. in third. The Standard Ten saloon needed third speed for almost the entire circuit, which caused it to fade away with fuel starvation, and the Sunbeam Mk. III convertible also took third for long periods, which it didn’t mind, although its steering is very spongy, and heavy when this car is held round a bend, and the steering-column gear-lever wouldn’t always go easily into third.
The Hillman Husky held down better than expected; but the rear seat is some-what restricted and there is not much floor space behind. While the general effect is “tinny.”
The Jaguar XK 140 fixed-head coupé has an excellent gear change, the rigid remote lever perhaps a shade far back, and 4,500-5,000 r.p.m. came up easily, the car handling well, although, the seat squab could prftitably provide more support .
We badly wanted to sample an A.C. Ace. but that brought down by K. N. Rudd apparently required two people to drive it. Mr. Rudd and myself, which seemed too complicated, while the other was in such demand that we never got near it (does this answer the query of those who wondered how non-standard was Rudd’s car at Brighton?).
Some lappery with Paul Frere proved that he could make the Daimler Regency smell but even in the rear seats (a beautifully appointed car, this, with all-wood dashboard at which the instruments seem to have been hurled a bit haphazardly, vizors like great trap-doors in the roof, and two polished occasional tables folding up in front of the rear-seat occupants). The Bentley Continental drophead went very well but is extremely draughty in the back seats with the head folded. The engine is not too rough for such a car, which had the automatic transmission. The Rolls-Royce Park Ward saloon was sheer luxury, allied to good performance, and is obviously an ideal chauffeur-driven carriage. Going from the sublime to the 350-c.c. air-cooled, B.S.A. rear-engined Fairthorpe Atom Mk. II. we had difficulty on first acquaintance with the gearchange but after a lap in the glassfibre coupé we are able to say that at last we have taken Woodcote flat-out. — W. B.