Humber Super Snipe
Dual headlamp styling has been a feature of many American cars in recent years but the trend has only just reached England, in the shape of the 1961 Humber Super Snipe. Rootes claim that the four headlamps serve a useful function in that they provide 150 watts, some 30 watts more than the previous model. One would have thought that the Sunbeam Rapier would be the best model to fit these lamps to as it is far more likely to be driven fast at night than the stately Snipe.
When driving on main beam the inner lamps provide the main beam while the outer lamps provide a fan-shaped spread closer to the car. On dipped lamps the inner pair are completely extinguished and the outer lamps dip to their 50-watt filaments. In addition to this the radiator grille is extended round the front wings and given horizontal bars. Internally the seats are improved and the front suspension coil-springs have been given higher rating, while the rear leaf-springs have been widened. The 129.5-b.h.p. disc-braked Snipe will sell for £1,488 I2s. 6d. in saloon car form, and £1,736 10s.10d. as an estate car.
The recent announcement of the Berkeley Bandit will gladden the hearts of sportsmen as the formula hit upon by Berkeley Cars Ltd. looks to be tailor-made for sports-car racing.
At last year’s Motor Show the decision was reached to design a new sports car as an addition to the existing range of motorcycle-engined cars already in production. The services of John Tojeiro. designer of the A.C. Ace, were obtained and in January of this year he was given the task of wedding the Ford 105E engine, gearbox and rear axle to a chassis of his own design. In less than nine months the prototype was on the road. The chassis is of welded steel construction with fabricated housings to take the front and rear suspension. The body is of glass-fibre construction but is not an integral unit like previous Berkeleys. but is bonded to the chassis to form a very strong unit. Front suspension is similar to that on the Ford Anglia, using the Armstrong coil spring/damper unit as the upper mounting point and swinging on a single wishbone. Girling 8-in, disc brakes are fitted to the front wheels.
At the rear the Ford differential has been cut from the axle and mounted on the chassis and the Ford half-shafts have been mated to Hardy-Spicer universal joints. The Ford hubs and Girling 8-in. drum brakes are modified to take these half-shafts and wide-angle wishbones. Armstrong coil-spring/damper units are used.
A new body has been designed with two large doors for ease of entry, while great attention has been paid to the safety aspect. All instruments are grouped in a central panel between the occupants, and the dashboard is covered with thick padding. The wood-rimmed steering wheel is adjustable and mounting points for safety harness are attached to the chassis. During a run in the prototype we found the suspension to be firm but corners could be taken very quickly. although racing drivers will probably ask for the 3 1/2 turns of the rack and-pinion steering to be reduced. A host of extras are available for turning this into a very potent machine. Total price is £798 10s.
Ford Taunus 17M
Although it is doubtful if the latest product front the Cologne factory of the giant Ford combine will be present at Earls Court, it is of interest as it combines the best features of the American, British and German subsidiaries into one car. The body/chassis unit is similar to that of the Falcon “compact”, with the Macpherson strut-type front suspension of the Anglia being used in conjunction with a rigid rear axle.
Two alternative engines, of 1 1/2-litre and 1.7-litre, are available, giving 55 b.h.p. and 60 b.h.p.. respectively. Three- or four-speed gearboxes are available to choice, as is the Saxomat automatic clutch.
Initially two- and four-door saloons will be available, together with a station wagon. Most notable styling feature is the large headlamp apertures, which actually house only single lamps. No prices are yet available.
This famous concern, well known for its vintage sports cars, makes a welcome return to motor manufacturing with a roadster of distinctive styling to say the least. At the time of going to press few details are available, but the car will be powered by a Ford Zephyr engine fitted with three S.U. carburetters mated too four-speed gearbox. I.F.S. is by wishbones and torsion bars, and a rigid rear axle is carried on semi-elliptic springs. Steering is by rack-and-pinion, and Dunlop disc brakes are fitted all round. A wheelbase of 8 ft. 3in. is quoted, with an overall length of 15 ft.
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