Ford v. B.M.C. 1100
My Anglia Super was on order when W.B. published his road test report. I was naturally at once sceptical about the wisdom of my choice and more then ever anxious to start my acquaintanceship with the car, my first new one. Much as I respected W.B.’s judgement, I felt that in normal service, the car might not show up in such a poor light as under his critical eye—I hoped so anyway.
With nearly 2,500 miles of normal service now achieved I must say that I can find little or no grounds upon which to challenge anything that W.B. said against the car.
I do not find it comfortable to ride in—the suspension is not soft enough and the seat is wrong somehow. All this leads to early tiredness on a long journey. Roadholding is not too good and great care is wanted on wet roads. The car feels very light indeed, especially at the back, and the narrowness of the wheel tracks seems to be very evident. I have once needed to brake on a gentle downward curving slope and the result was rear end break-away, even on a bone dry road surface, and at a speed of 40 m.p.h.
It may be due to newness but the engine is very noisy in a metallic tappetty sort of way, especially on the over-run and it is a poor starter, hot or cold. On the credit side it does rev freely and gives reasonable acceleration, but the resulting noise is rather a high price to pay. I had the tappets adjusted for the first time at 1,000 miles and this did not seem to bring about any improvement. Much to my disgust I was charged for this job on the basis that it was not a “warranty” matter.
The much vaunted gearbox has not proved in practice to be up to the high standard claimed. Personally I prefer the movement on B.M.C. cars although I grant the Ford a better synchromesh. The box gets very unpleasant for gear shifting when hot and there is a lot of play in the lever in all gears. The lever, of course, rattles merrily much to one’s annoyance.
Added to my miseries is a rear axle that is not quiet, especially in certain running conditions which I now try to avoid. But, again, this spoils the pleasure of motoring and should not be a burden which I, as the owner of a near-new car, have to bear. The Agents disagree over the axle, reference being made to “no excess” whine being audible.
What constitutes “excess” whine? Any whine is excess whine from my viewpoint; from their’s it may be necessary to shout to be heard above the noise before the whine is “excess.” Will the Agents approach be the same as regards other faults of which I may complain?
Altogether this car is at the moment a noisy and not too comfortable vehicle. I am disappointed with my choice and look with no little envy at my fellows who are “1100” mounted, underpowered or not.
Having digested my regular journal, known for its fearless criticism, my eyes could not but help fix on Mr. MacPherson’s letter on page 730 of the August issue. I must, therefore, congratulate a Scot for coming to the point.
Your readers, for quite a time now, have had to put up with rather a lot of disrespect for the Ford Motor Company, and it is a wonder they have not questioned you on it, unless you refused to publish their remarks in your correspondence columns. Surely any sane and experienced motorist (and there are some, Mr. Boddy) can see that the Ford success with the Anglia and Cortina in a short time on Rallies and competitions is fantastic for a car of its relatively cheap production.
There is no doubt also that the ADO 15 is earning a reputation at competitive events too, but until the 1100s in their various forms earn a reputation as have done the Cortinas how can one say which is the better car?
Naturally, there are things any Ford owner would yearn to see adopted in his motor from B.M.C. ideas, and no doubt vice versa. I had both Mini and Anglia together for 12 months before the teething troubles were all ironed out.
Ford Service is wonderful, and everything connected with Warranty is very sound. I am a daily distance driver who uses a car, and Fords are rugged and usually sound for a long mileage.
I am on my second Anglia, but alas I would not have a second Mini, and when I hear that the M.G. 1100 seats are designed to be uncomfortable and compare its price with the Cortina, I am inclined to agree with Mr. MacPherson.
I will go on reading the magazine, Mr. Boddy. You are doing a grand job, but please be absolutely impartial or a lot of readers are going to think less of your journal. Criticise, yes, but let it be justified.
John B. Rush.
[I’ll try, Mr. Rush, I’ll try! I am hoping to obtain first-hand experience of the Ford Consul Cortina GT and my findings as a Morris 1100 user have already been published.—Ed.]
I can assure Mr. Sapcote (October issue) that I have no connection with the Ford Sales School, nor the Trade, except as a customer. As to the Cortina GT’s range (250 miles, not “bare 200”), I don’t do many journeys where it is inconvenient to stop at less than 200-mile intervals. If I did I’d carry a couple of jerricans in a corner of the Cortina’s capacious boot (they would just about fill that of the 1100), and double the range.
Regarding petrol consumption, I have just done a careful check over 1,462 miles, and it came out at 32 1/2 m.p.g. My mileage is about 25% town and 75% country, I use 100-octane stuff, and I would say I drive briskly, using the acceleration and cruising at about 60 m.p.h., but not flat-out all the time.
I agree about the 1100’s suspension—it is first-class, as I said. But the only other point of merit Mr. Sapcote mentions is “long journey comfort.” This is very subjective and varies from person to person rather than car to car. Does the 1100 have no other good points?
Incidentally, I considered a Cooper-S (a lovely car), but it is a bit small, and the insurance was more than double that of my Cortina GT.
In view of the number of faults experienced by “W. B.” with his 1100, I would suggest that he carry his new bicycle around with him in his car, in case of further trouble—or buy a VW again.
E. Tiffin (Mrs.).
[Yes, I was expecting this one! In fact, Mrs. Tiffin, it won’t go in, so I shall have to get a folding model!—Ed.]