Some more new models introduced at Earls Court
Since our Motor Show Preview last month several new and modified ears have been introduced, and in this article we give brief details of these new cars which were not released in time to be included last month.
Alfa Romeo.—The Alfa Romeo range is unchanged for 1965 but the British Concessionaires have announced a price reduction of £44 15s. for the Giulia Sprint GT, which is now £1,795 18s. 9d.
Aston Martin.—The DB5 is unchanged for 1965 except that a new engine option will be Available. This 4-litre engine gives 325 b.h.p. at 5,750 r.p.m. and has three Weber carburetters, a large-port alloy head, and modified valve timing. No price is yet available.
Auto Union.—An addition to the range is the D.K.W. F12 GT, which has a slightly more powerful engine and is fitted with an average-speed indicator, windscreen-mounted spotlight, aluminium flashes on the body and a GT badge on the boot. Price is £850 compared with £801 for the standard model. The F11 is reduced in price to £640 and the F102 to £899.
B.M.C.—In addition to the new Austin 1800 (described elsewhere in this issue). B.M.C. have made various modifications to existing models in their range. The A4o has new seats, new trim and a “facsimile wood veneer facia,” which incorporates an oilfilter warning light. The Morris 1000 has a restyled interior, including the facia, and the seats are said to be more comfortable, The A60 has a new greaseless propeller shaft and the steering box is re-positioned to give better control. The M.G.-B is fitted with a 5-bearing crankshaft as used on the Austin 1800, and this is claimed to give the car “a new smoothness.” Otherwise the car is unchanged. The Morris/Austin and M.G. I too series now have diaphragm spring clutches and an improved heating system. All the B.M.C. Mini range are now fitted with the Hydrolastic suspension of the 1100 range and various other minor modifications. The prices of all the Mini range have gone up by about £20, a basic Mini now costing £469 15s. 10d. The Austin Healey 3000 and Sprite remain in the Mk. III form in which the appeared earlier this year, while the Vanden Plas Princess “R” will be making its Show debut.
Citroen.—Yet another variant on the Citroen self-levelling suspension theme has been announced by the British Concessionaires. This is the ID Super, which is basically an ID with the addition of power-assisted steering and brakes, a revised facia, more powerful engine (75 b.h.p. at 4,500 r.p.m.), reclining front seats and various other luxury item. The new car costs £1,437 compared with £1,298 for the normal ID. Other models in the range are unchanged.
Daimler.—The Daimler range now comprises the 2½-litre V8 in the Mk. II Jaguar body and the 4½-litre Majestic Major in saloon and limousine form. The ill-fated SP250 sports car is now out of production, although no official announcement has been made.
Ferrari.—A flurry of activity from Ferrari before the Paris Show saw the introduction of an all-independently-sprung road car, the 275GT. This handsome new car with bodywork by Pininfarina is based on the normal GT models but the rear axle is displaced by a double wishbone i.r.s. layout. There are coupe and Spyder versions, both by Pininfarina, although the coupe is built by Scaglietti. The engine is a V12 with bore and stroke of 77 mm. 58.8 mm. and a capacity of 3,285 c.c. On a 9.2-to-1 compression ratio the engine develops 280.b.h.p. at 7,500 r.p.m. A 5-speed gearbox is fitted and Dunlop disc brakes are fitted all round, with assistance from a llonaldi servo. Pirelli tyres are standard equipment and are mounted on entirely new cast magnesium road wheels, although the normal Borrani wire wheels can still he obtained. The 275GT replaces the 250GT model and will cost a total of £5,699 4s. 4d. in coupe form; the price of the open car is not yet available. Other models in the Ferrari range for 1965 are the 400-b.h.p. 5-litre 500 Superfast, costing £10,932 16s. 3d. and the 300-b.h.p, 4-litre 330GT 4-seater costing £6,217 16s. 2d.
Fiat.—The new 850 is arriving in Britain in quantity and will sell for a total price of £549 105. 10d. Only the 850S will be sold in Britain; this has a higher-compression engine and is very fully equipped.
Ford.—No radical new models are forthcoming this year and the accent is on refinement. The main innovation is a new ventilation system called “Aeroflow” which is claimed to have most of the advantages of air conditioning without the cost. The system relies on air extraction through rear-mounted louvres, and facia-mounted outlets allow air flow to be directed to any part of the car. Other modifications on the Cortina include front wheel disc brakes on all models, modified seats, new facia and steering wheel, and screen-washers as standard equipment. The power of the engine has been raised slightly by raising the compression ratio, and the GT model has twin radius arms on the rear suspension. The Corsair GT also has the radius arms, and all models in the range have the compression ratios raised to 9 to 1 to give more power. Various other minor alterations have been made to the cars. The Anglia and Zephyr/Zodiac range all have their modifications, mainly in regard to trim, but on the Zephyrs all steering and suspension joints are now lubricated for life. Prices have been raised on most models by an average of around £20 and the Capri no longer appears in the price lists.
Jaguar.—Additional versions of the E-type and Mk. X, with 4-2-litre engines and all-syncromesh gearboxes, have been announced. ‘To enlarge the 3.8-litre engine it has been necessary to re-locate the cylinders; bore has gone up from 87 mm. to 92.07 mm., the stroke remaining at 106 mm. The crankshaft has, of course, had to be altered, and this is claimed to be stiffer, with thicker webs, redisposed balance weights and a new vibration damper. The intake manifold has been modified, but three S.U. carburetters are retained. The dynamo has been replaced by a Lucas 11 A.C. alternator and the starter is of the pre-engaged type for better winter starting. The new gearbox has interior lock baulk rings and drives through a Laycock 10-in, diaphragm spring clutch. The E-type also has new seats, designed to give better support in the small of the back. The Mk. X has a new power steering system called “Varamatic” which varies the steering ratio, giving low gearing around the straight ahead position and high gearing towards the end of the lock; there are 2¾ turns lock-to-lock. The 4.2 Mk. X is fitted with the latest Borg-Warner automatic transmission, giving the driver the means to select all three forward ratios manually if required.
We have been able to sample both new models briefly and it can be said that the new gearbox is a great advance, with faultless Syncromesh and greatly reduced noise level. It was not possible to detect any improvement in acceleration without a stop-watch, but the 4.2 engine seems quieter than the 3.8. The E-type seats are a vast improvement, although leg room is reduced slightly, while the brakes are also improved due to the use of a new booster. The Mk. X now has much safer steering and the automatic transmission is much more enjoyable. A full road test of the 4.2 E-type is scheduled for an early issue. The 4.2 E-type costs £1,896 4s. 7d. for the open model and £1,992 17s. 15d. for the fixed-head, and the Mk. X costs £2,156 0s. 5d. The rest of the Jaguar range remains unchanged as the 4.2-litre models are additional to their 3.8-litre counterparts.
Maserati.—Three new Maseratis came to England for the Show, including the 4-door saloon and the open and coupe versions of the new Mistrale, which replace the long established 3500 models. The straight-six engine is increased in capacity to 3,692 C.C. and develops 245 b.h.p. on Lucas fuel injection, which is standard equipment. The rest of the specification is similar to that of the 3500.
Mercedes-Benz.—No major changes have been made in the Mercedes line for 1965 but the 220 range is now available with floor gear-change as an optional at no extra charge, and also with the better quality upholstery previously used only on the 300SE. Several other minor modifications have also been made.
Panhard.—The Panhard 24 coupe now has a more powerful engine, giving 6o b.h.p., and is capable of a top speed of too m.p.h. It has disc brakes on all four wheels, with double calipers on the front discs. A saloon version of the coupe is also introduced, being to in. longer and having a 90-m.p.h. top speed. The coupe Costs £1,348 and the saloon £1,336.
Porsche.—Nothing new from Porsche this year hut the Concessionaires have fixed a price on the 901 of £3,750, which should discourage all but the really wealthy. Left-hand drive versions should be available in December and right-hand drive next spring.
Renault.—Following on from their Gordini-Dauphine, Renault have introduced the Gordini R8 I too, which has a claimed top speed of 165 m.p.h. Amedee Gordini has tuned the engine by fitting a crossflow light alloy head with 10-to-1 compression-ratio, twin Solex carburetters and a new exhaust system; power output is 95 b.h.p. at 6,500 r.p.m., which is almost double that of the standard 128. The suspension is lowered, the steering ratio is raised and interior modifications have been made, while the big disc brakes have servo assistance. The car is distinguished by two white stripes down the roof.
Rootes.-The Rootes group have made alterations to all their complicated range and an additional model, called the Singer Chamois, is announced. The Chamois is really a de luxe Hillman Imp, with improved front seats, a wood-veneered facia, extra instruments and so on. The price is £581 11s. 3d. As yet there is no Sunbeam version of the Imp (except in the U.S.A.) but rumours speak of a larger-engined car for next year. The medium-sized Rootes range, including the Hillman Minx Mk. V, Husky, Super Minx, Singer Gazelle and Vogue, Humber Sceptre, Sunbeam Rapier and Alpine, all have similar modifications, the main one being the adoption of a new all-syncromesh gearbox together with a 7-in. diaphragm spring clutch. Suspension changes have been made to lighten the steering and soften the ride. New reclining front seats are now standard equipment on all models except the Alpine. The oil change intervals are now increased to 6,000 miles from 3,000. The Singer Vogue now has the 84-b.h.p. 1,600-c.c. engine in place of the 62-b.h.p. version. The Humber Hawk and Super Snipe are also improved and are joined by a luxury version of the Snipe, called the Imperial.
Vauxhall.—The most highly-modified of the Vauxhall range is the Victor and VX 4/90 series with the bodywork cleverly modified to give a new look, rather like the Viva, with knife-edge wings. Mechanically the cars are much the same as before and modifications are aimed at refinement. Engine power remains unchanged and gearboxes are not altered. Suspension modifications have been made to improve handling and the steering is now higher geared. New duo-servo drum brakes are fitted to the Victors, with the VX 4/90 having front discs. The new Victor costs £678, an increase of £43.
Volkswagen.—Although outwardly the same as always, the familiar “beetle” has many minor improvements to its specification, including improved window area, better seats, more efficient heater, improved brake master cylinder to give lower pedal pressures, etc. The 1500 range remains virtually unchanged.
Volvo.—A new model from Volvo is something rare and the new 131 is really a 521 with only two doors and more comfortable seats. It is the first Volvo to sell under £1000 and will cost £998 8s. 9d. The new 131 shares the new seats with all other models in the range, and they also have new wheels, front disc brakes and a new heater.