Having noted the letter from Mr. Kane, I feel that it would be unfair not to make some reply. I also bought a 121 Volvo new in August 1965 and have covered to date 26,000 miles. At this mileage the engine seems quite nicely run in and the whole vehicle has many more years’ wear in it. Of course no car is perfect and indeed all current cars from Rolls-Royce to B.M.C. are really engineered concoctions made up of specialist manufacturers’ parts. The only part for which the manufacturers can take much credit generally is the standard of body finish and assembly. In this instance in my view the Volvo is one Of the best produced cars at present on the market in this price range and I say this having driven since 1931 quite a large number of different vehicles. Faults on my Volvo to date have been one faulty stop-lamp switch and that is all.

Mr. Kane complains of the noise from the suspension after a rebuild, and as to this, of course, it seems he must blame the servicing agents and not the manufacturers. I have some sympathy over this.

Penarth. D. BARKSBIRE. Sir,

Like many other Volvo owners I read Mr. Gerry Kane’s letter with some surprise. Following several second-hand cars I bought a new B.M.C. 1.5 in 1959 complete with its quota of jammed doors, pitted chrome and atrocious cornering habits. (Well sir, they are mass produced). . . . A replacement engine and two clutches later I recalled MOTOR SPORT’S glowing report On its visit to the Volvo factory and bought a new 122S in 1961. Workmanship, finish, performance and reliability were all there. I was impressed and there followed a 1963 P1800 and in 1965 a P1800S and must have covered about 90,000 miles in them without a let-down. The 122S needed a tired rear coil spring replacing and the two sports each had back axles replaced because they were noisy; this under warranty.

None of the cars has given any engine trouble whatsoever and they seem to thrive on hard work. Tappet adjustment must be regular if excessive noise is to be avoided but this must apply to all cars with similar engine design. The only quarrel I have with Volvo is their disappointing lack of originality in the 144 styling. Perhaps Mr. Kane’s troubles would disappear with a good mechanic.

[Name and address supplied—ED.] ” Volvophile.”

[This correspondence is now closed; I was dealing with the outdated 144S and have had much admiration for the earlier Volvos, in their day—ED.