AN ORIGINAL NEW SPORTS CAR. UNORTHODOX CHASSIS DESIGN ON THE VALE SPECIAL.
AT the Vale Motor Works, Portsdown Road, London, N.W., there has taken place a new and most interesting development in the small car world, the Vale Special.
This good-looking little car is the outcome of much thought on the part of its designers who set themselves the task of producing a car that would be safe at its maximum speed and would incorporate all those little points that the average small car owner thinks are his own ideas.
The spare wheel, for instance, is carried in a recess at the rear and adds to, rather than detracts from, the appearance of the car. The rear petrol tank has a filler cap in which is incorporated a dip stick, so that you can’t help seeing how much petrol you have every time you remove the cap.
Right in front of the driver’s eyes is a large S.S. hand-calibrated rev, counter, and beside it is the oil gauge—the two really important instruments. The passenger, meanwhile, has the company of the comparatively unimportant speedometer.
The Triumph engine has a downdraught S.IJ. carburettor, a specially streamlined exhaust manifold, “hot spot,” polished ports and polished high compression head.
A full road test of the Vale Special will shortly be published in MOTOR SPORT, but a short run in it proved extremely interesting. It was impossible to gain much idea of the engine performance as it was still being run in. The stability of this little car, however, at once stood out. The first
corner was taken at a speed that would have made many cars lurch badly, but the Vale was dead steady. Before us was a wide road with a lamp standard in the middle of it. Our driver leaned towards us. “I am going,” he said, “to drive up to that lamp post all out in second, turn round it and proceed down the road without taking my foot off.” It was too late to jump out. The rush had already began. The lamp post flashed towards us—and we just went round it. A scream of tyres, of course,
and a gentle rear wheel slide, but absolutely steady. No lurch and no roll. “You do it,” said the driver. And so, never having sat at the wheel before, we found ourselves sliding round and round a lamp post in perfect safety.
The Vale Special is a very remarkable little motor car. The steering is dead steady and accurate, the suspension is extraordinarily good, and the road holding really exceptional.
We look. forward to a full road test of this car with the keenest interest.
Sir, I'd like to add some memories of Henri Toivonen following your article last month. At the time of his F3 try-out in 1982, I was involved with the Rothmans-backed…
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