THE CAVE BRAKE CONTROL
Someone once suggested that if the steam engine had been invented after the Lc. engine, we should all be driving steam cars to-day. Be that as it may, one certainly feels that, if the Cave brake control had been available when makers of motor-cars first thought of standardising controls, we might well find something very humorous now about a car with three control-pedals. Most of us, when we have given the matter any thought, have agreed that to have to remove one’s foot from accelerator to brake-pedal before being able to stop the car, is a decidedly crude method of operation. And most motorists know that the car travels many feet in the minute space of time needed to change over from the ” loud to the ” soft ” pedal. It was primarily to obviate this crudity of control that Mr. E. H. Cavendish, of Lee and Cavendish, Ltd., experimented with a combined brake and accelerator-pedal. Having evolved a satisfactory system, Mr. Cavendish tested his ideas over a very big mileage, and the control proved so efficient and foolproof that it has been placed on the market under the name of the Cave Control. Briefly, it comprises a large brake-pedal in the normal position, through a slot in which protrudes a short rod. The throttle is controlled by resting one’s foot lightly on the brake
pedal, then swinging it. sideways to move the projecting-rod over to the left-handside of the slot.
Thus the foot remains sn a most restful position and very sensitive throttlecontrol is available, while the brakes can be instantly brought into operation without displacing one’s foot. Furthermore, if a sudden stop is necessary, one has merely to stand on the pedal, and, even if there is no time to allow the throttle-rod to return to the slow-speed position in the slot, the engine is brought to idling speed automatically as the brakes go on. To proceed, the foot is lifted from the brake, whereupon the engine returns to the former speed (or runs at any throttle-opening allowed by the position of the foot) and instantly everything is ready for re-engagement of the clutch. The mechanism is simple and robust, and the cost varies from £3 to £5 according to the type of car. Those drivers who somehow manage to change down as they enter a corner, by working the accelerator with the right-heel, while stamping on the brake-pedal with the toe, will be interested to learn that for an additional £2 a special ” competition ” control is available, which allows such an action to be made in a very much more simple manner. The sole manufacturers of his useful control are Lee and Caven
dish, Ltd., 72, Park Hill, London, S.W.4. Mr. Cavendish demonstrated his invention on an Austin Sixteen sports saloon, this being the original set, which has stood up perfectly to thousands of miles of fast main-road work, and which has been used in numerous trials and rallies, etc. It was very noticeable how much more use could be made of the car’s performance than would have been possible with normal, triple-pedal control. Corners could be taken fast in perfect safety, by ” blipping ” the brake-pedal to obtain exact control of the speed, and our clean traffic-driving must have astonished many experienced motorists.
A considerable reduction in fatigue on long runs and a saving of fuel by reason of steady throttle-action are additional advantages of the Cave Control. Even the passengers are happy in the knowledge that the driver cannot cause an accident through ” pressing the wrong-pedal at the wrong time ” !