Congratulations on repeating once more that monthly miracle, the production of MOTOR SPORT: the current issue is well up to standard, but I cannot resist the teMptation to make a few comments on its contents. Firstly, I must in my turn stage an “outburst “against Mr. Gandhi. Without wishing to provoke a hunger-strike or any other form of protest, I must say that he seems unusually proficient in talking through a portion of his attire which might better adorn his bald (?) pate. Now about this 1,100 model II.R.G. he dislikes so, I had better start by saying that when the first H.R.G. was produced about five years ago I, as an engineering student who already knew far more than Mr. Godfrey, held exactly the same view of this “obsolete device.” The fact that I then
owned a 1927 Lea Francis with an apparently identical two-port Meadows engine added force to my views.
However, we live and learn (some folks do, anyway), and there came a time when a rather closer examination of the small sports ears on the market confirmed the error of my former opinions. According to Mr. Gandhi, if I remember his earlier letters aright, his pet vehicle in this class is the series “T” M.G. Midget, which has a very similar performance to the small H.R.G., and a Much better (?) speedometer. ‘Well, looking at these two vehicles from the aspect of an intending competitor in sporting events, the H.R.G. is one of the best unblown 1,100’s to be had, while the M.G. could only be regarded as a very leisurely 11-litre ; from the point of view of use as a vehicle for long-distance touring, the H.R.G. has about double the luggage accommodation of the M.G. Various other details of no little importance seemed to favour the 1I.R.G., but that will do for now. As regards the Mahatma’s detailed objections to this car : The main engine parts are certainly Singer, and such oddments as gaskets are easier to come by on that account, but he is definitely wrong when he says that it is standard Singer Le Mans— the latter always suffered from two-bearing crankshafts and very low gears, but even so were not afflicted by crankshaft breakages, as were ” Midgets” of that period. As for the light equipment and cycle-type wings, I’m afraid I can only say that my example lacks these aids to high performative, though it goes just the same. As regards springing, I personally am not sorry that it has rather different characteristics from my mother’s very excellent. Vauxhall ; it seems to have covered a fair selection of the rough lanes between Cornwall and Skye without complaints from the passengers, and a lot of sports car owners have called it softly sprung. In the matter of dashboards, I will only say that the usual selection Of reasonably accurate instruments is fitted, and I don’t find the appearance objectionable ; one 1,100 owner has other views, so he has the individual instruments as used on the 11-litre model. As regards the brake question, Mr. Gandhi is quite correct when he states that many mass-produced ears are fitted with these useful devices ; having only done about 12,000 miles, I cannot speak for the durability of the H.R.G. type, but hand or foot-brake will lock all wheels, and I am lazy enough to appreciate the cockpit adjustment.
So please, Mr. Gandhi, next time you feel the urge to express your views in print, either make sure of your facts or be a little less dogmatic in your statements. I thank you. Changing the subject rapidly, it was a pleasant surprise for me to find that before my letter on the subject of 500 ex. sprint (and other) ears was published Mr. Neve had sent in an article expressing rather similar views to mine. In regard to the Editor’s lengthy footnote to my letter, I feel obliged to point out that although I have never had the pleasure of owning one, I have considerable respect for certain three-wheelers, and questions of tax and fuel supplies render them preferable to cars for wartime purposes: my
suggestion about special building was meant to refer solely to sprint vehicles, and it is a sad fact that since the demise of the Relay Race there have been no speed events of any note open to both cars and three-wheelers. Passing on to his comments in the August “Rumblings,” I hope that his request for readers’ views on this matter will be responded to, but when he talks glibly of ” conventional fourcylinder 6-b.p. models ” I must once more rise in protest. He must surely realise that the only three really successful small cars since the last war (Baby Austin, Fiat 500, and D.K.W.) have all been unorthodox when introduced, and T should bate to foretell success for a four-cylinder side-valve fl-h. p. car with half-elliptic springs and all the rest of the standard British features of design.
On a rather more elevated plane (financially, at least), Mr. Robetham’s article on the development of the ” Corniche ” Bentley was most interesting, and I should like to read more articles on the same lines, but I must admit that I am depressed at the confessed development methods of such an important firm. Are we to understand that they merely found a Bentley that a customer had had to tune up for himself (with foreign aid) and played around with it until they had got it into a marketable form ? If that is really the case, I suppose we cannot hope for a really fast production Bentley until Mr. Lycett takes them his 8-litre to copy. And isn’t it a little tactless to admit that the streamlining of this special Model is worse than that of a normal saloon in reverse?
am, Yours, etc.. J. L. Farnborough,