EXPERIENCES WITH A 1936 BENTLEY

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* * * EXPERIENCES WITH A 1936 BENTLEY

Sir,

In many years I have seen no mention in your columns of the Rolls-Bentley, and it occurs to me that some experiences may be of interest to your readers.

My car is a 1936 44-litre with close-coupled saloon body. First and foremost I must make it clear that this marque will do nothing that other cars will not do; but it does it with a complete absence of fuss or driver strain.

As to overall performance, the salient points are 100 m.p.h. and 90 m.p.h. plus on top and third, 22 m.p.g. no matter how hard it is driven and also in pottering round Lcindon day in and day out. (Indeed, my mileage on each 10 gallons of petrol does not vary more than five miles either side Of 220 whatever I may be doing.) Brakes 98 per cent. efficiency Os tested by the M.O.T. testing station at Hendon. Tyres over 20,000 miles per cover. Oil over 2,000 m.p.g., since it is changed every 2,000 and nothing is added in the meantime.

Maintenance is easy and, on request. Rolls will provide the workshop instructions to do any job, and these are thoroughly and wholly comprehensive. There are only two greasing points and the whole of the remainder is covered by a one-shot system which works perfectly. There are also about a dozen small oil points on controls and a greaser on the fan and the water pump. The whole can be covered in 20 minutes once each month. Plugs need cleaning only when a change is made at 10,000. Tappets do not need to he reset between decokes, which do not seem to be required tinder 60,000 miles. Brakes can be adjusted in five minutes. The wheels can be re-balaneed with their own sets of weights hi a matter of 10 minutes each, using a front stub-axle as a spindle. Tractive resistance is absurdly low at 12 lb. Tier ton. In handling one is at once at ease and impressed by the utter docility. The steering lock is as good as the old Riley Nine and there

is a slight degree of understeer at all times. There are no vices and corners can be taken at very high speed indeed. One roundabout which I use for check can be taken at 37, whilst my 2-litre Lagonda would only do it at 31 and my Riley Nine at 25 m.p.h. It is practically impossible to provoke tyre squeal if the pressures are correct : 30 front and back with 18 by 5.50 tyres. The following runs may be of interest :

Churchill crossroads, Somerset, to St. Mary Radcliffe Church in Bristol (13 miles), in three seconds under 12 minutes. This included the 1-in-10 Redhill, on which the speed never dropped below 65 m.p.h.

Churchill crossroads to Bedford Bridge (132 miles) in 2 hr. 50 min., including a 10-minute hold-up for an Army convoy near Chipping Norton.

The acceleration from 30 to 80 m.p.h. on the level, by stop-watch, takes 15 seconds.

All controls work very sweetly and the gear-change is a sheer delight; practically like moving a knife through hot butter, and there is no need to use the clutch although it does take a little time to get used to a change of engine speed with hardly a difference in the sound of it.

You will gather that I am thoroughly satisfied but,’! hope, not overenthusiastic. My sole objections are that the replacement windscreen wiper is heard above the sound of the car as a whole, and the clicking of the tachometer can also be heard.

I should like to hear from other readers of your journal, which I thoroughly enjoy. I am, Yours, etc.,

London, N.3. A. H. WOODLAND. * * *