LETTERS from READERS, October 1960

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LETTERS from READERS N.B.—Opinions expressed are those of our Correspondents and “Motor Sport” does not necessarily associate itself with thern.—Erl.

FORD FAN

Sir,

As regards” Ford Failings,” the firm I work for (not in the motor trade) started to use 105E Anglias when they first came out. and they have been so satisfactory that they are gradually changing their whole fleet over to them. The first ears have now mostly passed the 20,000 mark, and the only grumbles from the drivers have been the rain pouring in and a flat spot in the carburation.

But the cars certainly haven’t fallen to pieces—they just aren’t as bad as some critics say !

Turning to Fords in our flintily, we recently sold a 100E Anglia which had done 91,000 in 31 years. It had a reconditioned engine put in at 60,000 but was otherwise entirely original, except of course for tyres, brake linings, etc.

At 91,000 the gearbox and back axle were very noisy, but the car as a whole was still far above the ” good runner ‘ level. Before that, we had an E93A Popular which did 59,000 in two years and was still going strong on its original engine when sold. Our present Consul has now done 18,000 and nothing has fallen off yet, and I see no reason why it shouldn’t do as well as the others:

These three cars have all been sensibly run-in and very scrupulously maintained, but they are not kept in a glass case or nursed, as 59,000 in two years and 91,000 in 31 years will show. I also know where there is a Ford Zephyr which did 37,000 in the first 12 months of its life, so you can tell that car didn’t spend much time in the -garage basing its ” failings” put right

Usual disclaimer and all that, but it’s about time we had “Fair Play for Fords”! I am, Yours, etc…,„

Moffat. A. E. HARDMAN. • • •

VW FAN

Sir,

I applaud the statement by Mr. M. G. Isaacs, of Golders Green (September 1960), that he didn’t realise how good the Volkswagen was until he had really examined it.

Ridiculous though it may seent to nearly four million enthusiastic owners the world over, quite a few people, in their undoubted ignorance, write this famous vehicle off as being just another car. Nothing could be further from the truth.

With its magnificent air-eooled engine, fantastic independent suspension, ” silken ” gearbox and top-bracket finish, both iuterior and exterior, it is nice to own a car which doesn’t spend half its working life undergoing repair in a garage.

My VW is a mere 15 months old, with 15,600 miles on the” clock,” and despite the fact that it is always exposed to the elements, it is still in showroom condition. The doors close with solid efficiency, the windows do not rattle, and the interior is as snug and watertight as Noah’s Ark. In fact, the Volkswagen is as faultless as an innings by the great Don Bradman on a perfect wicket, and is ..so superior to any of its British contemporaries as to make comparison somewhat ludicrous.

Of course, many people prefer to be patriotic.. Frankly I prefer quality, which in the small car world, is quite simply—Volkswagen. This letter may appear to be rather a one-sided affair. It is—in favour of the greatest small car of all. I am, Yours, etc.,

Newhaven. B. SEARLE.

OPINIONS ON THE VEHICLE TESTS

Sir,

It was with interest that I read your comments in the July issue relating to tests for 10-year.old cars as 1 was reminded of the futility of this type of testing which was carried out in South Africa some few years ago.

At that time all cars changing ownership were subjected to an examination for roadworthinessby approved garages, who were empowered to issue a Certificate of Roadworthiness for a fee of 7s. 6r1„ always assuming the car was in good mechanical order.

This certificate was necessary for the registration of the car with the local authorities and was often provided by the vendor of a secondhand car. In 1955 I bought a 1947 Ford Prefect in only fair condition, from a person who was unable to provide the necessary C.O.R. Being

temporarily impoverished as a result of my purchase, I was unable to provide the new king-pins, brake linings, etc., to make the 35,000mile Prefect roadworthy. However, casual inquiries amongst fellow motorists provided the name of a prominent garage in the city which would supply the necessary document for a consideration.

Not wishing to risk driving an unsafe and, snore important, an unlicensed vehicle, I visited the garage on foot and was introduced to ” Fred,” the manager, who informed me that the usual fee for a C.O.R. was 7s. 6d. but he could provide one for al. I mentioned that I did not have the car with me and was then told that the fee would be £2. On querying the rapid rise in cost; Fred, removing his expensive cigar, exclaimed, “The extra quid helps to pay the fines when we get pinched.”

A hurried mental calculation showed the cost of the repairs would amount to considerably more than £2, and, within five minutes, I was in possession of a Certificate of Roadworthiness issued by a helpful gentleman who had not laid eyes on the car concerned.

In 1954, having achieved some degree of financial stability, the Ford, having been restored, was sold and I invested my savings in a 1948 Dodge, when once again a CO.R. was required for a motoring machine in doubtful condition. A telephone call to ” Fred ” produced the information that he had left town (probably that magistrate did not give him the option of a fine) and the address of another garage was mentioned. This establishment issued another C.O.R. for the cost of a few minor repairs which were badly executed and, if anything, made the car less roadworthy than it was before.

During 1957 all vehicle testing was carried out by the City Corporation Vehicle Inspection Department and not by privately owned garages. As is result a number of well-known garages made small fortnnes by selling Certificates in the period before the changeover took place.

Before leaving South Africa in 1959, I took my 1957 Morris 1000, with 9,000 miles on the clock, to the Durban Corporation testing station, where it was carefully checked using modern testing equipment before the issue of a C.o.R. costing 7s. 6d. I shuddered to think of the tester’s opittion had he seen the Ford or the Dodge as they were when I first owned the cars.

My experience of garages in South Africa. England and other Countries would not lead me to believe that the average English garage owner or mechanic is any more honest than his overseas counterpart and I would forecast a good trade in certificates when the testing regulations are enforced. I am, Yours, etc., ” BEREA.” (Name and address supplied.) Sir,

On the eve of the 10 Plus tests I am beginning to suspect that the powers-that-be are combining to drive the older cars. off the road whether they are roadworthy or not.

Twice recently I have had to call at a garage for a minor, adjustment to my 1938 Hillman Minx, only to be greeted with a highly superior down-the-nose look as if I were something the cat has just brought in. Attention and service were grudgingly given in spite of the fact that in each case I paid on the nail.

Now my money is as good as that of the man who rolls in with a modern engine and upholstery wrapped round with tin. In any ease courtesy is not expensive. I cannot afford a new car, being on a mere pension, but I do maintain my Hillman in sound roadworthy condition, and there must be hundreds in similar circumstances.

Of course, with purchase tax being what it is, the Government will rejoice to see old cars going out and new ones coming on the roads, and no doubt manufacturers prefer to turn out ears that will be scrap in a few years to keep the production lines moving.

I am afraid that these tests are just another racket. I am, Yours, etc.,

Lancing. A. F. ROCER$. Sir,

The August Editorial comments informatively on the Old Car Tests and on the rate of accidents attributed to vehicle defects.

I was disappointed to find that there was no consideration Of the question which logically arises from these two subjects, namely: what proportion of the 7,481 accidents caused by vehicle defects arose from faults which would come to light in the official tests ?

Or. put another way : if the tests had been in operation at the time, how many of the 7,481 accidents would not have happened ? It may be that the statistical breakdown permits of no accurate reply to this query. This may be as well ; I doubt if the truth would justify the scheme, I am, Yours, etc., East Grinstead. A. POWELL. [Robert Clenton had a powerful article in the Sunday Express of September Rh attacking the futility of the tests.—Emj • • *

SIGNITis

Sir,

I have just encountered my first ease of signitis, the symptoms and results of which are scarcely credible. One point, however, remains obscure. As one who was nntil recently accompanied by an instructor, I was religiously taught that there were three types of road sign :

(1) Signs which must be obeyed, and include in their composition a red circle or disc, e.g., Halt, 30 m.p.h., and No Entry signs.

(2) Warning signs, whieh are surmounted by a red triangle, such -as Road Narrows, etc.

(3) -Signs which are merely informative, and are printed in black and white, e.g., Route signs and Signboards.

On not one ” 50 ‘ sign (and I certainly saw plenty) did r observe a red circle or disc. May I humbly suggest. therefore, that if the powers-that-be expect motorists to comply with their Highway Code they stand by their own principles. If a sign is eompulsory, let there be red circles and discs.

I wonder if any of the motorists prosecuted for exceeding a 50-m.p.h. limit claimed that the limit was not compulsory owing to the absence of red paint. 1 am,. Yours, etc.,

Rams-den. P. J. MAYRoGOADATO. • • s

• • s JACK BRABHAM

Sir,

Is the epidemic of bad sportsmanship so evident in football. boxing, etc., finally spreading to motor sport through the medium of your bearded scribe ?

As Jack Brabham is too much of a sportsman to reply to some of the things ” D. S. J.” has said of him, I feel that it is time someone else did.

In an earlier edition, a headline proclaimed “Moss the Moral Victor.” In the article below, Stirling’s struggle to catch up was given a far greater reception than the careful but very rapid driving of the World Champion. In September’s issue, “Jenks” is at it again : for example, . .. but for once Hill was not impressed by the World Champion. and kept him at bay for two laps, playing it as rough as the Australian wanted,” also—” Having got in front Brahharn was sliding his corners so that the Cooper filled the whole road. but Phil Hill was still not impressed anti scratehed by into the lead again, giving Brabham something to think about.”‘

Best of the lot. however, was this one—” We now had the very familiar picture of 13rabharrt securely in the lead, followed by his team-mate McLaren safely in second place, and depending on whose side you are on you describe it as good-luck or bad-luck.” This one, quite frankly, disgusted me.

It might be food for thought that Jack Brabharn is driving a heavier car than Stirling’s Lotus, and he manages to win with it nevertheless —perhaps if Jack retires before Stirling, the latter could make him the team manager, and make use of that rare strategy which Jack undoubtedly has.

And, I nearly forgot, Jack can tune Webers, too !

So perhaps, ” D. S. J.”, you could show a little more of that Pommie sportsmanship everyone used to admire, to an Australian who is doing a power of good to the prestige of British motor cars all over the world. I am, Yours, etc.,

Slough. M. 13. WANSEY.

Sir.

Whilst we once again applaud Jack Brabham’s win in the Portuguese G.P., practically sealing his second Championship. I for one would like to see him prove his skill in the seat of some car other than a Formula 1 Cooper.

Although Stirling Moss has never actually won the Championship yet, he has at least proved his undoubted skill in an array of carsVanwall, Mercedes; Maserati, to. mention but a few—which does at least make a sport out of a paid job. All previous champions were champions in so much as they proved their mettle in all types of cars even if they did not like that particular

type of racing, e.g., Fangio’s dislike for sports-car racing.

Please, Mr. Brabbam, we know you can drive a Cooper, now let us see your skill in a B.R.M., Lotus, or even a Ferrari, to show a little more of a sporting effort and make it look a little less like a job.

I shall be very grateful if you would publish this letter as I am sure there are many other readers who feel the same.

1 ant, Yours, etc.. London, N.7. JAMEs A. IIENDERSO.N. [We, too, would like to see Jack in a B.R.M.. Lotus or What-have you, but he is signed up with Cooper, and can hardly be expected to drive other ears, at all events not in Grand Prix races.—ED.1 • •

• • WA RNING

Sir,

1 think perhaps your readers may be interested in the restate of my friend’s investment in a “famous Lotus Seven.”

From the very first the car gave trouble in all respects. The main trouble, which nearly cost my friend and myself our lives, was a very sboddy joint on the steering coupling which completely failed on -a bend in Devon, fortunately at a slow speed. The resulting crash completely wrote the car off. I would like to warn all Lotus owners to check the ridiculous securing pin which holds the steering department together. I ant, Yours, etc,

Redditch. F. Monms. • • •

N.S.U. FAN

Sir.

Many thanks for yourinteresting article ” Riding on Rubber for 10,000 Miles” in the August issue of your excellent magazine. Maybe in the September issue we shall have your report on Riding on wheelrims for a further 1,000 miles,” or have you bought a new -Set yet ?

In an earlier issue Of MOron SPonr I noticed that you reported on au N.S.U. Prinz 30 which refused to start. I have owned an N.S.-U. Prinz 30 since April of this year and have ridden on rubber for over 3.000 miles and this car has consistently refused not to start, and among other delightful characteristics it has a beautiful gear-change.

I have owned three VWs and two D.K.W.S in the_past, and when Messrs. Interior Silent Travel finally decide to supply me with a .kit for my N.S.U. I shall not hanker after any Of these previous vehicles. I ant, Yours, etc.,

Fleet. W. II. Mitsui:. • • *

JAGUAR PROS AND CONS

Sir,

I read Moron SPORT’s test report on the 3.8 Mark II Jaguar with great interest, since I have recently, and very reluctantly, exchanged my six-year-old Bristol for a Mark II 3.4 Jaguar (an almost identical car to the 3.13-litre).

Why is it that even notably impartial testers like MOTOR SPORT seem to pull thcir punches when it comes to writing about the Jaguar ? May I state my impressions ;

First of all there must be no car in the world which offers so Much at the Jaguar’s price (the firm must have to sell the completed car, less purchase tax, to the distributor for something like £850). So far agreement with Moron SPORT. Now one begs to differ, viz :

(1) Your tester says ” the synchromesh -,an be beaten all too easily.” What an understatement 1 It is worse than the cheapest British car; a big disadvantage to any car driver who requires a bit of help to mate the turning cogs.

(2) The seating looks opulent but nevertheless fails to hold the driver and front passenger cradled in its depths as my Bristol did. It is a seat that one feels one is sitting on and not in. Thus the conductor tends to cling to the steering wheel on corners and the passenger, having no grab handle, is prone to cling to the driver. Furthermore, until inch-sized blocks were inserted under the front of the seat, the squab was too erect for me and long journeys were a torture due to neck strain. There must be hundreds of Jaguar owners who could have much more comfort if they experimented with blocks of varying size in this way. The real answer, of course, is to provide adjustment of the squab by :cam o’r otherwise. Indeed. the Jaguar design team would be well advised to study the seats of Porsche, Borg-ward cottpii and Bristol. (3) John Bolster, writing in ” High Performance Cars 1958-59″ of the Mark I version, never even mentioned what then was the most objectionable characteristic of the new small jaguar, namely the roil tendency and dangerous rear,end characteristics. How he could

have missed or glossed over this is beyond me. The rear-end fault is greatly improved in the Mark II but the roll is, in my view, still the greatest Jaguar defect.

In the late-lamented Bristol one could drive hundred upon hundred of miles and get out really fresh, because the car had only to be ” willed ” round corners—it was an oversteerer, and for the penalty of a little lateral instability on very fast straights she could be steered round corners without the accelerator. On the winding roads where we do most of our motoring, it is very restful to ease the accelerator at a corner, whereas in a Jaguar one must go round even blind corners at ever increasing speed to diminish the roll on this understeering car. Several hours of this sort of motoring adds greatly to fatigue.

Because of the softness of the Jaguar suspension a sudden stop with the car on a diagonal line can be a very unnerving experience.

To someone not trained in engineering here is a car the engine of which is so heavy that the makers have to specify a higher tyre pressure in front than at the rear. One is tempted to think that if there were a lot more light alloy in this admittedly superlative engine all the steering troubles would disappear.

In closing, I might add that my first weeks with the car were ruined by petty annoyances due to faulty electrical components, jamming of the oil-pressure relief valve, and an unbearable smell of petrol which was incurable until the dealer, on instructions from the works, modified the petrol filler compartment. However, these are things one expects nowadays.

Good luck to the great-hearted and willing Jaguar and long life to Sir William Lyons, who has given fast luxury motoring to many who could not otherwise have afforded it. I am, Yours, etc.,

Dungannon. CONN. Wave.Key. • • •

• • • THE PAXTON PHOENIX

Sir.

Your various strikes in Britain have put me behind in my MOTOR SeonTs, but I have been following the letters concerning Mr. Doble and his steam cars. Mr. Parsons is correct (July issue) in saying Mr. Doble lives in California, and was, in fact, very active a few years ago in designing a new steam car which, unfortunately, did not see the light of day.

This car, the Paxton Phoenix, was to have been manufactured by McCulloch Motors Corporation, an American company which produces portable chain saws and whose engines are now very popular in Canada and the U.S.A. for Go-Karts. The Paxton Division was formed in 1950 and the car was to be offered in two versions—a four-cylinder eight-piston gasoline engine and a six-cylinder compound-type steam engine designed by Abner Doble. The steam plant, which never progressed beyond the prototype stage, had a ” flash ” type boiler with stainless steel fire box. Since the adding of water was deemed unacceptable, the water tank and condenser were completely sealed from the outside air.

One model of the car frame and body was completed and for testing purposes was powered by a rear-mounted Porsche engine. Neither the steam unit nor the interesting gasoline engine were ever installed in the car.

From pictures I have seen of the Paxton, it would look very modern even today. It featured a fully retractable hard-top-rather like recent American Fords and the Chrysler Thunderbolt of the early ‘forties. Unlike those cars, however, the top fitted, not in the boot, but over it—drawn back and forth by steel cables recessed in small channels on either side of the boot lid.

In 1954 the Paxton car project was abandoned in order to free then-scarce engineers for other (and less risky) projects. The car. of course, could not have been built and sold for less than at least 810,000, and would have required many, many millions to bring into being. I am. Yours, etc.,

Ontario. FRAINE-LYN COOPER. • a •

• a • THE TREND OF MOTOR RACING

of an “also ran” and not of a championship contender; finaIly there are instances, too numerous to mention here, of perjurative nuances when describing current cars and of a continual looking back to the golden age of Alfa-Romeo/Ferrari and Ferrari/Maserati when racing cars were and looked real racing cars.

I am able to respect though unable to agree with your view for I feel one must hope for progress in racing-car design which will be manifested by increased speed and reliability, the use of more efficient components, and a general trend to simplification in design. I believe this process should be welcomed even if it means earlier conceptions of racing cars become outmoded—as the Bugattis and Alfa-Romeos did in the mid-1930s with the advent of Mercedes-. Benz and Auto Union.

What I am unable to understand is your championing of the independent driver at the same time as you hold these other views. In your recent ” Silverstone Sidelights” you praised Piper as a “real private owner” and Naylor as a real private builder.” You appear to overlook that it is only the present stage of Grand Prix development and the appearance of” special built Grand Prix cars” that gives these men a chance and prevents a situation occurring, as it did during the Alfa-Romeo/Ferrari era when Grand Prix racing successes were monopolized by works teams enjoying powerful backing.

Far from the present situation when independents like Rob Walker using relatively cheap ears can enter Grande Epreuves and hope to win, as they have done at Buenos Aires, Monte Carlo and Monza, being detrimental to the Sport and individual initiative, I would suggest that this will inject far more new blood and technical innovations into Grand Prix racing than ever happened when Bob Gerard and those other stalwart E.R.A. drivers continually brought up the rear. I am, Yours, etc.,

Epsom. KENNETH J. JORDAN. Sir,

I think the time for strongly enforcing the Formula Junior driver regulations has arrived.

The idea of Formula ” Junior ” is to provide a single-seater “testing ground ” for the average, (and the graduates from this class) the “up and coming” driver—an exceptionally good example of this being Lotus’ Trevor Taylor and Jim Russell’s Chris Johnson.

I do not however class Jim Clark, John Surtees and Henry Taylor as “up and coming “; 1 consider them to have arrived ! With these three in, Formula Junior the average clubman does not stand a chance of a placing; sometimes not even of an entry !

So give the clubman a chance of getting into the first three, for it is well said that nothing breeds success like success. I am, Yours, etc.,

Bexley Heath. PETER DOODES. • • •

AN EXPERIENCE ON M 1 Sir,

Sir, For the benefit of any misguided motorist who still believes that our modern efficient highways still leave room for that grand feeling of comradeship and friendly help that were once one of the joys of motoring, let me hasten to put him wise, lest, in his innocence, he be caught unawares as I was While motoring north on the M I recently, I passed one of the many unfortunate drivers whose car had broken down. Seeing the man’s obvious distress I drew in to the “hard shoulder,” but was merely asked if I would mind telephoning the A.A. or R.A.C. This seemed reasonable enough and I drove on to the next ‘phone box

mile along the road. I lifted the receiver and after a short pause a girl’s voice answered. Briefly I told her the facts and gave her the type and registration number of the car and the approximate location. To my astonishment the girl flooded me with a battery of apparently irrelevant questions : “What was the name and address of the driver ? Was he a member of the A.A. or R.A.C. ? If so. what was his membership number ? What type of car was it ? What was the registration number ? What was the probable cause of trouble ? Naturally, I could not answer all these questions, but suggested that such details could be filled in when the breakdown van arrived. In any case, I pointed out, the motorist needed help and was most unlikely to run away before it came, since he was immobile. With blunt obstinacy the girl replied that no action at all would be taken until she had all the information to fill in the necessary forms ! She suggested I should walk back to find out the information and then telephone again, or leave the driver to manage by himself. Realising that the driver was now relying upon me for help, but feeling disinclined to walk I miles for somebody I had never met before. I decided to drive back to the stranded motorist—a rather complicated

process on the M 1, I found, involving turning off the road twice and driving an extra five or six miles.

Altogether the incident was rather bewildering. I had always understood that stopping on a motorway was to be discouraged— yet here, nobody wished to help a car which was incapable of moving. Plainly the police had no interest in such matters, for not one patrol car passed us either way between London and Northampton. I ant, Yours, etc.,

JOHN LEANING. •

SMALL CARS IN MALTA

Sir.

I used to he a rabid hater of Volkswagens, mainly because (I) the basic design appears to be all wrong; (2) the shape: and (3) you were always singing its praises. On arriving in Malta two and a half years ago I hired a new Minor 1000 for a month whilst making up my mind what to buy. I thought this car a brute as the back springs wound up on the bumpy roads; I cut a brand new pair of driving gloves to bits on the interior; the trim fell off. etc. Mainly because of the road surfaces I decided that

I must have a car with all-independent suspension, and as my wife was then a fairly inexperienced driver I did not want anything too large. Also I wanted something economical which had a good secondhand resale value in Malta, as I only intended to keep the car for a short time. The only two cars, at that time, which fulfilled my basic requirements were the Volkswagen and the Renault Dauphine.

The Dauphine proved impossible because, being 6 ft. 7 in., I did not fit. The VW proved a better proposition, and so, as you cannot really enjoy motoring in Malta, I was prepared to put up with the thing. I have now brought that self-same car back to the U.K. In two and a half years and 20.000 miles. equivalent to about double back at home, the following defects only have occurred : (1) First gear broken by my wife, for which I take full blame as

I told her to change down whenever the revs dropped, and that she could not make mistakes with the gearbox. Unfortunately I forget to tell her that first is not synchromesh. All replacement parts, oil and labour were provided free under guarantee although my wife admitted liability.

One set of points.

Burnt-out wiper motor rotor. Rotor replaced, not the whole unit.

(4) Clutch replaced at 20,100 miles.

The only mods to the car are cutting the seat slide back half an inch, fitting a petrol gauge and fitting an anti-roll bar, which has since become standard. As almost the entire mileage is done ” one up,” I am thinking of lowering the rear suspension. I ant also thinking of fitting ” X “s to the back end, but cannot wear out the Continentals, tyre wear being less than 50%—my Minor-owning friends were getting about 12,000 from their Dunlops in Malta.

0:Ily on one occasion, so far, have I missed my Silverstone Healey and Sunbeam-Talbot 90s, and that was on A 1.

After two and a half years I now know why a car which appears to be ” wrong ” sells so well. I like my little ” pre-war ” beetle. I am, Yours, etc.,

Glasgow. J. 1′. DounLas.

AUSTIN SE7EN FAN

Sir.

I feel that I must reply to Mr. E. D. Reid’s letter in last month’s issue of MOTOR SPORT concerning the Mini Minor versus the Fiat 600. I have recently taken delivery of a new Austin Se7en de luxe. in which I have completed approximately 4,000 miles.

Not being a small car fan I was very sceptical about being cooped up in a car that appeared to be less than half the size of any other vehicle that I had ever driven. Nevertheless, my fears were quickly dispelled after driving it for a few days. I am 6 ft. 2 ins, tall and I find that there is quite enough room for my legs even on a long run; in fact, I find it less tiring than a lot of much larger ears that I have known. For the price in this country I find that the finish inside and out is excellent. The ashtrays are. I admit. less than useless and the door pulls are not very. clever, but you try and find a place to put conventional door handles on the inside ? The Fiat 600 is £613 in this country as apposed to £537 for the Mini, but as you say the Fiat has been out for six years and therefore the car is years out-of-date in design. The idea of rear-engmed small ears is an old one and as a general practice not a very good one,

the engine being very noisy and precious little room for anything larger than a week-end suitcase. Mr. Issigonis seems to have overcome these problems remarkably well. The design of the Minis, whilst being far from the answer of putting a ” quart in a pint pot ” it is a very big step forward to the solution and to my mind (and many others) is unrivalled anywhere in the world.

I would point out at this stage that I have 110 prejudice against Italian ears or indeed any other foreign vehicle. I have to plead ignorance to the conditions in Malaya as I have never been there, also to how our ears stand up to them, but on reading the prices mentioned in Malaya I would be very tempted to keep the £13 in my pocket and take the risk, not forgetting the vast organisation which is backing the car right front the start.

I only wish that I could find an excuse to come to Johore and if did, rest assured that I would come in my Mini ! I am, Yours, etc.,

Sheepy .Magna. M. C. VEnti.

BLACK MARK FOR MARPLES

Sir,

Further to your article in ” Matters of Moment ” of the September edition of MOTOR SPORT, where you refer to the mania for roadside signs and speed limits, I have the following to add.

I have the occasion to travel between Cambridge and London at week-ends, leaving Cambridge on a Friday evening and returning on Monday morning. 1 am never certain if the 50 m.p.h. speed limit is enforced or not, as one comes across stretches of the road with signs, without signs, signs covered, signs on one side of the road and not on the other, etc., all very bewildering. The final absurdity of this system, which was introduced to increase road safety, was experienced by me on Monday morning, September 5th. Travelling along the All near Audley End House,

I encountered a lorry which was parked near the centre of the road. It was being loaded With SO m.p.h. signs, which one presumes to have ceased to function. The road curved at this point and was marked with a double white line. In my opinion the position of this lorry caused far more danger on this twisty narrow road than any driver could by exceeding 50 m.p.h.

Perhaps the authorities if continuing this scheme will use a little more discretion and thought in the manner in which they apply it. I am, Yours, ete.,

Cambridge. G. J. DOEL.

TAILPIECE

[Photo by John Grey