With reference to the “self-levelling” suspension of the Morris 1100/M.G. 1100, I would like to make an observation which, apparently, has escaped the notice of the manufacturers and the motoring press.
When the car travels over a bump, the front wheels are pushed up. This action forces the rear wheels down (through interconnection), levelling the car. Similarly, when the rear wheels pass over said bump, they “retract,” pushing the front wheels down, again levelling the car. This is all very clever, but when, instead of one pair of wheels being “retracted” by the road, they are retracted by a downward force on the car, either by load, severe braking or acceleration, the system has the effect of exaggerating the resultant dip.
A few minutes thought will make this painfully obvious!
I remember seeing an 1100 pulling away with four people on board. The two passengers in the back weighed the back of the car down, the same as they would tend to do on any car. However, this forced the front wheels down (interconnected remember), and as they could not bury themselves in the road, the front of the car reared up, and the car continued on its journey in this somewhat alarming attitude. There was not even any luggage in the boot. This is a 4-seater car?
A weekly contemporary of yours recently published a report of a converted Morris 1100, and remarked that “not even” the self-levelling suspension could cope with the tail-dip produced by the very rapid get away. Of course not, it would only exaggerate the dip and make the acceleration look even more impressive. (Could this be the real motive behind the design?)
Frankly, I hope B.M.C. can shoot down this criticism. The suspension would seem to be ideal for a vehicle used only on cart-tracks, and without passengers or a load.
During the year which has passed since I sold my last car, I have considered, fallen in love with, and subsequently rejected a score of possible replacements. I have now come down to earth, and settled for a “plain jane,” who has one other fault. Her name, “People’s Car,” does not do her justice. But then, her creators are engineers, not poets.