N.B – Opinions expressed are those of our Correspondents and “Motor Sport” does not necessarily associate itself with them. – Ed
DESIGNED BY A CYCLIST FOR MOTORISTS
I was interested to see what Jack Brabham has done to driving gloves.
After two years of grand prix racing he has apparently developed a glove which has been used by racing cyclists for at least 20 years.
Since progressing from cycling to motoring. I have found “track mitts” to be invaluable for driving and I well appreciate the advantages of this type of glove which also alleviates the clammy feeling often encountered when wearing ordinary gloves.
Whilst I encourage his promotion of this type or glove, l feel his acclamation to he completely unfound. Real Italian hide mitts retail at between £1 and £2.
Thank you for an excellent magazine.
Birkenhead. A. J. WHITEHEAD.
In your account of driving a Silver Cloud III in your September issue, you mentioned that the car which you used—a Rolls-Royce demonstration vehicle, registered 100 LG—had nearly 50,000 miles of hard motoring to its credit, including many fast journeys to the South of France, Spain and Germany. It might amuse your readers to know that, in September 1964, this same car made a longer—and even faster—journey, when it travelled at 600 m.p.h. facing backwards, in the forward cabin of one of my Company’s VC10 airliners—which are fitted with special freight doors to enable them to carry bulky cargo—which made a ten-day 27,000 mile demonstration tour of East and Central Africa, prior to its introduction into service between London and these destinations.
The Rolls was taken as a reminder to freight shippers in Africa that air cargo today can come in big packages: it created a good deal of interest when it was unloaded at each airport and driven off to collect guests who were travelling on demonstration flights.
To your list of the public who react to a Rolls—the lorry drivers who give the car a clear run, the hotel porters who salute, and the hotel managers who inflate their prices, may I add the African soldiers who fix bayonets and present arms ?
JOHN LOADER, Chief Publicity Officer, British United Airways.
MOTOR TAX DIFFERENTIALS
In reference to C. W. Robertson’s letter about Taxation in the July issue of MOTOR SPORT, in which he talks of a “14-day period,” would he please read his tax renewal notice form. On the last day of the expiry month the tax expires and he should not use his car on the road after that day, unless he has a current tax licence. He is only allowed 14 days each way in which to apply at a Post Office for a tax licence. A tax licence commences from the date stamped on it by the local authority and not from the date of expiry of the last tax licence.
Am I right; note that I am not at all connected with the racket so called?
What is everyone complaining about tax and insurance for? Big car, little car, they all do the same amount of damage to each other and the roads. Everyone looks at the same road signs – cat’s eyes, verges, tarmac, road-up signs and so on. Tax should be £20 and minimum insurance £30. After all, with an average weekly wage of over £18, what is £1 a week for the pleasure of having a car ? It is a pleasure. I drive a 100-m.p.h. Ford Anglia and cover 25,000 miles a year in my own car and at least 10,000 miles a year in other vehicles
I could go on forever. One thing about tax and reintroducing a differential rate on car or engine sizes—who should pay the most tax, a Rolls-Royce doing 8,000 miles a year or my Anglia doing 25,000 miles a year ? Next thing to happen will be fathers asking tor bigger tax allowances on bigger babies, ” Aw gawd.”
Can I have a go at H. S. Wildman? I shall look out for this great leader outside Parliament with his placard–“What about the Motorist.”
Wellingborough. I.P.M. Jolley
Having been a reader of MOTOR SPORT for as long as I remember, I felt it was about time that I wrote and expressed my views on your magazine.
Having tried all the motor journals that I can obtain, in the English language that is, I have found that for pithy comments and value for money there is nothing to touch your magazine. I have made it a habit to file any interesting motoring articles from every source, and I think it sufficient proof of your magazine’s worth that over 80% of these come from MOTOR SPORT.
Personally I enjoy best your articles which start: ” Reflections, etc….” or ” On this and that …” and such like, these being those which give unfortunate enthusiasts like myself, who being students cannot afford the vast prices required for (a) travelling abroad to see races and (b) paddock passes, a good insight into what is going on outside the race itself, which as a prospective engineer I find most interesting.
Continental Notes is my first halt, and may I endorse D.S.J.’s statements in last month’s issue. I say, too, that isn’t it about time that those of my contemporaries who go to race meetings because (a) they can show off their cars, recently bought them by daddy, and (b) their girl friends can show off themselves and their clothes, decided to go elsewhere instead and leave the circuits clear for the 50,000 of us who are really keen ?
Many thanks for such an honest value-for-money magazine, so obviously produced for the real enthusiast.
Leeds. C. HARTLEY.
[It is nice to receive occasional praise and endorsement of our policy of regarding almost all cars as having some sporting associations, and not only those with foreign-sounding names or made by those with the biggest advertising budgets.—Ed]
May I anticipate the next lubrication advance by summarising a report (ref. Nauka i Zhittia 11-1964), which I enclose, of research into oil life carried out in the Ukraine.
The experiment used Volga taxicabs and control-specimens from each age group were serviced according to the handbook (oil and filter enange every 2,000 km.), whereas the remainder merely had the filter changed every 2,000 km. and oil level topped up until 100,000 km. Briefly the findings were that oil consumption in the unchanged cars was half that of the control’s and engine-wear was one-third. The oil, a simple one without additives, was found to have increased capacity for boundary lubrication as it aged. Volga owners in the Ukraine are now recommended to use the 100,000 km. non-change run.
We have readily accepted the sealed back axle and applauded the escalation in servicing intervals “justified by improved materials” (or expediency!) If Rolls-Royce will accept 12,000 miles between changes what is the ultimate before any damage occurs?
Perhaps the next advanced brand will be marketed under the trade name of Superfluous, to describe its oil-change needs, which idea I donate to the first oil P.R.O. to reply.
Caester. D. E. STEMBRIDGE
The back covers of the last two issues of MOTOR SPORT have carried an advertisement entitled ” A Breakdown is Never Convenient,” and showed drivers in a variety of predicaments. The Advertiser, who incidentally has the virtual monopoly of automobile electrical equipment in this country, then goes on to extol the virtues of his replacement scheme.
Since the statistics of the two motoring organisations show that the majority of breakdowns at which they render assistance are due to electrical failure, it would appear that there is something basically wrong with the design and construction of the electrical equipment fitted to the majority of British cars today.
Two examples of which I have first-hand knowledge will, I think, serve to illustrate this.
(a) Austin A40. Total dynamo failure due to damaged commutator. The “design” of this makes it impossible to examine the state of the brushes and commutator without removing the dynarno from the car and dismantling.
(b) Singer Vogue. The insulation inside the combined ignition/starter switch charred, forming a sufficiently low resistance patch for the starter solenoid to operate and thus run the starter motor continuously.
As to the replacement scheme, one of my friends had to try several garage’s before he was able to obtain a replacement wiper gearbox for his fairly recent Morris Oxford.
My own car is somewhat older, and at the time of writing my garage has had a replacement wiper gearbox on order for over seven weeks!
Exmouth. P. HELLIER.
ANOTHER HOBBS ADVOCATE
I feel that I must write to you on what I feel strongly is another mistake made by the Motor Industry. I was employed up to two months ago by Westinghouse who, as you know, manufactured the Hobbs transmission, but on the completion of 800 conversions they have ceased fitting them and sold the works to another manufacturer.
am disgusted that the Motor Industry let slip through their fingers the only logical step forward in car design, the Automatic Transmission, not only this, but that the transmission was the only one worth fitting, i.e., no slip, no loss of power, no loss in fuel consumption, ad infinitum. Also, the transmission was wholly British.
I know that other transmissions are being developed, such as the Hydro-static, the Giles, and the Purberry, at I think English Electric at Bradford (these being financed by N.R.D.C.) but this means we are again 10 years behind when we could have been five years ahead.
Farnworth. A. B. CROSSLEY
THE AMERICAN TAKE-OVER OF MOTOR RACING
After reading an article in your September issue about the Ford GT 40, I could not help but feel that the last and probably most painful nail is being slowly driven into the coffin of European motor racing, by the mighty dollar giants from Detroit.
Many people express their boredom at the procession of Ferrari wins over recent years and have greeted the arrival of Ford and other American interest in the Sport with loud cheers and fanfares of publicity. But how much further ahead have any of these people bothered to look. After Ferrari what is there but Ford, or Chevrolet or Oldsmobile, surely nothing but a complete and utter stranglehold on motor racing in the form that we have all known and loved in this part of the globe.
I myself rejoice at Ferrari victories as much as ever we all did over jaguars, for in them I see the last and most gallant rearguard action of the integrity, breeding and superb design of the true thoroughbred car. Already our own circuits have become swollen with fleets of V8, multi-litre monsters blundering and heaving themselves about like great leviathans, each more hideous than the next. Even our own thoroughbred cars begin to accept as standard American power units, and our own motor industry slowly and sadly yields itself to the dictation of America.
What next; surely all racing will degenerate into that raucous rootin’-tootin’ advertisement plastered circus of the American “Rod ‘n’ Drag” tracks, with larger and larger and faster and faster cars until the whole sport implodes on its own hollowness.
We Englishmen will never bestir ourselves, our halcyon days of GT and sports-car production are already over or bought out. We can only draw closer into our world of threadbare nostalgia at Vintage meetings, which I, for one, hope will expressly exclude Fords and their kind for at least 50 years. Yet we Englishmen with our old tradition of quality and independence in motor racing are leading the spearhead of attack.
I feel this not so much as a condemnation of the American car and American “take over” as much as a battle of principle between two brands of philosophy, two brands of quality and two totally different worlds, the whole battle being epitomised by two cars—the Ferrari and the Ford.
Bravo Ferrari! Let’s hope for at least one more resounding thrashing of Fords before you too disappear into oblivion.
Stockbridge. C. J. C. TENNANT.
CHOICE OF CIRCUIT
May I reply to Mr. Desbois’ letter suggesting that a new circuit should be built about five or six miles in length with fast, slow, easy and tricky sections.
I would never pay 10s. at any circuit entrance if I knew I was going to see slow and easy motoring. I am quite convinced that Mr. Desbois would see the same baulking on his tricky sections as he saw at Brands in the 1964 British Grand Prix. If he wants fast motoring, then I suggest he seats himself at Pilgrims Drop or Hawthorn Hill during the 1966 British Grand Prix.
There is no worse place than Monaco for baulking, but this circuit has always produced an exciting and close race in the past, especially when Formula One was 2.5 litres.
With regards to Mr. Desbois’ suggestion that Hill was baulked during the 1964 Grand Prix. Wouldn’t it be fair to say that the conditions are the same for every driver and that on the day Clark was the better of the two, or is Mr. Desbois saying that Hill was the only driver to come across the backmarkers.
Brands Hatch makes an excellent Grand Prix circuit bringing out the best in all drivers and will provide plenty of excitement when the 3-litre Formula is introduced.
The suggestion that sponsors should collect their pennies is a very good one, but I think this money could be spent on improving the circuit and the facilities at Oulton Park and then the British Grand Prix could be held in the North and the South in alternate years.
Warrington. ANTHONY D. CUNNINGHAM.
MORE ON THE 500D
I have read with interest letters and editorial comment on the Fiat 500D.
After a brief and expensive partnership with a most unreliable Mini I decided to risk buying another vehicle, and I bought a 500D in January of this year.
It really has proved to be an amazing little car. It has taken me all over England with commendable speed and economy and this summer it took myself, a friend and a large load of camping gear all the way to Yugoslavia and back. In spite of being “hammered” all the way I had no trouble except for a blocked idling jet which made itself felt while we waited in Ostend for the Channel Ferry.
The overall fuel consumption was about 56 m.p.g. and the car used three pints of oil in 4,000 miles. These figures I feel to be highly satisfactory in view of the fact that we travelled for hundreds of miles through Germany at around the 60 m.p.h. mark, and kept the engine working hard on the numerous mountain passes which we had to negotiate. The outward trip took four days including one 12-hour run from Cortina almost to Split—a distance of 400 miles, and the return trip took half-a-day longer.
My partnership with this little 500D has not been entirely trouble free, but in fairness to Fiat all the snags have occurred in the Weber carburetter which is fitted. The first carburetter played up weekly though the car was never immobilised. In the end it began to flood regularly and the local Fiat dealers fitted a new one but not before I paid £8 which I hope to get back under the guarantee.
The new carburetter is now beginning to show signs of playing tricks, and in spite of regular cleaning I am unable at present to eliminate an occasional tendency to flood which it has developed.
Apart from this recurring trouble with the two Webers. I have nothing but praise for my little car which has already proved itself over some 9,000 miles of really arduous motoring. Of course there are improvements which I would like.
The obvious one is a carburetter that works! Other improvements should be more efficient sound-proofing and the choice of a different type of seat covering. The plastic covering leaves me hot and sticky after a long run because it doesn’t breathe.
My next car?—a 500D, but I must confess that if I could afford it, I woluld love to try an 850.
Sheldon, Birmingham 26. G. DAVIES.
[Our Fiat 500D continues to run satisfactorily, apart from shedding the pipe between the carburetter and the air filter.—Ed