GOOD GOING IN A FIAT 500
GOOD GOING IN A FIAT so°
To prove that apart from the qualities of economy, reliability and compact size, the Fiat 50 has staying power and reasonable performance, two private owners recently attempted to drive one z,000 miles in 48 hours on the roads of this country—no mean feat, remembering the publicity accorded to Joyce Wilkins for her 1,Ooo miles in under 24 hours on Continental roads in a far faster Ford.
In fact, the Fiat, on a route from Wembley to John o’ Groats, Land’s End and back to Wembley that measured 1,954 miles, took 50 hours 45 minutes, having been delayed by log, plug trouble and a disconnected throttle cable, troubles excused because the little car had previously covered nearly 10-,906 miles. To John o’ Groats, in spite of heavy traffic and fog, the Fiat averaged 441 m.p.h. Its overall average was 38.5 m.p.h. It gave 53.9 m.p.g. of petrol and consumed a pint of oil. Weather conditions were severe throughout. The car was standard save for Fiat 600 seats, Cibie auxiliary lamps and extra instruments. It carried some 50 lb. of luggage and the crew weighed 24 stone.—W. B. THE LAW BREAKERS LAWS which arc broken frequently, by otherwise innocent and respectable people, are bad, futile laws. We note that J. A. H. Gott, Chief Constable of Northamptonshire, was fined ks and had his licence endorsed by St. Albans City Court for passing a radar trap St az m.p.h. in a 30 m.p.h. area. He made the excuse, by post, that he saw the trap 300 yards ahead, but glanced in error at his rev.-counter instead of his speedometer, as he was unfamiliar with the car he was driving. Apart from this being a rather curious excuse for an exracing and rally driver, and ignoring the fact that he implied that his car does 42 m.p.h. at approx. 3,000 r.p.m., here is a Chief Constable who, like most of us, was prepared to exceed the speed limit in a
built-up area providing he wasn’t caught, relying on his own judgment as to what was a safe speed in the circumstances.
This case strongly underlines the advisability of raising a great many suburban speed limits from 30 to 40 m.p.h. Mind you, you can’t win— the Police brought a case against a 62-year-old ‘bus driver with an otherwise clean record because he was driving at 15 m.p.h. in a 30 m.p.h. area.
It is significant, now that we have that unidentifiable police Jaguar E-type catching drivers who exceed 70 m.p.h. on Mt, with the threat of further Q-cars to come, that in 1935, as toe 30 m.p.h. town speedlimit came into force, The. Autocar was quick to protest, not against the limit as such but at the unfair manner in which the Chief Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police intended to enforce it. It said : ” Motor vehicle owners are hot criminals to be hunted and hounded, badgered and worried by police officers in plain clothesand camouflaged cars. What a pretty pass we have come to when it is deemed necessary to print, for attachment to the rear windows of motor vehicles, strips of paper bearing the words ‘ This is not a police car ‘! Any methods which even suggest the expediency of such a counterstroke stand self-condemned in a law-abiding country.”
The police may protest that the law should be obeyed and they are entitled to use any methods of enforcing it. But in 8967, as in 1935, some methods serve to tipple the previous good relationship between public and police. Times have not changed much in the past 32 years, except that there is now a speed-limit on all roads, which some Police Forces obviously think should be enforced by unfair use of camouflaged cars. There is one ray of sunshine—the present Chief Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police appears to be more lenient than his predecessor of the ‘thirties, for trapping in Central London and the City appears to be infrequent, the common-sense of allowing traffic to fiow in an orderly fashion along the Embankment, for example, at around 40 m.p.h., instead of being forced to travel more than to m.p.h. slower, apparently being appreciated by those in authority in the Metropolis, and some other enlightened districts.—W. 13.