N.B.—()pinions expressed Lire those of our Correspondents and Atom SPORT I nc a’11 4/e i/ elf with them ho


MOTOR SPORT likes to be provocative—and friendly controversy between enthusiasts is always to be welcomed. As P.R.O. to Volvo Concessionaires Ltd. (and as a Volvo owner), I disagree entirely with the editorial view that the Rover 2COOTC is ” superior on so many counts to the Volvo 144S,” However, neither my clients nor myself will be drawn into making comparisons between the two cars—we do not ” knock ” competitors’ products, and I am sure that our counterparts in Solihull would take a similar line. But by all means let’s be hearing from some individual private Owners, and in particular from any who have had more than just a day or two’s experience of both cars. Their views should be interesting! Might I, however, deal with one or two ” points arising “?

Firstly, the Volvo’s glove box—” Rover-like, although it isn’t crashproof.” The box is not supposed to be crashproof: it is made of resilient material and designed with the front passenger’s safety in mind. Secondly, your reference to “wide screen-pillars” on the Volvo 144S. You must be joking! Take another look at your own photograph of the Rover and the Volvo side by Side. [The angle affects this issue, as well as width.—E.]

Thirdly, use of the term “Servo disc/drum brakes” is misleading. The Volvo has Servo-discs all round, the system being in two parts, each serving both front wheels and opposing rear wheels, so that if one half of the system fails, the other continues to give full braking on both front and one rear wheel. The rear drums, forming what is virtually a third system, are operated by the hand-brake only.

Fourthly, I was surprised to note that there was virtually no reference to the Volvo’s many safety features, one of which, incidentally, explains the need for lifting luggage over the back of the boot. The Volvo 144S is built with front and rear ends which are designed to crumple progressively in the event of a crash and thus absorb the worst effects of any impact before these can reach the specially strengthened driver/passenger compartment. In order to achieve this, and to ensure rigidity, it is necessary to have a boot of box-like construction, hence the slightly higher tear valence panel. Finally—and I am now taking up reader Rennie’s comment about the ash tray—whether or not Mercedes or anyone else ever had an ash tray of similar type to the Volvo’s it quite immaterial. We consider the Volvo ash tray first class (and I do use one), but if anyone knows of a better design, Volvo will be pleased to have the details. 11 would not have been in the least bothered had there been no ash trays in Volvo or Rover!—ED.] London, S.W.I. GEOFFREY COCKLE,

Bullock & Turner Ltd.