A car of much promise which came to naught was the Moveo, announced early in 1932. The designers responsible were a Mr Haythornthwaite and a Mr Houlding, who had obviously aimed their 3-litre chassis at the hard-driving enthusiast.
The chassis, for instance, was exceptionally low and stiff, the side-members sweeping downwards and outwards behind the engine’s rear mounting points, and up over the underslung back axle. These frame members were six inches deep in the centre and were carried straight to the front spring anchorages, with no curved dumb-iron effect.
Tubular cross-members braced these side-members, that behind the gearbox having a diameter of 3in; others united the frame at the extreme front, one behind the radiator, four more spaced along the back of the chassis, two at the back spring mountings, another at the top of the frame upsweep and a final one at the end of the chassis. Cast-iron for brackets was eschewed, and bolts passing through the chassis members were never larger than 1/4in, to reduce stresses; these bolts were of high tensile steel, all secured with special locking washers.
This chassis was sprung on half-elliptic springs of flat formation shackled at the outer ends, the other ends of the springs moving in slides. Suspension hardness was adjustable by the driver, using hydraulic Telecontrols, and the front axle had brake-torque cables, as favoured on Aston Martins.
Lockheed hydraulic brakes were fitted using 17in diameter chrome steel drums with aluminium cooling fins attached by taper and set-screws. The hand-brake lever had a fly-off action achieved by means of jamming rollers, no ratchet being used.
The Moveo was powered by a six-cylinder 72.5 x 120 mm (2973cc) Meadows engine with push-rod operated overhead valves. This fine power-unit, a standby for so many of the smaller manufacturers, developed 74 bhp at 5000 rpm. It had coil ignition, the coil and distributor accessible on the off-side of the engine. Two Amal carburettors were fitted, fed from a 14-gallon rear petrol tank by a couple of Morriscot Petrolifts.
The drive was taken through a single-plate clutch to a four-speed Moss gearbox (another popular component) possessing a silent third gear. This gearbox was in unit with the engine, and final drive was by a propshaft with Hardy Spicer couplings to a spiral-bevel back axle. The big engine was three-point mounted.
The radiator had top and bottom tanks connected by gilled tubes, and united by four long bolts. It was claimed that, under test, 70lb/sq in had been satisfactorily resisted, and that if a tube should leak the two tanks could easily be separated. To improve appearance, a “honeycomb” grille was fitted.
Easy maintenance had been one of the aims when planning the Moveo. There were only three chassis greasers, two for the steering king-pins and one for the front universal joint. The two exhaust pipes swept into no fewer than four Carbjector silencers, which were placed in tandem. The wire wheels had large nave-plates.
Two years’ experimentation was carried out before the Moveo was put into production early in 1932 from works in De Lacy Street, Preston. The chassis price was fixed at £575, and a top speed of 80-85 mph was claimed, with plans in hand to supply a supercharged 3-litre engine and to install a 41/2-litre Meadows power-unit.
It all sounded most promising at a time when individual cars were much in demand, and a coupe demonstrator was built, the intention being to offer bodywork to customers’ requirements. Unfortunately, there were apparently no customers, because it all just faded away. WB