Having just read the August 1990 edition of MOTOR SPORT I have the following comments.
Firstly, in Petrol Problems in 'Matters of Moment' you mentioned the increase in car fires which jogged my memory. Last year I attended a Car Restoration course at Farnborough Technical College (Hants). One of the 'students' asked 'Tom' (the lecturer) to have a look over his car. On opening the bonnet Tom said, "Aha, fuel injection, make sure you check all of the joints for petrol leaks, especially after a service, because there have been a lot of fires in fuel injected cars."
Perhaps somebody should conduct an investigation to see if fuel injection is the problem. A leaky joint could result in a fine spray rather than a drip. Another factor which could also aggravate the situation is the electronic nonsense fitted to most modern cars. The engine bays nowadays look like spaghetti junctions of wires draped over the fuel injection pipes! Mind you, my daughter had a lucky escape recently when her Mk II Escort burst into flames due to petrol dripping onto the exhaust manifold.
Thus the message is, when checking the oil, water, hydraulic fluid, fan belt and tyres at weekly intervals (?) we should all check our fuel systems.
Luckily my own favourite marque had the good sense to fit the carbs on the opposite side of the engine to the exhaust manifold (Alfa Romeo before Fiat).
Secondly, if 'Ceramic engines' last five times longer than conventional engines then they must be dead ducks. The manufacturers will simply go bankrupt through lack of sales. I suspect that this idea will be suppressed just as the petrol companies have suppressed Liquid Natural Gas which solves all the pollution problems at a stroke.