What is it about turbos ?

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When turbochargers on production cars were a novelty some sporting drivers felt they were illrepresented without aTurbo’ insignia on their cars. That phase has passed, but the announcement of a new turbocharged Bentley Brooklands has put this easy method of powerboosting in the news again. When turbos were first available I confess to having reservations about their very high speeds would the bearings like this? Suppose the turbine seized up at speed before I could get the clutch out? I was not reassured when we were told that you should let a turbo engine idle for a few minutes before switching off to let it cool without frying the oil in the turbo bearings.

When I first drove a 4×4 Ford Sierra I wondered how soon it would be before the fluid-couplings would leak and slip and, conscious that somewhere in the Ferguson-system transmission there was a chain-drive, I speculated as to what would happen if the whole thing locked-up when I was pressing on. Yet on none of the several Fords with this useful transmission of which I have long experience has anything of this kind occurred. Nor do turbo-charged engines have any of the alarms and distractions which, in the beginning, I felt might assail them…

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