When less can be more


Your review of the latest version of the inimitable BMW M3 (September) caught my interest on a couple of counts.

Firstly, like you, I do wonder why people purchase cars for which they can use only a fraction of the performance on the road and, by the way, a BMW 3 series is my daily driver.

Secondly, though, your views on the increase in weight of cars is absolutely correct.

I have a 1966 Porsche 912 which is used for road rallies both in the United Kingdom and all over mainland Europe. I’m sure that your readers are aware that a 912 is a 911 with the four-cylinder 356 engine. Every other component is identical to a 911.

The 912 has the advantage that the engine is shorter and two cylinders lighter at the rear than the unit in the 911. Indeed, contemporary road tests suggest that the 912 has much safer handling than the 911 bearing in mind that it is a short wheel base early car. 

However., it is the weight of the 912, or rather the very lack of it, that makes the car so wonderful to drive.

Just as Andrew Frankel suggests in your M3 road test, the lighter the car the more involved the driver becomes. Both the 911 and 912 must have been amazing cars when they went on sale back in 1965.

Congratulations again on Motor Sport. It is clearly in a safe pair of hands.

John Dowson, Arnesbury Ltd