HERE and THERE, September 1930



1H IlkE and 111H LE IRE ‘arrishaft”


THERE is a prevalent feeling amongst motorists that the average small or medium-sized British car is unsuitable for gruelling work abroad. Continental cars, especially in the sports class, it is thought, are built to withstand the appalling Continental roads, but to expect any but a large and expensive British car to give trouble-free service on them is asking too much. The fallacy of this idea was demonstrated recently by the owner of a Rover Light-Six, who completed a 5,000 kilometres tour over some of the worst roads in France— without trouble of any description. Before starting off, he took his car to the manufacturers’ service depot in London and asked them to tune it up for a gruelling

run. This they did, supplying him also with a spare coil, a set of electric bulbs and other oddments, none of which was required. “At about 5,000 feet up in the Alps” he writes, “we had a real thrill, getting caught in. a cloud burst, on a

partly made road of loose flints. A car in front of us got into terrible trouble, but the Rover brought us through.” This driver’s testimony should do much to re-assure motorists who are nervous of undertaking a Continental tour. It should be remembered, too, that September is

one of the best months for this purpose, particularly if it is desired to include the wonderful scenery ;A the Alps.

Owing to the heavy winter snow-falls, many Alpine passes are not opened until the end of July and even then the surface is not at its best until it has recovered from the effects of the melting snow. The difficulties associated with Continental touring are very much over-rated. All customs troubles, for

instance, can be overcome by the use of papers supplied by either of the leading motoring organisations, and once abroad, the motorist will find that low living expenses more than couterbalance the cost of the Channel crossing. With a modern car, too, it is extremely unlikely that any mechanical trouble will be experienced, but if it does occur, it will be found that almost any fault can be repaired efficiently. The French mechanic, with his ” beret ” and his perpetual cigarette, may appear to be an inconsequential person, but he is a first-class workman and, once he understands the trouble, will labour

hours into the night to rectify it. .

British Reliability.

An excellent example of the reliability of British motor cycles is furnished by recent news from Czecho-Slovakia, where a privately owned Humber machine has just been successful in the most important reliability trial held in that country. Although the machine in question had already covered some 17,000 miles, it completed the 1,000 kilometres of the trial, the mountain climb and the speed test without losing a point or requiring any repairs.

So pleased was its owner Mr. Kubik, a university student, with this very satisfactory result that he set out to ride his Humber non-stop from Prague through Germany to Liege in Belgium, a distance of over 600 miles. This test was successfully carried out with the assistance of the Automobile Club of Czecho-Slovakia and M. Kubik then rode to the Channel and to the Humber works at Coventry, in the company of a friend on a Belgian motorcycle. After a very interesting tour of the factory, the two travellers left for London and Paris.

The .International Six Days.

Bad luck to individual members of each of the three teams which represented Great Britain in the International Six Days’ Trial put us out of both the ” Trophy” and the “Silver Vase” contests. The final results showed Italy as winning the Trophy and France the Silver Vase, this being the first occasion for some years that British teams have not won both.

To a certain extent, however, we shared in the success of the Continental teams for one of the French mounts which won the Silver Vase was equipped with a British Villiers engine. The success of this machine is all the more praiseworthy in that it was the smallest in the trial. It is also particularly gratifying to note that France, which specializes in diminutive motorcycles, should select a British-engined model to represent it in the most important trial of the year.

Cars to the Continent.

The L.N.E.R. announce that new reduced rates for the conveyance of cars between Harwich and the Continent have been introduced. Cars may be shipped to Antwerp, Zeebrugge or Flushing, the return journey being made from any of these ports within 30 days. The rates vary according to the weight of the car, but for a car weighing not more than 15 cwt. the return trip costs £4 5s. Special cheap fares are also available for motorists accompanying their cars.

Safer Saloons. “

The prevalence of ” blind spots” is perhaps the most serious shortcoming of the average enclosed type of sports car. It would appear, indeed, that many coachbuilders fail to appreciate the safety factor which is seriously jeopardised by having thick front pillars and thick framing round the windows.

The former, perhaps, constitute the greatest obstruction. On the latest Thrupp & Maberly bodies, however, examples of which I have just seen, they have been reduced so that they are hardly larger than the average screen pillars on a touring car. In order to give the necessary strength and safety to the body, they are made of special aluminium alloy.

The front windows are carried in specially designed thin steel channels, clumsy wood framing having been eliminated. So cleverly have the doors been designed that when the car is closed there is nothing whatever to indicate any departure from normal methods of construction.