WNETHER anyone in this country will feel inclined to purchase German or Italian ears after the war, assuming there is a single Axis factory left intact to manufacture such complex products, seems a debatable point. We rather doubt if these countries will walk into international affairs within three years of the armistice in *as big a way as they did last time. For many, many years any motoring they do will probably be in economy vehicles. So those sportsmen who, in the past, have found their ideal in recent model Alfa-Romeo, Mercedes-Benz and Maserati cars, will take a new interest in the British high-perforin-mee market. So far as racing cars go, if E.R.A. and Alta can open up again, all immediate needs should be adequately met, and if Austin and M.G. and Riley decided to manufacture by skilled labour half-a-dozen or so racing ears apiece, based on proved designs and sold to amateurs capable of handling them effectively, some quite useful publicity might be launched in the course of turning from war-time to peace-time production facilities. In the sphere of road high-performance cars the prospect is excellent. Last month Mr. W. A. Robotham, of Rolls Royce, Ltd., told very modestly the story of the evolution of the ” Corniche ” Bentley. It is typical of this great firm, with a reputation of which it has every right to be jealous, that the article touched on failures as well as successes. All the more strength is lent to the sober claims for the ” Corniche.” Here is a car embodying the latest streamlining modes, capable of over 110 m.p.h. without sacrifice of comfort, silence, economy or passenger and luggage ac cOni m °dation. The V12 Lagonda as yet has not ap at 6,000 r.p.m. with a corn
peared in production streamlined form, yet it exceeds 100 m.p.h. with the most commodious of unfaired dosed coachwork. In Le Mans guise the engine was giving 210 b.h.p. pression-ratio of 8.5 to 1, and the maximum road speed of these cars was 145 ra.p.lf. The possibilities of post-war development are obvious. From continued advertising policy it seems that Alvis. Boyer. S.S., M.G., Riley and other manufacturers of British highperformance cars are fully aware of the demand that will ekist for their products when we achieve, in the words of recent Standard advertisements, ” The new world.” There is every reason to expect better editions of the 4.3 litre. the ” Sixteen.” the re ” 100.” the 2.6 litre and the ” Big Four.that we knew before the war. Vhen leaders of men and leaders of industry, and Naval and Army and Air Force personnel, seek relaxation in a return to those many motoring activities that Ford chooses to illust rat e for us as a reminder of things worth fighting for, they will find excellent British highper formance ca rs awaiting, them. Cars in which extreme acceleration and truly high maximum speed goes hand in hand with safe road-holding, adequate braking. comfort and complete reliability. British cars will supply all n eeds, reach every market. If we import at all, let it be from our friends in America. w here cars are accepted as
essential possessions and Indianapolis is a general holiday. Stagnation has certainly not been reached. Modern tyres were regarded as completely immune from trouble, even under exacting racing and record breaking conditions. Vet 1 m’. Robotham told how the “Corniche suffered a peculiar tyre failure, when speeds of over 100 ni.p.h. were held with wheels tucked away out of the air-stream in faired wings. Doubtless Fort Dunlop Will offer a solution to that difficulty soon after the war is won. We can look forward to a peace enlivened by some very excellent sports cars from a country responsible for the Spitfire, Typhoon, Vulture aad Sabre. It will not be too long in coming.