LETTERS from READEARS

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* * * Sir,

Your correspondent Mr. Alan .Clerk spoils his ease by over-statement, the Frazer-Nash being, from the point of view of sheer performance, the finest out-andout sports car in this country (the new Jaguar excepted). But it is, alas, true that. not only the engine, but the whole car, is merely an Anglicised B.M.W., and although it. has been developed into a better car all round than its sire, it is little improvement on the few pre-war 13.111.W.s which have received the same attention. The example of the ‘Nash does show up the appalling lack of sporting machinery conceived and produced in Britain since the war ; there are only two names, Jaguar and Aston-Martin ; with the possible addi.ion of the Jupiter, which has proved disappointing due to a surplus of weight and an engine unsuitable in its present form. Indeed, there are no 1 i-litre engines now available which produce anything like the power of the Aston-Martins and Rileys of 15 years ago, and the Hawthorn Riley must be the fastest British 1 f litre car. But the lack of power units is nOt the crux of. the matter. At Le Mans this year, no “less than three of the categories were won by Continental family saloons ; not only

comparison with the Jaguar—the Morgan Plus Four. I am, Yours, etc.,

Callington. ANTHONY BLIGHT. More letters on page 448 were they family saloons hut two of are in mass-production and the third, the Porsche, is virtually merely a Volkswagen sports model. Although there was no opposition front this countty to the Renaults and the Porsche (itself a deplorable state of affairs), the Lancia Aurelia on its modest 75 b.h.p convincingly beat ” our ” Frazer-Nashes, which have a power-to-weight ratio twice as good, half the seating capacity, about a quarter the Weather protection, and cost twice as much. Incidentally, one motoring paper reported that “the Lancia’s fastest lap was only 87 m.p.h. “1

I think it is clear that in the matter of overall design, and particularly in the influence that has on handling characteristics, the gap which existed between Britain and the Continent in 1939 has now become, or is certainly becoming, even wider. I cannot imagine any British family saloon averaging nearly 70 m.p.h. for the 24 hours at Le Mans, let alone anything as small and as cheap as the Renault ; modified merely to “Stage II ” specification, incidentally. If it were not for the Jaguars and Astons the outlook would be intolerable • but meanwhile there is available in this country a sports car which, though unraceable, represents outstanding value for money by any standards, even by