Vintage Postbag, September 1952

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62

Sir,

I have a Talbot-Darracq and as there is some doubt which model it is, I am hoping that perhaps one of your readers could supply information.

I bought it as a Model DD, 1928, but have since found that it was first registered in October, 1925. It is a four-cylinder o.h.v., with a four-speed gearbox, four-wheel-brakes and wire wheels.

From information supplied by the Secretary of the V.S.C.C., the 1925 models were the DC and DS, both with three speed boxes, artillery wheels and a 9 ft. 10 in. and 10 ft. 6 in. wheelbase.

These models were repeated in 1926 with the addition of a DS with wire wheels.

I was told that the engine size is approximately 1,600 c.c., 68 by 110, which would agree with a DC or a DD. However, to confuse the issue more thoroughly the chassis has a wheelbase of 9 ft. 11⅛ in. which is that of the Sunbeam 14/40 for 1925 and 1926. The chassis appears to have Whitworth nuts and Sunbeam cantilever rear springing, and to agree with illustrations of a DD in a garage manual published about 1929.

I wrote to the makers, but they have no records at all and were unable to help. For the record the engine number is 57532, chassis is 6327.

I am, Yours, etc., I. D. Ely. Auckland, N.Z. 

 

Sir,

I was very interested to see the letter from Mr. C. W. Cooper in the July issue, as I believe my old Riley is of the same type. When I first got the car I managed to borrow brochures on the car from the manufacturers. As far as I remember, there were several body types offered on this chassis, ranging in price from about £300 to over £500, which was no small sums in those days.

My car was originally registered in March, 1928, which makes it slightly younger than Mr. Cooper’s. I think, actually, that this model was only made from 1926 to 1928, and I know they made a slightly smaller-engined car at the same time (it was rated at about 10.8 h.p.).

I have not touched the gearbox or back axle as they seem to be satisfactory, but I have had the engine down and found the bearings, etc., in surprisingly good order, the bores only being 30 thou. oversize.

I don’t know when my car lost its original bodywork, but I am hoping to get a list of previous owners from the licensing authorities, when I should be able to trace the car’s history.

I find the Riley pulls extremely well—recently she pulled up a steady main-road hill with seven-up in top gear with the greatest of ease. Incidentally, my brake and gear-levers are in the middle, but the gearbox could, in the original specification, be fitted with an extension to put them on the right of the driver’s seat. Petrol consumption is 26 to 27 m.p.g. on long runs; about 23 m.p.g. pottering about. The engine does not use much oil. Starting is very easy–I use the handle, as starter pinion and ring are badly worn.

I am, Yours, etc., J. A. H. Hewitt. Aldershot. 

 

Sir,

Seen in Highgate this week—Diatto open tourer, in original condition, right down to high-pressure tyres of original size. Elderly and charming owner stated that he had owned it for the last 25 years, and that the power unit was a 16-h.p. push-rod o.h.v. four-cylinder. He then stated that the Italians always made the best cars and that he wouldn’t part with his for anything, climbed in and departed, accompanied by a most healthy-sounding exhaust crackle.

I think this is only the second Diatto I have ever seen in this country, the other being in Oxford before the war.

I am, Yours, etc., John Hyde. London, N.6.

[There was before the war a Diatto in the now defunct L.M.B. showrooms in Streatham High Road.—Ed.]