I have just received my copy of the July issue of Moron SPORT. and as a rabid Citroen fan, I hasten to join issue with Mr. B. L. McGrath on the subject of the Light Fifteen.
In this country cars get driven far, fast, and hard, in many cases over road surfaces which are appalling by British standards. The Citroen has a very high reputation out here, as the many hundreds to be seen on our roads testify.
Its popularity springs from its truly superb roadholding and cornering properties, from its dead-accurate steering, its complete disregard for road surfaces, its comfort at all times, its ability to cruise all day at 60-65 m.p.h. with an average point-to-point of not much less, and from the very low level of driver fatigue after a long day. My Citroen will cover the 430 miles from Johannesburg to Durban, which includes crossing the Drakensberg mountains, in a comfortable 81 hours, and if the petrol consumption exceeded 29 m.p.g. my head would be under the bonnet to find out why. I would suggest that these are ample reasons for the well-known enthusiasm of Citroen owners. I agree that the top speed is about 75 m.p.h., and personally I find that quite adequate ; I would not describe as ” non-existent ” an acceleration time of 15.7 sec. for 0-50 m.p.h. through the gears. or a standing quarter-mile of 23.2 sec. Admittedly, the Austin A70 is a faster car in a straight line, but on any average road, the roadholding of a Citroen would cancel out any slight advantage the Austin may have, and I can assure Mr. McGrath that, were he driving his A70 and I my Light Fifteen, he would find me very hard on his tail after 20 miles, and after, say, 200 miles, he might find himself quite a way behind I
Most Citroen owners will agree that the gearbox is not its strongest point, but nevertheless it can be mastered with practice. However, to change silently from 50 m.p.h. in top (4.3) to 50 m.p.h. in second (7.3) would tax the powers of even the best of gearboxes ! I am sure that if Mr. McGrath will follow the maker’s instructions, and grease his universals every 1,000 miles, he will have no further trouble with these components rusting up.
Tyre wear on a Citroen depends on the driver—if cum takes full advantage of the car’s roadholding, then one must expect to pay for one’s fun with tyres, but normal driving will result in normal mileages (for i.f.s.-equipped cars)—witness Mr. MeGrath’s 23,000 miles. I am Yours, etc., Transvaal. B. J. CHEEK. [This correspondence is now closed.—En.]