The Ford Consul Classic, although not a revolutionary new car, is such a significant addition to the family car field that a great deal will be heard of it as production at Dagenham gets into its stride. Motor Sport published a road-test report on the 4-door de luxe Classic last month and I have since had experience of the steering-column gear-change. The short cranked lever protruding from the left of the column functions with notable precision. This is not the silky change of some cars but it is certainly positive. Reverse is easily found beyond the top-gear position and the lever goes effectively from third to second gear, which is important because it is desirable to use the lower ratios frequently to get the best out of this short-stroke, high-geared Ford.
I still felt that heavier damping of the back springs and better location of the back axle would be an improvement but the Consul Classic corners quite well, especially with a full load, which can comprise six not-too-obese people, the steering column gear-lever permitting three to sit on the front seats. It is significant of how cars of one make and type vary that whereas the first Classic I tested did over 31 m.p.g. and used very little oil in more than 900 miles, this second example required nearly 1 1/2 pints of oil after 400 miles and averaged 29.4 m.p.g., the absolute range being exactly 250 miles. A good feature is the disc front brakes which, if not outstandingly powerful, require but a light pedal pressure and retard the car progressively, even from low speed, which disc brakes do not always do. The shrouded discs, however, have been blamed for fade which can be evoked under Alpine conditions, for example. The driver’s door lock was inoperative and the dazzling trim on the steering-wheel spokes loose but otherwise I enjoyed a no-trouble pleasant weekend’s motoring.
The Classic’s engine retains the classic 8o-bore cylinders, with a stroke of 65 mm., the crankshaft having longer throws than an Anglia crankshaft, not shorter ones as the colleague who originally described the Classic stated. There are separate ports for each valve, the inlets are larger than the exhausts, the eccentric, bi-rotor oil-pump is bolted to the block but is self-priming, and the pump cooling system is pressurised at approx. 7lb./sq. in. The valve stems have inverted rubber oil seals and the valves seat onto replaceable inserts in the head.
The standard 109E engine with 8.5 to 1 c.r., for which Mixture grade petrol is only just unacceptable, develops 54 b.h.p. at 4,900 r.p.m. Keith Duckworth littered one down to 1,100 c.c. for Trevor Taylor’s Lotus 20 which was victorious at Reims, which endorses the pride that Ford of Dagenham feel over F.J. successes achieved with their 105E. and 109E power-units. – W. B.
WESTON-SUPER-MARE SPEED TRIALS
The Burnham-on-Sea Motor Club in connection with the Weston-super-Mare Borough Council are organising the Annual Weston Speed Trials on September 30th, the Course is 1/2 a mile in length on the Marine Parade; cars are run in pairs. There are a total of 12 different classes. Prize money amounts to £150 and there are 24 Cups and Replicas to be won. The record for the Course is held by Geoff. Richardson, who in 1959 drove Tom Norton’s E.R.A. in 19.9 sec. Last year’s f.t.d. went to Arthur Owen (Cooper) in 20.2 sec. Fastest time by a Sports Car is held by J. Randles in his Cooper Monaco in 22.1 sec. On the social side, there will he an Informal Gathering and Cocktail Party at the Winter Gardens Pavilion in the evening preceding the event, whilst after the Trials there will be a Speed Trials Dance organised by the Borough Council, also at the Winter Gardens Pavilion. Entries close on September 20th, and Regulations are now available from the Secretary of the Meeting: R. Durk, Nippors Way, Winscombe, Som, (Tel.: Winscombe 3167).