Rumblings, September 1962

1½-litre Fords

When we road-tested the new Ford Consul Classic last year we stated “the performance is nothing to rave about.” Ford has since found this out for themselves, for the 1,340-c.c. Classic Consul and Capri models have now been discontinued— doubtless to the consternation of those who have recently purchased them. They are replaced by a new 80.9 x 72.7 mm. (1,499 c.c.) engined versions, with synchromesh on all four forward speeds and greased-for-life steering and suspension joints.

The new engine has a 5-bearing crankshaft like many of the leading Continental 4-cylinder power units, and has been race-developed, the Lotus Racing Stable having done a great deal of work on it. With the 8.3 to 1 c.r. (7.3 to 1 c.r. optional) 64 (gross) b.h.p. is developed at 4,600 r.p.m. and Ford claim 0-60 m.p.h. in 21 sec. (compared to 22.2 sec. for the 401 c.c. smaller Morris 1100) and a top speed in excess of 80 m.p.h. Up to the time of writing we have been unable to drive one of these new 1½-litre Fords because the August strike—always strikes !—delayed matters, but this will have been rectified by the time these words appear.

Incidentally, one hears about long production runs by cars such as the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, 7-11.p. Jowett, model-T Ford and pre-war Austin Seven, not forgetting the post-war Morris Minor and the Ford Popular. The 1.3-litre Ford Consul Classic had a run of just over a year. Is this the shortest-ever production life of a popular model by a big manufacturer, or can readers think of a shorter one?

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The Volvo 121

There is no need to emphasise the good qualities a the Volvo to Motor Sport readers but they may like to know that the rugged, conscientiously-constructed and smooth-running 5-bearing B18 saloon is available for as little as £1,197 3s. 3d. in 121 form. This is a saving of nearly £100 over the 122S version. The Volvo 121 has a single carburetter and drum brakes.

Performance does not suffer much, this roomy and comfortable car, with silken, precise gear-change and excellent seats, but rather armchair ride and visibility, going along easily at 70 m.p.h. and it is very economical. The test car, driven hard, gave a genuine 30 m.p.g. This is excellent for a heavy 1.8-litre 5-seater saloon, compared with the overall 25.6 m.p.g. we got from the 122S with B18 engine. All the Volvo quality was evident in the test-car, which used not a drop of engine oil in 5oo hard miles. It was shod with firestone tubeless tyres, had Robolight headlamps, a Boliden Daplo battery and Bosch electrics, incidentally.

Volvo, apart from their West-End showrooms, now operate a service station near the Zoo, about which we shall say more in a forthcoming series on foreign-car concessionaires. They also have a good Press service in England, judging by the fact that to date the Editor has driven a greater mileage this year in Volvos than in any other make—and the more experience a journalist has the better can he serve his readers . . .

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Simca joys and sorrows

It may be recollected that the Simca moo we had for test laid down and died mysteriously by the roadside. Since the trouble was located we have since covered a further 230 miles in the same car. It is lively, comfortably sprung (but handles oddly), has a nice gear-change and is quite roomy. Moreover, the Simca 1000 returns a genuine 40 m.p.g. We shall have more to say about this interesting rear-engined Simca in “Small Car Topics” next month