Letters From Readers (contd), September 1964





I sometimes read MOTOR SPORT with a certain amount of amusement, especially the references to R.-R.—you do really seem to have “a flea in the car,” “chip on the shoulder” on this subject. However, you are as free to express your opinions as anyone else but do, please, get your architectural orders straightened out when calling a R.-R. radiator “Gothic” in the August issue—or was it really a Bentley you were driving?

Congratulations on a generally splendid publication.

London, S.W.7.                                                                                                                                                FELIX KELLY


Your reference to that Phantom II

—a rather biased driver’s view ?

The Royce, so large and so exotic

—her radiator is NOT gothic!

The Rector’s standard six, by gad,

is my idea of gothic rad!

Carshalton.                                                                                                                                                G. E. BANGHAN

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As a keen motorist and as a Fellow of the British Horological Institute, I have been particularly interested in your recent issues to see descriptions of precision timekeepers.

However, I feel both you and your readers would be interested in the new Bulova “Accutron,” which is to the conventional watch at least what a Citroen DS is to an Austin Seven. It is a superb example of micro-engineering and depends upon the resonance of a tuning fork rather than on balance-and-spring. I feel sure the Bulova (U.K.) Watch Co. would be pleased to supply more details.

Usual disclaimers; my only interest is admiration of the engineering and envy of the owners!

London, N.W.9.                                                                                                                R. J. SMITH, F.B.H.I., G.I.Mech.E

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Your correspondent who was gonged for flashing a white foglamp to the rear at a peasant breathing down his neck on full beam, has made two mistakes: (i) he should have had an amber bulb in the fog-lamp, (ii) he should, as an alternative, have asserted that the lamp was not fitted for the purpose of seeing to go backwards.

I know this sounds odd, but consider the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1964. SS. 16 and 17 (c) taken together specify a maximum of two reversing lights of a maximum of 24 watts each. S.19 reads: “No reversing light on a vehicle shall be illuminated except in so far as is necessary for the purpose of reversing the vehicle.” Our friend is likely being charged under 17 (c) and 19.

The two escape roads I indicated are opened by S.3, “Interpretation,” which has: ” ‘Reversing light’ means a lamp which is carried by a vehicle and shows a white light to the rear for the purpose of reversing.” (My italics.) Thus SS. 16-19 inclusive, which form Part IV of the Regulations and apply exclusively to “Reversing Lights on Vehicles,” will not apply at all to lights which are not “white” OR are not “for the purpose of reversing the vehicle.” It is open to argument what these expressions mean as they are not defined for us.

Your correspondent should now fit an amber bulb to his stern lamp (wattage immaterial) for the future, and in court should roundly assert that he installed the thing in the first place solely to deal with peasants breathing down his neck on full beam (and not for reversing at all), as I can find nothing in the Regulations, or anywhere else, which would make such a purpose per se illegal.

If I am right, either the Parliamentary draftsmen nodded, or else they wanted to keep their own 72-watt amber reversing lights, in which case I think I will join them.

Dundee.                                                                                                                                             KENNETH H. ROSS.

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Today, foreign travel is easy, and swift, and most organisations concerned are geared to provide a 24-hour service in emergency (even the Civil Service can produce a passport quickly). However, I would like, through your columns, to draw attention to the apparent inability of the motor insurers to provide green card cover, essential for Continental motoring, outside office hours.

Last Wednesday evening we received a telegram notifying us of the death of a near relative in Austria. All flights were booked, but the A.A. were able to offer us a booking on the night boat. However, the complete inability to obtain insurance cover prevented us from availing ourselves of this offer, and the only method left was to sit at London Airport as standby passengers until seats became available, causing great distress to the deceased’s daughter and family. I feel that we cannot be the only family or organisation who has ever needed to obtain green card cover out of office hours, and feel that the Motor Insurers Bureau could provide 24-hour facilities at the major ports, either by their own offices, or through the motoring organisations.

Camberley.                                                                                                                                                    B. BENSON.

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I read with a mixture of amazement and alarm the account by my fellow reader, Mr. Powell, of his prosecution by this despicable “whiter than white” and “holier than thou” motorist. In this day and age of the all-powerful Gauleiter of the M.O.T. with all his machinations, I would have imagined that there still was a small degree of laissez-faire amongst motorists. This evidently is not true, so I would humbly suggest, for the good of all, that motorists of the “I shall sneak on you” ilk should declare their intentions by fitting revolving blue lights to their car roofs and wearing at all times dark blue chauffeurs’ hats.

Whereas I would never condone acts of had manners and flagrant contravention of the Highway Code, I do believe that motes should be extracted from one’s own eye before removing beams from the eves of others.

As this prosecuting motorist is probably not without stain, I suggest he grows up and realises that “sneaking” is not on.

Motoring today is enough of a hazard without having to contend with a self-righteous self-appointed fifth column whose sole intention, it seems, is to speed this country’s transport progress towards George Orwell’s 1984 at a faster pace than even our illustrious Member of Parliament for Wallasey, Cheshire.

Henley-on-Thames.                                                                                                                                        S. G. LEITCH.

[And so, I hope, say all our readers.—ED]