Letters From Readers (contd), September 1964





I applaud your resistance to the Birmingham Dipped Headlamps Campaign. The persistence of its sponsors in the face of doubtful evidence combined with the substantial vested interest in the campaign’s success on the part of certain local enterprises raises a question of motive and to my mind makes the whole scheme most suspect.

Ewell.                                                                                                                                                    GEORGE LANE



I had the pleasure of visiting the U.K. a few years ago, and the aspect of motoring there which really impressed me was the custom of driving on side lights only in well lighted areas.

I found that (despite the density of London air) I could see farther and clearer on your well lighted roads, no glare, no blinding lights—it was really a pleasure—so I can only draw the conclusion that the B.D.H.C. suffer from excessive smog and need fewer chimneys, not more lights.

Interesting thought: The life expectancy of the Londoner is greater than that of the Sydneyite, who, incidentally, must drive on dipped lamps.

Regents Park, N.S.W.                                                                                                                 OWEN O’FLAHERTY.

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Recently I have had my Morris M.O.T. tested, and it seems that, as with most things, one just has to hunt around for the “best buy.”

As you will see from the enclosed results from six different M.O.T. approved garages (two being the same Company but in different towns), yet another of Mr. Marples’ schemes to extract money from the motorist has succeeded whereas its aim has gone by the board.

The table enclosed shows a cross section of whether or not the garages would pass me on each point. Garage 1 passed me with a broken back spring and with a broken reverse gear.

Lane End.                                                                                                                                                      R. PENN.

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We all know that the Mercedes-Benz is a very good car, but can it really be said to combine “the latest of automobile engineering concepts in its specification” when it still needs lubrication at 22 points every 1,900 miles ?

Incidentally, for the price of over £4,000 you could buy a light aircraft such as mentioned in the article, and learn to fly it!

Coventry.                                                                                                                                                  K.F. SPRAGG.

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I read with interest Mr. Lynch’s letter in your July edition, and it seems that Mr. Paul has gone to an exceptional amount of time and trouble to accept a settlement for the “total loss” of his car, which amounted to some £5 less than that offered by his own insurers 12 months previously—it appears that he has failed to realise that acceptance of the offer for this item of the claim does not debar a further claim separately and reasonably presented for “uninsured” losses. I would have thought that his legal advisers would have correctly informed him on this point, and also that the cost of insuring the hired car would be an admissible item as well—in future perhaps it would pay Mr. Paul (or anybody else for that matter) to seek the services of a good class of Insurance Broker. Reverting, however, to the point at issue, Mr. Lynch has overlooked one important feature in that there are numerous other benefits provided under the “Comprehensive” Policy, and no doubt the Zurich policy provided an indermity for “driving other cars” by the insured person. If, therefore, one has the advantage of this then it is not unrealistic or “sharp practice” not to allow a refund of premium.

I would mention, however, that the practice of insurers is now tending to swing the other way, in an effort, not a right, to give the motoring public a better deal. The leading tariff company now allows a pro-rata credit, but not refund of unexpired premium, against the cost of a fresh policy.

Lastly, but by no means least, it can be arguable that as the subject matter of the contract has been destroyed (and the benefit paid) then the contract itself has been discharged. The other party then cannot request a partial return of their “consideration,” as the insurers have faithfully carried out their obligations under contract imposed upon them.

Thank you for your enlightened and lively magazine—it is encouragingly refreshing to know that the motorist has at least one unbiased and outspoken champion for his rights. Please continue your excellent work.

Liverpool, 25.                                                                                                                                D. M. MURRAY, A.C.I.I.

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Is MOTOR SPORT’S sense of fair play becoming a thing of the past? You boast about Ford successes in the Ampol trial but you do not mention the fact that VW won the team prize—the ladies’ award—their class; and provided over 20 of the finishers.

Whilst I realise that Fords (unlike VW) put a lot of money into motor sport generally, and therefore expect this free publicity in return, I do feel that you should give credit where it is due—even when it concerns a car which most magazines choose to ignore.

Coventry.                                                                                                                                                      R. TUFFIN.

[One can hardly be accused of ignoring the VW! The only reason VW’s successes in the very tough Ampol Rally were omitted was because full results had not reached us by press day—honestly, hand on flat-four!—ED.]

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I was very interested in D.S.J.’s comments on Jazz. Jazz and the sport are connected in many ways and perhaps we might see more drivers going in for this music. How about the Jim Clark Quintet—Jim Clark (tenor), Graham Hill (trumpet), Bruce McLaren (piano), Innes Ireland (bass), Dan Gurney (drums)—or Cecil Clutton and his Syncopators, the John Surtees Rehearsal Band or Richie Ginther’s Messengers?

Vice versa, Mr. Chapman could employ Ronnie Scott and Stan Tracey, the Owen Organisation might make good use of Tubby Hayes and import Sonny Stitt, while Joe Harriott and Ornette Coleman would pilot the Coopers (that would be a controversial team—perhaps Thelonius Monk would be manager).

Shropshire.                                                                                                                                         S. BERESFORD.

[All double-dutch rather than double-beat to me, because although I am not musical I know the kind of sounds I enjoy, and they are not jazz sounds. But no doubt D.S.J. understands.—ED.]