Pontiac postscript

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I was able to put in many more miles the other week in the V8 Pontiac Parisienne Sports Sedan I commented on in the July issue. This time the electric window-lifts functioned without failure and, indeed, the only faults were that the treadle of the accelerator became unbonded and fell on the floor, and the cubby hole still refused to open. The Fisher body of this eye-catching car, finished in a particularly nice shade of dark blue, is extremely commodious and its luggage boot swallowed one more suitcase than could have been got into a fully-laden Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud’s boot and there was still room for much more.

I found myself comparing this quiet-running automobile with the Rolls-Royce. At first I thought its engine as quiet, quieter perhaps, with faintly less vibration when idling, but away from the distracting sounds of town traffic I wasn’t so sure, and would rate it as slightly noisier, and with many more rattles from the body. The automatic transmission is somewhat smoother overall, with less whirr, but there is no gear-hold, beyond LOW. It is possible to corner this enormous Pontiac until the Goodyears protest and the angle of roll is surprisingly small. Yet somehow the handling and ride over bad surfaces, and comfort of the seats, aren’t on a par with those of the Silver Cloud, and the Pontiac power brakes, admittedly extremely powerful, are so sudden one hesitates to cram them on, in direct contrast to the confidence inspired by the R.-R. servo braking system. However, this Pontiac sells here for £2,290, or £3,340 less than the price of the Silver Cloud Ill we tested. For silent, effortless travel, American cars are not entirely to be denied–one day someone will offer them with disc brakes, “competition” suspension and optional leather upholstery, and then where will our luxury-car market be?–W. B.

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