I was interested in the letter of Mr. M. C. Jones about the Talbot braking and other idiosyncrasies.
I had a Talbot 95 (Reg. No. AGU 70) from 1934 to 1938 which I bought after reading the test published by The Times in “Cars of Today, 1934” and never had any special difficulty with the brakes, probably because I was able to take the car to Ladbroke Grove from time to time for attention. I well remember that when I asked for the brakes to be adjusted, a tester took the car out on to the test circuit there and applied the brakes fiercely to stop the car. He then got out and examined the skid marks on the track, made adjustments to the brakes, and then repeated the performance until the skid marks were equally pronounced. He told me that this was the usual practice. I seem also to remember that when the toe-in of the front wheels required alteration, this had to be done by a smith as there was no provision for screwed adjustment on the track-rod.
This car, however, had provisions that are not common even nowadays, such as seats adjustable for leg length and back rake, louvres over the windows, folding picnic tables let flush into the backs of the front seats, control on the steering column for the stiffness of the shock-absorbers, thermostatically-controlled radiator shutters, etc. The petrol tank capacity was 19 1/2 gallons.
I have the pleasantest recollections of driving the car whilst it was running well. My chief worry with it was the dynamotor starting system, as it was often doubtful if the engine would start on a cold day, in spite of special garage heating, and previous casing over of the engine with the starting handle (no light task). Frequently the fuse blew when starting; it was probably too much to expect to start the 3-litre engine direct without reduction gearing, even using 24 volts for the purpose, under general everyday conditions.
LT.-Cot. J. A. Gould, M.C.
[This correspondence is now closed but we are glad to note that next year the long-awaited book on the Roesch Talbots and their competition history is due to be published, when all these intriguing arguments can be expected to resolve themselves—or be re-opened!—ED.]