Woolf, Laing, Christie & Partners who, amongst other tasks, keep a close watch on Fiat public relations in this country, refer to the article on single o.h. camshaft engines by “Autolycus” as somewhat unfair to the twin-cam Fiat 124 engine, inasmuch as our contributor made it appear inferior in efficiency to the single-cam Hillman Imp engine. Alfred Woolf points out that 96 (net) b.h.p. from a 1,438-c.c. engine at 6,000 r.p.m. is quite a reasonable output, representing as it does 1.2 b.h.p./1,000 c.c./1,000 r.p.m., and that in the Fiat 124 coupé this power unit is by no means highly tuned. The same twin-cam head on the 1,194-c.c. Fiat 124 saloon engine can apparently produce outputs upwards of 110 b.h.p. with very little modification.
It is also emphasised by Mr. Woolf that while, as “Autolycus” noted, the use of malleable cast-iron con.-rods is an innovation found in the Fiat 128 engine, its cast nodular iron crankshaft is not, because this type of crankshaft was first used for the Fiat 500 engine in 1956 and is now common to the whole Fiat range. Further, “Autocylus” is taken to task for describing the tappet adjustment system of the Fiat 128 (incidentally; a very ingenious one designed for easy adjustment) as employing a “relatively thin biscuit”. Characteristically, Alfred Woolf sent us one of these tappet discs (a medium-setting one) so that we could see for ourselves, and while we have heard of people who can chew razor blades, we do not think “Autolycus” would relish having to chew one of these substantial discs. Incidentally, apart from Fiat’s twin-cam power units, they also use the single o.h. camshaft, on each bank, of the V6 engine of the-fine new Fiat 130.—W. B.