Comments about the latest C&SC
The June issue has just reached me in France, not much slower than the subscription service used to be...
Re the Harry Ferguson piece (which lacked all the really interesting pictures I thought), Rex McCandless had a 'd' in his name - how difficult can it be for subs to check things like that? If subs still exist of course - they did when I was in the trade but I dread to think what goes on now.
Presumably you are under pressure from dealers to help bump up demand/prices for DB7s or you would have mentioned the reliability and build problems that were certainly evident in early examples. I seem to recall reading years ago that the bodyshells were finished by RR - often very badly. Didn't AM eventually install its own paint plant, in desperation? And wasn't spontaneous combustion once a problem, linked to electrical gremlins?
'If there is anything left from its XJS ancestry, it's pretty hard to spot'. The instrument panel layout is a clue, I would have thought, let alone a look underneath. Definitely an XJS in drag.
The fact that I own a late XJS has absolutely no bearing on the above, of course - I'm quite happy with those Fiesta keys...
July issue arrived today at Lisbon news agents...
It seems to be a good issue at firts glance.
As good as expected, but a few comments anyway.
I notice the letters page, or even the sidebar reserved for pedants has still not published my correction to the glaring errors in the earlier Top Ten Mobile Chicanes by Paul Fearnley in the March issue. Ted Worswick's letter on the subject made intersting reading regarding the role of the production sports cars in the Le Mans 24 of the sixties, but to allow the rubbish about the Frontenac Fords he made his number 1 case to stand uncorrected in very irresponsible for any publication, let alone one of C&SC's standing. There is a common malaise these days concerning other people's research where the Google generation will believe whatever they read first - once printed, it follows it MUST be fact - and you have a responsibility at least to ensure that all that is printed is checked as factual. Ditto, please check the photos are what they claim to be.
Ok, rant over re the March mag'. I will now let it go as a freak oversight due to the excitement of the next month's 30th celebrations, thereby excusing the editorial staff for not noticing what rubbish they were being fed.
As for the July; all good. As a long term fan of the PanzerWagen I agree with most of the Buyers Guide, great cars, will be worth keeping, will not get any cheaper, but steer clear of rust.
On the subject of Mercedes, I was very surprised to read about Mr Buckley's acquiescence re the girlfriend's R129. I have always read his column first, partly for the humour, but also because we share a similar taste in cars, sixties and seventies luxury barges, estates or GTs, and the nineties SL has none of the class of that era. What it does have however, is a lot of moulded plastic parts, dodgy electrics, and computer chips. Several reasons to steer clear I would have thought. He MUST be in love !
Also, surprised Nuno has not been back on about the Scirroco report, I had thought that would have made his day.
But my favourite surprise was that ad for P&A Wood showing all the Harrods Rolls Royce Phantoms - what a line up!
Personally, I reckon they're beautiful - one of many best-looking cars of the last 20 a very long time or so. I walk (or perhaps drive) last some sort of early Mendip Azure one cute much every morning, on those alloys, and additionally give it a wistful look...
I have just finished the July CSC edition.
I my point of view its better than the previous.
As usual keep me in tune with the relevant facts of the international classic car scene and made some valuable inputs in my car knowledge.
In this edition, I appreciate the balance between exceptional cars close to the original spec, as the "Le Buggati du Patron", exceptional cars with matching mods as the Squire, the more mundane and obvious classics cars as the MGA, TVR, Mercedes SL R107, the overview of the Elan lifeline, the working class hero RS500 and the new kids on the block as the Alfa, Autobianchi and of course the Scirocco. In the Scirocco I'm surprised with the negative note on the steering (I'm not saying that is wrong...), the rest match my opinion and experience.
Love the regulars as the Topten (this time on a flying mode), Our Cars, Your Cars, etc etc and I discover that I have an habit similiar to Chris Martin, I allways start by the Martin Buckley Backfire comment, probably due to similar reasons. By the the way his main article is good as usual.
One important fact is on the regular article "Specialist". Beside the good news about that VW Official service, is good to see someone referring the T25 as T25 and not as (sadly) it start to become commun as "T3". There is a growing trend to call the VW type II "Split" "T1" (wrong!!!), the VW type II "Baywindow" "T2" (wrong!!!), and the T25 the "T3"(wrong!!!),.
Keep the good work.
I've not finished reading the July issue yet (it takes a while to arrive here in Germany), but I have to confess to being horrified by the Squire. Whether or not the original body was ugly, to butcher it like that was an act of wanton vandalism. That's another unique piece of history lost forever...
comments in a few weeks...
One comment in the July issue deserves clarification, and Nuno the Scirocco fan may be surprised to have read a criticism of the brakes but there is a good reason he may not be aware of. For reasons best known to themselves the German engineers at Wolfsburg who were responsible for the right-hand-drive versions heading for the UK market decided to leave the brake master cylinder over on the left side of the bulkhead and connect the pedal by a very long-winded series of rods, levers and bellcranks which resulted in a lot of twisting and lost motion. Even on a new car this resulted in a fair amount of spring in the pedal before any friction material applied pressure to the discs.
This was particularly bad on the Scirocco and Golf GTi, supposedly a performance car with need of decent brakes, and as the parts wore with use it only got worse. I remember many grateful owners thanking me for improving hopeless brakes that even the VW dealers at the time seemed to not be able to fix. This was due to two things; first I was shown how to tighten the turnbuckles to take out the slack by a rep' from Mintex (this was early eighties, and VW denied at the time that it had a design fault). Second, Mintex then recommended the fitment of their new hard semi-competition M141 pads. I am not sure the friction material itself made a difference, more likely it may have been that as a harder pad with less compliance than regular linings, they 'squashed' less therefore contributing to a harder pedal.
Just bear this difference in mind if you ever read a road test of either RHD or LHD models.
Nuno is probably lucky he drives a 'Lefite' !
And regarding the August issue, I know space was limited in the events section, but as we rarely see Armstrong Siddeleys anyway, I thought I would post a few more photos from the same event.
The 1925 15HP was the oldest there;
A fine pair of Hurricanes;
The 'Ute' was called a Station Coupe, that is one classy pickup;
And they wore the Sphinx with pride.