The Motor Show
SECOND REVIEW BETTER- CARS FOR 1938 ALTHOUGH this year there are even fewer novelties in design or construction at the Motor Show, there is no doubt that the general average of excellence for 1938 will be higher than it has been for a good many years. Real value for- money, which is intrinsic as well as practical worth, is more obvious than at any show before. Prices are at much the same level as last year, but you certainly get more for your money— more in comfort, more in power and more in speed. Com- pared with the best of any year since motoring became general, what Earl's COurt shows us in that gaunt hall is at least twice as good.
The chief exhibitors of this country and of the Continent display a marked conservatism, always a quality valued above all others by the experienced buyer. There are always changes in appearance—some good, some unfortunate (it is a craze specially noticeable in the Americans for which I can see no practical reason—if your 7937 car is a success, why make it unrecognisable in 1938 ?)—and here and there the adoption or abandonment of this or that system. One or two makers have, for example, either dropped the pre-selective gear box altogether or offer the normal kind as an alternative ; others have given up overhead valves for side valves or taken up overhead camshafts in place of the push-rod scheme ; but on the whole tried and proved ideas hold the field. There is nothing quite so good for business.
Here are some cars and some of their features that should not be missed in this practical show : ROVER (Stand 87), which is an outstanding example of what I have just said._ Practically no change of any kind has been made except in body work and smaller details in the design of this excellent British car. The Ten and Twelve Fours and the Fourteen and Sixteen Sixes are shown together with the Twenty Sports saloon, the prices ranging from £255 to £425. A new and improved clutch has been fitted to all models.
ROLLS-ROYCE.—The four cars shown are two Phantom III 72-cylinder models and two 25/30-h.p. models. The larger cars are a seven-seated Pullman limousine and the special sedanca. There is no outstanding novelty to be reported in the design of these two models, and they are, generally speaking, unchanged from last year. The exhibit in which the coach work is by Hooper, Barker, Thrupp and Maberley and Windover is decidedly impressive, the four bodies, which include the owner-driven saloon, being very fine examples of the British coach-builder's art. MORRIS are showing the full range of their models from the 8-h.p. to the Twenty-five. The principal change in the design of the new Morris is that all the models except the Eight now have overhead valved engines, a four-speed silent helical gear box with synchromesh on second, third and fourth, modifications which apply also to the 14-h.p. 6-cylinder and the 25-h.p. 6-cylinder. A specially attractive exhibit is the 12-h.p., which has a new type of body with the luggage compartment having a capacity of over ten cubic feet. A feature I admired particularly was a large cubby hole, which runs the whole width of the body below the instru- ment board. WOLSELEY'S (62) only innovation is the adoption of what is known as the " phased " suspension. These cars are worth careful inspection for their excellent body accom- modation with the wide seats and wide doors. TALBOTS (59) now number only three models, the 3 i-litre which is shown as a sports saloon and a drop-head foursome coupe ; the new 3-litre with the same sort of coach work ; and the Ten, that particularly attractive small car which here is fitted with saloon, tourer and drop-head coupe bodies.
On the DAIMLER stand (85) the new Fifteen is the car of - special interest, being the first of its type to have independent
front-wheel suspension. It is shown in two saloon forms, in both of which there is considerably more body space than before owing to the increased wheelbase and the still more forward position of the engine. A car that attracted me a good deal was the light Straight-8 sports saloon costing a thousand guineas, for which 90 miles an hour is claimed.
HUMBER show eight models completely representing the
new series which, by the way, is entirely 6-cylinder. The i2-h.p. 4-cylinder Humber has now been dropped out of the programme. The new Humbers are the 20-h.p. Snipe and the Sixteen. The new Snipe is a promising car with several interesting features such as the removable exhaust valve seat, the aluminium cylinder head and the damper-controlled crankshaft. The Sixteen is a smaller edition in most respects and, at £330, is likely to attract a good deal of attention.
ARMSTRONG-SIDDELEY.—There is only one important change in the design of the new Armstrong-Siddeleys the three machines being the 25-h.p., the 17-h.p. and 74-h.p., all of them 6-cylinders. The new departure is what is called the "balanced," drive, which is in effect the suppression of the traditional fly wheel and the use of the weight of the revolving parts in the self-Changing gear box as the needed steadying influence. The cars displayed are 25-h.p. limousine, price £745, a 25-h.p. "town and country " saloon at £595, a 25-h.p. Atalanta saloon at £625, a 17-h.p. enclosed drive limousine at £585, a 17-h.p. touring saloon at £475, a 77-h.p. coach-built saloon at £475, a 17-h.p. six-windowed saloon at £395 and a 14-h.p. six-windowed saloon at £320. This array of coach work is certainly one of the most attractive in the Show, the finish and line of the bodies being exceptionally pleasing.
Do not miss MERants (116). For most people the interesting
model is the 14-h.p. 4-cylinder with a very attractive open body. Like the larger Mercedes, it is fitted with what is called a " swing " rear axle, which means that it is independently sprung on all four wheels. Everybody who likes fine workman- ship and cars that are built for the very few will admire the 8-cylinder super-charged model, a pleasant car that develops 18o h.p. at 34o revolutions. Old motorists will be particularly pleased with this if only because the extremely distinctive type of Mercedes radiator, dating back more years than you would believe, has been retained and still looks, as always, up to the minute. The price of the open car shown is £2,250.
At the Albert Hall, as usual, FORD'S have one of their special sorts of shows in-which you may see not only every kind of Ford that is built but receive all kinds of instruction in their build and in your own reactions to the unexpected on the road. The 'Ford Ten' open car now costs £162 los., the 2-doOr saloon costing £15o. The principal things of the exhibition are naturally the two V.8's, the 22-h.p. and the 3o-h.p. which are sold with decidedly improved body work at £240 and £26o.
[Note.—Readers' requests for advice from our Motoring Correspondent on the choice of new cars should be accompanied by a stamped and addressed envelope. The highest price payable mast be given, as well as the type of body required. No advice can be given on the purchase, sale or exchange of used cars.]