STEERING THE KINGSWOOD
NOW FOR THE Kingswood and the first thing you notice behind the wheel is how upright and high you sit. In the Calais-V you sit low and look along the bonnet. In the Kingswood I felt like cocky on his perch looking down on the bonnet that is about the size of a garage roof.
As I said earlier visibility is excellent, but not so much the steering with plenty of free play. Some can be put down to age, some to just how it was back then, teetering around on 14-inch wheels. Guido didn’t mention it wasn’t power assisted and it was bloody heavy. Not sure if my mum could have wrestled one into a parking spot back in the day.. Driving meant constant minor corrections to keep it pointed where you wanted to go.
The 253 still had a deal of grunt and the brakes worked well; they just needed a hefty shove to get them to bite. It leaned through corners with not a lot of feedback from the wheel and I can only imagine what they must have been like before Radial Tuned Suspension.
Inside there was plenty of room and comfort for all with entertainment provided by an AM/FM radio.
I thoroughly enjoyed my short drive in the Kingswood, the operative word being ‘drive’, completely unadulterated by electronics, sensors and gizmos.
On the safety front there wasn’t a great deal, apart from seatbelts but that’s how it was in 1979.
These two are very different cars for very different eras designed to do the same thing, take families on journeys and experiences. For many the Kingswood became a bit like the family pet, going everywhere with them. In time, the Calais-V might just become the same for a new generation.