Clas­sic cross­word

Low-range small-car model name from 1939 through to 1967 (6)

New Zealand Classic Car - - AUTOMOBILIA - By

David Cass

Clues Across: 7. Swiss-born au­to­mo­bile en­gi­neer who en­gi­neered fine cars for Tal­bot of Bri­tain in the 1920s and 1930s (6) 8. US auto com­pany, best re­mem­bered for the flam­boy­ant sport­ing ma­chines built from 1925 to ’36 un­der Cord own­er­ship (6) 10. Ital­ian mar­que ac­tive from 1925 to 1989 — its palmy days were the mid-to-late 1950s with its own de­sign con­struc­tion, but the 1960s saw Fiat-based prod­ucts of per­haps less in­ter­est (7) 11. Prom­i­nent US maker of elec­tric ve­hi­cles from 1899 to 1916 (5) 12. Clas­sic Lo­tus sports car built from 1962 to ’74 — said by some to have in­spired the Mazda MX-5 de­sign (4) 13. BLMC Aus­tralia’s 1969–’72 hatch­back E-se­ries 1500cc-en­gined ver­sion of the BMC 1100 (5) 17. The Rolls-royce 40/50 car was built from 1906 to 1925, but, af­ter 1925, was ret­ro­spec­tively known as the Sil­ver ----- (5) 18. VW’S suc­cess­ful su­per­mini in­tro­duced in 1975; built in five gen­er­a­tions, it has sold more than 12 mil­lion cars (4) 22. Model name used by Lo­tus for the 1957–’63 Type 14 and the 1974–’82 Type 75/83 coupés (5) 23. Chrysler model name used from 1961 to 1981 for lower-spec full-size mod­els (7) 24. French car com­pany ac­tive from 1919 to ’32: rac­ing suc­cess in the early 1920s helped early sales of its fine sport­ing cars, but the De­pres­sion hit, and it folded in 1932 (6) 25. Ford (UK) Clues Down: 1. Model name for Holden’s up­mar­ket mod­els from 1962 through to 1980 (7) 2. Clas­sic Stutz sports mod­els built from 1912 to 1924, and again from 1931 to 1934 (7) 3. UK mo­tor­cy­cle com­pany ac­tive from 1908 to the 1960s, noted for ef­fec­tive two-stroke en­gines, par­tic­u­larly through the 1920s–’30s era (5) 4. Prom­i­nent UK mar­que, noted for bikes, mo­tor­bikes, cars, and air­craft en­gines pre World War II; suc­cess con­tin­ued un­der Rootes Group then Chrysler own­er­ship un­til 1976 (7) 5. Model name for Hill­man’s small es­tate-car ver­sion of the Hill­man Minx and Imp from 1954 to 1970 (5) 6. This UK car ac­ces­sory com­pany, ----(Com­po­nents) Ltd, ac­tive pre World War II through to 1953, dis­trib­uted ve­hi­cle sus­pen­sion prod­ucts like Hart­ford dampers and a Gir­ling-de­signed in­de­pen­dent sus­pen­sion sys­tem (5) 9. Strictly, a large lux­ury ve­hi­cle, with glass divi­sion be­tween driver and pas­sen­gers; in prac­tice, th­ese days, the sec­ond part of the def­i­ni­tion is forgotten (9) 14. Ob­so­lete coach­build­ing term for an open tourer with one row of seats and a side-en­try door (7) 15. Toy­ota’s uber-suc­cess­ful small-medium car, in­tro­duced in 1966, now in its 11th gen­er­a­tion with its sales to­tal well over 40 mil­lion (7) 16. Gen­eral Mo­tors mar­que name, used from 1926 through to 2010, with the last cars built in 2009 (7) 19. UK city where Rolls-royce and Bent­ley cars were built dur­ing the 1930s (5) 20. French and Ital­ian word for ‘1000’ — sev­eral cars and races used the word as a mar­ket­ing tag (5) 21. This prim­i­tive form of ----- axle in­de­pen­dent sus­pen­sion is com­pro­mised by con­sid­er­able cam­ber change (5)

It’s al­most 50 years since the Ford-cos­worth DFV 3.0-litre mo­tor was un­veiled in the back of the Lo­tus 49, and it’s im­pos­si­ble to over­state the im­por­tance of that engi­neer­ing de­vel­op­ment for mo­tor sport. Along with its di­rect de­scen­dants, the mo­tor pow­ered 155 Grand Prix (GP) win­ners be­tween 1967 and 1984.

The DFV was pro­duced in suf­fi­cient num­bers to en­able gen­er­a­tions of new rac­ing teams to get onto the GP scene. But, if I’d had to guess how many teams used this mo­tor, I wouldn’t have said 53! Lo­tus and Tyrrell book­ended the run of GP vic­to­ries. As well as them, suc­cess­ful users of the mo­tor in­cluded the ob­vi­ous teams like Mclaren, Ma­tra, Wil­liams, and Brab­ham. Oth­ers such as Shadow and Penske flirted with suc­cess. But then there were the likes of Con­new, Apol­lon, Merzario, and To­ken that never trou­bled the tro­phy en­gravers.

Author Rob­son pays a proper trib­ute to the late An­thony Pritchard, whose fam­ily made avail­able the ma­te­rial he had been work­ing on be­fore his un­timely death. And Rob­son has made a fine book. It’s al­most a his­tory of GP rac­ing over a 15-year pe­riod, be­cause the DFV (and variations like the DFL) were adopted by so much of the field at dif­fer­ent times. The con­tri­bu­tions made by key in­di­vid­u­als, such as Keith Duck­worth and Wal­ter Hayes of Ford, get proper recog­ni­tion. I was pleased to see that Rob­son gives a few pages to the main com­peti­tors dur­ing the DFV pe­riod, and he also cov­ers how the vari­ants of the mo­tors were used in Indycar and Le Mans rac­ing.

The heart of the book, though, is about 150 pages cov­er­ing each mar­que that used DFVS. Each sec­tion starts with an out­line of the mar­que, its own­ers, etc., and then a de­scrip­tion of each model (Wil­liams FW07, Ligier JS11, and so forth) and its race his­tory.

It all ties to­gether well, yet it’s not a dry his­tory, be­cause Rob­son (and I sus­pect some of this may have come through Pritchard’s writ­ing) doesn’t hes­i­tate to ex­press some blunt opinions. For ex­am­ple, on un­suc­cess­ful team, Rob­son says: “his at­tempts to run an F1 [For­mula 1] team were calami­tous and should be dis­missed in short or­der.” With 272 large pages and plenty of photos, this is a good ad­di­tion to F1 his­tory at a fas­ci­nat­ing pe­riod.

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