The tubeless tyres debate
I find Giles Chapman’s list of 25 Cars That Built Britain quite extraordinary (CCW 4 May). The Austin Metro and the Reliant Regal? He can’t be serious!
The Austin Metro, originally introduced as the Mini Metro, was a naïve, lame attempt by British Leyland to replace the iconic Mini with a more spacious hatchback.
On this score it failed, as most people preferred the original Mini. As a result, BL had to drop the name Mini Metro and rebrand it as the Austin Metro under the pretence that it was an additional car to the range.
I also can’t believe that two of Britain’s greatest sports cars were omitted – the Jaguar E-type and the Austin-Healey 3000. You could have also included the MGA and MGB.
Then there is the Rover P5B. A great car, but I would have chosen the innovative Rover P6 and the SD1, European Cars of The Year 1964 and 1977 respectively.
Finally, where was the Ford 8 Model Y, the first British car to be sold for £100? The Model Y started a long line of small Fords that brought basic motoring to millions of people who otherwise may not have been able to
Your Letters, The Editor, CCW, The car registered EVE881 pictured in The Way We Were, 4 May, is not a Wolseley but a Hillman Minx, registered in 1946 by Cambridge County Council. The model shown would have been the same as the pre-war Minx, with separate headlights and mechanical brakes. The face-lifted model with hydraulic brakes, built-in headlamps and column gear change was not introduced until December 1947 and cost £493 when new. My grandfather I have been following the comments in the Your Letters section about fitting tubes in non-hump wheels on older cars. Nigel Stennett-Cox is correct in saying that tubeless tyres started to be fitted in the 1950s, but these were crossply, not radial. It is the radial tyre that needs the tube if no humps are on the wheels to retain them in a deflation.
I have had a number of conversations on this subject both with Michelin engineers and those in Rover Group where I worked for many years. And recently I was at a tyre depot where some old Mini wheels were in for tubes, as the radial tyres had pulled off the rim under hard cornering – no humps! Derek J Spooner, Hereford
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