The tube­less tyres de­bate

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Your Letters -

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

Me­dia House, Lynch Wood, Peter­bor­ough, Cambs PE2 6EA. Or email editorial@clas­s­ic­car­weekly.co.uk

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