Bar­racuda good, MGC bad – and more of your mus­ings

A beach-lov­ing Bar­racuda, a cor­ner-hat­ing MG and a plea for politi­cians to be en­vi­ron­men­tally ed­u­cated

Classic Cars (UK) - - Contents -

Odd fish­ing

When I spot­ted the ad for a first- gen­er­a­tion Ply­mouth Bar­racuda I wasn’t con­vinced I was se­ri­ously in­ter­ested. But af­ter view­ing it, an idea be­gan to form...

Un­like my enor­mous, drum-braked Ford Thun­der­bird, the Bar­racuda was right-hand drive with disc brakes and a ba­sic 225ci (3687cc) slant- six en­gine, and turned out to be quite zippy and ma­noeu­vrable. In my rever­ies, my wife could use it as a sec­ond fam­ily ve­hi­cle. In re­al­ity, it was a thinly veiled ex­cuse for a friv­o­lous pur­chase.

At AUS $16,000 it was af­ford­able for a US pony car, prob­a­bly due in part to its ob­scu­rity and left-field styling. The front sheet­metal and me­chan­i­cals are the same as Aus­tralia’s 1967 VC Valiant, but with the big­gest sin­gle piece of glass ever used on a pro­duc­tion car it is truly ‘ party out the back’. And with the back seat laid flat there’s room for my 9ft 2in surf­board.

It was as­sem­bled in South Africa us­ing a Ply­mouth bodyshell with Valiant steer­ing and dash com­po­nents. In two years of own­er­ship I’ve en­joyed its us­abil­ity, but more than any­thing it gets lots of thumbs-up – and even more head scratches. Noel Forsyth

MGS and the curse of un­der­steer

I can­not speak for the GT (Six-pot Su­per­stars, De­cem­ber 2016) but I can cer­tainly tell you from ex­pe­ri­ence of driv­ing a re­stored MGC around Road At­lanta in the States that the car was worth­less in curves, es­pe­cially down­hill ones. With too much weight up front it only wanted to go straight.

I had just run the course in my Tri­umph TR4 so it was kind of un­fair to com­pare. The MGC would eas­ily do me on the straights, but as a sports car – which by de­fault means good han­dling – it just didn’t work. Ted Gandy

Porsche-both­er­ing Mae­stro

Pleased to see Ross Alkureishi at long last giv­ing recog­ni­tion to the MG Mae­stro Turbo (Hottest Hatches, Fe­bru­ary 2017). I was lucky to own one of the early Tick­ford de­vel­op­ment cars that had an ex­tra 12bhp thanks to a freeflow ex­haust sys­tem. I had pre­vi­ously owned a Golf GTI and al­though the VW was the slighter sharper driver, it was cramped and didn’t of­fer the per­for­mance of the MG.

Will­son com­ments that they were al­ways go­ing wrong – that was usu­ally caused by young driv­ers try­ing to beat the 0- 60mph time. The clutch was a weak point but get it rolling be­fore hit­ting the loud pedal and you could have fun scar­ing pe­riod Porsche 911s. Roy Bow­man

Clas­sic cars and CO

Quentin Will­son ( The In­sider, Jan­uary 2017) refers to ‘ pla­toons of zero- emis­sion au­tonomous shut­tles’ and pos­si­ble reg­u­la­tory threats for clas­sic car own­ers. In my view, any at­tempt to leg­is­late against own­er­ship of clas­sics on the ba­sis that they rep­re­sent a threat to the en­vi­ron­ment should be vig­or­ously op­posed.

Are politi­cians aware of how much CO there ac­tu­ally is in the at­mos­phere, and have they given any thought as to what dif­fer­ence clas­sic cars (in­fre­quently used sur­vivors of by­gone times) could pos­si­bly make to the planet? The at­mos­phere con­tains about three tril­lion tonnes of CO and the oceans even more (130 tril­lion).

Hope­fully the Fed­er­a­tion of Bri­tish His­toric Ve­hi­cle Clubs (FBHVC) is mak­ing it very clear to politi­cians that the emis­sions from clas­sic cars are not, even in any­one’s wildest dreams, go­ing to have any ef­fect what­so­ever on the planet’s tem­per­a­ture. Eric Kwiatkowski

The Fed­er­a­tion of Bri­tish His­toric Ve­hi­cle Clubs pro­duces a sur­vey ev­ery five years for pre­cisely this pur­pose. The 2015 fig­ures show that his­toric ve­hi­cles ac­count for just 0.21% of the to­tal mileage cov­ered by all ve­hi­cles in the UK. Phil Bell

Coun­tach cor­rec­tion

I en­joyed Miura and Coun­tach ar­ti­cle [Chang­ing of the Avant- Garde, De­cem­ber 2016], but while the Coun­tach is some­what un­usual in hav­ing the gear­box ahead of the en­gine – rather than be­hind it as is more com­mon – this cer­tainly doesn’t make it rear- en­gined. Michael Ward The cap­tion should have read ‘rear mid- en­gined’. Phil Bell

’Cuda pro­motes green­house ef­fect...

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