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GYCLECAR AND MOTOR CYCLE NOTES.

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GYCLECAR AND MOTOR CYCLE NOTES. [By CELERITER.] THE STELLITE LIGHT CAR. WILL IT CHECK THE AMERICAN INVASION ? A machine with an engine bearing the hall mark of Vickers, Ltd., should be cap- able of doing good work, and I wan glad to avail myself of the offer of a Stellite Light Car by the makers, The Electric and Ordnance Accessories Co.. Ltd, which firm, by the way, is a branch of Vickera, Ltd, and associated with the Wolseley Motor Car Co., Ltd. The car placed at my disposal was a standard two-seater model-a car which has been run many hundreds of miles by people like myself bent on testing the car to its utmost limits. I did not exactly test the car to destruction, as I should probably have found myself stranded in some out- landish place had I done so. Instead, I took the car over my standard course. Bir- mingham to Yeovil and back, 135 miles of the best, plenty of hills, several towns for traffic-driving tests, and, best of Tall, some good long quiet stretches for speed. The advantages of sticking to the same course for all tests becomes very apparent on a little reflection, and though perhaps the scenery might become a little monotonous in the ordinary way, it is not so in my case. I started away from the makers' works at 5-30 p.m. one evening all ready for the 135 miles' run. Naturally the new car feels a little bit Btranpe for the first few miles, especially in traffic, but once the open road was reached, the car soon travelled fast. I was at once struck by the very lightness of the control. The steering was very easy the clutch only required very light touch to manipulate, and the foot brake was equally light to operate. The pedals, including that connected to the throttle, were all com- fortably placed for my length, but I thought the steering wheel, although of a large diameter, might be brought a little closer in to the driver. As the petrol tank held six gallons of petrol, I had made up my mind to 0the whole trip nonstop if possible, but several circumstances made this impossible, bnt treached Bath 30 miles on the road, non-stop, in a little over three hours. Here the oil indicator, which is in the form of a little plunger, mounted on the dash, showed signs that the oil supply was falling. The ,ly was falling. The indicator is like a large drawing pin, and when the oil pump is pumping up the oil, the shank of the pin is pushed out of the tnbe in which it works, but when the shank is bidden by the tu be, the oil supply has failed. An ingenious feature of this indi- cator is that neither the actual oil supply or the branch from it is'brought up to the dash as with many indicators, but the indicator is Operated by a Bowden wire from the actual working piston. The advantage of this is that there is no possibility of the oil getting inside the car or on the dash, as so fre- quently happens otherwise. The indicator, too, seems to be extremely sensitive, for it shows sigs of flagging as soon as the oil JUlPpJy failed, and therefore by keeping a watchful eye on the indicator, as every care- ful motorist does, it is possible to detect when more oil is required in the oil sump before it is actually run dry a very import- ant feature, for in some high-speed engines the bearings may be burned out in the short time that elapses between the failure of the oil supply and the detection by the driver, who only has warning when the oil has actually failed, instead of when it is about to fail, and some time beforehand, as with this type. Oil capacity seems to be about b gallon. Oil is poured into the sump whence it is pumped into constant level oil troughs. The consumption works out at about 600 miles to the gallon, at an average speed of 30 m.p.h., which is quite good for a four cylinder car. After the stop for oil-for the engine only— the car was started away again and kept mov- ing nntil a little place called Lydford was reached. Here a stop was made to light up. It took nearly 10 minutes to get some paraffin for the tail lamp, which was empty, for the village grocery stores had run out Owing to the moon having failed that night or something of that sort. Then it took nearly five minutes to find my dog that had gone off on a rabbiting expedition. Mean- while the engine was running merrily as I intended at any rate to make a non-stop engine run, yet at the end of the stop there was no sign of the radiator boiling, even though bo fan is fitted on this machine. Half an hour's run saw the car at its destina- tion, just 41 hours from the time it left Birmingham, or 4t hours running time. The most remarkable part of the journey was that every hill was taken an top gear, and those who know the road from Bath to about six miles beyond Shepton Mallet will appreciate that this is a splendid per- formance, and there are four bad hills. Frankly, I was prejudiced against the Stellite prior to my run, as it had only two forward gears, but this run quite altered my opinion, for there seemed to be no doubt that the remarkably flexible engine which is fitted enables the car to climb hills on top, while many cars would have second, and some even on third gear. Arriving at its destination, the car was put away for the night, and as it had so easily performed all that I bad asked of it I lay scheming as to what I should do on the morrow. First a run down to Wost Bay, a pretty and very quiet little seaside hamlet on the Chessil Beach, then a very successful attempt to climb White Sheet Hill, which lies off the main road from Dorchester to Crewkerne and runs down into the little town of Beaminster. It has a surface as loose as is possible and a gradient of about 1 in 4 or 5, and is nearly a mile long. The car romped up this with a combined load of 19 stone. Clan Hill, in the same district, was next tried with equal success, though this is not quite so steep or so long. The return journey was most delightful. As I wanted to be back in Birmingham for an early appointment, I started out at 4 o'clock a.m. It was a lovely morning, fresh after a heavy thunderstorm, but not too cool. All the world seemed to be asleep; even the birds were lining the roads as though they had only just got up and were too sleepy to fty away. Then the sun rose. It was a magnificent sight, quite as grand as the finest sunset, though perhaps in a different way-a great red ball of fire into which we seemed to be driving fast, for it was apparently still on the ground, but it soon rose and dispelled the mist which obscured the fields in the valleys below, but which seemed to uphold the topmost branches of the trees—a curious sight. Not a soul about, so away went the engine. At Bath- 45 miles on the journey — people were beginning to stir, but the sleeping night policemen winked as we sped by them at a little (?) over the limit. Then on the open road—gloriously open at this early hour —away we went again till Stroud was reached. Here there were more bnsv toilers going to work. Cheltenham, 90 miles, was soon passed, and precisely at 8.5, the little car ran into Birmingham at an average of 34 miles an hour-not an engine stop the whole way, nor an adjustment at any time of any kind, during the whole 230 mile week-end trial. Possibly I may be accused by anti-motorists of going too fast, but I took no more risk at corners and cross roads than I should have done on the busiest day, for really I think there is even greater risk in the early morning at such places, for the other fellow may also think that there is no one abroad at such an early hour, but on the long open stretches high speed can often be safely indulged in. Over a straight level mile I timed the maximum speed of the car to be between 45 aud 48 m.p.h. Petrol con- sumption for the whole journey worked out at exactly 30 miles to the gallon, which I must say was not quite as good as I expected. ^A Wolaeley S.U. carburetter is fitted and this gives extremely flexible running from 3 m.p.h. to 45 m.p.h. on top gear, and pos- sibility has been aimed at by the makers rather thaq ultra low petrol consumption. Above 35 m.p.h. the overhead valve tappets seemed rather noisy, but up to this speed the engine ran fairly quietly. The overhead valves no doubt account for the high power developed at low engine speeds, but the tap- pets are noisy and possibly they might be slightly improved by having rollers at their utter extremity, though it seems rather rash to criticise an engine designed by the Wolseley Co. The engine seemed rather oily at the end of the run, possibly due to the tappet guide being rather worn. Taken as a whole the machine is one of the soundest engineering jobs I have ever seen in lightcars. Everything is substantial and designed by engineers; there is no makeshifts or bits stuck on here and there as afterthoughts as in some lightcars. The springing is excellent and its beauty is that being rigidly held at the end of each spring, there is nothing to wear or look after. All moving joints are either fitted with greasers or lubricators, little details so often missing on light cars. There is plenty of room in the body and the riding position is quite comfortable. The brakes are well designed and of ample proportions.. They are wire controlled and a clever compensating action is arranged so that each brake is bound to act with equal pressure. The weight of the car is just over 10 cwt with spare wheel and full kit so that tyres should last a long time. The top gear is measured roughly 5 £ to' 1 and the bottom 12-1 to 1. Possibly the top gear might be raised if a third gear were fitted, bat really at speeds up to 35 m. p.h. there is need for this, as the engine is absolutely vibrationless. Rack and Pinion steering is fitted, and really though some people dislike this type I think after expe- rience of several other types, I rather like it for lightear work, as it gives such easy move- ments. The Stellite is a thoroughly sound little car in my mind, and a very satisfactory answer to the cheap American car, and with its more efficient power unit and lower cost of up-keep it should go a long way to repel the American invasion.

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