Autocar EDtroF Maurice A. Smlth D,F.o. SPO'tTB EDITOR Peter Garnier aaararANT EDrroRS Leonard A. Ayton, Ronald Barker mtDLA!{D EorroR Edward Evee ART EDTToR Howard Vyee

24 APRrL 1964

rvrANAotNo DrREoroB H. N. Priaulx M.B.E.

Giant's Strength f, 7f UCH of this week's issue is devoted to a par-

lvl ticular type of car, the Sports Car, with which r v -r everyone is familiar but which very few are able to define. In the minds of most people is the image of a noisy, brightly coloured machine, being driven forcefully and probably fast. In the minds of most insurance companies is the image of a potential acci- dent, British youth, whose country is responsible for most of the world's popular sports cars, needs wealthy parents if it is to enjoy what is in effect its birthright.

A few years ago, sports car owDers were a breed apart, content with the scantiest of weather protection, ill-fitting canvas roofs, flappiag celluloid side-screens, and suspension that must have been a challenge for contemporary livers. Nowadays most people expect comfort from their sports cars approaching that of the family saloons. They want tight-fining, draught-free hoods of the "convertible " varietS wind-up glass side windows, and relatively soft suspension They also demand tractability, to allow them to conrmute in their vehicles, for comparatively few buyers use their car€ regularly for racing or rallying. Manufacturers have done a fine iob in combining high performance with many of the crearure comforts of a limousine.

One or two of *re Sports and Graad Touriog carstwo sub-divisions concocted for competition purposes, but describing similar types of car-listed io these pages iue capable of speeds of 150 m.p.h. and more. It has been suggested that prospective owners of some of these exua rapid c{us, particularly where previous experience of fast driving may be limited or even nil, should undergo a stringent test of suitability, both mental as well as physical. But who could decide what would constitute " fitaessr" and are human beings sufrciendy stable to remain fit at dl times having once been passed so? Ve do not think such tests are a practical proposition, but in the light of the changing conditions on the roads we doubt if suftcient attention is given to the standards of sight and hearing of drivers who apply for a licence. A high-performance sporting car, with its superior handling and acceleration, is as safe as, if not safer than, any when in sound, experienced hands; like any other road vehicle it is potentidly dangerous in the hands of the inexperienced, or the mentally unsuited

\[e do not expect to find anyone admining to being a poor driver, but in the past few years we have kn<vwn rnore and more say that they do not need fast cars, The airy " 50 is enough for me, old boy!" may be said for effect, but often it is more than a half-truth. Many people are, of speed in today's traffic conditions. Even more are just not capable of driving safely at higher speeds. Some of them are beginning to admit thie.

Good and bad drivers alike must share the road surfaces we have, and the good drivers can afford to show the mlerance-the others may well have their hands full already. Speed is safe only in the right car, in the right hands, at the right time and place. Sports cars, today, are properly designed in relation to their performance, and safety is in the hands of the &iver. As Shakespeare said: " O, it is excellent to have a giant's strength; but it is tJrrannous to use it like a giant."


Jim Clork meets Tony Brooks [e lVons Proctice . . Comiro Spreod Rood lest : Austin-Heoley Sprite

Mk. ilt .. Circuits Map Novi Engine: Port 2 Disconnected Jottings Trovel Talk Allord Drogster New Products Review Correspondence Sports Cor Guide . Ihe Sport .. Economy Report

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