Autocar EDTToR Maurlce A. Smlth o.F,o. aPoRTE EotroR Peter Garnier AaataTANT EDr?oBa Leonard A. Ayton, Ronald Barker MTDLAND EDtroR Edward Eves ART EDrroR Howard VyBe

15 MAY t964

MANAOTN(r OTRECTOR H. N. Priaulx m.g.e.

Drums and Discs TN a number of respects the tastes in cars of the I masses of American and European motorists are r- convergingl at one time they were poles apart, now perhaps it is no more than a hemisphere. Supra- national forces are likely to close the gap even more, though influences from both sides of the Atlantic still will be distinguishable in the producrs of the two. In this context it has been panicularly interesting to hear of the almost overwhelming reception given throughout the United States to the new Ford Mustang, a car- or series of cars-that has much potential appeal over here too. 'IVhen we drive and test American cars, the basic feature which seerns to differ most from that of European models is the braking. \[hy, when the re- quirements are simply to be able to slow down or stop, are the accepted characteristics so different on one side of the Adantic from those on the other? Of course, roads, traffic, speed limits, climate and size and per- formance of cars all have a bearing on brake require- ments, and they difier considerably from country to country.

For those who have experience of only a few models we can broadly summarize the situation as follows. European cars, as a rule require relatively high pedal pressures and an emergency stop usually needs an exEa hard push. Normally, small, low-performance cars have drum brakes, larger and high performance models have discs at the front or all round, Servo assistance to reduce pedal loads is related largely to cost, but with current disc designs some servo assistance is highly desirable. ltr7ith drums, this is not usually so important because most designs are arranged to give a self-servo effect.

European brakes today will stop a car again and again from high speed with little or no fade, and disc brakes, originally developed for competition work, are particularly resistant to fade.

On American cars disc brakes are practically unknown, drums as large as the relatively small wheels permit being the rule. Very powerftrl servo assistance is also customary, so that a mere touch on the pedal produces suong braking and a light push is su6cient for a crash stop with all wheels locked. Many an unwary European when driving one has pitched his passenger on to the windscreen through inexperience of American power-brakes. If an American car is slowed or stopped from high speed more than two or three times in succession the brakes usually become very hot and we have experienced fade to the point of temporary ertinction. Fade may also be accompanied or followed by uneven braking and grabbing.

In spite of these points, motorists everywhere are now better braked than at any time in the past and on the whole they secm satisfied.

It is possible that Deuoit will soon be won over to disc brakes, as have been the leading German and Jtelian manufacturers. ff so, they will certainly make the equipment themselves and on a vast scale, although many of the essentials are " sewn up " by British patents, According to some reports, the pads on disc brakes of British cars sold in America last less long than their counterparts over here and need changing too often to please American owners. Hence the larger, more elaborate designs in prospect for America. Our Detroit Notebook, page 945 refers. European manufacturers in turn ar€ likely to offer servo assistance on more of their models.

The compromise drivers need is a powerful brake that is servo-light enough for a womao, yet sensitive and progressive for wet or icy roads; that does not fade or need re-padding too often, and is not so bulky as to upset steering or suspension.

GOI{TENf8

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