1950's Brit 'torture test'

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuwTWujeMM0 I loved watching this video ... imagine, running cars on the Autobahn at an average speed of "greater than a mile a minute", and not blowing the engine in 25,000 miles! LOL Maybe that was really good back then. I remember reading that the early Chevy small blocks would not stand up to extended driving on the Autobahn. But were they (the V8 Chevys) only going 'a mile a minute' (i.e. 60 MPH)? Lots of propaganda shots of the Brits passing their main rival of the day, the air-cooled Beetle. The interior shots show the cars configured for LHD - so designed for export to Europe or North America. If these are European-spec vehicles, then I think the speedometers would be metric, in which case the 80 indicated is not that impressive. I like those column shifters, and stopping for a cuppa. I imagine the drivers to be ex-Spitfire and Hurricane pilots, 15 years later.
 
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MPH speedos - 80kph is only 50mph...the speedos went up to 90, that would be only 55mph or so. So, the indicated 80 is mph. BMC - if we said MG or Austin Healey the Americans might be more impressed, just a different body on the same mechanicals. The Morris Minor was the very first 1000 - it still had the small rear window and split screen, the A35 was an A30, again the small rear window, so early production. I had a high headlight Morris Minor, with the 803 A Block engine, and my wife had a Series II Morris Oxford as in the video - I fitted a 1622cc engine from an Austin A60 to it....it came out of the converion I did on my A40 pickup. BMC, my favorite British cars from the '50's, 60's and even '70's.
 
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Originally Posted by Silk
MPH speedos - 80kph is only 50mph...the speedos went up to 90, that would be only 55mph or so. So, the indicated 80 is mph. BMC - if we said MG or Austin Healey the Americans might be more impressed, just a different body on the same mechanicals. The Morris Minor was the very first 1000 - it still had the small rear window and split screen, the A35 was an A30, again the small rear window, so early production. I had a high headlight Morris Minor, with the 803 A Block engine, and my wife had a Series II Morris Oxford as in the video - I fitted a 1622cc engine from an Austin A60 to it....it came out of the converion I did on my A40 pickup. BMC, my favorite British cars from the '50's, 60's and even '70's.
The UK didn't go metric until 1965, so the speeds would have still been MPH. Impressive that those little BMC built cars could sustain 80 MPH, my '64 Beetle with it's 1200 cc 40 HP engine could only do 63 MPH on flat ground.
 
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Just to correct that slightly... Although The UK is now notionally a metric nation, we never quite got around to changing certain things over. We still buy pints of milk & drink pints of beer. Ask anyone their weight and they will very likely tell you it in so many stones & pounds; not kilos. We still measure driving distances in miles & speedometers still tell you how fast you're going in miles per hour (although there's usually a secondary kilometres per hour scale there too as a sop to The Froggies!). Whether or not you think this is impressive depends on your perspective. Personally I think getting 25,000 continuous miles out of a tiny 850 cc (51 cubic inch) engine on 1950's oils & 84 RON petrol was a technical achievement worth celebrating.
 
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Originally Posted by SonofJoe
Just to correct that slightly... Although The UK is now notionally a metric nation, we never quite got around to changing certain things over. We still buy pints of milk & drink pints of beer. Ask anyone their weight and they will very likely tell you it in so many stones & pounds; not kilos. We still measure driving distances in miles & speedometers still tell you how fast you're going in miles per hour (although there's usually a secondary kilometres per hour scale there too as a sop to The Froggies!). Whether or not you think this is impressive depends on your perspective. Personally I think getting 25,000 continuous miles out of a tiny 850 cc (51 cubic inch) engine on 1950's oils & 84 RON petrol was a technical achievement worth celebrating.
absolutely correct and well said.
 
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Meh,. The VW had a split rear window last made in '52. It had a 25hp engine. Weren't the Brits still using Whitworth scale in those days? My brother's first car was a '58 Morris Minor. I would take a bug any day over that POS. Deserved or not, British tea drinking was considered to be the reason for Monty's slow rate of advance in Sicily and France .grin2
 
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My Uncle Norman was in the 8th Army and was very much a part of that merry little jaunt up through Sicily & Italy. He told me about how he, along with his unit, were dropped at Anzio beach. There, they moved forward & captured a group of defending Germans. Their commander was badly shot up & Norman patched him up with a field dressing. However German reinforcements quickly counter-attacked and they in turn got trapped in a wadi & captured. Several burly Germans then sporting decided to kick the living **** out of them all. This only stopped when the wounded (and still grateful) commander intervened. When things quietened down, Norman & his mates decided to make a run for it. He made it but a few of his mates just got shot to pieces. He got a mention in dispatches for his bravery. Funnily enough he didn't once mention drinking endless cups of tea. Maybe whoever told you that was talking out of his arse. What do you think?
 
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I'm guessing that for small engines 60mph was cooking along. But this was being run non-stop, no cold starts (or very few). Still a valid test, but not quite real world either. Still pretty cool. Didn't look like the normal three on a tree shift pattern--not sure if it was a 4 speed or just a different pattern.
 
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Two takeaways: Love the shot near the end of the shoe just matting the gas. That steering column looks like just the thing to skewer someone to death by grisly means.
 
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I had an imported Austin Mini for a while and had a lot of fun with it. That little engine was tough. Everything else kept breaking and needed frequent repair though. LOL
 
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Originally Posted by supton
Didn't look like the normal three on a tree shift pattern--not sure if it was a 4 speed or just a different pattern.
I had a '56 Austin A50 for a few months (exported to Canada; left-hand drive like those in the video) before it was totalled by a gravel truck running a stop sign. The four-on-the-column shift pattern: First is where reverse is with a three on the tree; second is straight down; third is where second is on a three speed; fourth is where third is with a three speed. Reverse is a definite push toward the dash, then down. I laughed at the new Austin 50's bouncing speedo. No wonder mine was much worse at 11or 12 years old. They came off the line like that. Toward the end it shows a bouncing gear-shifter, too, in one of the other cars. Mine, at least, didn't do that. As well as passing split-window VW's, near the end it passes what I at first took to be a '54 Monarch. Then I realized it must be a Taunus. Either way, it was a dig at Ford.
 
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With the 4 speed gearboxes and a 1:1 top gear, the engines would be spinning around 4,000rpm at 60 mph. With our cars having overdrive top gear for the last several decades, we've forgotten what they used to be like - drop down to the 1:1 4th gear to see how it was.
 

emg

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Originally Posted by SonofJoe
Funnily enough he didn't once mention drinking endless cups of tea. Maybe whoever told you that was talking out of his arse. What do you think?
I've read similar complaints about British tea-breaks from American officers in military history books about the liberation of France, though not Italy. Of course, whether it really had any negative impact on the war is another question. My impression from reading books from the British viewpoint is that the troops would often make tea when they'd had to stop for some other reason, not that they stopped to make tea when they could have been doing something useful instead. Back more on topic, I'm amazed that these old British engines could sustain 80mph for such a long period. Having known a few people driving them many years later, they never seemed that robust: there's a reason many people dropped in compatible modern engines to replace the old ones.
 
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They were going considerably more than 60 mph a lot of the time, dividing the point to point time referenced in the film. I suspect that's the average over the course of the day with stops. In those days, the UK had a huge auto export business. A position not unlike the Japanese have now.
 
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