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Honours to Come?
IIPIEPRESENTATIVES of road transport do not " figure prominently in the Birthday Honours List published last week. It was ironical, however, that an award should have been made to a man who was busily engaged in organizing the rail strike.
Perhaps the New Year Honours will recognize the efforts of some of those in road transport who have worked untiringly to try to minimize the damage to the national economy caused by the rail strike. The Queen bestowed honours on road transport men who rose to the occasion after the east-coast floods, and the rail disaster is equally worthy of notice.
ALL the spare vehicles which British Road Services
entered for auction last week by Measham Motor Sales Organisation, Ltd., were sold. Some were pre-war models and prices ranged from under £100 to £825. Many of the lorries sold in transport units have been over 10 years old and, according to the most recent information available, the average price per vehicle has been nearly £1,300. The Measham figures give a good idea of current market values and confirm that many buyers of transport units have paid dearly for their special A licences.
Driver or Chassis?
AT a private luncheon held in London last week, the topic of whether the driver or the chassis deserved credit for winning an award in a coach rally caused controversy. The luncheon marked the presentation of replica trophies by Sentinel (Shrews-. bury), Ltd., to the winner of the road section and manceuvring tests in the Clacton Coach Rally, Mr. A. E. Best (who represented his son, Mr. R. Best), of Messrs. Best and Sons, London, N.W.10, and the coachbuilder of the winning vehicle, Mr. A. E. Whittit, of James Whitson and Co., Ltd., Yiewsley.
Whilst it was agreed that without the chassis, neither driver nor coachbUilder could, hope to win an award, at least one member of the party thought that driving skill counted more than chassis design in the timed tests. Most modern vehicles can be expected to complete the relatively easy tests set in a one-day rally of this nature, but the seconds that count are won or lost by the man at the wheel.
£12,000 for a Coach
MOST British passenger-transport operators visiting
Switzerland are puzzled by the. high prices— often about £12,000 for a complete vehicle—which Swiss operators are willing to pay for the undoubtedly first-class 'coach bodies produced by local bodybuilders.
Asked by a representative of The Commercial Motor why this was so, Mr. H. Ramseier, of Ramseier and Jenzer, A.G., Berne, looked dejected. "It's too much, isn't it," he said, "but they won't have it any other way."
Mr. Ramseier explained that the average Swiss would not accept the principle of quantity production. Everything had to be hand-built. A Swiss operator would not accept a body design if he thought someone else had a similar one.
There is, however, one consolation—though not for the bodybuilder. The life of a Swiss body averages 15 to 20 years!
SOME of the most succepsful men in the industry -' today began their careers as Leyland apprentices. A different kind of determination to get to the top was recently shown by Tony Newton, aged 20, and Clive Brindle, aged 19, two Leyland apprentices who attacked the record for the journey from the top of Ben Nevis (4,406 ft.) to the top of Snowdon (3,560 ft.), via the top of Scafell (3,162 ft.).
The 460-mile road journey was covered by motor
cycle. Towards the end of the trip they unfortunately tackled the wrong mountain, and it took them a further hour to reach the top of Snowdon. Even so, they achieved their ambition in 20 hours 55 minutes and beat the record, believed to stand at 231 hours.
L'IJEL-ECONOMY trials for cars are becoming I popular. They might be applied with even greater benefit to commercial vehicles. Here is a chance for an enterprising oil company to put itself in the news and encourage economy at a time when every penny saved in running a commercial vehicle has its effect on the national housekeeping.
It might be possible to incorporate such an event in the commercial-vehicle rallies which are happily growing in popularity.