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Your first car?


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hilldweller

My first car was an Austin A35 VAN.

I bought it for the princely sum of £50 (I was robbed :) ).

The registration was DOG13C and it certainly suited the vehicle.

It was the same colour as Wallace and Gromitts vehicle and with it's 998cc engine was quite nippy.

Unfortunately the turn of speed wasn't matched by the braking performance.

The front wheels only had one slave cylinder in each hub with leading/trailing shoes and the rear wheels only had one cylinder between them !

The rear brakes were rod operated with a bell crank under the offside rear. A cable ran from this to the handbrake lever by the drivers door.

Within this linkage was an interlocking steel box with the rear brake cylinder within it. Effectively using the foot brake shortened the handbrake linkage and pulled on the rear brakes as well.

When you consider that most other cars used 8 slave cylinders instead of 3, you can guess how in-effective the brakes were.

The bell crank was mounted on a spigot welded to the van floor and if you stood on the brakes it bent the bit of floor it was attached to and took the pressure off the brakes.

How I managed to avoid ramming vehicles in front I will never know.

Rounding a downhill bend in Lincoln I saw standing traffic in front and stood on the brakes, by the time I reached the back of the standing traffic I was still doing about 20 mph. Luckily the pavement kerb was very low and the pavement clear. When I eventually stopped I was about 5 cars down the line and parked on the pavement.

The trick was to begin braking about 10 seconds before anyone pulled out on you, a useful accessory would have been a crystal ball attached to the top of the dashboard.

The battery resided on the floor behind the drivers seat, it didn't seem to have any means of securing. It was the job of any passenger sat on the salvaged bench seat in the back, to keep their feet on the battery to stop it sliding about.

When I compare my modern car with automatic windscreen wipers, headlight washers, cruise control and in-flight computers, it reminds me how far we have come nowadays.

HD

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1971, Hillman Imp. Nice little car, kept it for 5 years from new without much trouble. Being rear-engined and rear-wheel drive at a time when most cars were front-engined and rear-wheel drive it left most things standing when it snowed! What most people found unusual was the choke, which was a small hand-brake like lever on the floor in front of the gear stick. On the other hand there was no transmission tunnel so plenty of foot-room.

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1971, Hillman Imp. Nice little car, kept it for 5 years from new without much trouble. Being rear-engined and rear-wheel drive at a time when most cars were front-engined and rear-wheel drive it left most things standing when it snowed! What most people found unusual was the choke, which was a small hand-brake like lever on the floor in front of the gear stick. On the other hand there was no transmission tunnel so plenty of foot-room.

I had a Sunbeam Sports Imp. Not the Stiletto with the "fast back" just the normal saloon body but with a bit more chrome and a lot more "oomph"

Slatted rear panel for better cooling and twin Strombergs which I changed for a twin choke Webber. (less temperamental).

As you can see, mine badly needed a re-spray at the time the photo was taken. :rolleyes:

Note the very "70's" fibreglass whip aerial. lol

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