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British and European Car Spotters Guide - 1949

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1949 British and European Car Spotters Guide

1949 Earls Court and Paris Motor Shows
Picture of the inspired coachwork, in grey and cream finish, shown by the firm of Saoutchik at the 1949 Paris motor-show
Picture of the inspired coachwork, in grey and cream finish, shown by the firm of Saoutchik at the 1949 Paris motor-show.

Simple seating in the four-seat accomodation of the 1949 Citroen
Simple seating in the four-seat accomodation of the new Citroen.

The Bentley Sports Saloon, with coach-work by Facel Metallon
The Bentley Sports Saloon, with coach-work by Facel Metallon, was highly praised at the Salon.

The design of the 2 h.p. Citroen is novel, yet first impressions are that is is an austerity model
The design of the 2 h.p. Citroen is novel, yet first impressions are that is is an austerity model.

HMV TV Installed in Standard Vanguard Saloon Circa 1949
Car television has a great future. Our picture shows an adapted H.M.V. receiver, with 10 inch Emiscope tube, installed in a Standard Vanguard saloon.

Close up view of Mayflower independent front coil suspension with rubber-bushed shackles
Close up view of Mayflower independent front coil suspension with rubber-bushed shackles.

Design, Price and Quality made the Mayflower one of the most popular cars on display at the 1949 Earls Court Motor Show
Design, Price and Quality made the Mayflower one of the most popular cars on display at the 1949 Earls Court Motor Show.

The 1949 E.R.A.-Javelin Chassis with its sturdy frame and rear torsion bar suspension
The 1949 E.R.A.-Javelin Chassis with its sturdy frame and rear torsion bar suspension.

The Earls Court and Paris Motor Shows


A Report by the Sub-Editor, 1949 Motor Industry Journal

Earl's Court one week, Paris Salon the next, and both overlapping by a few days. A lot of people like motor shows - if they like motors - but this year's events were rather too concentrated between September 28 and October 6, the two opening days. I am not voicing a private opinion when I say that the responsible Societies should avoid such a clash if possible another year, if only to enable firms and people with interests at both these important exhibitions to take part in them with more ease. Absentees might be reduced and possibly there would be more exhibitors at each of the shows. This year no doubt some exhibits were affected to some extent because it was not practicable to prepare special show chassis, engines and even completely new models in duplicate. Possibly the two biggest motor shows of the year were not as representative as they could be.

Paris is a popular meeting place for European distributors, it is more central than London and besides you can drive to it in a car from most places on the Continent in a few hours. There is no water to cross. The two shows have little in common. The Salon at the Grand Palais is showy (see lighting illustrated in our Photonews feature), the cars more colourful and styles more elaborate. Coachwork displays reflect fashion changes, with fancy strips and chromium bits. Earl's Court is always comprehensive, practical, and the range of accessories and service equipment provided a fine choice for buyers. It was a buyer's market for the overseas visitor. On the other hand Paris, for the first time, was a market place for the French buyer who could order home produced cars if he wished for delivery in a few months, and foreign cars (if he had the right currency) for even quicker delivery. I saw how this was working on the Renault stand on the first day.

Two harassed officials (the firm is state-run so they must have been officials) were counting literally piles of loose notes representing many thousands of francs, these being deposits for orders for the little Renault 4 h.p., or " 760 " as it is called in this country. They were embarrassed by the rush of home orders although it must have been pleasant to have experienced such popularity - British manufacturers would be glad of the opportunity. It might be as well here to compare the French motor industry to our own. There are only 12 manufacturers of private cars in France today and the two leading manufacturers, Renault and Citroen, between them account for more than half of the total production.

The industry has been hampered since the war in getting into its stride, but is doing better now. During the best prewar year (1929) 253,000 vehicles were produced, being 211,000 cars and 42,000 heavy vehicles. It is reckoned that the total for 1949 will be approximately 300,000 vehicles so that already the best pre-war year seems to have been surpassed. But we passed this figure months ago in Britain with 252,546 cars and 133,982 heavy vehicles after 8 months'production, and the United States, of course, produce ten times this amount. In fact, France stands third in the production table so far this year with United States and Britain ahead and Canada fourth.

As for exports, France is shipping three-fifths of her output abroad, mostly to European countries, whilst retaining the balance for home use. I understand that tractor manufacturers are finding conditions less favourable and Renault have been obliged to lay off 1,000 men recently, a state of the market that our own manufacturers are watching. The French motor industry holds the view that it can maintain a leading position in French overseas trade provided the Government allow it enough freedom to organise itself. The development of the industry is said to depend very much upon the purchasing power and general prosperity of the French people and we must notice that the home market is being encouraged to a much greater extent than in Britain. Hence low-priced, very economical cars are being produced more and more so that the utmost use can be made of Marshall-aid materials, including petrol.

The French are concentrating therefore on the mass production of a few really small models, and the bigger types are left to several small specialist manufacturers of high quality. 1 append a list of the current models with their chief characteristics, including the latest Gregoire design to be made by Hotchkiss shortly.

London High-Spots



Looking back at Earl's Court it was not a show for novelty but stressed the British motor industry's endeavour to produce what the world wants in (a) good medium-sized cars (b) sports roadsters (c) luxury carriages, and one could compare these classes very favourably against others from foreign competitors. There are critics who bemoan our lack of large low-priced saloons but it must be admitted that the Americans cannot be approached in this field. The latest Studebakers with their " Next Look " front were a feature of the Show and selling at about £500 in a huge home market, showed the British public what volume production can offer. The American Ford, General Motors products and the others were of considerable interest though somewhat academic in a country which bars their sale.

At the other end of the scale the little Fiat 500C models and the rear-engined Renault earned praise for neat, practical design and bodywork. Everyone aims to own a car some time or other, and having attained one, wants one that is larger. Herbert Austin knew this twenty-five years ago, and I am sure he would have approved these 1950 sturdy babies. It is heartening to know that the present head of the Austin firm may turn his attention to another Seven when the right time comes, but that is not likely to be before the home market is once more a major consideration. Meanwhile, 330 baby Renaults are born each working day!

The public flocked to see the Triumph " Mayflower," the new Rover and the Austin A90 Sports Saloon. Realising that these models would probably draw the crowds, their manufacturers elevated them to the dignity of revolving stages, lighted for all to see. The Austin in particular was cleverly sectioned and lighted on one side, yet showed its normal sleek lines on the other side. Those cars which were within reach of the curious masses were sat in, poked, fingered and bounced from opening'time to lights. A new " Ghost " Minx with illuminated tabs to explain its features and a sectioned Jowett Javelin drew the mechanically minded, and the Wolseley suspension and Vauxhall engine told their stories. Rootes used a more-than-usually sectioned model to demonstrate Sunbeam-Talbot units, in fact the chassis had gone completely.

Jowett's new E.R.A. Javelin chassis was another crowd-spot, the tubular frame and unorthodox design provoking much technical discussion and speculative inquiries. A complete car of this type was not on view at Earl's Court but a prototype could be seen at the Albemarle Street showrooms. It is early days therefore to describe this car in detail and we will have more to say later about its specification, design and performance, too, which should be well above par.

Controversial Lines



The two British cars which set people talking more than any others were the new Rover and " Mayflower." Opinion is divided about these cars and die-hards shook their heads at the Rover departure from conventional English appearance, ignoring the careful reasons that have been given by this firm for the changes. Visitors from abroad have been impressed, nevertheless, by this model and export orders already booked appear to confirm the designers' confidence and the firm's bold policy. The new Triumph "Mayflower," on the contrary, boasts another kind of look, inspired by its big brother the Triumph two-litre saloon and traditional English coachwork. Moreover it retains the familiar Triumph radiator. The controversy in this case was different and seemed to focus on the use of knife-edge styling on a small short car with full-width body and integral wings. Public reaction was undoubtedly favourable, particularly regarding price and quality.

Little yet is known of the "Mayflower's'' performance, but it is said to be capable of 65 m.p.h. with an acceleration in top gear from 10 to 30 m.p.h. in 12 seconds. Its lj-litre side-valve four cylinder engine develops 38 b.h.p. and maximum torque of 693 lb./in. is developed at 2,000 r.p.m. The Triumph designers have paid particular attention to the special requirements of overseas markets, drawing on the accumulated experience gained with the Standard Vanguard. Such important features as suspension, dust proofing, heating and ventilation, and luggage carrying capacity have been covered. The engine is completely sealed, crankcase ventilation being obtained by automatic suction from the induction system.

The body and chassis are of integral design, the 3-speed gearbox is interchangeable with the rest of the maker's range, a hypoid rear axle is fitted, Lockheed hydraulic brakes and the independent front coil suspension has rubber-bushed wishbone shackles top and bottom with patented screwed bush and top ball joint wheel swivels (see illustration of this interesting layout). Telescopic type direct acting hydraulic dampers are used at front and rear. The finish and equipment of the new Triumph are excellent, and the car should have wide appeal by reason of its refinement at the reasonable price fixed for it. Production is to reach full output by next May if all goes well.

Mention of the Vanguard reminds me that I saw a demonstration of the first car television experiment outside the Motor Show. It was fitted by H.M.V. engineers only a few days before the Show to a 1950 Vanguard saloon (see photograph) to see what kind of results could be obtained using an adapted H.M.V. television receiver with 10 in. aluminised Emiscope tube, driven from a rotary a.c. converter which was fitted to the rear bumper, the di-pole half of the aerial being fitted underneath the car. This arrangement was not ideal as we picked up interference from mains in roads, etc. There were tremendous variations in the signal strength and obviously some form of automatic control is necessary. The television receiver was located between two individual type front seats, the normal bench seat having been removed, so that the screen could only be seen from the rear seat, for obvious safety reasons.

Although it was full daylight when I saw the demonstration, and only a film was being transmitted, car television has great possibilities after real development work has been carried out. It seemed to me that a further development could be the use of this equipment by the police in their cars if and when television is used to inform stations and patrols of wanted people and vehicles. The coachwork at Earl's Court showed the superlative craftsmanship still employed by British firms. Both in the special coach-work section and on the car manufacturers' stands were many new detail novelties, but the appearance and lines of our bodies displayed little, if any, advance.

Evident Good Taste



The curve of front wings and the position of lamps and accessories are gradually being merged into the body line, with subtle alterations to width, door pillars, etc. The resultant good taste and dignified appearance are evident. Modern grace could be found more frequently in the many sports coupes and convertibles, the Jaguar XK.120, the new Jensen Interceptor, the Fraser-Nash, the French Talbots on Saoutchik's stand, the Bristols, Healey and Fiat Farina being outstanding. A few sketches by our artist illustrate only some of the novelties. Rear windows are improving at last, and the Austin Atlantic sports saloon is the first to have an opening rear window. This is neat and improves ventilation in hot weather, also the curved end glasses widen the rear view enormously. Jensen's experiment with a full width transparent panel at the base of the hood is interesting.

Plastic material is used and this drops down into the recess provided for the hood when folded. The front end treatment of this model was striking and different from the usual | Americanised grilles, its air intakes being simple and undisguised. On the Healey Silverstone, a car of neat, plain proportions which are entirely functional, the spare wheel is so mounted that it forms a useful bumper protection for the tail. The spare is particularly accessible here too. Another unusual feature of this car is the windscreen. It can be retracted into the body, instead of folding flat or completely removed as is more usual when the car is being used for real speed. Having tried this model at Goodwood myself I can vouch for the excellence of these ideas and the performance and roadholding of the Silverstone are outstanding.

Earl's Court, then, had a great deal to show those people who went to inspect the cars carefully rather than casually. 1949 is shown to be a year of consolidation, and steady progress is being made technically. It was not an exciting Motor Show and the public came in rather less numbers than last year which enabled those really interested to see in more comfort what they wanted.

Small French Cars Popular



As I have said earlier, France is build'ng more small cars than any other type. This is not surprising today because there is a big Continental demand for low priced cars using little fuel. With devalued currency and the price of petrol rising in many European countries where it now costs anything from 3s. 6d. to 5s. a gallon, the French motor industry is filling a gap, more and more successfully each year. The latest Citroen was completely unveiled from its shroud of mystery at this year's Salon. Last year, readers may remember, it was shown for the first time with sealed bonnet and no technical specification was made known. This time it was properly on view both at the Salon and at the firm's showrooms in the Champs Elysees, but I could not discover one being demonstrated anywhere in Paris.

First impressions are that the Citroen 2 h.p. is too austere, too cut down in weight and materials, and too flimsy. But it has evidently been designed with great care to provide a four-door, four-seater which will require very little attention and perform reasonably well. Appearance and comfort are not attractive, and I did not like the canvas roof and luggage cover which can both be rolled up to open the car. Design is quite novel. It has a flat twin 4-stroke engine of 375 c.c. developing 9 h.p. (French rating) at 3,500 r.p.m., is air cooled by means of a fan mounted at the end of the crankshaft. Valves are overhead. The engine is forward mounted and drives the front wheels through a 3-speed box which incorporates an overdrive.

The driving shafts carry the brake drums which are located on each side of the gearbox. Independent suspension of the utmost simplicity is used, consisting of a single torque arm for each wheel. Brakes are hydrauli-cally operated. Electric starting has been finally adopted after various mechanical means had been tried to save weight. The headlamps can be tilted from the drivers' seat owing to the varying angle the car takes up with different loads. The Citroen is being demonstrated in rural areas rather than in the towns, evidently with a view to selling it to the lower income groups where transport is limited. Its performance is said to be about 60 m.p.g. and averages about 30 m.p.h., with maximum of 37 m.p.h. Tt is certainly a utility car at £228, and its impact on the French market is being watched with great interest, not only in France but by manufacturers elsewhere.

In Paris the visitor cannot help being struck by the number of baby Renaults to be seen everywhere. This attractive little car has proved to be a winner, and in the short time it has been in production has even done well in such competitive events as the Monte Carlo Rally. Bearing in mind that it is to be manufactured soon in this country too, I made it my business to find out first-hand what it is really like on the road. It is very good indeed. On a short run out of Paris and back its performance first in traffic, and then on the open road were all that the owner of a small car costing no more than £280 could want. It is comfortable, the coil suspension all round and hydraulic dampers absorbing the shocks of rough pave roads smoothly and without any noticeable rumble. While its interior space is certainly limited, I found that legroom had been carefully arranged at both front and back so that four passengers can be carried with reasonable comfort.

Of course, equipment is sparse but the essential items are there and are well placed. The roof light is operated automatically when any door is opened. The little four cylinder o.h.v. engine is extremely efficient, and, placed in the roomy rear compartment, is particularly accessible. The steering and brakes were up to the same high standard, as they must be owing to the amount of maximum speed driving that owners appear to indulge in. The Renault is driven it seems all out all the time in France, which means 85 k.p.h (or nearly 55 m.p.h.). Appearance is good too, having nice proportions and low wind resistance. The front bonnet space is used for housing the spare wheel and, surprisingly, the battery which is very accessible but a long distance away from the starter. Only small luggage cases can be carried here and so roof racks are popular extras and fitted on a great many of these cars. Service note: I was told that for £8 Renaults change the cylinder liners and pistons, to save reboring.

One of the most striking cars in the Salon was the new Simca 8 Sport, a fast roadster which I also sampled. Announced only a few days before the Salon opened, it is a low, aerodynamic looking 2-seater of high quality selling at about £900. It has been well tested, I was told, by the Simca racing team (and this company stands high in France for its racing achievements). Certainly the car is capable of very smart acceleration, and can reach 135 k.p.h. (or 83 m.p.h.), with steering, suspension and braking to match. The four cylinder engine of only 1221 c.c. capacity has a compression ratio of 7-8. A fixed head coupe on the same chassis with rear observation-car type window was equally distinctive.

Coachwork, of course, at the Paris Salon is always exciting, and not at all orthodox. Saoutchik's stand at Earl's Court illustrated this, and the same firm showed at Paris several varied examples, including a striking grey and cream Delahaye type 175 with Sedanca body. A black 2-door sports saloon Bentley by the French firm of Facel Metallon was one of the most beautiful cars in the Salon, having somewhat similar lines to the Farina model shown last year. Rolls-Royce are justifiably proud of this luxurious car. Another very notable Bentley MK.VI was to be seen on the Franay stand. This was a drophead coupe highly finished in soft tones of beige. The Italians exhibited some fine examples of their work, with Fiat, Ferari, Lancia and Alfa Romeo works cars and special bodies by Farina, Ghia, Viotti, Siata and Castagna. This group have retained their reputation once more for simplicity of line and lustrous paint finishes.

London-Paris Contrasts



To conclude, I will summarise the main differences which stand out after seeing the two biggest motor shows of the year side by side. Design in France is still tending to place power units as near to the driving wheels as possible—rear engines with rear drive, and front engines with front wheel drive. Chassis have almost disappeared and mono-construction of body and frame is more complete than in British cars. Smaller cars are being produced in France than elsewhere. Having seen all, however, our Morris Minor is better value and better quality than I have so far found anywhere else.

In the medium car classes, it is clear that British factories are supplying very much better cars at present prices than any other country. Our big cars are expensive compared with American car standards, and seem to be advancing more slowly in design and appearance. The latter is an advantage in many ways because they do not date or become outmoded so quickly. The same can be said about the higher priced Continental makes but in their case more individuality in coachwork is to be found with perhaps too much ornamentation (by British standards). Our sports cars have proved that they hold their own for performance in any country, and some have good looks as well. The leaders have set an English fashion in open cars that could well be followed for other types of body. The remark overheard made by an American when she saw the Jaguar XK model was, " It's a honey ! " and it cost her husband the price of that car.

Next year, can we have the London and Paris motor shows at least one month apart ? It would be advantageous to all concerned.
By 1949 practically all British production cars were of new post-war design and most of them had been drastically redesigned or at least restyled. All were shown at the first post-war Earls Court Motor Show in London in late 1948, which needless to say, drew record crowds. Production during 1949 soared to an all-time high of 412,920 cars and 216,373 commercial vehicles, representing weekly averages of 7929 and 4161 respectively. Of the new cars 257,250 were exported, valued at just over £72½ million.

1868 cars were imported, worth just over half a million pounds. New car registrations for the UK domestic market were up by almost 40 per cent. Of the 1949 cars the Editor of 'The Motor' wrote: 'At last our new cars are ready ... In the most competitive markets in the world Britain can now claim the fastest, the finest, and the best finished automobiles available to the motoring public. In the vital matters of economy of operation, road holding, acceleration and braking, we can collectively or individually more than hold our own'.

Why American and European Cars Differ - 1949


by Reid Railton and A. C. Sampietro, written for the Passenger Car Production Meeting of the Society of Automotive Engineers (S.A.E.), Detroit.

The outstanding feature of the European automobile business today is its preoccupation with small cars. In America it is practically nothing but luxury automobiles. Their price is comparable with that of the European "economy" car." In Europe also they have, in the past, built quite a number of luxury cars, and are still building a few. Of these it may be said that they do compete with American cars and that, therefore, the motives underlying their design should be of some interest over here.

An American tries a large and expensive European car on the road' over here, and says: "Nice little automobile, but surprisingly noisy. Brakes very heavy but quite good. Steering poor, and very heavy. Acceleration a bit sluggish unless you use the gears all the time. Springing rather harsh. How they sell it over there for all that money beats me. I'd rather have a 'Chevy' any day."

Perhaps not so many of us have the corresponding experience in Europe, where, say, a Frenchman tries out an American car, and delivers himself thus: "Beautiful car. Wonderfully smooth and quiet. Marvellous value for money. However, that absurdly low-geared steering makes it very awkward to handle, and although it's quite fast I somehow don't feel safe at high speed. The brakes are beautifully light, but they are not much good on long hills, but I suppose they don't haye any hills in America. On the whole, I would sooner stick to my Alfa Romeo."

Now for the typical American and the typical European to prefer respectively two cars so far removed from each other as the Chevrolet and the Alfa Romeo illustrates ve;ry forcibly the difference in trend which we are talking about, and it seems to us to be worth while to investigate point by point just what it is that each dislikes about the other's choice. 'Needless to say, the following remarks refer to American and European cars in general, and not to the particular makes mentioned.

A Big Difference In Steering



Neither side likes the way the other's cars steer and handle. We have placed this point first because we believe it to be the most important point of disvergence. The American complains that the European steering is too heavy and too "quick", and that it is apt to "wander" on the straightaway. He finds this combination irritating and tiring to drive. The European appreciates the lightness of American steering, but finds it both too low-geared and too slow to answer the helm. He feels that he could not manoeuvre quickly in emergency.

For anyone past his first youth the European car is the more tiring to drive for long distances and over main highways. It is also true that at moderate speeds the American car cannot be manoeuvred so quickly in an emergency. We purposely say at "moderate speeds" because at really high speeds the linear momentum of the car limits the rate at which its direction can be changed, and the gear ratio of the steering becomes (within limits) of secondary importance in this respect. Thus, the common complaint in Europe that an American car is not safe at high speeds because of its low geared steering is an illusion.

Engine Weight Alters Steering



What are the main technical differences which give American and European cars these distinctive characteristics? In the first place, the steering ratio of American cars is between 50 percent, and 100 percent lower than the European average. Secondly, the proportion of weight on the front wheels is, on the average, higher in the U.S. than in Europe. Lastly, in America tyre sections are larger and inflation pressures lower than they are in Europe. European steering feels unpleasantly "quick" and heavy to an American. Whether this quick and heavy steering does make the car more tiring to drive for long distances depends, of course, upon the individual and also upon the nature of the road.

The American spends a lot of time in his car, and frequently has to drive long distances. Therefore, his car must not be tiring to drive. Most of his motoring is done on fairly straight, wide roads, where sudden manoeuvres are seldom necessary. The European, on the other hand, does most of his driving on fairly narrow and quite twisty roads and city streets, where, if he is to keep up a reasonable average speed with safety, he must be able to manoeuvre quickly.

Designed For Women



Another factor is the rarity in Europe of that typically American phenomenon - the not-quite-young housewife, driving the kids to school, doing the family shopping, taking in an afternoon at the movies' - all involving a lot of parking in crowded city streets. Most of these women would literally not have the strength to go through such a routine with a European luxury car. Again, the extremly high priority given in the U.S. to the attainment of a smooth "boulevard ride" has led to the development of even larger-section tyres with even lower pressures. The fatter and flabbier the tyres the greater will be the curb steering-effort, and the lower the steering-ratio required for a given muscular effort at the wheel.

Low Tyre Pressure



Digressing for a moment on this subject of low-pressure tyres, we wonder whether America is not approaching (or even has not reached) the point of diminishing returns in this development. This last step to 24 p.s.i. inflation has been a dubious one. It is true that its use does in some intangible way lend an air of luxury to the ride. Whether in the long run this will prove to balance favourably against increased fuel-consumption, tyre wear and tyre noise remains to be seen. The precise nature of this loss is an exceedingly difficult thing to define; perhaps it slightly adds to one s anxiety (or detracts from one's confidence) when driving in crowded traffic conditions. This sensation is, of course, due to the driver's subconscious knowledge that there is a very definite limit to any "avoiding manoeuvre" that he can make quickly.

Brakes



One of the major differences between American and European luxury cars has lain in the amount of money and material that their makers have put into the brakes. While the American has regarded European brakes as "good, but heavy," the European has thought American brakes "very light." Upon investigating one finds that the brakes are considered perfectly adequate for normal driving, but liable to let the driver down under extreme conditions. Pursuing it a step further, these extreme conditions are found to be (1) braking on a "washboard" road surface, and (2) braking down a. long, steep grade.

Both these European complaints, like those concerned with steering, stem from their different road conditions, and from the absolute necessity of hard driving to keep up a reasonable average speed on a crosscountry trip. With America's wide and straight highways it is not much hardship to slow down for a stretch of bad road-surface, or for a twisty section, for for a steep down-grade. They don't occur frequently enough to affect your average speed very much. However, in many parts of Europe, they have nothing else, and the ability to maintain a good average speed over such roads is highly prized.

In America the use of soft linings and a high degree of self-energization, and also the extremely light pedal-pressure that results, are rightly considered to outweigh the disadvantages which attach to the inevitable fading under extreme conditions. The American public seems to have been very thoroughly educated to engage second gear on steep grade, and has come to take this procedure as a matter of course. Again, who is right and who is wrong? Considering that in this country not one man in a hundred ever drives in such a way as to encourage brake-fade, the American compromise is no doubt fully justified. We think that, in their anxiety to avoid fade under all conditions, some European manufacturers are handicapping themselves with a lot of unnecessary weight, expense and pedal-effort in their brake-gear.

Suspension and Road Holding



Attention has already been called to the typical : American complaint concerning European suspensions that they are "rather harsh", and to the equally typical European complaint that the American car "doesn't feel safe at high speeds." The American manufacturer is inclined to regard his European customer as a lunatic who enjoys a harsh suspension because it is harsh, but nevertheless attempts to satisfy him with that well-known - Export Spring. How did these different viewpoints arise? Once again the differing road-conditions supply the answer. As in the case of the brakes, the American and European ideologies are different. Suppose the case of a driver, rounding a curve at high speed on a rough surface, and being faced with an emergency demanding a violent application of the brakes.

Suppose that the car develops violent wheel-hop and finishes up in the ditch, then the European driver will damn the car as unsafe, and the European designer will agree with him. On the other hand, in this country it is more than probable that both driver and designer would take the view that this was unreasonable treatment, for which the car was never intended. The result of all this is that the European designer keeps his spring-rates and damping characteristics as easy as he can, but subject to adequate road-holding. The American keeps his road-holding characteristics as good as he can, but subject to a "boulevard ride."

Noise



One of the most remarkable differences between the American and European motorist lies in their different reactions to noise. The American automobile of today, considering what is going on inside it, is a marvellously quiet piece of mechanism. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that at least half of the engineering effort put into its construction is devoted directly or indirectly to the elimination of noise. While this is equally true of one or two of the best English makers, they are honourable exceptions. It's all a matter between motoring conditions in the Old World and the New. Why waste time by lab' ouring a point which is old stuff anyway? European cars suit European conditions, and American cars suit American conditions, and what could be better than that?
1949 AC 2-Litre Drophead Coupe
UK

AC 2-Litre Drophead Coupe

  Also see: AC Road Tests and Reviews
 
The AC 2-Litre Drophead Coupe was introduced in March 1949, and was in production for only a very short period. It was discontinued in 1950 after only about twenty had been made, most of which went for export. AC's principal product was the two-door Saloon.
Allard P1 Two-Door Saloon
UK

Allard P1 Two-Door Saloon

  Also see: Allard Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Allard P1 two-door Saloon first appeared in 1949 and was continued until 1953. It was basically similar to the open cars which had been in production since 1946. powered by Ford V8 engines and using many other Ford components. The P1 had an aluminium panelled coachbuilt body and sold at £1277.
1949
UK

Alvis Fourteen Model TA14 Saloon

  Also see: Alvis Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Alvis Fourteen, Model TA14, was offered in chassis, Saloon and Drophead Coupe form. The latter was discontinued in September 1949, the Saloon in October of the following year.
1949 Alvis Fourteen Model TB14 Special Sports Tourer
UK

Alvis Fourteen Model TB14 Special Sports Tourer

  Also see: Alvis Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Alvis Fourteen, Model TB14, Special Sports Tourer was introduced in October 1948. The bodywork was reportedly designed in Belgium and not surprisingly was frowned upon by traditional Alvis customers. Underneath was a 9 ft wheelbase modified Fourteen chassis with a twin-carburettor 68-bhp variant of the standard 1892-cc OHV Four engine.
1949 Armstrong Siddeley Hurricane
UK

Armstrong Siddeley Hurricane

   
   
1949 Aston Martin 2-Litre Sports DB1
UK

Aston Martin 2-Litre Sports DB1

  Also see: Aston Martin Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Aston Martin 2-Litre Sports of 1948/49 became known as the OB1 with the advent of the OB2. Front suspension was independent with trailing arms, coil springs and anti-roll torsion bar. The rear axle was rigid, with coil springs, the torque being taken by arms extending from the axle to a cross member of the square-section fabricated steel tube frame.
1949 Aston Martin 2-Litre Sports DB1
UK

Aston Martin 2-Litre Sports DB1

  Also see: Aston Martin Car Reviews and Le Mans 1949 / Le Mans 1950
 
The Aston Martin DB2 prototype, which was third at Spa in 1949 and raced at Le Mans in 1949 and 1950. This car was a development of Claude Hill's tubular space frame chassis with Tickford two-seater coupe bodywork. It was fitted with the 2·6-litre engine designed by W. O. Bentley for Lagonda (which, like Aston Martin and Tickford, was acquired by David Brown).
1949 Austin A40 Devon four-door Saloon
UK

Austin A40 Devon four-door Saloon

  Also see: Austin Road Tests and Reviews
 
Austin Motor Company's bread-and-butter model for 1949 was the A40 Devon four-door Saloon, a carryover from 1948.
1949 Austin A70 Hampshire
UK

Austin A70 Hampshire Saloon Model BS2

  Also see: Austin Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Austin A70 Hampshire Saloon Model BS2 was introduced in July 1948. and had the same 2199-cc engine as the old Sixteen (which was discontinued in March 1949). The Hampshire was produced until early 1951 and could be called a scaled-up edition of the A40 Devon. It featured independent front suspension and steering-column gearshift. Brakes were Girling hydraulic 2LS front, mechanical rear and wheelbase was 8 ft. From November an Estate Car version was offered, the Model BW3 Countryman.
1949 Austin Austin A90 Atlantic
UK

Austin A90 Atlantic Convertible Model DB2

  Also see: Austin Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Austin A90 Atlantic Convertible Model DB2, appeared in February 1949. It featured rather unusual body styling and was powered by a twin-carburettor (SU) 2660cc OHV Four engine of 88 bhp (a larger-bore edition of the Sixteen and A70 engine). The Atlantic made history at Indianapolis, USA where it broke many international records during an impressive run which lasted seven days and nights.
1949 Austin A125 Sheerline DS1 and A135 Princess DS2
UK

Austin A125 Sheerline DS1 and A135 Princess DS2

  Also see: Austin Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Austin A125 Sheerline DS1 and A135 Princess DS2 were carryovers from the previous year. In September 1949, an A125 Limousine was introduced. This car, designated Model DM1, was a lengthened six-light edition of the Saloon, with a wheelbase of 11 ft (v. 9 ft 11½ in). It had a glass partition between front and rear compartment and a two-piece propeller shaft. A Touring Limousine (DM2) version of the Vanden PIas bodied A135 Princess had been 46C Austin A90 Atlantic introduced in the previous October.
1949 Austin Austin A90 Atlantic
UK

Austin A90 Atlantic

  Also see: Austin Road Tests and Reviews
 
Austin Hire Car, Model FL 1, was a four-door edition of the FX3 Taxi (1948-59) with single-piece front seat It had the 2·2-litre (21999cc) OHV Four engine, developing 67 bhp at 3800 rpm, driving through a four-speed gearbox and underslung worm drive rear axle. Brakes were Girling mechanical and four hand-operated Smith hydraulic jacks were standard fitments. Turning circle was 35 ft Later models had a hypoiddtype rear axle.
1949 Bentley 4 Door Sports Saloon
UK

Bentley 4 Door Sports Saloon

  Also see: Bentley Road Tests and Reviews
 
Bentley models from September 1948 featured a narrow chromium waistline strip, curved rear wing valances (half-spats) and new type pleated upholstery. As usual, there was a selection of body styles to choose from, including several by well-known coachbuilders. Shown is the Four-door Sports Saloon as produced by the makers, Bentley Motors (1931) Ltd, themselves and costing £4038. It was generally known as the 'standard body'.
1949 Bond Minicar
UK

Bond Minicar

 

Also see: Bond Car Reviews

 
Bond Aircraft and Engineering Co (Blackpool) Ltd of Longridge, Lancashire, introduced their first three-wheeler in mid-1948. Intended as a 'runabout for shopping and calls within a 20-30 mile radius', the car had a chassisless body of stressed-skin construction. It was powered by a 125-cc Villiers two-stroke engine, mounted on a swivelling fork which carried the front wheel, suspension being by means of a trailing link. The brakes operated only on the unsprung but resiliently and independently mounted rear wheels. Shown is a prototype. Quantity production commenced in 1949 with the Mark A.
1949 Bristol 400 and 401 Saloon, 402 Convertible
UK

Bristol 400 and 401 Saloon, 402 Convertible

  Also see: Bristol Road Tests and Reviews
 
Bristol produced three types of cars, namely the 400, the 401 (five-seater Saloon, from September 1948) and the 402 (Convertible version of 401). The latter chassis was used also by some other coachbuilders, including Pinin Farina (later Pininfarina) of Turin, Italy. Shown is a Farina Cabriolet 2 posti.
1949 Daimler Straight Eight Limousine
UK

Daimler 2½-Litre 0818 Special Sports Coupe

  Also see: Daimler Road Tests and Reviews
 
Daimler 2½-Litre 0818 Special Sports Coupe, bodied by Barker, was made from October 1948 until 1953. It had a twin-carburettor OHV Six engine with light-alloy cylinder head, producing 85 bhp at 4200 rpm (v 70 bhp of the standard 2½-Litre). Price was £2560.
1949 Daimler Straight Eight Model DE36 Drophead Coupe
UK

Daimler Straight Eight Model DE36 Drophead Coupe

  Also see: Daimler Road Tests and Reviews
 
Daimler Straight Eight Model DE36 chassis with Drophead Coupe bodywork by Hooper. This huge car, shown at the Earls Court Motor Show in October/November 1948, was finished in canary yellow and cost £7000. The 12ft 3 in wheelbase chassis sold at the basic price of £2025, the coachwork always being produced and fitted by specialist coachbuilders.
1949
UK

Daimler Straight Eight Limousine

  Also see: Daimler Road Tests and Reviews
 
Daimler Straight Eight with Limousine coachwork by Hooper. The engine was an OHV eight-cylinder in-line 5½-Litre with two SU carburettors and an output of 150 bhp at 3600 rpm. It drove the hypoid rear axle through a fluid flywheel with preselector gearbox. Also available in chassis form only was the DE27, a six-cylinder variant with the same bore and stroke (85·1 x 120 mm) and shorter wheelbase (11 ft 6½ in).
1949 Daimler Straight Eight Limousine
UK

Daimler Straight Eight Limousine

  Also see: Daimler Road Tests and Reviews
 
Daimler Straight Eight with Limousine coachwork by Hooper. The engine was an OHV eight-cylinder in-line 5½-Litre with two SU carburettors and an output of 150 bhp at 3600 rpm. It drove the hypoid rear axle through a fluid flywheel with preselector gearbox. Also available in chassis form only was the DE27, a six-cylinder variant with the same bore and stroke (85·1 x 120 mm) and shorter wheelbase (11 ft 6½ in).
1949 Ford Anglia Model E494A
UK

Ford Anglia Model E494A

  Also see: Ford UK Road Tests and Reviews
 
Ford Anglia received a facelift in October 1948, and was re-designated Model E494A. The new radiator grille followed the same contour as that of the Eights and Tens of 1937-39, but now had two upright vertically-slatted openings. Introduced at the same time was an Anglia export version with the 1172-cc engine of the Prefect. This car differed in having a '10' radiator badge, the rear number plate mounted on the left and an extra tail lamp. The 1953-59 Ford Popular 103E was a direct descendant from this export-Anglia (which could be bought in the UK only for dollars i). The E494A standard Anglia retained the smaller-bore 933-cc engine. Both were long-stroke (92·5 mm) Fours.
1949 Ford Prefect E493A
UK

Ford Prefect E493A

  Also see: Ford UK Road Tests and Reviews
 
Ford Prefect also had a restyled front end, but more so than the Anglia. The radiator grille of the Prefect. now designated E493A. was not unlike that of the larger Pilot but the headlamps were incorporated in the wings, which were also higher than before. In its new form, but retaining the old 1172-cc engine, it was made until 1953.
1949 Ford Pilot V8 Model E71A
UK

Ford Pilot V8 Model E71A

  Also see: Ford UK Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Ford Pilot V8 Model E71A was continued with periodical modifications and improvements, rather than annual face-lifts. In March 1949, for example, the rear axle ratio was changed from 4·11 to 3·78: 1, and a bonnet safety catch was added.
1949 Hillman Minx Mark III
UK

Hillman Minx Mark III

  Also see: Hillman Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Hillman Minx models were entirely restyled for the 1949 model year. The new Mark III models, introduced in September 1948, incorporated the most drastic changes in the long line of these popular family cars since 1936 (the original Minx dated back to 1931). The full-width bodywork was styled by Raymond Loewy, who was also responsible for the post-war Studebakers. The new car retained most of the existing mechanical components but had independent front suspension with coil springs Wheelbase was 7 ft 9 in. Price £505.
1949 Hillman Minx Mark III Drophead Coupe
UK

Hillman Minx Mark III Drophead Coupe

  Also see: Hillman Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Hillman Minx Mark III Drophead Coupe shared the 1949 restyling with the Saloon. Compared with the Mark II it now had rear quarter windows, which could be cranked down into the bodysides. The price was £576.
1949 Hillman Minx Mark III Estate
UK

Hillman Minx Mark III Estate

  Also see: Hillman Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Hillman Minx Estate Car, as before, combined the styling of the Saloon and the Commer Supervan. The Estate Car sold at £595, the Van at £350. They had the same 1185-cc side-valve Four engine as the other Minxes.
1949 Humber Hawk
UK

Humber Hawk

  Also see: Humber Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Humber Hawk was completely restyled, along the same lines as Rootes' smaller Hillman Minx, the main difference being the vertical radiator grille. Unlike the Minx, the Hawk retained a separate chassis frame. The new model was designated Mark III and, again like the Hillman Minx, featured independent front suspension, but had the engine of the previous model, in this case the 1944-cc side-valve Four unit (which was also used in certain Rootes Commer and Karrier trucks). Wheelbase was 8 ft 9½ in, price £799.
1949 Humber Super Snipe Mark II
UK

Humber Super Snipe Mark II

  Also see: Humber Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Humber Super Snipe for 1949 (Mark II) was also restyled, but not as dramatically as the Hawk. It was now a full six-seater, with longer wheelbase. steering-column gearshift and other modifications. The engine was basically the same 4086-cc 100-bhp Six as before. The Snipe was discontinued. The Pullman became available in Saloon form, without partition and designated Imperial, and the Super Snipe Saloon was joined by a Touring Limousine variant. both in the autumn of 1949.
1949 Humber Super Snipe Mark II Drophead Coupe
UK

Humber Super Snipe Mark II Drophead Coupe

  Also see: Humber Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Humber Super Snipe Drophead Coupe was produced in very small quantity by Tickford. The top was of the three-position type: fully open, half closed and fully closed.
1949
UK

Jaguar Mark V Saloon and Drophead Coupe

  Also see: Jaguar Car Reviews and History - Swallow Sidecars
 
Jaguar Mark V models, Saloon and Drophead Coupe, were introoduced in October 1948. They were available with 2½ and 3½ Litre engine. The 1½- Litre model was discontinued in March 1949, and the old style 2½- and 3½- Litre Saloons were kept in production until October.
1949 Jaguar XK120
UK

Jaguar XK120

  Also see: Jaguar Car Reviews and Jaguar - A Racing Pedigree
 
The Jaguar XK120 was a brand new and sensational Sports Two-Seater, and it hit the automotive world like a bombshell. It had a new twin-OHC 3½- Litre 160-bhp six-cylinder engine, extremely fast and yet sufficiently docile for ordinary motoring. On a stretch of the Brussels-Ostend motorway near Jabbeke, an XK120 was officially timed at over 132 mph, the only non-standard fitment being an undershield. An American journal, Californian Autonews, wrote: 'it is typically British that Jaguar never claimed more than 120 mph for this car'.
1949 Jaguar XK120
UK

Jaguar XK120

  Also see: Jaguar Car Reviews and Jaguar - A Racing Pedigree
 
The Jaguar XK120 was uniquely and beautiifully styled. The car was originally intended for a limited production run, but the demand was so great particularly in the USA that it was kept in production until 1954 and then continued in XK140 and XK150 form until superseded by the E-type in 1961.
1949 Jaguar XK120
UK

Jaguar XK120

  Also see: Jaguar Car Reviews and Le Mans 1951
 
Jaguar XK120s in standard and modified form took part in numerous sporting events. This picture shows the 1949 Silverstone race winner in full swing, hotly pursued by another XK and a Healey. In 1951 a special competition version appeared: the C-Type (XK120C), which was very successful at Le Mans.
1949 Jaguar XK120 at Silverstone
UK

Jaguar XK120 at Silverstone

  Also see: Jaguar Car Reviews and Le Mans 1951
 
Jaguar XK120s in standard and modified form took part in numerous sporting events. This picture shows the 1949 Silverstone race winner in full swing, hotly pursued by another XK and a Healey. In 1951 a special competition version appeared: the C-Type (XK120C), which was very successful at Le Mans.
1949 Jaguar XK120 - Rear View
UK

Jaguar XK120 (rear view)

  Also see: Jaguar Car Reviews and Le Mans 1951
 
Rear view of the Jaguar XK120
1949 Jaguar XK120 Interior and Dashboard
UK

Jaguar XK120 (dash)

  Also see: Jaguar Car Reviews and Le Mans 1951
 
Rear view of the Jaguar XK120
1949 Jaguar XK120 Super Sports
UK

Jaguar XK120 Super Sports

  Also see: Jaguar Car Reviews and Le Mans 1951
 
Rear view of the Jaguar XK120
1949 Jensen 4-Door Saloon and Convertible
UK

Jensen 4-Door Saloon and Convertible

  Also see: Jensen Car Review
 
Jensen Motors Ltd of West Bromwich, who before the war had built Ford V8-engined Specials, announced a new luxury car in 1946. Actual series production commenced in 1948, there being a four-door Saloon and a four-door Convertible. The eight-cylinder OHV engine, produced by Henry Meadows Ltd, had a capacity of 3860 cc and a maximum output of 130 bhp. In September 1949, this engine was replaced by the 4-litre Six of the Austin A125 Sheerline.
1949
UK

Jowett Javelin Series PA

   
 
The Jowett Javelin Series PA was one of the first of British post-war car designs that kept selling well in both the UK domestic market and overseas. In September, the 1950 Series PB was announced in Standard and De Luxe form, with differences in trim and equipment. Javelins came 1st and 3rd in the 1949 Monte Carlo Rally (1½-litre class) and 1st in the Belgian 24-hour Grand Prix (2-litre touring class).
1949 Lagonda 2½-Litre Mark I Saloon
UK

Lagonda 2½-Litre Mark I Saloon

  Also see: Lost Marques - Lagonda
 
The Lagonda 2½-Litre Mark I Saloon was continued from 1948 without change and produced until October 1952. The Mark I Drophead Coupe was continued until 1953.
1949 Lanchester Ten, Series L010
UK

Lanchester Ten, Series L010

   
 
The Lanchester Ten, Series L010, with all-steel saloon bodywork by Briggs, was conceived before the war and produced from 1946 until September 1949, when it was replaced by a four-light Barker-bodied (coachbuilt) saloon on the same 8 ft 3 in wheelbase chassis. This is the Briggs-bodied car. The Barker-bodied successor was made until mid-1951 .
1949 Land Rover Station Wagon
UK

Land Rover Station Wagon

  Also see: Land Rover Road Tests and Reviews
 
Rover introduced a 6/7-seater Station Wagon on the LandRover 80-in wheelbase chassis in October 1948. Not many were made. however, and this body style was discontinued in mid-1951.
1949 Lea-Francis Fourteen
UK

Lea-Francis Fourteen

   
 
The Lea-Francis Fourteen for 1949 had restyled six-light bodywork with the headlamps incorporated in the front end, and front wings flowing back to blend in with the rear wings. The 9 ft 3 in wheelbase chassis now had independent front suspension with torsion bars. There were two versions: the Mark V and Mark VI (shown), the latter being a luxurious edition with sliding roof, heater, radio, etc. Both were made primarily for export.
Mercedes 170D
Germany

Mercedes-Benz 170D

  Also see: Mercedes-Benz Road Tests and Reviews
 
As with its twin the 170S, the 170D was the first serious production Mercedes saloon to appear after the war. The 170D naturally shared its body with the 170S, but with the implementation of a diesel motor the car was able to offer the motoring public a much more economically viable method of transport at a time when economic hardship was rife. In fact, it was the experience gained in 1936 with the 2.6 litre diesel engined passenger cars that Mercedes had been manufacturing prior to the war that allowed the rapid development of a post-war diesel powered Mercedes.
1949 MG Midget TC
UK

MG Midget TC

  Also see: MG Road Tests and Reviews
 
The MG Midget TC was now in its last year and for 1950 was modified in several respects such as the adoption of independent front suspension, rack and pinion steering (as on Y-type) and bolt-on disc wheels. Of the TC approximately 10,000 were built from late 1945 until December 1949.
1949 MG TD
UK

MG TD

  Also see: MG Road Tests and Reviews
   
1949 Morris Minor
UK

Morris Minor

  Also see: Morris Road Tests and Reviews
 
Morris introduced their completely new post-war designs in October 1948, following many years of development. The development of the Minor, in fact, can be traced back to the war years when Mr (later Sir) Alec Issigonis first put its basic shape on paper. It was then code-named Mosquito and intended to have a flat-four engine. When it appeared as the Minor it was powered by the 918-cc Series E engine of the Eight which it replaced, but apart from this the car was a total departure from earlier Morris practice.
1949 Morris Minor Series MM
UK

Morris Minor Series MM

  Also see: Morris Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Morris Minor Series MM was available originally in two-door Saloon and Tourer variants. Later more body styles were added and, from June 1951, the Tourer was known as Convertible. The Minor had a 27·5-bhp side-valve Four engine with four-speed gearbox and 7 ft 2 in wheelbase. The front wheels were suspended independently, and steered by rack and pinion. Tyre size was 5.00-14 and price £383 for both models.
1949 Morris Oxford Series MO
UK

Morris Oxford Series MO

  Also see: Morris Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Morris Oxford Series MO was introduced simultaneously with the Minor and featured the same basic styling. It was available only as a four-door Saloon. at £546. Engine was a 1476·5-cc (73·5 x 87 mm) side-valve Four, developing 41 bhp at 4200 rpm. driving through a four-speed gearbox with column shift. Like the Minor, the car had independent front suspension with torsion bars and unitary body-cum-chassis construction.
1949 Morris Six Series MS
UK

Morris Six Series MS

  Also see: Morris Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Morris Six, Series MS, was the Company's third new car for 1949. Priced at £672, this model had the same bodyshell as the Oxford but a longer bonnet, accommodating a 65-bhp six-cylinder OHC engine, and a vertical radiator grille. Wheelbase of the Oxford and Six was 8 ft 1 in and 9 ft 2 in respectively.
1949 Riley 2½-Litre RMD Drophead Coupe
UK

Riley 2½-Litre RMD Drophead Coupe

  Also see: Riley Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Riley 2½-Litre RMD Drophead Coupe was produced from September 1948, until 1951. It cost £1215 and was based on the 2½-Litre Saloon. In addition there were the three-seater Roadster at £1125 and the 1½- Litre Saloon at £913. The Roadster had steering-column mounted gearshift until January 1950, when it became a two-seater with centrally mounted remote control lever, like the other models.
1949 RolIs-Royce Silver Wraith 4¼-Litre Touring Limousine
UK

RolIs-Royce Silver Wraith 4¼-Litre Touring Limousine

  Also see: Rolls Royce Road Tests and Reviews
 
The RolIs-Royce Silver Wraith 4¼-Litre Touring Limousine by Hooper, which cost £6068 and was the most expensive model in the 1949 catalogue. July saw the introduction of the smaller export-only Silver Dawn, which had the steel saloon body of the 'standard' Bentley. It was not until late in 1953 that the Silver Dawn became readily available on the home market, by which time it had undergone several detail modifications.
1949 Rover 75 Cyclops
UK

Rover 75 Cyclops

  Also see: Rover Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Rover Seventy-Five was superseded in September by the P4 Series, which was entirely new with the main exception of the six-cylinder engine - in 1953 the Sixty was brought in line with the P4 Seventy-Five and another version, the P4 Ninety, added.
1949 Rover P3
UK

Rover P3

  Also see: Rover Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Rover P3 Series was continued unchanged from 1949, in four- and six-cylinder form.
1949 Saab 92
Sweden

Saab 92

  Also see: Saab Road Tests and Reviews
   
1949 Singer SM1500 Saloon
UK

Singer SM1500 Saloon

  Also see: Singer Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Singer SM1500 Saloon made its appearance in October 1948, and during 1949 the earlier Super Ten and Twelve Saloons were phased out. The SM1500 was placed into quantity production in mid-1949, alongside the Nine Roadster, and was an entirely new modernized model with coil-spring independent front suspension, full-width body on longer wheelbase (separate) chassis. The body styling was not as elegant as most of its contenders in the 1½-litre class. The price was £799.
1949 Standard Vanguard Series 20S
UK

Standard Vanguard Series 20S

  Also see: Standard Road Tests and Reviews
 
Standard continued their well-selling Vanguard Series 20S (later known as Vanguard Phase I) Saloon, which had now become available on the home market. Like most British 1949 models, the car featured separate side lights from September (1950 model year). Phase I models remained in production, with periodical modifications, until 1953 when the beetle-back body was restyled and given a 'notch-back' rear end with projecting boot.
1949 Sunbeam-Talbot 80 and 90
UK

Sunbeam-Talbot 80 and 90

  Also see: Sunbeam Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Sunbeam-Talbot Ten and 2-Litre Saloons were superseded in the summer of 1948 by completely restyled models, the 80 and the 90, selling at £889 and £953 respectively. The very sleek bodywork, retaining the exclusive rear side window configuration, was by Thrupp & Maberly and was the same for both cars. The main differrence was in the engine size, which was 1185 and 1944 cc like the preceding Ten and 2-Litre resp., but now with overhead valves and other modifications resulting in better performance, namely 47 bhp for the 80 and 64 for the 90.
1949 Sunbeam-Talbot 80 and 90
UK

Sunbeam-Talbot 80 and 90

  Also see: Sunbeam Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Sunbeam-Talbot 80 and 90 were availlable as two-door Convertible Coupe with three-position top. They cost £991 and £1055 respectively.
Tatra 600 Tatraplan
Czechoslovakia

Tatra 600 Tatraplan

  Also see: Tatra Road Tests and Reviews
  Years of production: 1949-1951-1953 (pre-series 1947 (Tatra 107))
4x2 rear-motor 4-door sedan
Engine: 52hp/4000rpm, aircooled 4-cyl. boxer OHV, 1952cc
Bore/Stroke: 85/86 mm
Compression ratio: 6 : 1
Length: 4,54m, width: 1,67m, height: 1,52m
Wheelbase: 2,70m
Front suspension: parallelogram with 2 transversal leaf springs
Rear suspension: independent, with 2 coil springs
Front- and rear wheeltrack - 1,300mm
Weight: 1200 kg
Mechanical brakes on all wheels
Maximal speed: 130 km/h
Fuel consumption: 11 L/100km
3 cars built with non-petrol but oil engines.
In 1951 production was moved from Koprivnice to Mlada Boleslav.
1949 Triumph Mayflower
UK

Triumph Mayflower

  Also see: Triumph Road Tests and Reviews
   
1949 Triumph Triumph Roadster 2000
UK

Triumph Roadster 2000

  Also see: Triumph Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Triumph 2000 Roadster, Series 20TR, was in its last year. Compared with the preceding 1800 model, the 1949 model had the same engine as the Standard Vanguard and also the latter's three-speed gearbox, replacing the earlier four-speed type. In all, about 4500 Roadsters were made. Visible ahead of the boot lid handles is the hinged glass-panelled lid, which, when erected, formed a windscreen for the passengers in the dickey seat.
1949 Vauxhall Wyvern and Velox
UK

Vauxhall Wyvern and Velox

  Also see: Vauxhall Road Tests and Reviews
 
Vauxhall 1949 models comprised the new Wyvern, Model LlX, and Velox, Model LIP, Saloons. The basic bodyshell was like the preceding Twelve, but front and rear end were new, and there were many other changes. The Wyvern differed from the Velox mainly in the following respects: four-cylinder 1442-cc engine (v. 2275-cc Six), wheels in body colour (v. cream), no bumper overriders and smaller-section tyres (5.00-16 v. 5.25 and later 5.90-16). For export to Australia special variants were produced, i.e. with a normal chassis frame for the mounting of Australian Saloon and Tourer bodywork (Wyvern LBX, Velox LB P).
Volkswagen Beetle
Germany

Volkswagen Beetle

  Also see: Volkswagen Road Tests and Reviews
 
The car that needs little introduction, Adolf Hitler's dream of building a low-cost car for the masses has proved to be a huge hit for decades and boasts over 21 million sales.
Volkswagen Beetle
Germany

Volkswagen Beetle

  Also see: Volkswagen Road Tests and Reviews
 
It was in the 1930s when Ferdinand Porsche created the "people's car" - the Volkswagen. The Type 1 Volkswagen with its distinctive shape became known as the "Beetle" and became the most popular mass-mobility car of all time. The first VW Beetle arrived in New York in January of 1949.
Volkswagen Beetle
Germany

Volkswagen Beetle

  Also see: Volkswagen Road Tests and Reviews
 
The selling price of the 1949 Beetle was $800 and two were sold that year in the U.S. By 1960, Volkswagen had imported 500,000 Beetles into the U.S., and by 1981 the 20,000,000th Beetle was produced. The rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive car had excellent road-handling capabilities, especially in winter. The gasoline tank was mounted under the front hood. Early models did not have a gas gauge but did have a reserve tank that was activated by a lever in the passenger compartment. The Beetles were powered by a four cylinder 1.13 Litre motor that delivered 18.6 kW (25 hp) at 3000 rpm.
Volkswagen Beetle
Germany

Volkswagen Beetle

  Also see: Volkswagen Road Tests and Reviews
 
The horizontal pistons had a bore of 75 mm (2.94 in) and a stroke of 64 mm (2.52 in) with a compression ratio of 5.8:1. The crankcase was a two-piece design with bolt-on finned cylinder heads. The centrally mounted camshaft was gear driven directly off the forged steel camshaft. The pushrods were housed in separate tubes connected to the aluminium alloy heads. The engine was air-cooled by an upright fan connected by a shaft to the generator, that was belt driven.
1949 Wolseley British Army FV1800 Series ¼-ton 4 x 4 Mudlark
UK

Wolseley British Army FV1800 Series ¼-ton 4 x 4 Mudlark

  Also see: Wolseley Road Tests and Reviews
 

Wolseley produced a small number of pilot models of the new British Army FV1800 Series ¼-ton 4 x 4 vehicle, which was developed from the Nuffield 'Gutty' and powered by a Rolls-Royce B40 petrol engine. In one British Military publication the vehicle was listed as 'FV1801 Wolseley B. Jeep' ; it was also known as Wolseley GP Vehicle, 5-cwt. 4 x 4. The Austin-built Champ, which was the eventual quantity-production model differed mainly in having restyled wings and stiffening ribs pressed in the bonnet and body side panels.

1949 Wolseley Four-Fifty and Six-Eighty
UK

Wolseley Four-Fifty and Six-Eighty

  Also see: Wolseley Road Tests and Reviews
 

The Wolseley 1949 programme consisted of two four-door Saloons, the Four-Fifty and the slightly longer Six-Eighty. They shared the bodywork and many other components with the Morris Oxford and Six, but had their own distinctive radiator grilles with the traditional illuminated radiator badge. The engines were similar in design, differing only in the number of cylinders and carburettors (Four-Fifty; single-carb. 51-bhp 1476-cc Four; Six-Eighty; twin-carb 72-bhp 2215-cc Six) Bore and stroke were the same, 73·5 x 87 mm; both engines had an overhead camshaft. Prices were £704 and £767, wheelbase 8 ft 6 in and 9 ft 2 in respectively.

1949 Wolseley 4/50
UK

Wolseley 4/50

  Also see: Wolseley Road Tests and Reviews
 

Quoting the brochure: "The first glimpse of the Wolseley Four-Fifty gives an impression of a car of unusual grace and style. Designed and built with meticulous care, no detail affecting the comfort and safety of driver and passengers has been overlooked. The 1.5 litre four-cylinder overhead valve engine, with valves operated direct from the camshaft, develops 50 brake horse power. It will cruise happily at 60 m.p.h. and exceed 70 m.p.h.

Long torsion bars and telescopic shock absorbers ensure smooth travel, free from roll. Sparkling new colours are founded on a strong "Monoconstruction" body, rust proofed throughout for long life and lasting beauty. All upholstery is in leather with Dunlopillo foam rubber cushioning. An air circulating and heating unit is standard. Hydraulic brakes are of the latest type Lockheed with two leading shoes at the front; safety glass is fitted to all windows. The Wolseley Four-Fifty is a full five-seater car."

1949 Wolseley 6/80
UK

Wolseley 6/80

  Also see: Wolseley Road Tests and Reviews
 

Quoting the brochure: "The Wolseley Six-Eighty is designed for the motorist requiring luxury combined with a high standard of performance. It is powered by a 2.5 litre o.h.v. six-cylinder engine, overhead camshaft engine, developing between 70 and 80 b.h.p. Wire wound, controlled expansion aluminium pistons ensure even compression and maximum output at any engine temperature; a wonderfully smooth flow of power is delivered throughout the speed range. Twin S.U. carburettors are fitted for high efficiency performance.

Large diameter Lockheed hydraulic brakes, smoothly positive in action, give perfect confidence at the high speeds attainable with this car. All upholstery is in fine quality English leather. A car heater with in-built de-mister and heater ducts is a standard fitting and provision is made for the installation of radio. The polished wood facia panel is a new design. The Wolseley Six-Eighty is a long wheelbased car -110 in.- combining the fine features of the Four-Fifty with unusual luxury and superlative performance. It is a car which will delight the most critical of motorists."

1949 Guy Motors Advertising Poster
1949 Guy Motors Advertising Poster.
1949 Humber Pullman Limousine
1949 Humber Pullman Limousine.
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