|Peter G. Shaw||27/04/2019 13:59:36|
986 forum posts
Many decades ago I used to use the expression in the title to describe how I got my A35 Van round corners, and I wondered if anyone else either understands what I mean or indeed used to use it. The question has been triggered because I've just seen James May saying that a rally/racing driver when asked which car gave him most fun, answered with "A35 van!".
Now my van had the 1100cc engine along with, as May put it, skinny tyres - but he omitted to mention that they were crossply which I think was an important part of what used to happen.
With that vehicle, I would approach corners under power, and remember this is a front engine, rear wheel drive vehicle, and keep the power on round the corner whereupon, I think, the rear wheels would drift or slide outwards. The result being that as I went around the corner I would have to straighten up somewhat in order to prevent the rear overtaking the front. I was, of course, in my early to mid twenties with all that implies.
The car that followed that van was a Morris 1000 Traveller, same engine, gearbox, back axle, and still on crossply tyres. At some point I changed the tyres on one axle to radials, can't remember which axle, drove the car into a corner in the manner to which I had become accustomed - and found myself heading for a wall, such was the grip of the radials.
So, do any of you recognise that expression? Or have I made it up?
Peter G. Shaw
|Mick B1||27/04/2019 14:26:38|
|1191 forum posts|
Haven't heard it before - not in a polite conversation, anyway...
But perhaps it refers to the screw threads cut on the vertical shafts of the swivel pins?
|David Standing 1||27/04/2019 14:34:14|
|1278 forum posts|
Decades ago it would have been oversteer, today drifting.
|Dave Halford||27/04/2019 14:55:48|
|462 forum posts|
Radials had to go on the back so you lost your progressive breakaway that cross plies gave.
Your expression sounds like very early seventies Midlands
|Phil P||27/04/2019 15:17:37|
|510 forum posts|
I have a 69 Traveller and have to say it handles perfectly, but has radials all round.
I remember in my youth having lots of fun in my mini van when it had cross ply on the front and radials on the back, I nearly got rid of it, but it became a different car with radials all round, it was almost impossible to lose control even at silly speeds. I even came third in a "12 car rally" in it once, the only thing that let it down was the drum brakes.
My Traveller has discs on the front, and it drives much like any normal modern car now. In fact it is a bit of a revelation after running a cable braked Austin Seven for twenty odd years.
|not done it yet||27/04/2019 15:56:19|
|3375 forum posts|
It would not be surprising, if the radials were fitted to the front! It was illegal to do it that way for safety reasons! Rear wheel drive cars were fun to drive - my last one was a 2 litre volvo 360, about 20 years ago, which had sufficient power to require opposite lock on the steering to Straighten it up, if having fun. Less fun in a car that dragged the car round the corners. The Anglias and Cortina Mk1’s ( all, after the first one, had 1500/1650cc engines fitted) typically understeered if cornering off the throttle. We just referred to it as ‘stepping out
865 forum posts
Peter, yes same era young and somewhat silly or maybe over enthusiastic ! and yes when cornering you would slap the power on in a rear wheel car to "push" you round the bend, conversely when front wheel drive aka mini etc came along best to accelerate towards the corner then take the power off ! Not dissimilar to a "chariot"--- motor bike and sidecar, left hander power on, right-hander power off. More sense now !!!
|Peter G. Shaw||27/04/2019 16:24:15|
986 forum posts
Just a few answers.
Sounds about right putting them on the rear as that would stop the rear drift/slide. Also this was West Yorkshire from 1965 to (about) 1968. 1965 was when I bought the van, and about 1968 would be when I went completely over to radials.
My Traveller was a 67 version, cruelly treated from new - overloaded, driven hard etc. I managed to put the rear springs through the floor and break the engine steady cable. Ended up on radials all round. Typical BMC in that it leaked oil, even after having the cylinder head skimmed. But surprisingly reliable for all that.
Whatever it was, it was the legal way round. I do remember that.
Peter G. Shaw
|260 forum posts|
I was told that understeer is when you go through the hedge forwards, oversteer is when you go through it backwards.
|John Reese||27/04/2019 17:15:25|
|784 forum posts|
I used to steer corners that way on snowy or muddy or gravel roads. Drove my wife nuts. Modern vehicle stability controls pretty much prevent it and take a lot of fun out of driving.
|Frances IoM||27/04/2019 17:21:08|
|643 forum posts|
|Smart cars are rear wheel drive - corner well but not nice in snow or on ice as no weight on front.|
|4723 forum posts|
Mythbuster's investigated drifting to see if it was the fastest way to get round a race course. It's not. Although good fun and looks cool, it's slower than cornering conventionally. They didn't compare tyre damage, but I suspect drifting is murder on the rubber.
Three ages of man:
|not done it yet||27/04/2019 19:35:20|
|3375 forum posts|
They are likely pussy cats in the way they drive. Ask Kimi Raikkonen - he uses a different technique for F1 than he did when he went rallying.
|Michael Gilligan||27/04/2019 19:47:14|
14025 forum posts
A conveniently located switch is provided:
short press = more fun
long press = just how cars used to be
Edited By Michael Gilligan on 27/04/2019 19:47:54
785 forum posts
Peter, my 1954 Ford Popular used to behave in an identical way on corners, also on skinny tyres and with a mechanically operated brake system comprising of just rods and levers. Those were the days of 6 volt electrics and starting handles and heaters were not normal fittings in basic cars. Did some miles in my old Ford Pop and by necessity did all my own maintenance, in those days oil changes were every 1000 miles unless you fitted an auxiliary oil filter to the engine. Dave W
|Sam Longley 1||27/04/2019 20:30:53|
|723 forum posts|
Perhaps they should have watched John Rodes cornering the works Cooper S at Druids (Brands Hatch) when he used to sling the back of his mini out wide by flicking the hand brake then squirting the throttle to get it to head down the hill towards South Bank
|Neil Wyatt||27/04/2019 20:39:56|
16585 forum posts
My Marina had so much oversteer that any correlation between where the wheels were pointing and where the car was going was wholly coincidental. Luckily this all happened at very low speeds, the first time I drove it (in fact my first drive alone after my test) I got caught in a downpour I discovered reverse lock steering. Once, it actually started fishtailing on the way out of a roundabout, no doubt helped by the worn-out steering trunnions replaced at its next and final MOT.
Ford Capris always handled better with a bag of concrete in the boot to help traction.
The Mazda MX5 was very carefully designed with neutral handling that allows over or understeer depending on your driving style, which is one reason why it is one of the most fun cars there is to drive - a real 'sports car' rather than a muscle car.
My wife's Astra GTE was damn good fun as well - first FWD car I drove since learning in a mini. It drove like it was on rails.
|Peter G. Shaw||27/04/2019 21:11:38|
986 forum posts
My parents had a 1953 Ford Prefect! As you say, 6V system, only one dip headlight, one brake light until the law changed, semaphore signalling, 3 speed gearbox, etc etc. That car was mollycoddled - garage, sump heater, engine blanket (old coat), and even then sometimes had to be wound up on the starting handle to get it going. They ran that car until Nov 1959 when they bought a New Anglia. What a difference - 12V, decent lights, 4 speed box...
I started work in 1959 for the GPO which in those days used Morris vehicles - J types, Z types, Minors, & Minivans, none of which, were mollycoddled - and always started on the starter despite the weather conditions. After seeing my mother having to "wind up" the Prefect, and having to "catch" the Anglia when starting from cold, whilst at work the Morris's started on the starter no matter how cold the weather, when it became possible for me to buy a vehicle (the A35 mentioned above), I refused point blank to even consider Fords, a view I stuck with for the next 44 years when I finally gave in and bought a Focus Diesel. That car turned out to be arguably the worst vehicle I have ever had. In the space of 4 years and around 58K miles I had a faulty fuel filter, new clutch, new engine, new airflow sensor and something like 10 or 12 new tyres. Plus all the usual normal wear and tear items. Never again will I buy Ford. Currently I run a Toyota Avensis, 82K miles from new, tyre life around 30K a set, and other than normal wear and tear items, plus an internal mirror that we managed to break, nothing has gone wrong. What's more, at an average of 38.5mpg on petrol it compares very favourable with the two diesels (42.5 & 45.5 mpg) and performs just as well, even when towing the caravan.
Over the years I've had in addition to the A35 & Morris 1000, two Maxis, Beetle, VW type 3 Variant (arguably the 2nd worst car), Montego, Peugeot 405 turbo diesel, the afore mentioned Focus, and Avensis. Up to buying the Peugeot, I used to do all my own maintenance & repairs, but advancing years and increasing complexity and the fact that I could never get the handbrake system sufficiently balanced for the MOT testers, put me off.
It does show, though, when I look back just how much better today's cars are compared with the 1960's.
Peter G. Shaw
|vintage engineer||27/04/2019 21:38:10|
179 forum posts
I had a blown 1200cc Moggie Pickup on radials and in damp conditions I induce it to slide round corners. If I got it right I could go round a roundabout sideways much to the disdain of the local Bobbies!
|Colin Heseltine||27/04/2019 22:14:35|
|327 forum posts|
Got to say, your never to old to enjoy doing doughnuts, or having the back of the car hanging well out. Oversteer is great fun, throw in a LSD (limited slip diff) in as well and even more fun. I'm now 69 and still enjoy running my Caterham 7 on the track and touring with the lads round Scotland, France/Belgium/Germany and Los Picos in Spain. Used to love my rear wheel drive Fords: , Anglia, Cortina, Xr4i, RS2000, FF1600 race car. Nowadays main vehicle is either 2ltr Mondeo and a my work Renault Trafic van, both front wheel drive but still prefer Rear wheel drive for sheer fun.
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