ROAD TESTING THE MERCEDES BENZ 220 SE SALOON 1961

ROAD TESTING THE MERCEDES BENZ 220 SE SALOON 1961

BY JOHN B. BALL – ILLUSTRATED BRISTOL NEWS.

THE NEW STYLED larger Mercedes 220 SE was first seen in this country at the 1959 Motor Show. It was, however, some time after this before we began to see this vehicle on the home market, and despite the fact that greater production has considerably cut down the waiting period, there is still a very great demand for this German de luxe car.

The 220 SE is the only production car in the world which offers fuel injection. To the uninformed, this really means that the carburettors are completely replaced by a fuel pump which injects petrol into the combustion chamber. The main advantage of this, of course, is that the injection timing is always perfect, and varies in relation to the speed of the engine. This not only gives perfectly smooth running, but also increases the brake horsepower of the engine, and gives a better and more balanced fuel consumption.

The exterior line of this Mercedes is dignified and elegant, and although it gives an impression of power and speed, could not under any circumstances be called ‘rakish’. It is six inches longer than its predecessor, and with an overall length of over 16 ft. must certainly be classed as a ‘big’ car. Upon entering the saloon, one must be impressed by the amount of passenger space available. In the front, two semi-bucket type seats give maximum comfort to the driver and passenger, whilst a broad armrest will fold away and with the insertion of a cushion, a third person can be taken as an occasional passenger. In the rear, three fully grown people could be accommodated in complete comfort without any crowding.

The leather upholstered seats are firmly comfortable, and the standard of trim and saloon fittings is extremely high. At the front, however, I was not at all impressed by the dashboard and facia. Although at first glance it looked extremely attractive, having a padded leather head and foot, the centre itself is almost completely dominated by the heater and demister controls.

The most important instruments are enclosed in what I consider to be a particularly cluttered cowl, which is seen through the steering wheel, but even this view is broken by the inner horn ring. This, I feel, is a particularly bad mistake, for in the normal driving position I found that I could not take a full reading of my instruments without close scrutiny, which, of course, must surely be a very bad point. The foot controls and hand-brake are nicely placed, as are the hand instruments and indicator controls. Mercedes have, in the past, no doubt due to their racing successes, been accredited with excellent performances, and in the acceleration field the 220 SE is no exception.

I found it was possible to go from a standing start to 50 m.p.h. in as little as six seconds, and a standing start to 60 m.p.h. (using only three gears) in 10.2 seconds. Maximum speed, which on the …

Bristol Aviation History – Bristol Cars

Bristol Aviation History - Bristol Cars

In 1946 the Bristol Aeroplane Company BS7 established a car division from the very beginning cars were built by hand many famous people own Bristol Cars.

2006 – The most powerful and exclusive production car in the world was launched by a quirky but quintessentially British luxury motor manufacturer. The Bristol Fighter T is set to hit the UK’s roads next year and boasts a massive 1,012 horsepower.

Embodying the Bulldog spirit harking back to the company’s origins as a maker of famous fighter planes, the this True Brit supercar’s engine produces more power than the 252mph Bugatti Veyron, currently the most powerful production car, which has 1,001 horsepower and costs £810,000.

The £350,000 Fighter T will be hand built at the firm’s plant in Filton, Bristol.

Its eight-litre V10 engine will propel the car from 0-60mph in less than 3.5 seconds and on to a theoretical top speed of 270mph, although Bristol will limit the speed of production cars to 225mph. Only around 20 Fighters will be built every year, not all of them the range-topping T version, so owners will belong to an exclusive group.

Bristol Cars managing director Tony Crook, who operates from a small but exclusive showroom in London’s Kensington said: ‘It has more power than the Bugatti but the end product is a very usable car which owners will be able to drive every day.

‘We have been producing the Fighter and the Fighter S since 2004, but a lot of people said ‘I want even more power’ so that’s what we’ve done."

The first Bristol Fighter T is expected to be completed in September 2007.

Bristol’s quirky Bulldog spirit and heritage harks back to the end of World War II as a spin-off of aircraft production. The hand-crafted but aggressively-named new car is named after the First World War Bristol Fighter. Bristol is so exclusive that fewer than 9,000 have been built in nearly 60 years.

Traditionally a favourite with Royalty, other Bristol fans include Oasis pop star Liam Gallagher, Sir Richard Branson and Lib Democratic peer Lord Steel. Tony Crook, managing director and head salesman of Bristol Cars – whose sole tiny showroom has graced London’s Kensington High Street for more than 50 years said:’We never disclose the names of our customers, though many are household names.

”This is going to be a car for captains of industry and the rich and famous. It’s obviously going to catch the eye of pop stars, Premiership footballers and those who enjoy their cars.’ Mr Crook said the Fighter incorporated ‘sybaritic levels of luxury’ adding:’It is engineered to strict aerospace standards, designed without the usual cost constraints and coach-built by proud and conscientious individuals.’

Mr Crook, a veteran racing driver of the 1940s and 50s added:’We always make fewer cars than people want. ‘But this is going to be a very exclusive car.The price is not steep at all as people often spend around £200,000 on Bentleys or Ferraris.’

Will it fit in my garage?

Bristol …