[Sunbeam Talbot Email List] British Invasion, Stowe, VT and Ethanol in Fuel (long rant)

Dan Gooding degooding at suddenlinkmail.com
Thu Sep 25 09:46:22 EDT 2014


Martin, I was thinking about that same thing too when XK performance came
into the conversation.  Very different animals and the Alpine kicked the
bottoms of the competition in those tough mountain rallies.  Just that I had
thought that those were vastly improved in performance compared to what I
(and the rest of us with factory issue) were driving and that was the simple
fact of it---not that my car was significantly underperforming, as I now
know is the case.  

 

This revelation means that the former owner, who had the car restored to the
degree that he did in Pasadena, CA, drove it out there not realizing that it
was not correct in performance at all.   He just used it around the in-town
streets in Palm Springs though.   

 

Dan

 

 

 

From: Martin Spurrell [mailto:spurrellmartin at hotmail.co.uk] 
Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2014 4:33 AM
To: Dan Gooding; ben john feng
Cc: staowners at sunbeamtalbot.info
Subject: RE: [Sunbeam Talbot Email List] British Invasion, Stowe, VT and
Ethanol in Fuel (long rant) 

 

hi folks,

            whilst i respect john's comparisons re x.k.jag v. alpine, and
having had both in my time i agree if i had to get somewhere very quickly in
my choice of one of the two cars i would choose the jag every time. However,
let's not forget that the rootes group won a good few cups and shields by
entering and winning in competition particularly on alpine rallies in europe
hence the car's name. stirling moss, who raced for jaguar,merc. and rootes.
during his life quotes the alpine as his favourite for twisty, steep alpine
roads. in one quote he says it was the only car that you could drive at
speed with one wheel hanging over the edge, as the chassis was so rigid.
(don't try this at home folks!)

  these courses were seriously steep so respect where respect is due.

      martin.

  _____  

From: degooding at suddenlinkmail.com
To: spurrellmartin at hotmail.co.uk; bfeng7 at yahoo.com
CC: staowners at sunbeamtalbot.info
Subject: RE: [Sunbeam Talbot Email List] British Invasion, Stowe, VT and
Ethanol in Fuel (long rant)
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2014 21:01:31 -0400

Thanks Martin, Well, this is really interesting as I am shocked to learn
that these cars are supposed to be peppy even on hills.  

 

I will have this one completely reviewed to see what the heck is going on
with it.  

 

My MB 300 convertible sedan experience left me with no concern when this one
equally doggy despite its lesser size.  Presumed that was the way it was
back then and therefore now it is what it is.  

 

This is my first English car but I have owned some 40-42 Packards and they
would really go, no issues keeping up with interstate traffic at all.  Thus,
I thought that was just a difference in the way they were built.

 

Sheesh. 

 

Thanks again. Dan

 

 From: Martin Spurrell [mailto:spurrellmartin at hotmail.co.uk] 
Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 6:34 PM
To: Dan Gooding; ben john feng
Cc: staowners at sunbeamtalbot.info
Subject: RE: [Sunbeam Talbot Email List] British Invasion, Stowe, VT and
Ethanol in Fuel (long rant)

 

hi dan,

           all conventional four speed gearboxes have a ratio of 1:1 in top
(4th) gear so a change of gearbox shouldn't affect the car's performance in
top on a level road. of course overdrive gives you the benefit of a fith
ratio which may be different to your original 'box.

   perhaps the car is fitted with a low compression head, or wrong carb. or
perhaps your throttle is not opening to it's full potential. set up right
these old cars go very well and keep up with modern traffic. earlier this
summer i gave a usa star member a short ride to the station in my alpine and
he commented on how strongly the car pulled through the gears.

 this may be as we said earlier, that for the time being the european union
(if you pardon my french), have left us with a trace of petrolium in our
ethanol. 

                 martin.

  _____  

From: degooding at suddenlinkmail.com
To: bfeng7 at yahoo.com
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2014 15:14:38 -0400
CC: staowners at sunbeamtalbot.info
Subject: Re: [Sunbeam Talbot Email List] British Invasion, Stowe, VT and
Ethanol in Fuel (long rant)

John, Please refresh my memory, where do you and your car live?  D.

 

 

From: J Feng [mailto:bfeng7 at yahoo.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 11:33 AM
To: Dan Gooding
Cc: Robert Hamilton; Sunbeam Talbot Alpine Owners Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Sunbeam Talbot Email List] British Invasion, Stowe, VT and
Ethanol in Fuel (long rant)

 

Dan

These car should have no problems getting up to 75-80mph if everything is
working as it should. 

I've had mine up to 70mph and it had plenty more to give. The motor had been
recently been rebuilt by Martin Spurrell so my experience won't apply to one
with a worn out engine.



John Feng (mobile device)

Tel: 508-789-8195


On Sep 24, 2014, at 11:02 AM, "Dan Gooding" <degooding at suddenlinkmail.com>
wrote:

Bob, 

 

Do you have the same engine in your DHC as my MK I has?  

 

Irv, from whom I purchased this car in 2009 you will recall, had a later
Sunbeam.'63 he thought.transmission put in the car.  I don't know what
effect that is having on the performance since I have no clue about the
ratio differences involved, etc.   

 

I can assure you that this car can't get beyond 65 in fourth though and that
I thought that was normal based on my MB 300 convertible "tank" experience
in the late 70's.  My technician, who is 66 now and well experienced, says
the car is well tuned, too.  Hmm, I wonder.

 

Dan     

 

From: Robert Hamilton [mailto:hamilton at accesswave.ca] 
Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 9:46 AM
To: Dan Gooding; Sunbeam Talbot Alpine Owners Mailing List
Subject: RE: [Sunbeam Talbot Email List] British Invasion, Stowe, VT and
Ethanol in Fuel (long rant)

 

Hi Dan,

I really appreciate your and other's views on this problem. My Alpine, DHC
and Saloon run fine here in NS, pulling up "Interstate hills" type hills and
even accelerating. On the flat I can easily hit 85+ MPH so I think they are
tuned properly. If you can only reach 65, then there could possibly be a
problem with your car that you are not aware of.

When I hit the U.S. on this trip in the Alpine, it all went downhill this
time. When it started to slow down on the hills, it would buck and misfire
(no backfiring) if I gave it more gas and I would have to modulate the
accelerator pedal to avoid this misfiring and in the meantime slowing down
and downshifting. It would die if I gave it full throttle (like fuel
starvation) so I am presuming it had to be the Ethanol content as it ran
fine here in NS. I should have made note of the Ethanol content at the pump
as I understand the concentration can vary but I was using the top grade all
the time and various brands. Smuggler's Notch is only 2170' high but the
road up to it is steep in places, and with switch-backs, it kept slowing
down to a point where I had to finally go into 1st (stop the car) then no
power to get going again and had to make a "Y" turn to go back downhill
again.

I appreciate all the feedback and experiences others have had with these new
fuels, and got a good laugh from Martin Spurrell's comment:



perhaps when they get round to adding 10% petrol to 90% ethanol we will need
to all give up and take up stamp collecting!


Take care,
Bob




At 09:50 AM 9/24/2014, you wrote:

Bob,
 
Here in West Virginia we are known for seemingly endless hills and
mountains.  Thus I am driving my car often somewhere other than the flat
downtown areas of our cities.   Here is my observation:
 
I have a ping under load unless I add STP to the gasoline.  It is not a
timing issue.been all over that.  Everyone tells me it is ethanol in the
gasoline that is the problem.  
 
I also find that I have to downshift if I am on a really steep grade.
However, top speed in 4th gear is only about 65 mph flat out on level ground
in the first place.  I don't have overdrive.  
 
I have always presumed that these cars, heavy as they are and with their
four cylinder engines, unless they are souped-up like a Works car for
racing, are way underpowered for their weight.  That is not unusual for
European/UK vehicles of that era.  I once had a '53 MB 300 4 door
convertible sedan that was a total dog.beautiful, but WAY underpowered.
 
Further, these cars, I have thought, are geared for the sleepy English
rolling, countryside roads, not the M highways there today nor the
Interstate System ubiquitous here in the U.S. since the 70's.  Driving up a
long mountain, say Sandstone Mountain on I-64 here, which climbs in one mile
to two to about 1500 feet and is a 10% grade on average, I have to downshift
to third.  The Alpine will reach the ridge it at about 45 or so in third
gear.pedal to the floor.
 
Of course, I didn't expect high performance.  I have fast cars and they are
fun;  I have this one because it is drop-dead gorgeous.it is a work of art.

 
So now I am wondering if my car is underpowered compared to other MKI's here
in the U.S.  
 
Any thoughts on that? 
 
I have only seen one other of these cars since I purchased mine in 2009 and
my contact with Alpine MK I and III owners is via this internet family only.
I may have a car underperforming compared to those running corn-free
gasoline and not know it!   Maybe my U.S. fellow owners are in the same boat
if so.unless they owned their cars in the pre-corn fuel days and there is a
difference of which they are aware.
 
Best to you all!
 
Dan Gooding
Lewisburg, WV, USA
 
From: Staowners [ mailto:staowners-bounces at sunbeamtalbot.info
<mailto:staowners-bounces at sunbeamtalbot.info> ] On Behalf Of Robert Hamilton
Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 8:34 PM
To: Sunbeam Talbot Alpine Owners Mailing List
Subject: [Sunbeam Talbot Email List] British Invasion, Stowe, VT and Ethanol
in Fuel (long rant)
 
Hi,

Returned home from a successful 1700 km round trip to Stowe, VT and returned
with a People's Choice 2nd place in the Sunbeam Alpine Class against some
very tidy Series Alpines and Tigers. Winning was not the purpose of this
trip but to meet some of the Alpine owners on this email list and talk about
our cars with the spectators who take interest in them. It was a real
pleasure to finally meet up with John Feng from this list who used to own a
MK Alpine which he sold and now owns a stunning Jaguar XK120. Funny but he
literally ran to the side of the road with his camera then flagged me down
to introduce himself and we later met on the field for a great chat.

The Alpine ran fine while burning the Canadian high test fuel which does not
contain Ethanol, yet but while in the U.S., it was a far different story. On
the flat it was pretty good but the minute I gave it gas to get up some of
the hiolls in new England, it would buck and misfire and start slowing down.
It did not have the power to get up in high gear like it normally would
forcing a downshift. It was so bad, I could not get through the steep,
twisty road through the Smugger's Notch near Stowe and forced to turn around
in fear of damaging a gearbox or burn out the clutch. Once I stopped to get
into first gear, I was dead and no power to get going again. I even bought
some Ethanol Armor Defender fuel additive ($15 for 236 ml) which made no
difference. Upon re-entering Canada, I fueled up with our High Test and it
was like a new car again, "laughing at the hills" as the 93 year old
previous owner of my Saloon once told me.

So my question is to those who are living with 10% Ethanol in their fuel,
how are you able to drive your Sunbeams with any amount of enjoyment with
Ethanol in your fuel? Are there any other ways to overcome this problem? Are
there any brands of gasoline (petrol) that you can be assured does not
contain Ethanol? I know it is marked on the pumps but when travelling it is
hard to spend time looking for these stations that have Ethanol free fuels.

Other than this problem, it was a great trip and I was accompanied by a
close friend with a 1959 Singer Gazelle convertible who also took a second
place in the Singer group which were all the pre-Rootes models. (comical
image below)

Take care,
Bob

 [] <https://accesswave.ca.1> 




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Robert (Bob) A.C. Hamilton, Waverley, Nova Scotia, Canada
Sunbeam Talbots - Alpine, Drophead and Saloon, 1953-1954
Sunbeam Talbot Web Page: www.sunbeamtalbot.info
<http://www.sunbeamtalbot.info/>  (or .org)       
E-Mail: hamilton at accesswave.ca
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Robert (Bob) A.C. Hamilton, Waverley, Nova Scotia, Canada
Sunbeam Talbots - Alpine, Drophead and Saloon, 1953-1954
Sunbeam Talbot Web Page: www.sunbeamtalbot.info
<http://www.sunbeamtalbot.info/>  (or .org)       
E-Mail: hamilton at accesswave.ca
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

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