Lotus Elan

1966 70mph limit Graham Arnold

PostPost by: steveh » Wed Nov 23, 2022 9:11 am

Last edited by steveh on Wed Nov 23, 2022 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Wed Nov 23, 2022 10:07 am

There are apocryphal tales about Jaguar's attempts to get the E Type to 150mph - considered a key selling point at the time. Not having a test track, and with the newly opened unrestricted M6 motorway near to Browns Lane, (apparently) Jaguar pounded a number of E Types with various modifications up and down a stretch of the M6 to try and get to 150.

If true, I can only imagine the reaction of a Morris Minor 1000 driver, trying to impress his girlfriend, flat out on the M6 at 73mph, as an experimental E Type went past at over twice his speed.

It must have looked like a road going UFO.
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PostPost by: HCA » Wed Nov 23, 2022 10:38 am

Love the video! and the Queens English accents - lovely!

Mind you, even today let's face it, being overtaken at 150 whilst driving at 80 is pretty awesome...especially if it is by a motorbike :D
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PostPost by: pharriso » Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:35 pm

Didn't know that Graham Arnold was involved in this... love the "dawdling along at 70mph" comment!

I notice 2 LoCorts in the drive off at the end...

Thanks for posting.
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PostPost by: Slowtus » Wed Nov 23, 2022 5:24 pm

Lots of debate back then, more about the M1 itself than the 'imposition' of the 70 mph limit when that arrived - a limit brought about more because of the number of breakdowns of cars - which should never have ventured beyond their neighbourhoods - than the speeds they alleged they had achieved when chatting to their mates in the pub. :D

These cars (and their drivers) were incapable of maintaining high speeds over any distance, let alone the M1 and the anticipated volume of vehicles using the M1 was very quickly exceeded, thus, adding these together = the speed limit.

Stirling Moss and the usual suspects did indeed blat up and down the M1 at extreme speeds, which probably didn't help matters when it was noted on the front pages of the newspapers of the day.

Oh, and AC testing its Le Mans entry seven-litre Cobra at speeds of up to 180mph, observed and all but ignored by the Oxfordshire police. went a long way towards not just bringing in a speed limit but also banning such vehicles from using the roads.

Last time I was in the UK, pre-Covid, I avoided the M1 as I pretty much always have, using the A1/A1M for my journey north, never a fan of the M1 :D
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Fri Nov 25, 2022 6:29 am

Slightly off topic, the first motorway in the UK was the Preston bypass - which is now part of the M6. The M1 came later.

Road numbering in the UK follows a clock pattern, with London at the centre of the clock. Roads starting with 1 go north, 2 go east, 3 go south and 4 go west. Intermediate roads use the second digit. I live close the the A3, the next major road clockwise is the A31, and so on.

It's not perfect or very consistent, and it all falls down as you get away from London - hence the M6.
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Fri Nov 25, 2022 8:49 am

Actually the original main 'A ' roads are numbered clockwise from London, A1-A6, not really following the cardinal compass points, the A3 and A4 effectively go to the south west and the A5 and A6 to the North West. From there, the first main road off each was numbered *1, e,g A11 and the first road off this was the A111 etc. The A7-A9 are in Scotland.

The motorways took the number of the A road that they matched, M1 from A1 and so on. Inevitably this doesn't quite work in practice and compromises were made e.g. A5 and M5.
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PostPost by: smo17003 » Fri Nov 25, 2022 12:20 pm

Today's history lesson is on the topic of UK road numbering - interesting stuff.

https://www.roads.org.uk/articles/road- ... nd-b-roads
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Fri Nov 25, 2022 4:31 pm

smo17003 wrote:Today's history lesson is on the topic of UK road numbering - interesting stuff.

https://www.roads.org.uk/articles/road- ... nd-b-roads


Thanks, looks like I was a bit wide of the mark. I would go back and complain to my Geography 'O' level teacher for leading me astray, but I am pretty sure he is no longer with us.
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PostPost by: Slowtus » Fri Nov 25, 2022 5:56 pm

And then you have the fascination - a fetish with some - who would lovingly describe the nest of B roads by which a journey from A to B could also be made and then get into hot debate about whether throwing the occasional C road in was proper etiquette.

Arguments sometimes got so heated that anoraks were discarded with much muttering of mayhem to follow. :D
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Sat Nov 26, 2022 7:23 am

Slowtus wrote:And then you have the fascination - a fetish with some - who would lovingly describe the nest of B roads by which a journey from A to B could also be made and then get into hot debate about whether throwing the occasional C road in was proper etiquette.

Arguments sometimes got so heated that anoraks were discarded with much muttering of mayhem to follow. :D

At the risk of dragging the thread completely off topic, I live close to the A272, about which a book has been written. "A272 Ode to a road" If you are interested:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/A272-Ode-Road-Pieter-Boogaart/dp/1843680955

At 6am on a summer's morning, it is a great drive. At any other time it is a slow crawl behind an Amazon delivery van, a caravan and (often in the summer) a steam traction engine on its way to a rally.

The quotes on the back of the book sum it up "To some it is a lovely, lovely lane, to others, the worst bloody road in the South". I am in the second camp.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Sun Nov 27, 2022 4:19 pm

That system sounds very English indeed to this Yank.

Over here, our Interstate system is fairly orderly with numbering. Overall, they have even numbers if they trend east-west (or west-east, if you like), and odd numbers for the ones the trend north-south ones (or south-north, if you like). They have two-digit numbers (except for I-5 on the west coast, and a couple other single-digit ones that are short and only connect within a state like I-4 in Florida) and they count from one national border to the other, up from the south and up from the west, the opposite of how it was done with the older US Highway system. The original main ones end in either 0 or 5. Others that filled-in later end in other numbers but still adhere to the directional even or odd assignment. Then there are shorter 'spur' or 'city ring' highways that use three-digit numbers, with a new digit added before the two digits of the highway that the road connects with- for example, in the large metro-area where I live, I-575 is a spur off I-75 and I-285 is a ring that connects with I-85. Sometimes an existing US Highway gets upgraded to Interstate, in which case US 78 between Birmingham Alabama and Memphis Tennessee became I-22. It trends east-west and is just north of I-20. Another detail is that there is a marker for every mile, in the form of a small green sign posted off the shoulder. These count upward from state borders, upward from the southern and western borders, just as the highway numbers do within the whole country. Exits are usually numbered by the mile at which they are located, with letters added if there's more than one before the next mile-marker (e.g. Exit 57A, 57B). The system was designed in the 1950s at the order of President Dwight Eisenhower, 'The Great General,' who'd been very impressed by the Autobahn system a decade earlier and modeled it on that. It came at good time and the clean-sheet approach to design rather than building on the old system was a great idea too.
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