Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow
  1. C K Leong says:

    It looks like a Austin Healey Sprite Mark 1 (Bug Eye Model). These cars were chic in those days but performance wise is only ho hum due to its small engine (984cc).
    Typical of British car made in those days, this car would require frequent maintenance.

  2. Ipoh Remembered says:

    You’re exactly right, C K Leong.

    And felicia, for about $5000 in 1958, you could have bought one at Borneo Motors in Ipoh.

    Thanks for another great photograph, Mohamad Sharizan!

  3. Mano says:

    Frog Eye or Bug Eye depending on which side of the Atlantic but what are those stars on the front left wing? Roadkill?!:)

  4. NCK says:

    At that time, a Fiat 600 was fitted with a 633/767/843cc engine. A 984cc engine was for a sports car. Nowadays, an engine of this size is used for a Kenari. What with the increased world population and car ownership, no wonder the world is heated up.

  5. Mano says:

    A few factors determined the future of the motorcar after WW II. The Yanks with their abundant resources opted for softly sprung, large vehicles with large capacity motors which would lazily tick over as they covered vast distances, albeit in a straight line, in relative silence and great comfort.The Brits, like the rest of Europe, were the exact opposite. Short of raw materials with narrow and windy roads. Hence produced cars that were smaller yet nimble.
    Although the term roadster, which is the type of car in the picture, was initially coined by the Yanks, the attributes of such a car was redefined by the Brits as we know today. Which is a small revvy engine in a small and light open top body with basic amenities. Coupled with the right suspension and aerodynamics, as in the case of Collin Chapman’s, Lotus, one could take a left-hand corner looking out the right-hand side window!
    With the demise of Britain’s sports car manufacturers, MG in particular, the appeal of the roadster was mostly forgotten for quite a while. Until, in 1989 when Mazda released the MX 5 (or Miata) and became their bestseller. Britain and the rest of Europe could all but watch teary-eyed and play catch up.
    Today the MX 5 remains the most popular roadster in the world.

  6. C K Leong says:

    Agree with Mano that the Mazda MX5 is one the most popular and endearing roadsters around. First, it is small, (like the Lotus Elan) and easy to throw around corners, second is has rear wheel drive, which in general is more satisfying to drive, third it is reliable (Mazda do not make rubbish product), four, it is reasonably affordable and fifth it is fun to drive around in an open top.

  7. C K Leong says:

    A minor correction re “Mazda not making rubbish product”. The Mazda RX 2 and 3 had rotary engines which were the exception. Yet owners of these cars swear that they were ok. Mazda have redeemed themselves with the Mazda RX8.

  8. Ngai C O says:

    Hi,

    Things are happening fast and thick of late with China taking stakes in the country’s economy from buildings, infrastructures, ports, railway networks and the latest a chunk of Proton.

    It is inevitable as petrol dollars that used to slush about with easy handouts and creating a climate of complacency, have long dried up.

    The savior in the form of GST came along just in time to save for the day. I suppose part of the GST is used for handouts, which in turn is taken back with the other hand.

    It is not actual growth in real terms. The situation is made worse with the low exchange rate.

    The Chinese have been roped in to the rescue to keep the economy growing.

    In a sense it is good, because the likes of Proton have been bleeding the taxpayer for years. Malaysia Airlines was another example.

    With the entry of Geely, it is without a doubt that the whole motor industry will in time be shaken up. I am sure it will compete aggressively with the other players. Hopefully, automobile prices would come down.

    Another market that lacks competition is the mobile phone industry, which is dominated by three main players; hence the ridiculous and confusing pricing to hoodwink the consumers.

    Back to Geely/Proton, below is an article about Lotus.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/markets/article-4538498/One-oldest-sports-car-makers-bought-Chinese.html

    • Mano says:

      With more and more stakes China is establishing it’s control over M’sia. As for Geely taking over Proton, I’m afraid it won’t be a shake up of the car industry. My guess is, Geely will utilise the existing Proton plant for producing right hand drive versions of it’s cars. Some of these will then be branded as ‘Proton’ for the local market.

  9. Mano says:

    CK Leong, you’re right but Mazda and in fact many other manufacturers were convinced that the rotary (Wankel) would replace the four stroker. It did look promising on paper – a power stroke in one revolution of the crankshaft compared to the old four stroke’s one for every two. However, there were major issues inherent in the rotary engine.
    For instance the intake was happening on one half of the rotor housing and the power in the other half, one half became hot whilst the other half remained cool resulting in heating problems.
    There was also the problem of heavy fuel consumption.
    When the Mazda RE 2 was introduced, it’s performance was likened to that of the Porche 911 of that time. Unfortunately, it was also the during the oil crisis of the 70′s.
    Meanwhile, back in M’sia the RE 2 snatched the crown off Alfa Romeo at Batu Tiga much to the objection of City Motors. So much so that Alfa Romeo never entered the Series Production race again.

  10. Ngai C O says:

    Hi,

    An ex colleague owned one Mazda MX after another and was very proud of it. After meetings, she took me and others for a spin on the motorway breaking the speed limit.

    Little did I think about the engine until the subject came up.

    Here is a clip from an enthusiastic youtuber like Mano with his knowledge of cars to explain about the weaknesses of the rotary engine.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3uGJGzUYCI

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