? SI's Bentley used hydramatic (lowercase "h") to describe a transmission system in which the gear box is coupled with a torque converter. He may have been a bit previous in making it a generic term. Ford-O-Matic was used in SI's specification table. The Thunderbird's correct stroke is 3.31 inches. Thus the Thunderbird does have an "oversquare" engine.?ED.
THE OPEN ROAD
At the risk of incurring much wrath and cries of "damned expatriate," "turncoat," etc., I want to request that in the future your unquestionably magnificent magazine make the following distinction. In the realm of sports car and open road racing, please do not mislead the public by speaking of European and American efforts in this field as if they were the same thing. To speak in this manner is being about as realistic and fair-minded as you would consider me if I were to speak of Muny baseball as if it was on the same quality level as big league ball.
European road racing is a wonderful sport, open to all classes of vehicles and drivers. Spectator-wise it attracts millions of people, most of whom have never even owned an automobile but who can on sight identify a Le Mans Porsche, Lancia Aurelia, Osca, Dyna-Panhard, Aston-Martin, Ferrari, Jaguar, Austin-Healy, B.M.W., Mercedes and many others, plus every stock touring car in Europe. In Europe, with the exception of only four or five major races, road racing is truly a sport, involving acceptance of open road conditions. American "sports" who do 90% of their speed driving over courses closed to all other vehicles would either become fervent backers of European road racing once they tried it or else take up another sport.
The sports car is not designed or built with the idea of accelerator down, clear sailing ahead. It is a mechanical jewel of fine gearing, powerful braking, fantastic pick-up and great road-holding ability. The much-popularized "airport races," no matter how well laid out, are a dishonorable development in the eyes of all true road racing enthusiasts.
If you desire to be fair to road racing enthusiasts, have someone cover any one of a hundred European races. It does not matter what one you cover because any one of them would make the best in the U.S.A. seem colorless and dull.
c/o Postmaster, N.Y.
?Baird will find in road races like annual Pan American (see cut) "open-road conditions" far from dull and colorless.?ED.