(By "Autos.") The remarks of Mr. J. G. Wilson, president of the New Zealand Farmers' Union, in his opening address to the conference now being held in Wellington, fully bear out what I said the week before last in this column in regard to the proposal to use motor trucks and loiries on country roads in the Dominion. Mr. Wilson urges "that the man who takes up land should be given the best access to it the State can afford. The means adopted to give this access," he saye, "is causing a great deal of discus* sion. In many districts in New Zealand metal for roads is unobtainable, or has to be carted great distances. In such country, if it is rough or broken in character, the road costs a large sum, per chain. This makes the clamour for light railways louder every year. Some, however, argue that the coming mode of traction is the internal combustion motor, and that to spend much money on railways as feeders to the main lines would be a greaL mistake. This presupposes thAt (1) roads can be made to carry the traffic, and (2) that the upkeep of the road will be less than the interest on the cost of a light railway. The motor traffic on a road is very destructive ; the binding material is driven away, and the main roads, where much used by motors, are year by year becoming in creasingly costly. The commercial motor at Homo is increasing the cost of the upkeep of roads enormously. It is quite possible that both means will eventually be adopted. Motor traffic where loads can be made and maintained cheaply, and light railways where the roads are too costly. The man who can solve the question of how to give speedy access to the outwaid fringe of settlement will be conferring an immense boon on the people of New Zealand. The Minister for Public Works stated that Mi-. Furkert, a very capable colotiially-trained engineer, has gone Home, and he has been instructed to make an inspection of the Belgian system of light railways, and report as to whether* they are suitable for our requirements. Mr. Edwin Hall has suggested a mono-rail as a means of cheaply overcoming the difficulty, and I cannot help thinking that a few miles of this system might be imported to show the public at the Auckland Exhibition, fo# it is largely in the Auckland province that the greatest difficulties nave to be overcome." There is no need to labour the point further. Mr. Wilson is an old motorist and at the same^time an authority on light railways, so far* as they are applied in New Zealand to country districts. The Manawatu County Council, of which Mr. Wilson has been chairman foT many yearn, owns one of the few light railway's in this country— that between Himitangi and the Rangitikei River. It has been a thorough success, and continues to do tho country through which it runs good service. On another point in his speech, Mr. Wilson touched on something of interest ,to all motoriste. He remarked that the question of railway crossings h;td assumed quite a different aspect since the advent of motors. "Many crossings," he added, "that would be safe for horse vehicles are rendered unsafe by the pace motors travel at. Something must be done to avoid the many accidents which are happening, though often the fault lies with the chauffeur. I am sure the Department is aware of the necessity of some better reform of warning of an approaching train being given, and the public would like to- know that this is being provided for." A paragraph taken from an American paper appeared in last week's column, reflecting adversely on the cycle car. There are two sides to the question, of course, and tho opinion quoted was simply that of an American motor journal and pretends to be nothing else. The cycle car fills its place in the motor world as coming between the motor cycle and side car and the full-powered motor car. It has advantages over either in its car a^ommodation as against the simple open side car, and in its petrol and tire economy, and to some extent in first cost as compared with the majority of full-powered cars. The little Humberette, which may be seen any day round the streets of the city, does, 1 am informed, on an average 50 miles to the gallon of petrol, and climbs any hill Tound Wellington. It has now run between 5000 and GOOO miles, and ie> still on the same tires with which it .started. These are undoubted advantages in these days of dear petrol. I had the pleasure of a spin the other day in the Detroiter, an American car recently introduced into this country. The car is pleasing in appearance, and possesses an engine powerful enough to take the car up any hill. I saw it climb Port-street with four aboard, and that is a sever© test. The engine is long-stroke, with big bearings, and the power about 25 h.p. A feature is the full-floating rear axle, a distinct rarity in cars at the price, and the general specifications are certainly marvellously good for th© money. It nas the Boson magneto, annular ball bearings throughout, multiple disc clutch, positive lubrication, ana selective three-speed forward and reverse gear. It is equipped with platform fear spring, which makes for comfortable driving. The gear change is effected by a neat centrally-situated lever, and appears to be strong and simple. The upholstering is comfortable and pleasing to the eye. In general the Detroiter seems to bear out the claim made for it of combining the advantages of European practice with the fruit of American experience with standardised output. An item of interest to motorists a* showing the progress of the motor trade in this city is published in the Mercantile Gazette, in the list, of recent registrations of companies. This is " Dominion Motor Vehicles Ltd.," a new private company, floated to acquire the business of Boyd and Co.. motor importers. The capital is £4500 in £1 shares, and the subscribers are: J. Hemingway (1000 shares). D. M. Findlay (1000), and C. J. B. Norwood (2500). Similar progress is shown by the new garage being erected in Wakefield-street for Magnus, Sanderson, and Co., and the new extensions going up to the Colonial Motor Company's premises at Courtenay-place.
Permanent link to this item
THE MOTOR, Evening Post, Volume LXXXVI, Issue 14, 16 July 1913
THE MOTOR Evening Post, Volume LXXXVI, Issue 14, 16 July 1913
Using This Item
Fairfax Media is the copyright owner for the Evening Post. You can reproduce in-copyright material from this newspaper for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons New Zealand BY-NC-SA licence . This newspaper is not available for commercial use without the consent of Fairfax Media. For advice on reproduction of out-of-copyright material from this newspaper, please refer to the Copyright guide.