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THOUSANDS OF INVENTIONS. A review of- developments of the motor- • car Wak I 'ilslSuccess' is "based upon a series of inventions. The adaptation of petrol engines to the needs of highway transportation is regarded by many experts as the initial move in bringing the automotive industry to its present position among manufacturers of the world. A large number of mechanical devices have been combined to produce the smoothrunning, powerful, enduring cars of today. The constant efforts of automobile builders to produce improved products have attracted the attention of inventors in .almost evc?y land. A continual stream of ideas has poured into the motor plants for the last two decades, with the volume increasing each year. Few realiso the ambitions and hopes for fame and fortune that these inventions hold for their originators and the bitter disappointments that are in store for so many who have devoted years to the perfection of some devico that - might add usefulness to the vehicle. Analysis shows that where one invention is successful thousands fail through lack of merit. \ Hopes of the Inventors. Some idea of the magnitude of automotive inventions may be had from a report that at least 20,000 are submitted for s examination annually. A great majority of these are useless to, the purpose for which they are offered, but the industry never allows one proffered idea to pass without scrutiny, and spends thousands of dollars in testing and analysing' designsi The story of automotive inventions and their hopeful producers is a colourful one and ranges from dull failures to bright tints of sudden wealth. There are the men who have seen home- and savings vanish as they pursued a will-o-the-wisp idea that was worthless. Then again, the rare exception has contributed something to motor transport in such a manner as to bring riches to a garret overnight. TRADE ITEMS. The appointment of the Dominion Motors, Limited, to the control of the dis-. tribution of Morris cars and commercial vehicles in New Zealand was announced at a dinner to Mr. S. G. K. Smallbone, secretary and director of Morris Motors, Limited, in Wellington last week. Among the guests were the actingPrime Minister, the Hon. E. A. Ransom, Mr. D. J. McGowan, president of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, Mr. 31;"-S; Dyball, -'Australasian representative of Morris .Commercial Cars, .Limited, and Mr. D. K. .Leed, New; Zealand represent-ative-for tjie sßne company. Mr. C. J. B. Norwood,' chairman of directors of the Dominion Motors, Limited, presided. INCREASED ENGINE SPEEDS. One of the most.important developments < in automobile engine design of recent years • has been the increasing, of the revolutions per minute." Less than' 20 years ago the •4-cylindcr power units, even 'in racing cars, ran at about 2500 r.p.m.; to-day racing engine speeds of 5000 to 6000 r.p.m. are not uncommon, while even passenger cars nowadays often touch between 30C0 and 4000-revolutions. The object of this increase in engine gpeedjs to obtain more power with . the same 'cylinder displacement. This increased speed is gained by better balancing of reciprocating parts, larger valves, different cam setting, and lighter pistons. The latter are now usually made of.-alumiiiium alloys instead of the heavier cast-iron type, an' additional advantage being that the alloy piston conducts he fit' from' the piston head quicker thin the heavier metal. That automobile engineers have been able to design and produce power units of extreme lightness and nigh efficiency that will stand up to sustained work for long periods without engine fatigue is. one of j,hp wonders of the automobilo age. [ENGINE PROGRESS. Whenever in these days, motor engineers; fcegt to discuss improvement;, of power plants and reduction of their operating 'cost, .'it is. noticeable that the Dieselengine is pointed out" as the only possible and ultimate solution. It has -been stated 'By some of the leading engineers in the industry - that..: thorq; are no ][ihsbl6riis -connected with-the Diesel engino .that'cannot., bp solved,, and the perfection of the automotive Diesel is merely a, question of .time and experience; just the same as it Was with the petrol engino in its earlier days. An .indication of the progress being, made with this type of oil engine for heavy vehicles is the recent cabled announcement tliat a fleet of 100 buses will shortly- be on the London streets, crude oil engines. Of course, it "cannot be said that the Diesel in, its- present -state: of development can compare with the petrol engine, for all automotive • purposes.. It has not the flexibility nor can it yet be produced cheaply. But then, the first petrol engines should be remembered and compared with present day Diesels, The chief, claim made for this type of engine is the extremely low cost of the fuel ;it i)ses;- and ' instances are known where heavy trucks are operating on crude oil that costs only about ono fifth of the price of petrol. Another important advantage of the heavy oil engine is a reduction in the fire hazard. From the point of view of durability, there is little to choose between thp crude oil and the petrol type of engine, but..from the point of dependability and ease of maintenance it would appear that the Diesel is superior the elimination of the electrical ignition system, tho fuel charge being fired by the heat of high compression. While the Diesel engine requires somewhat heiv'rfir ' construction to with--'Stand' the greater of.' compression, nevertheless, tho elimination of the complicated carburetiori and ignition system should absorb this weight and ttiight even result in favour of the, Diesel. If the' Diesel should displace petrol engines in aeroplanes, its development would undoubtedly expand rapidly in tho motorcar field.

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MOTOR-CAR PROGRESS., New Zealand Herald, Volume LXVII, Issue 20755, 24 December 1930

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MOTOR-CAR PROGRESS. New Zealand Herald, Volume LXVII, Issue 20755, 24 December 1930