Derby 1931

       

France

Motor SportNovember 1931
A FRONT-WHEEL-DRIVE REVIVAL
Interesting New Type Derby

The 1932 front-wheel-drive Derby has several original features of design in its general lay-out.
With this graceful and neat 2-seater sports body it will be available at £305.
IN these days it is refreshing to find a car which departs from the orthodox in design and construction, and the new front-wheel-drive Derby is undoubtedly one of the most interesting of 1932 models.
This new car replaces all other Derby models, and the firm will concentrate on a one-model programme. The adoption of the f.w.d. layout has permitted of a particularly low build, and this combined with other characteristics and a highly efficient engine make the Derby very suitable for sporting purposes. Realising this, the manufacturers are therefore listing it as a sports two-seater as well as in other forms.
The engine is a four-cylinder of 1,097 c.c., and has bore and stroke dimensions of 60 mm. x 90 mm. Ignition is by magneto and the carburetter is a Solex. The whole unit with clutch and gearbox forms a very neat assembly. The gearbox is of the close-ratio four-speed type, the clutch is a single-plate and the final drive to the front wheels is taken by two short universally-jointed shafts.
Departure from usual practice is also found in the suspension system. Each wheel is independently sprung with the axles fixed rigidly to the frame members. This arrangement was adopted after a great deal of experiment, and it is understood that the road-holding qualities, ability to corner at high speeds and comfort are quite out of the ordinary. It is obvious, also, that the driving position is good and the cockpit is neat with the controls well arranged. The gear lever, as is usual with front-wheel-drive cars, projects from the dash-board, and as the brake lever is on the right, entry and egress is a simple matter. The braking system forms another feature which is worth noting ; of the internal-expanding type the brakes are operated by cables which are enclosed and they can be adjusted from the driver's seat by merely rotating a tensioning knob which is placed on the instrument panel.
The price of the sports two-seater is £305 and the chassis £265. The Derby is handled in this country by Morgan Hastings, Ltd., of 17, Berkeley Street, London, W.1.