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Raleigh.

Supporting Documents.

Raleigh Safety Seven Road Test:

The Light Car and Cycle Car Magazine November 17th 1933.

Something quite new in the way of light cars is announced by the Raleigh Cycle Co., Ltd. Except in the arrangement of its wheels and in the fact that it has two air-cooled cylinders, the Raleigh follows conventional light car practice, both in its chassis and in its body. Yet, by virtue of those exceptions, it provides a lusty touring performance, is .liable to an annual tax of only £4 and cost just 90 guineas. Even in the arrangement of its wheels the Raleigh differs from others of its general type, for there are two wheels at the back and one in front. The latter is used simply for steering and the drive is transmitted to the two rear wheels through a normal spiral-bevel back axle The front wheel is carried between two more or less vertical pressed-steel girders, which are connected together by bridge pieces, and are attached by four parallel links to a stem which can turn in suitable bearings mounted on the chassis. This stem is connected by a short transverse drag link to a worm-and-sector steering gearbox, from which an ordinary column leads to a spring steering wheel. A single helical compression spring, damped by friction-type shock absorbers, forms the front suspension.

Chassis Underslung at Rear.

A large-diameter tubular cross-member carries the steering head, and from each end of it the pressed steel side members drop vertically to within a foot or so of the ground. From that point they press backwards horizontally and underneath the rear axle. This is mounted above two long semi-elliptic springs. which also have friction—type shock absorbers. All 3-wheels are detachable and interchangeable, and carry 4.50 by 18 Firestone tyres. The spare wheel is carried at the back of the car.

In the power unit the aim has been to obtain reliability and smoothness rather than the last ounce of power, although rather more than 17 b.h.p is developed at 3,000 r.p.m. The two cylinders are arranged V-wise across the chassis, with an angle of 80 degrees between them. They are spigoted deeply into the car crankcase and are attached to it by six studs each. Detachable heads of ammittium alloy are held down by no fewer than 10 studs each. The valves are side by side on the inside of the Vee; and they are totally enclosed, complete with the springs, there being a separate tubular casing for each. Deep, cooling flns are noticeable on the heads and around the valve chests.

Each Piston has four rings, three above the gudgeon pin and one below. The latter is a stepped scraper ring and the lowest of the upper  three is a grooved scraper. As a result, it is understood that time oil consumption in extended use is from 1,500 m.p.g. to 2,000 m.p.g.

The Raleigh Safety Seven

A side view of the chassis showing the unusual layout; when under load the rear springs are practically flat and a straight transmission line is obtained.

(Left) This view of the chassis shows that the most upto date car practice is followed at the rear, including the underslinging of the frame. (Right) The two-cylinder air cooled engine.

So far as the interior of the body is concerned, there is nothing to distinguish the new Raleigh from the conventional open sports car of 1934, and there is ample seating accomodation.

The Connecting rods are simple L-section steel forgings with roller-bearing big-ends, side by side on the very robust crankpin. The crankshaft is, of course, built up. but it is particularly rigid and is carried on two large plain bearings.

At the flywheel end is a single gear wheel which meshes with two others. Above it is a large wheel attached to the camshaft, which lies fore and aft between the two cylinders. Below the crankshaft is a another gearwheel which drives the oil pump direct and which meshes with a pinion on the dynamo shaft. On the camshaft are four wide cams, one for each valve, and flat-base followers ensure silent operation.

Driven by bevels from the front of the camshaft is a cross-shaft. On the near side this drives the distributor of the coli ignition-system, and on the off side are dogs for a detachable starting handle. Normally however, the engine is brought into action by a conventional electric starter mounted low down on the near side the dynamo being in a corresponding position on the off side.

In the flywheel is a single dry-plate clutch with a flexible centre and with 12 small pressure springs. Behind that, and forming a unit with the engine, is a conventional three-speed and reverse gearbox.

Efficient Lubrication.

Lubrication is unusually thorough. Running under the whole length of the unit is a wide sump, which holds a gallon of oil. From this the pump takes its supply and forces it through a large filter. Thereafter the flow is divided. Part of it is forced to the big-ends and to every plain bearing in the engine, including the camshaft bearings, but excluding the small-ends of the connecting rods. Another lead from the filter chamber serves the gearbox, where again every plain bearing receives oil under pressure. The surplus. of course. drains down into the sump.

An open propeller shaft, with fabric disc couplings, transmits the power to the rear axle. This is of the spiral-bevel semi-floating type with large journal bearings. An unusual feature is that the speedometer drive is taken from the back axle..

In the front hub is a 7-in, internal-expanding brake, and each rear wheel has a 10-in. brake of the same type. Independent adjustment is provided for each brake, and all three are connected to both the pedal and the hand control, which is placed centrally. A foot accelerator is provided. So much for the mechanical side. The body is a smart, although conventional, close-coupled open four-seater. With a track of 4 ft. it will be realised that the body width is greater than that of many light four-wheelers. There are two wide doors, a safety glass screen, side curtains and a folding hood. The back of the body is out swept at the bottom, and the wings are flared to blend into this curve. At the front an attractive dummy radiator and a normal type of bonnet give quite a pleasing appearance.

Two colour schemes are standardised. green or grey, two tones being employed in each case. The main part of the body and the bonnet are carried out in a light shade, and the lower part, together with the wings, is darker. To that extent the body shown in the photos is not standard. Best-quality leather-cloth upholstery, with pleated seat backs and cushions, a large cubby-hole in the facia board, and a central instrument panel and an electric windscreen wiper are other items which should be mentioned. Completely equipped, the car weighs less than 8 cwt. and is understood to have a maximum speed under "level" conditions of rather better than 55 m.p.h., while the petrol consumption is said to be 60 mpg. During a short test run on the road the Raleigh handled very nicely. Its steering is pleasantly light and the car felt thoroughly safe. Braking was smooth and effective. The clutch was sweet and the gear-change easy, while the engine was smooth, quiet and evidently a very good puller, capable of operating at quite low speeds in top gear.

London readers should note that Frank Waring, Ltd., of 100, Great Portland Street. W.l, are the sole distributors for London and the surrounding counties.

 

In brief:

Engine: Two-cylinder; side valves; 75 mm by 84 mm = 742cc; tax £4; two bearing crank shaft coil ignition.

Transmission: Single-plate clutch; three-speed and reverse gear box; ratios, 5.5, 9.0 and 16.1 to 1; reverse 21 to 1; open propeller shaft with fabric disc coupings; spiral bevel back axle with diffrerential.

Dimensions: Wheelbase: 6ft 8"; Track 4ft; Overall Length 11ft; Width: 4ft 6"; Height (hood up) 4ft 8".

Price: 90 guineas

Raleigh Cycle Co Ltd, Nottingham.

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