I have lost count of how many conversations I have had with car enthusiasts about just how hard their cars are to drive. The owner of a Riley was recently making light of how awkward the pedals are in his car and I had to admit that I keep a special pair of shoes just for driving 12 h.p. Rileys: My size tens just won’t make the pedals work properly in ordinary shoes so I have found a rather nice slender pair of leather soled ones which actually allow the pedals to be operated one at a time.
The owner of an Aston Martin DB4 recently decided quite wisely that there should be no need to accept this state of affairs: The accelerator pedal in his car was situated above the level of the brake pedal, so the chances of unleashing the full glory belonging to 3.7 litres of Tadek Marek’s masterpiece of an engine instead of bringing the car to a halt are quite unfavorable.
The “organ pedal” type accelerator was the type fitted to the DB4 GT but the original owner of this standard model car had specified the GT pedal from new. It’s the one at the bottom of the picture and the last 53 years of use have worn most of the paint from it. It is rather thick in section and the original idea was to cut it and weld it in order to gain more clearance. When I took it off I noticed the original gas welds which had been done by a craftsman at Aston Martin. Who want’s to cut that about? Not me. The pedal at the top is a reproduction which I made up instead and is over an inch thinner than the original item. The Aston is much nicer to drive and the original pedal makes a nice ornament. I have included a video of the DB4 on test; eagle – eyed readers might notice that the test route is the same one which features in the clip of the Singer Le Mans in an earlier post and this is no co-incidence: I often hear the opinion that cars didn’t feature much development until very recently with the advent of electronics, so I think that this clip makes a very clear point: The Aston Martin and the Singer Le Mans are both quality sports cars; the Singer was designed for 1934 and the DB4 for 1958. The development between the two videos therefore represents 24 years.
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