(This article first appeared in the February 1978 issue of The Registry)
The test was carried out over the Golden Grove test track (a public road ideal for testing purposes under normal conditions) with 2 adults and 3 children in the car. The acceleration was not noticeably better than the two vehicles previously tested (other vehicles unknown) although seemed less fussy, probably due to the considerably larger engine capacity of 2490cc (158 cu in).
The Rugby has a maximum brake horsepower of 30. Speeds in the gears during the test were 10 mph in low and 18 in 2nd while the top speed reached (25 mph) was easily maintained to the top of the hill and could have been improved upon. Speedometer calibration appeared to be a little over 2 mph fast at 25 mph. (The figures quoted above are speedometer readings). Top speeds expected in the gears could be 15 mph, 24 mph and 50 mph. The final ratio of 4.875:1 and the tire size of 4-50 X 21 gives 18 mph per 1000 rpm.
The car generally could only be described as an average American small car giving the impression of a basic practical motor car with Its fair share of engine noise and vibration. What appears to be a resonant transmission vibration at about 40 mph which could be due to the rubber ball coupling in the shaft connecting the single plate clutch to the separate gear box.
Instrumentation consists of speedometer, oil pressure gauge (15 psi running) and ammeter in a central panel along with light switches ect. Controls comprise the conventional ignition advance and hand throttle levers in the center of the steering column and a choke on the passenger side of the dash. Normal driving seems to return only 20 mph on a long trip.
The two wheel braking system did seem a little inadequate, probably due to a combination of wear and poor adjustment, firm braking from 25 mph resulted in one wheel tending to look-up during the 130 feet traveled before coming to rest.
The Rugby tested is owned by the Vintage Sports Car Club of Australia, having been donated by the previous owner to the club. The road test originally appeared in the VSCC newsletter, and was supplied to us by Roger Irving of Chafers.