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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed!

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Likes It Wet

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The article on wet weather grip I found most interesting. However, I don't fully understand why reducing tread depth resulted in much less grip even though there is minimal water on the road. Is it due to reduced tread block flex (as they get shorter); in which case a soft compound, many small tread block design would give better wet grip than other types? Is there any visual way to spot a good tread pattern? Also the fact that tyre compounds harden with age and oxidation - is that true? Would a hard compound tyre with more tread perform better than a soft compound with less? Though I have found through my own experience that soft is substantially better unless there is large amounts of water on the road, I have also found that tyres that have been sitting around (garaged off the car) don't seem to perform all that well in the wet either. Maybe there should be a minimum tyre compound / pattern / age specification as well as depth!

Adrian Wortley

These are all very good questions; we suggest you speak to a local tyre engineer!

Rex Revival

Can you please give me a link to the article covering the fitting of an import WRX motor into an Australian delivered car. It was in the last three months and was Michael Knowling's car if memory serves me correctly. I have searched the archives fairly well and can't seem to find it. Thanks.

Paul Young

You'll find it at "Ticker Transplant"

RS Sucks Like WRX?

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I've just read the Rex Sucks article and it is fantastic. I own a Liberty RS and believe that everything detailed in the article is applicable to my car also - is this correct? From the photos it looks identical and, if so, I plan to do the same to my car this weekend. Just a quick question - how long was the piece of 90mm pipe you purchased? Keep up the great work and keep those updates coming about your WRX - they are really great reading and very relevant to novices like myself. Regards.

Sam Penglis

The RS intake layout is exactly the same as the MY94-96 WRX so, yes, it's all applicable to your car. The only thing that might be different is the shape of the body cut-out that the snorkel into the airbox pokes through. Oh, and you won't be able to tap into a brake cooling duct as we did on the WRX; an alternative on the Liberty is to remove the right side driving light and use that area as an air pick-up. Another (simpler) approach is to simply cut a hole through the bottom of the guard liner. The length of plastic pipe we used to create the new snorkel is only about 15cm long. Have fun!

Come On, Columns

Whatever happened to the editorial column? Was usually a good read.

Marc Kelly

Our new format no longer includes regular columns - as stated in Julian's final "Driving Emotion"...

"As part of that new editorial process, we'll be strengthening AutoSpeed's content approach - after all, each and every article has to be a hard-hitter if it's to stand on its own feet as the article of the day! Therefore, the weekly columns that we've run for the last four years will be replaced by full-length articles, adopting the perspective that if the theme is strong enough for a column, then it should be able to be run as a more in-depth piece..."

Not Happy Jan

Hey Guys. Just a few niggles...What has happened to the regular editorial/opinion columns? Haven't seen them the past few issues.

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Also, whilst the Fresh Outta Japan section has been interesting it seems a little plain - almost like you copied down a list of new stuff Adelaide Jap has got in. How about an article on cheap Japanese conversions? This cheap fast motor into this cheap Australian delivered car for that type of performance? Perhaps with examples to make it a little more wordy rather than just spec sheets?

Finally, you could change the number of doors that opened, whether the horn beeped, how long the interior lights/headlights stayed on after you left the car and other similar things on the VS Commodore Berlina - read the manual!

Otherwise keep up the good work.

Dan Boman

Cossy Benz

I've been reading you guys for the last 2-3 years and I simply love the mag. I am in the process of getting my second car and was looking at a 1984 380 SEL, however you recently made a comment about 190E Mercedes Cosworths. I haven't been able to find hide nor hair of these cars in Australia. A) did they import them? B) how much are they to buy C) are they going to cost stupid amounts to upkeep? Thanks heaps.

PS - I'm a bit of a Merc fan, sad but true, but I can't afford the LS400 I want!

Simon Mahoney

The 190E Cosworth Merc (with a 185hp 2.3-litre four) was officially imported to Australia during the late '80s. We haven't found any examples presently for sale, but these are not cheap cars due to their collector appeal. We've been told maintenance costs are also very high.

Corvette Choke

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GM could benefit from hiring another editor. I was disappointed to see disparity and omission in the article I just read; "50 Years of Corvette." In the section on the third generation, the following is stated; "In 1971, 425hp represented the highest output of any production version in the history of the American sportscar legend..." On the previous page, regarding the 2nd generation, a 450hp option is listed, clearly 25 horses higher, not to mention in a lighter car. I also hated not to see any mention at all of the brilliant ZR-1 model in the generation 4 section - 420bhp from a quad-cam 32-valve 350, packed with a smorgasbord of modern engine technology. Why would they want that model forgotten? Perhaps because they have yet to produce so awesome a powerplant since?

Grant Bailey

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