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Expert On Motor Cars

Expert On Motor Cars image
Parent Issue
Day
6
Month
February
Year
1903
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

Honri Fournier, best known of chauffeurs on both sides of the ocean, took Ürue froni the deinands of business and the Impottunities of questioners at the automobile show in Madison Square Garden, New York, the other night to dlseuss the French and Axnericau automobile industries and to express sonie Interesting opiuions of the comparativo adt.uce each has made durtng the last two years, says the New York Herald. ïUe Parislan automobilist stated emphatically that ín two or three yeara America wouid overtake and pass Frunce at the present rate of progresa both are making. ' Fournier considera Americans clever imitators and that they are only behind tbe origináis because the latter get out the new ihings a year in advance of the former. The French automobilist thinks that raclng is responsible for most of the l'oreign success In automobile b-uilding. "I have boen to every one of these MiVdison Square Carden shows," n::d he. "The one two yeurs ayo was o Lng at all, 'ast yr.ir's not mucb and this year's very much," to ciuote his exact words. "Last year you Americans triod to copy, and j-ou did not copy. Thls year you copy very well. The i show a great improvement You mako fiue bodies, as bandaonie bodíea as we have in Paris-perfect bodies. "You do not cateii up vri rausa vre uiiderstm.d before you understai he contiuued. "We n. and carry out our ideas, and yon wait to Kee what we do, and so you are always a y Your though, is far faster tban-ours. Ín two or threé years you will be abead of us, so fast is it and so good aro your mecnan I-'oumier then drifted', as migbt liava boon e on of raS Ing as a factor in automobile ituprovement. "What you need are good roada and racing," he rosunied. "if you cau't hare races on good roads, liave tnom on bad roads. Come over mul raoo witli u.s, just as Winton did, and learn Bomething. Wbat bas inade Winton but racing? Wbo would liave regarded hlghly the Naplers had uot Mr. Edge wou a race on one? "Why are the Mors and Panhards at the bead in Frauce but because tliey win races? Tliey did not beconie great froin riding eigbteen uiiles au hour. You reinember tlie blcycle years ago cost $123 and weígbed forty pounds. Racing necessities made it light." fournier was uow tborouglüy warmed up to bis subject and became eloquent. "It is absurd to ride at eighty milos au bour," he continued, "but if a maker cannot make a machine that can go at eighty miles hour be cannot make a good machine. Your endurance runs are no good as tests. You aliow petitors to go but fourteeu miles an hour and the poor machine has as much chanco as the good one." Questioned as to electricity, he said: "Mr. Edison showed me his battery. I was surprised at its beautiful works. Electricity is a wonderful power, but I llke to try a thing before I believe in lt You make better looking electric vehicles than we do, but you make them so weak that they are suitable only for riding in the park. There Is no reason why they should not be built to go far out into the country." The Frenchmau's prejudice against stearn as a motive power was strong. "Steam vehicles are ce to look at," he said, "but there is too much for the driver to watch about them. Some engines are perfect. Your steam vehicles far outnumber ours. In a ride around Paris you will see 600 gasoline machines where you see one GardinerSerpollet, our only steam vehicle worth mentioning." Foumier has a poor opinión of small, low priced automobiles. "We have no cheap automobiles. Those that are in demand bring high prices and those that the entUusiasts don't want bring low figures. You are willing to take your proüt from many at cheap prices. We seek ours from few at Rood prices. To my mind cheap automobiles are poor automobiles." And the coarteous Frenchman turned patiently to his next interrogator.