THE GOOD OL' DAYS
A More Distinguished 1928 Falcon-Knight
Has Big-Car Steadiness at Top Speed
WHILE fundamentally unchanged the Falcon-Knight for 1928 has been improved in numerous particulars with the result that it is not only a much handsomer car but also bodies are roomier, more comfortable, more luxuriously finished and body sturdiness has been increased to permit taking full advantage of the improved riding quality; in short to make possible fast driving over rough roads without fear of developing body noises.
And the use of softer springs and four shock absorbers makes the car so steady when the speedometer is indicating 60 or 65 miles per hour that it realistically suggests big car performance, there being no front end wabble and little pitching. And the engine and driving mechanism are so smooth and quiet that the maximum speed is a comfortable speed to maintain for mile after mile without wearing the nerves or tiring the body.
Before explaining in further detail why the car acts so well on the road let us pause a moment to note some of the exterior features which have added much to the appearance. The runningboards have been brought closer to the road so that the car looks lower; fenders are wide and full crowned, the radiator is higher, horizontal louvres are used in the hood, the headlamp cross tie-rod is much heavier and these changes plus the fitting of larger, more substantial bodies, endow the new models with a much more massive appearance. Narrow front pillars of metal are used for visibility.
Although the new models are somewhat heavier, engine performance has been refined to such a point that they have better acceleration and high climbing ability and a higher maximum speed. This six-cylinder engine, having a moderate bore and stroke, 2-15/16 by 3-7/8 inches, and therefore light reciprocating parts made still lighter by the adoption of constant clearance, strut-type, aluminum-alloy pistons, is exceptionally free from vibration and of course it is silent because of the Knight sleeve-valve construction.
The writer can testify as to the pleasantness of the car's high-speed performance, and the company adds that, "experience has shown that these cars may be driven at high speed day after day, and week after week without tuning up or adjustment."
Throughout the car every effort has been made to build a vehicle which would give silent, smooth, nerve-free performance even at top speed. Therefore it is to be noted that the steering is not only easy but also kick-back through the steering wheel has been eliminated, and yet the moderate steering gear ratio of 8-1/2 to 1 enables the car to be maneuvered readily without excessive steering.
The steering wheel, by the way has the modern-type, comfortable narrow rim of large diameter, made by molding hard rubber on a spring-steel spider having four spokes. It is said that this construction gives the wheel some shock-absorbing action, and yet the wheel is as sturdy as can be. The hub is 6-1/2 inches in diameter, has a watermarked trim plate over spark and throttle levers, and a horn button with the Falcon-Knight crest.
The smoothness of the power plant and the riding quality are supplemented by an absence of gear chatter, due: First, to the use of a clutch plate with an insulated hub; second to the absence of tuning periods in the crankshaft; and third, to very careful workmanship in the transmission. Absence of vibration is also due to careful balance of the drive shaft as well as to the balancing of the clutch, flywheel and crankshaft. Idling noise in the constant mesh gears has been eliminated by burnishing these gears while ease of gearshifting has been increased by the adoption of a cane-type gear-shifting lever.
The split axle housing which was used last year to secure maximum silence has been superseded by the more accessible banjo-type housing specially modified to make it fully silent since it was found that the sounding-board tendency of the banjo type could be prevented by the introduction of a second tube placed inside the axle shaft housing, its inner end supported by a spider spotwelded both to the tube and the axle housing. This bracing prevents vibration of the housing and thus eliminates noise from this source.
The Bendix brakes have not required any major changes but detail improvements have been attained through extensive work on brake linings to give long life without frequent attention, and the brakes have been altered to secure a positive float on the brake cam bracket, an improvement which provides a softer brake application and a more positive release.
To afford greater ease of driving at night, Twin-Beam headlamps, with twin-filament bulbs are used, controlled by a foot-trip conveniently placed to the left of the clutch pedal.
The two-door sedan is harmoniously finished in tones of light green. Lliama green below the belt, and Illampu green, a darker shade, above the belt, and on top and wheels. Moldings are Elburg green and reveals Cotobaxi green. On all bodies the windshield frame and visor frame are painted to match the body color, while fenders and aprons are black.
The four-door sedan has top and upper work of Kalyuk drab, while panels below the belt and wheels are Grainger brown. Reveals are Comfinale tan, belt molding is Romazmoff gray. New Found orange and Tatoosh cream are used for body striping and the latter for wheel striping. Fenders and aprons are black.
A piano hinge is used on the rear doors of the four-door sedan, whereas half piano hinges are employed on the upper part of the front doors in conjunction with a conventional hinge for the lower part, this hinge construction also being used on the two-door sedan and coupe. Thus the doors are very solidly mounted.
The two-door sedan has a 37-inch door, and front seats are mounted on adjustable brackets. Both sedans have 2 inches more body length and front seat width is 43 inches, and the rear seats are also wider.
The upholstery material pattern for seat cushions and backs has been given a great deal of study to avoid a "wall-paper effect" and mohair with a small figured design has been selected, which contrasts nicely with the plain side and head lining.
Window moldings, belt panels and instrument board are walnut finished, and the hardware is a distinctive filigreed design in French finish. Remote control handles are used on the doors, reversing these handles locks the doors not locked by a key. Door pockets on the rear doors of the four-door sedan and the right door of the coupe and two-door sedan are made of the same material used on cushions and backs.
There is a handsome instrument board of new design with the usual instruments and an electric gasoline gauge in addition. Equipment includes not only shock absorbers but also, water thermostat, gasoline strainer, air cleaner, vacuum oil control for high oil economy, rear mirror, automatic windshield cleaner, combination stop and taillight, and a colored glass sunvisor which has two important advantages: Traffic lights may be seen through it in their natural colors and it may be swung down at night so that by looking high through it the glare of approaching headlights is avoided. An electric fumer, to give easy starting in cold weather, is standard equipment.
New Headlight Dims Automatically
A novel attempt to solve the headlight problem is shown herewith, an invention of Wilfred M. Harrison, Modern Art Studios, 60 Gammage Buildings, Holborn, London E. C. I, England. A selenium cell is mounted on the front of the car, with the result that when a car approaches from opposite direction, the rays from its headlights act on the selemium cell, actuating the relay which depresses the headlights by means of a solenoid.
Published in the January 1928 MoToR Magazine (Trade journal for car dealers). Reproduced by permission. Visit www.motor.com