The debate has been going on for a number of years, but a note of urgency has crept in now that the Australian Federal Government has reduced the lead content of leaded petrol and set a timetable for further reductions over the next few years until it is removed completely by the end of the century.
Suddenly, owners are worrying about the valves and valve seats in their veteran, vintage and early post-war cars. Will we be faced with increasing wear in these cars, with a loss of performance and eventually with horrendous overhaul bills because of lead being phased out?
It is the uncertainty of the situation, the lack of factual information which is fuelling (no pun intended) the anxiety.
Whilst at Crewe recently Tony Ward (NSW Branch Technical Officer) had a discussion with a Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd executive on the subject of unleaded fuels and was handed a paper by the retired Chief Engineer, Power Train, of the Company, Mr.K.E.Lee. This addresses most owners' questions.
Unleaded fuels for Rolls Royce and Bentley engines?
Tony has written an article clarifying this information in an Australian context.
Unleaded fuels in Australia
A response to the above article(s) by Robert Chapman was published in Præclarum in 1996. Robert takes a different view of the situation.
Unleaded Petrol for all Rolls-Royce Cars?