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Overview

The MURAD car was an attempt to provide a practical touring saloon in the 1.5 litre range by the Murad Tool Co. Ltd. of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England. This was one of several companies founded by Jamaican, Wadia Halim Murad. In the 1940's, Murad very bravely, perhaps foolishly in hindsight considering the established competition they had at the time, decided to design and build a car bearing their own name. Permission was given by the Directors of the company to build two prototypes. It was hoped that production of the MURAD would begin in 1949, but although it was well past the prototype stage, only one was built. It was given the registration number KPP618 in 1948. After a request for further funds for problems still to be sorted on the complex design, the project was stopped by the Directors of the company and the sole car was retained by Mr. Murad until 1964.

The MURAD used a Rubery Owen chassis and was powered by an in-line, push rod operated overhead valve, four cylinder engine of 1,496cc. This was designed and built 'in-house' and had a 72mm bore x 92mm stroke. It had hydraulic tappets. The compression ratio was 7:1. Maximum bhp was 51 at 4,600 rpm. Although the engine would rev far higher than this, performance peaked well before this figure was reached. K.L.G. spark plugs were fitted because they were found to perform better than those produced by other spark plug manufacturers. To give a flat floor in the front, a short propshaft was fitted from the clutch to a Moss gearbox positioned between the two front seats. This allowed a short gear lever to be used. But the additional inertia given by this extra shaft defeated the object of the synchromesh gearbox and 'double de-clutching' as used on normal 'crash' type gearboxes was found to be the best solution to the problem. Final drive was through a De-Dion type rear axle. The independent front suspension was by luvax-damped coil springs with a beam axle and very large lower wishbones. Rear suspension was by semi-eliptic springs. Rubber bushes reduced the number of lubrication points required.

The four door bodywork of the MURAD was a confusing design and it would have been hard pressed to compete with other cars of its type in both style and price, especially with competition from the large and well established companies using cost-cutting volume production methods. The passenger compartment was fairly roomy and ended in a short, well rounded boot. But in side view, the car was possibly spoiled by the dreadful shape of the wings, which were a strange mixture of straight and rounded lines. Conventional flowing wings or a 'slab-sided' design could have improved the cars appearance considerably. The front wings were almost parallel to the ground until a few inches from the 'A' pillar with a straight reverse angle to their rear end and the front of the rear wings were straight, at the same angle as the front wings, giving the impression that a huge diagonal slice had been taken out of the side of the car. There were no running boards. The rounded front grille was made up with very prominent vertical bars and two smaller grilles with prominent horizontal bars were positioned, one each side, just above the front bumper with its two widely spaced overriders. A narrow, one piece flat windscreen was cleaned by two windscreen wipers that parked centrally, one above the other. At waistline height, a chrome bright strip along each side, continued across the boot and over the front grille. Headlamps were blended into the front wings, near to the body sides, in the manner of the new post-war cars built by Riley.
Separate side lights were blended into the top of the wings to match. The prototype had twin 'hi-lo' chrome electric horns mounted close to the bonnet sides that protruded forward of the grille. Unusual for a car at that time. air-conditioning was fitted. The 16" wheels had 4.75" tyres fitted. Brakes were Lockheed hydraulic. Wheelbase: 9'4" Track: 4'7"

KPP618 had eventually been locked away in storage, but when discovered several years later, time and vandals had left their mark on it. As a unique 'one-off' design, it would probably be a long restoration project and its condition and whereabouts are unknown at this time.

Source: Reg J Prosser

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