With the benefit of hindsight, the 1940s Murad car project was doomed from its inception for, even if the design had been radical enough to have attracted an enthusiastic cliental (it was really rather ordinary) and been developed as far as production, it could never have competed with the cost-cutting economies of scale enjoyed by the big Midland motor manufactures. It was, however, a brave effort with the engine designed and built by in-house (it had an unusual lubricating oil-to-water heat exchanger) coupled to a bought-in Moss gearbox with the drive taken though a De-Dion-type rear axle, the whole being mounted in a Rubery Owen chassis with a coil-sprung beam axle at the front, a Marles steering box and semi-elliptical cart springs at the rear. A surprising offering for the decade was air-conditioning.
Because the Moss gearbox was mounted beneath the gap between the front seats an usually short gearlever could be used instead of the long wobbly stick so common in family cars before remote linkages or column changes became popular. The position of the gearbox required the use of a short propeller shaft to connect it to the clutch and this caused two problems: the additional inertia of the shaft was sufficient to defeat the gearbox synchromesh and double-declutching had to be employed to get a decent change. Where the prop shaft entered the gearbox an additional support bearing was required - and this tended to overheat, such being the nature of the grease-filled ball races available at the time.
Although the engine produced a relatively healthy 48 b.h.p. at 4000 r.p.m. - and was capable of running up to 6000 r.p.m. - above maximum power the torque fell off rather more steeply than was deemed desirable. Being an engineering company, in-house facilities for development were, of course, pretty reasonable and even included a dynamometer that was employed in an extensive research effort to improve the engine. It was notable that the motor responded best to just one make of spark plus, KLG, where an extra 3 b.h.p. was gained through their use - the other makes being described, brutally, as: "no use at all".
During the 1940s the design and prototyping of the engine was reputed to have cost in the region of £50,000 - thought this is suspected to have included the provision of all the special facilities required, including equipment for the manufacture of white-metal shell bearings. The latter was an unbelievably wasteful thing to have attempted - such items being available cheaply off-the-shelf in the form of well-proven "Thin-wall" bearings from Vandervell Products. Although permission had been granted to build two prototypes during the war it is thought that only one was completed and this was not registered, as KPP 618, until January 16th, 1948. This car was taken on a 2,000 mile test drive round Britain and was found to have no power over 4200 r.p.m., thought with the motoring conditions of the time that can hardly have been a serious shortcoming. In an attempt to improve engine breathing, funds were requested to redesign the valve gear; this appeal was referred to the Directors of the Company who said curtly, "No more money." and that was, effectively, the end of car development for Murad. However, the prototype car remained in the hands of Mr. Murad until 1964 being registered for road use almost continuously through two decades.
Pencilled onto the cover of perhaps the only surviving catalogue is an inscription by Murad: "In 1948 the car was fully tooled for production and we held orders for £5.5 million. The project was destroyed by the "nit wits" who shouted "We are the masters now" and sang the Red Flag in the Mother of Parliaments." Mr. Murad would have been even more incensed if he'd known that the socialist government was, at the same time (under the direction of the communist-inclined and Marxist believer Stafford Cripps) busy giving the Russians the secrets to the Rolls-Royce jet engine - so enabling MIG fighters to take on and beat Allied aircraft in the Korean War. As Stalin said, "What fool will sell us his secrets?" Answer: British socialists..