Donington Park recently hosted Europe’s largest bus and coach gathering – Showbus 2016. Despite the wind and constant threat of rain (which did eventually come), there was a good turn out of both old and new for everyone to see. Mike Humble caught up with someone rather well known in the motor trade and made a […]
The 2017 MINI Countryman has been revealed, and just like its predecessor, it moves very much into the Austin Maxi way of thinking by being bigger, better equipped, and more distant from the original entry-level hatchback.
The first plug-in hybrid MINI is readying for launch, with development almost completed. The 1.5-litre power unit works in parallel with an electric motor, which enables purely electric propulsion for the first time in a MINI. MINI is promising that the car will be fun to drive, retaining the existing car’s ‘go-kart’ feel. There are few outward […]
Vauxhall Motors’ Heritage Centre is preparing for its largest ever display at next month’s Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show at the NEC, in its fifth year supporting the event. The Heritage Centre, home to one of the largest, manufacturer-owned car collections in the UK, will be celebrating two important anniversaries – 50 years of the […]
Keith Adams For the British contingent, it was a case of Jaguar Land Rover taking the headlines at the Paris Motor Show with the world premiere of the Discovery 5, and the surprise announcement that there will be a Sportbrake version of the Jaguar XF. The Land Rover Discovery 5 came fresh in from its unveiling alongside a […]
The Land Rover Discovery 5 was revealed to the press in typically media-savvy style by breaking a Guinness World Record for the largest LEGO structure ever built, and doing so with the endorsement of brand ambassadors, Bear Grylls, Sir Ben Ainslie and Zara Phillips. The LEGO unveil was impressive, as the rendering of Tower Bridge was made from 5,805,846 individual […]
Keith Adams The Land Rover Discovery 5 has been launched following a rather lengthy teaser campaign. It’s clearly lighter and more efficient than the outgoing model, which has been doing fine service since 2005, but the big news is that its styling is more derivative of Land Rover’s new look, effectively looking like a scaled-up […]
Keith Adams Following my recent blog about the Citroen C5 bemoaning what appears to be the beginning of the end of the traditional Dad Car, it’s good to know that Skoda still makes something perfectly suited. Don’t know what I mean by Dad Car? Think big saloon/hatchback of the non-premium variety, nice to drive, unpretentious, and […]
Public transport for the masses is not a job for the faint-hearted, especially when it comes to rail replacement and most certainly following a tragedy. In times of crisis you would like to think the public become understanding, and for most of the time they do… But sometimes they don’t. The Leyland Olympian with ECW bodywork. […]
Ian Nicholls Okay, at first glance this looks like a stupid question. The Mini was replaced in 2001 by BMW’s new MINI. Question answered, let’s move on – but that is not really what I am asking. The classic Issigonis Mini was innovative, a great success at motorsport and the best-selling British car of all […]
The R50- and onwards-generation of MINI rather neatly dovetails AROnline in many ways. It appeared in 2001, started out with good intentions, and has grown beyond all recognition from the original idea. Well, something like that. That maybe why I now seem to have two very early MINIs in my possession right now.
If you’re still coming to terms over MG Motor UK’s admission that it’s no longer going to carry out some final assembly here, then I’ve got a heart-warming story for you. With post-Brexit fears larger than ever, I’ve been eagerly waiting to write this little blog for a few days now.
Twenty years ago – on 1 October 1996 – BMW through its British subsidiary the Rover Group made a significant announcement. The Mini Mk7 MPi was announced at the Paris Motor Show, the final incarnation of the Issigonis car.
The Jaguar F-Pace seems to be selling well within weeks of going on sale. You see them everywhere, a clear indicator that Jaguar is building cars that buyers want. Question is, as it’s an all-new proposition, is it good enough to tear buyers away from their Audi Q5s and BMW X3s? For our first test, we’ve spent […]
Once upon a time, Citroën launched the DS3, and found it had a huge hit on its hands. But then its parent company, PSA, decided the DS name was so good that a new range of cars should be spun around it – and the DS3 became the DS 3. It’s still appealing, but is it worthy […]
The Jaguar XE has already established itself as a front-running challenger in the company car market, taking sales from the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class in a way that the old X-Type never had a hope of doing. We’ve already driven the 2.0-litre XE and came away impressed with its all-round excellence. But does […]
Five years on from launch, the Range Rover Evoque has been tweaked and fitted with JLR’s impressive Ingenium turbodiesel. Is it still the must-have crossover in the premium sector? We love the Range Rover Evoque at AROnline. It’s the car that brought super-profitability to Jaguar Land Rover, opened new markets for the company and delivered […]
The 6 is dead – long live the GS. MG has announced the slow-selling 6 is to be dropped from the UK model range, but it’s not all bad news. At the launch event in Oxfordshire we got to sample the much-awaited new crossover from MG Motor UK, the MG GS. Here’s what we discovered… Mike Humble Well, it’s finally […]
The estate car is dead… Long live the Sports Tourer. Vauxhall has recently extended its CoTY 2016 award-winning Astra range with the addition of some all-new load-luggers, but are they worthy of the Sports Tourer name? The Astra is most definitely Vauxhall’s answer to perpetual motion, isn’t it? Rather like post boxes and corner shops, they have been street […]
The Project HHR 414 lives to die another day as she sweeps through her MoT. It was also nice to see the bug of saving tired old Rovers and MGs is spreading throughout the Sussex South Downs… Moments before the journey to the testing station… The Project HHR was washed, vacuumed and ready for inspection then, typically, […]
After some utterly reliable service from the R8 416 Automatic, we have plumped for something a little newer, a little bigger, a little greener and, er… a little broken. Say hello to Project HHR. Trust me… It really is that clean and tidy in general. Local car with same family owners that just needed some `lovin. Owner […]
Keith Adams Well, I did go and buy it… I have to say that, so far, the Vauxhall Calibra has been as good as gold for me – as expected. It’s going to be one of our fleet that’s going to cause no trouble at all, just quietly getting on with the job, covering miles […]
Keith Adams Just a quick addition to the site, and one that I hope will back up my recent assertion in a blog that, in many ways, the affordable motor car reached its peak in the late-1980s/early-1990s. The Vauxhall Calibra might be looked down upon by keen wheelmen, as it’s based very closely on the […]
Mike Humble’s Rover 416 seemed to be rolling along quite merrily and without so much as a problem – or rather it was. What initially seemed quite terminal turned out to be a simple fix, but not without some time-served experience and the advice of a retired Workshop Manager… Tsch! Me and my big mouth, eh? Within days […]
Sometimes an old banger struggles to make for an interesting read, especially when it just trundles along without so much as a minor hiccup. But some good old traditional fettling has been taking place with our R8 416 – and what a difference a day makes! Mike Humble Well, as the headline states, there’s not […]
Following the inability of the XJ-S to convincingly replace the Jaguar E-type, there was an internal pressure from the the design and engineering teams to produce a genuine and traditionally styled replacement for the car. It was to be a Jaguar, which would wear the F-type moniker with conviction. Updated with new images.
An amazing number of design themes were created during the AR6 programme – here are some of the less well-known prototypes. Words: Keith Adams Pictures: Roy Axe 1982 teaser prototype 1983 styling proposals Original design developed for production 1985 and the design direction changes
Ahead of its time This wooden model, photographed in March 1959, clearly shows the interesting passenger door cut-out, which extends into the rear wheelarch area, presumably with the aim of facilitating access to the rear seats Known within BMC as the ‘MG Sport’, ADO56 was devised by Alec Issigonis, based on an extended Mini floor […]
The MG EX234 project was developed in 1964 as a proposed replacement for the MGB. Under the skin lurked some very interesting engineering solutions… The EX234 project was instigated in early 1964 when the Abingdon engineering team’s thoughts turned to the issue of revising the MGB in order to give it a degree of chassis […]
Back in the late 1960s, when the influence of ex-Ford man, Roy Haynes, started to take hold, some very interesting design projects started to emerge from the Pressed Steel Fisher design studios in Cowley. The ADO68 was one such platform-sharing product. Devised at the Pressed Steel Fisher styling studios in Cowley by Roy Haynes, this […]
Taking Jaguar forward into the 21st century inevitably meant weaning it off its love affair with the straight-six, and taking the company in a whole new V8-powered direction. The AJ-V8 engine was the result of this radical thinking. Ralph Hosier tells the story of its birth… A change in direction… There was a time when ‘Jaguar’ […]
Former engineer Nigel Garton recalls his time spent working at Land Rover – a time of great change, and development for the company. The years of 1982-1994 were turbulent years at Land Rover, and ultimately saw the company grow massively. Here’s the view of a man in the engineering department…
It may have been one of Britain’s best-selling cars of the 1960s and ’70s, but John Cleese’s characters of Basil Fawlty and Brian Stimpson in Clockwise were far from fans of the BMC 1100/1300 range. ANDREW ROBERTS looks at Cleese’s 1986 attempted murder of a Morris. FOR a vehicle which has a fair claim to being […]
Ian Nicholls, AROnline‘s own resident historian, delivers a fantastic insight into BL’s industrial relations, and how they changed over the years… The Combined Shop Stewards’ Committee had some huge battles from 1975 under Derek ‘Red Robbo’ Robinson – here’s how it all unfolded. Derek Robinson rose through the union ranks to the point where, in 1975, he followed […]
William Towns had high hopes for the Microdot, but they would eventually come to nothing… The Microdot made its debut at the London Motor Show in 1976, where it couldn’t help but attract attention due to its typically neat, glassy styling – and its bright lime-green paintwork. However, its green credentials were more than skin-deep, […]
Ian Nicholls, AROnline‘s own resident historian, delivers a fantastic insight into BL’s industrial relations, and how they changed over the years… Say hello to the Combined Shop Stewards’ Committee, and how it developed between 1960 and 1975. The British Leyland Combined Shop Stewards’ Committee was a thorn in the side of British Leyland management for […]
Recent stories worth reading
Ian Nicholls, AROnline’s historian, turns his attention to Jaguar – and looks at its fall and rise in the 1990s, an era when the German manufacturers were beginning to take over the world.
Here, in Part Three, he recalls how Ford begins to put right the quality woes in the existing range.
Replacing the Mini was never going to be the work of a moment, and was generally regarded to be one of the toughest gigs in the industry. After years of deliberation, Rover started serious work in 1993, which was soon bolstered by the arrival of BMW the following year. What we ended up with sparked […]
Ian Nicholls, AROnline’s historian, turns his attention to Jaguar – and looks at its fall and rise in the 1990s, an era when the German manufacturers were beginning to take over the world. This time, what Ford did when it was given the keys to Browns Lane…