Archive for June 25th, 2011

The cars : Ford Capri

The cars : Ford Capri

The car you always promised yourself… THE car industry had been going through some liberating times during the 1960s. Fuel was plentiful and cheap, and the Americans were making the most of the situation – offering buyers plenty of V8s to choose from. Even the entry-level ‘college’ cars were packing big (by European standards) six-cylinder […]

Concepts : Omni Supermini

Concepts : Omni Supermini

The small hatchback Rover commissioned OMNI design to produce a proposal for the company’s upcoming supermini – these were the results. These sketches show two interesting interpretations on the Rover theme – traditional (think, smaller 75) and contemporary. It would appear the contemporary design made the transition from paper to clay – and thanks to […]

Concepts : Rover R6X

Concepts : Rover R6X

Metro’s missed opportunity Cost constraints killed the interesting AR6 Metro-replacement project, just as it was on the cusp of production. The lower cost alternative was to build a car based on the then current Metro, yet housing the PSA gearbox and K-Series engine. The underlying excellence of the K-Series engine, in particular, meant that there […]

Prototypes : LC8 Metro

Prototypes : LC8 Metro

Metro style emerges LC8 was not an entirely new supermini by any stretch of the imagination, using ADO88 as a starting point. The project was basically a restyle job – with Harold Musgrove cracking the whip over the Austin-Morris development team, ensuring that it was in production by the proposed launch date: the Birmingham Motor […]

Ford Capri : Concept and prototypes

Ford Capri : Concept and prototypes

Words and pictures: Andrew Elphick Styling sketches Final sketches to scale models Honing the Capri Nearing production    

Supermini projects : ADO88/LC8 drawings

Supermini projects : ADO88/LC8 drawings

Metro uncovered A fascinating find uncovered recently on the AR forums – engineering drawings of the ADO88 and LC8 projects… The differences between the original car and the pre-launch facelift are clear to see – and the fact that these drawings of the ADO88 were produced at all clearly shows just how close to production […]

Ford Capri : Videos

Here’s a lovely advertising video for you – it’s 1981, and you know you want a Capri Injection! Feel the power

Supermini projects : ADO88

Supermini projects : ADO88

The Metro route Shortly after the demise of ADO74, the “Mini replacement idea” was yet again brought down from the shelf for further investigation. Unlike ADO74, which was new from the wheels up, ADO88 would use the Mini’s A-series engine plus transmission-in-sump layout. The reason for this was cost – ADO74 would have cost an […]

The cars : Talbot Wind

The cars : Talbot Wind

The Rancho might be the best known 1100 variant for fashionistas, but the Talbot Wind was an equally faddish flavour – for rather less money. The beach was probably the best place for this unfortunately named plaything. What a pick-up line he coachbuilders Heuliez were no strangers to the idea of converting the SIMCA 1100 […]

Supermini projects : ADO74

Supermini projects : ADO74

The original Metro One project, many faces: a wide variety of styling exercises were produced before ADO74 was cancelled in 1973, as British Leyland could not raise the £130m needed to produce it. The project suffered from having indecisive leadership – it was led by Harry Webster, but because he had worked previously at Triumph, […]

The cars : SIMCA 1200 Campero

Various SIMCAs were built in Spain, and the majority of these adhered to their French cousins. However, the Campero was unique to Spain. Graham Arnold tells its interesting story. Spanish fancy The SIMCA 1200 Campero was a Matra Rancho-type of vehicle built in Spain by a Chrysler Espa–a dealership in Madrid called Talleres Panades. It […]

The cars : SIMCA 1100

The cars : SIMCA 1100

Template of a supermini FOLLOWING the launch of the conventional 1300/1500 range at the Geneva Motor show in 1963, to replace the long-lived Aronde model, SIMCA turned its attention to developing a gap-bridging model to slot in between this and the baby Simca 1000. Therefore, it was a logical step for SIMCA to begin work […]

Supermini projects : A new Mini (1968-’74)

Supermini projects : A new Mini (1968-’74)

From barrel to wedge Long before the term supermini had been coined, BLMC had begun to think about producing a new Mini with superior space, comfort and practicality. This gallery contains some initial thoughts and some blind alleys. This car was tentatively developed around the same time as Sir Alec Issigonis was working on his […]

Sports car projects : MG TF GT

Sports car projects : MG TF GT

MGB for the 21st century? Hinted at for some time in the press, the MG GT Concept marries the well-known capabilities of the MG TF chassis and the KV6 engine, and packages them up in a pretty new hard-top body. Not yet cleared for production, it is MG Rover’s ambition to get the car into […]

Sports car projects : OMNI proposals

Sports car projects : OMNI proposals

MG’s Sports car for the 21st century RICHARD Hamblin, former Managing Director of OMNI Design, and has managed to give us an invaluable insight into the design of the sports car pictured on this page. As the former Director of Advanced Design at the Rover Group, he has passionate views on the health of the […]

Sports car projects : Matra M72

Sports car projects : Matra M72

Anglo-French Rover? It wasn’t only Matra’s Renault Espace Gen 3 that MG Rover had been interested in – Longbridge executives could have ended up reviving the MG Midget name with this fascinating prototype, and also coined the CityRover name for it… Back in 2000, MG Rover’s management was in a terrible pickle – ‘gifted’ a […]

Hillman Hunter : The Swallow project

Hillman Hunter : The Swallow project

Conceived as an advanced replacement for the Audax range and created with the same set of goals as the Imp, the Swallow could have been the Rootes Group’s swansong… Sadly, it did not progress very far. Hindsight suggests that this might be no bad thing, as rear engined family cars were rapidly becoming a thing […]

The cars : Hillman Hunter/Rootes Arrows

The cars : Hillman Hunter/Rootes Arrows

The Arrow range was conceived as a smart-suited replacement for the Audax range of Minx/Supermix models and their badge-engineered counterparts. Some have called this the last Rootes car, although the Avenger has equal claim to that title. Launched in 1966/67, the new range of cars came in several guises, from the Hillman Minx at the […]

Sports car projects : MG DR2/PR5

Sports car projects : MG DR2/PR5

MG’s might-have-been bruiser Throughout the mid- to late-’80s, the Austin-Rover design studios produced several MG sports car mock-ups, most of which came to nought. Things became more serious following the launch of the Mazda MX5 in 1989, and Rover’s management realised there was genuine money to be made in open-tops. This proposal created by Design […]

Sports car projects : Aston MGB

Sports car projects : Aston MGB

The Aston MGB The 10th September 1979 became known as “Black Monday” among MG enthusiasts around the world, because it was the date that BL finally went public with their plans to shut the Abingdon factory, after fifty successful years of sports car production. Shockwaves reverberated around the industry, and it did not take long […]