Archive for June 29, 2011

Hillman Avenger : Projects and prototypes

A brave new style The New B Car would prove to be a departure from the last all-Rootes model to precede it, the Hunter. The main difference was the emergence of a Detroit style and a more youthful direction. Much time and effort went into ensuring that the car was exactly what the company’s customers […]

The cars : Hillman Avenger


Detroit meets Ryton According to former Rootes Group styling Director, Roy Axe, the first formal thoughts on the makeup of the Avenger were recorded for appraisal in January 1963. The idea had been to produce a replacement for the Hillman Minx, which at the time, was Rootes’ best selling car. However, the Arrow project was […]

Press Comment : just-auto’s take on Premier Wen’s visit to MG Birmingham

The UK’s leading consumer motoring titles do not seem to have given much, if any, coverage to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to MG Birmingham last Sunday. Indeed, Dave Leggett, Managing Editor of authoritative Automotive Industry website, seems to be the only commentator to have fully understood the visit’s real significance… Three things seemed […]

The cars : Vauxhall Cavalier Mk1

The cars : Vauxhall Cavalier Mk1

The General’s turn-around Vauxhall was in trouble in the early 1970s, and sales were taking a nosedive. The Viva might have been selling reasonably well in HC form, but in the fleet car market where the Ford Cortina Mk3 was king, the FE-Series ‘Transcontinental’ Victor singularly failed to measure up to this – or the […]

Concepts and prototypes : Matra-SIMCA Bagheera U8

Chrysler may have been content for the Bagheera to use the 1294 and 1442cc SIMCA power units, but there were people within Matra that disagreed… The Bagheera had always been designed to fulfill the role of inexpensive and practical sports coupe, and thanks to its all-round efficiency, it managed to achieve a great deal despite […]

The cars : Matra Murena


Smoothly does it The Bagheera was a good example of that old cliché, ‘racing improves the breed’, and following Jackie Stewart’s world championship at the wheel of a Matra-Tyrrell and back-to-back Le Mans victories in 1973/74, Matra’s credentials were impeccable. Clearly the Bagheera had been a commercial and critical success for Matra and Chrysler, and […]