A common theme running through the reasons why various Pininfarina proposals were not adopted by BLMC was the thorny issue of production costs.
Whatever the other merits of their often forward-thinking proposals, the final decision was usually governed by simple economics. Even designs which were finally adopted, such as that for project ADO16, had to be modified specifically to simplify the tooling process. As former development engineer, Ron Nicholls put it: ‘You could never productionise Farina’s stuff without making lots of changes.’
This pretty Pininfarina design, dating from 1964, was for a possible MGB replacement which would have used the Hydrolastic suspension system which had recently been introduced on the BMC 1100s. Pininfarina were to develop this style for their Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider, launched the following year; and when that car was restyled to become the 1750 Spider in 1969, its rear-end styling had a familiar ring about it…
Pininfarina’s proposal for the Marina was considered “too glassy”, reportedly leading Harry Webster to comment, “it’s like sitting in a bloody goldfish bowl”.
This distinctly Citroën-esque proposal was produced for the ADO88 supermini project in late 1975. It was quickly abandoned because the production costs of this car would have been too high.
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Clsssics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.