Below are some pictures showing the development of ADO71 – or Diablo, as it was known in the early stages.
One of the first “Diablo” concept pictures, as penned by Harris Mann. The Princess character is already abundantly clear.
Two-door scheme never made it into production… (Picture: BMIHT)
By August 1970, the first full-size clay model is finished – and it shows remarkable similarities to Mann’s early sketch (above). Contrast this with the final clay model of November 1970, shown below.
Not a glamourous picture this, but it shows the ADO71 undergoing wind-tunnel testing at MIRA (Motor Industry Research Association) in Nuneaton. This is actually a one-third scale model and demonstrates that the air flow over this model was pretty good for its day. Drag co-efficient was Cd0.404 (compared with 0.44 for a Ford Cortina Mark IV).
What do you get when you cross a coke-bottle design with a wedge? This proposal for a three-box saloon was ruled out early in the car’s development, with Saab and Rover P8 overtones. (Picture: John Capon)
Despite the fact that the new Leyland management charged their BMC forebears with excessively resorting to badge-engineering, they planned for their upcoming “D” sector car to be available in Austin, Morris and Wolseley forms. (Pictures: John Capon)
Many frontal treatments were tried… (Picture: BMIHT)
What’s this Project Delta? (Picture: BMIHT)
Trapezoidal headlamps coming through… (Picture: BMIHT)
If only… (Picture: BMIHT)
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.