In-house designs

In-house designs : ECV Programme


Tripping the light fantastic In many ways, 1 November 1977 – the date that Michael Edwardes took the helm at British Leyland – can be seen as the first day of the rest of the company’s life. Of course the company was very much a rapidly sinking ship – the hull breached in many places […]

In-house designs : Triumph/Morris TM-1


Last throw of the dice The SD2 was dead – long live the SD2… well, almost. Post-Ryder, the Specialist Division would fall into abeyance and would become part of the all-encompassing “Leyland Cars” division. TM-1 was the result – a car to replace the Triumph Dolomite and Morris Marina. In essence, the car was almost […]

Concepts and prototypes : Allegro Equipe

Allegro Equipe (1)

Keith Adams, photography, Stephen Harper In the lead-up to the launch of the series 3 Austin Allegro, newly-recruited Austin Apprentice Stephen Harper joined the team of young stylists tasked with raising the appeal of the Longbridge-built mid-liner. Harper had already come up with the LE limited edition, and the Equipe was a development of this […]

Concepts : 1991 Rover Metro SP

rover_specials 9103 metro sp models2

Rover Special Products wanted to recreate the magic of the early-’80s by producing a spiritual successor to the MG Metro Turbo. The Metro SP was that car, and it made it to full-sized styling prototype. Keith Adams Special K While Rover Special Products had handed out the Montego Lifestyle and Maestro-based Tarka to Steve Harper […]

Concepts : Montego ‘Lifestyle’ estate

Montego Lifestyle estate

Rover Special Products was one busy department during the early 1990s, and proof positive is this design sketch from Steve Harper. Keith Adams Jacked-up Monty As we know, Rover Special Products was a hot-house within the Rover Group, tasked with devising niche vehicles that could bring additional profit and glamour to the company’s model range […]

In-house designs : Land Rover LCV⅔

The 1997 Land Rover LCV2/3

Defending the 1990s The Lightweight Concept Vehicle programme was initiated by Land Rover in the early 1990s, and was a serious investigation into the production of lighter, cleaner and greener off-roaders. The idea was to test-bed new technologies, harking back to the days of the British Leyland Technology ECV programme, and one of the targets […]

Concepts and prototypes : ADO77

The Morris Marina was conceived in a hurry, but designers consoled themselves in the fact that it was only going to last five or six years… Here we reveal pictures of the ADO77, and discuss why it never came into fruition. Missing Marina THE trouble with developing and launching a car in a hurry is […]

Concepts : MG Rexton

MGR’s Land Rover rival? IT’S fairly common knowledge within the industry that, when BMW and Rover cut their ties in 2000, there a certain number of conditions were imposed about the future use of certain marque names. For one, BMW decided to allow MG Rover to use the Rover marque name on its own terms […]

Concepts : Rover 75 2005 facelift


It lives on: MGR’s secret Rover facelift The farce that was the arrival of the 2004 facelifts of the Rover 25/MG ZR, 45/ZS and 75/ZT will probably haunt anyone who worked at MG Rover for years to come. If you don’t remember it, then cast your minds back – MGR fans were eagerly anticipating the […]

In-house designs : Rover RDX60


The last chance saloon MG Rover. It was a brave new beginning for the remants of The Rover Group, split up and sold off by BMW in May 2000. The consortium responsible for the formation of MG Rover – Phoenix – was led by John Towers, and if anyone knew the machinations of Longbridge better […]