Facts and figures

All the stories, facts, figures and unique content that makes AROnline so great. Delve in here and you’ll lose yourself for hours.

History : BMC, BL, Rover and other Development Codes

History : BMC, BL, Rover and other Development Codes

Ever wondered what all those ADO, YDO and LC numbers mean when we’re discussing the history of BMC, BL and Rover cars? Worry not, because our exhaustive list of codenames should help you work out what’s what.

By 19 February 2017 19 Comments Read More →
The converters : Avon Jaguar Estate

The converters : Avon Jaguar Estate

When the Series III Jaguar XJ6 was launched in 1979, Mercedes-Benz had the the up-market estate scene pretty much to themselves, with Citroën and Volvo bringing up the rear. However, Avon Coachworks saw things differently, offering this ungainly conversion of the Jaguar saloon, which traded the base car’s inate elegance for a cavernous rear-end – only […]

Features : Interactive map of BMC and BL factories

Features : Interactive map of BMC and BL factories

BMC and British Leyland had a bewildering array of factories dotted around the UK when the empire was at its peak. Using this interactive map as created by Jonathan Barber, you can now navigate around them and see for yourself as to what was built where. It’s still a work in progress, and we’re going […]

People : Harris Mann

People : Harris Mann

Former Classic Car Weekly Features Editor, and Allegro and Princess owner, Richard Gunn talks to Harris Mann about his life and career. Interestingly, Mann confesses that not even he liked the Quartic wheel… As a classic motoring journalist, I guess I lead a pretty privileged life. I get paid money to write about a subject that fascinates me, and […]

Connections : Jensen

Connections : Jensen

Best known for the legendary Interceptor, Jensen Motors Limited operated from their West Bromwich factory for over 40 years, often leading a rather precarious existence. During that time, their fortunes were intertwined with those of the BMC>Rover companies on several occasions. Here we take a look at some of the post-war connections which arose between […]

In production : Adderley Park Wolseley Works

In production : Adderley Park Wolseley Works

The Adderley Park plant entered the BMC fold by way of the Nuffield Group. It had been home to the Wolseley motor company from 1901 until the late 1920s when, following William Morris’s purchase of Wolseley, the plant was given over to commercial vehicle production. Location Arden Road/Bordesley Green Road, Adderley Park, Birmingham. A potted […]

The converters : William Towns

The converters : William Towns

William Towns is probably most closely associated with Aston Martin, having been responsible for the design of such cars as the svelte DBS and the futuristic Lagonda. However, as early as 1969, Towns had become involved with British Leyland when he designed one of the so-called Triumph Puma proposals for project that would eventually deliver […]

By 30 January 2017 2 Comments Read More →
Concepts : Mini-based Towns Minissima

Concepts : Mini-based Towns Minissima

At the 1973 Earls Court Motor Show, BLMC expected the new Allegro to be the centre of attention on the Austin-Morris stand. Instead, it was another car which stole the limelight… Shortly before the 1973 Motor Show, BLMC gained permission to add to their stand a curious but radical small car, created by the futurist Designer […]

The converters : Wood & Pickett Minis

The converters : Wood & Pickett Minis

Wood & Pickett’s riposte to Radford’s upmarket de Ville… Having seen how Radford’s Mini de Ville conversions were catching on, Wood & Pickett decided that they too could take a slice of the action. They set about creating their own Margrave conversion, apparently taking their first order from actress Hayley Mills (although this may be […]

In memoriam : Talbot Horizon LD

In memoriam : Talbot Horizon LD

A look at some of the less likely extinct cars in the UK, according to data supplied by the brilliant How Many Left? website based on DVLA data. The Talbot Horizon LD – died out in 2003. Ah, you’re thinking, so AROnline‘s In Memoriam series is already running out of steam to such an extent […]

Technician’s Update : ‘GARLIC BREAD?’

Technician’s Update : ‘GARLIC BREAD?’

The age old argument about modern cars and methods comes in for a sideways look. Mike Humble is your ringmaster. There’s a great great fondness for the Marina these days but, back in 1980, they were beyond a joke. It isn’t that long ago either in the grand scheme of things There I was happily doing some housecleaning and […]

History : Rover 800 video production

History : Rover 800 video production

Our man with the photos, Stuart Collins, pointed his camera in the direction of the production of a dealer video for the Rover 800. He tells the story to accompany the pictures – if you have the video, please get in touch.

By 9 January 2017 2 Comments Read More →
History : Maestro pick-up hack from Cowley

History : Maestro pick-up hack from Cowley

Andrew Davis, a former worker at Cowley, sent us this fascinating image of one of those workaday hacks that never escape the factory. This one, a pick-up conversion of the Maestro, lived a long and absolutely fascinating life.

By 7 January 2017 13 Comments Read More →
History : Rover CPS vehicles (Longbridge)

History : Rover CPS vehicles (Longbridge)

Our man Stuart Collins has been busy scanning the pictures he’s taken over the years while working at Longbridge. These photographs of Rover’s Company Protection Services (CPS) vehicles are absolutely fascinating. These CPS vehicles had been known to turn out to incidents and accident on the public roads around the factory as their response time was […]

Best of British : Land Rover’s Autobiography programme – Part 2

Best of British : Land Rover’s Autobiography programme – Part 2

In his final article looking at Land Rover’s Autobiography personalisation programme, David Morgan finds the Autobiography name being extended to the Range Rover Sport and Evoque, as well as the most exclusive version of the Land Rover Defender to be built. Perfecting the brilliant or gilding the lily? Since its launch at the 1993 London […]

By 3 January 2017 0 Comments Read More →
In production : Longbridge in 1984

In production : Longbridge in 1984

Ever wondered what Longbridge looked like in 1984? Thanks to these great photographs by Stuart Collins, you need not wonder any longer. Enjoy a trip back in time wandering around the Metro’s production line.

History : Rover Group and BAe – Part One, the background

History : Rover Group and BAe – Part One, the background

In 1988, the Rover Group finally moved out of government control, being bought by British Aerospace in a controversial £150m deal. At the time, it was hailed as a great outcome for the troubled carmaker, but should it have been? Keith Adams separates fact from the fiction.

By 31 December 2016 6 Comments Read More →
Engines : Rover SD1 Six (PE166)

Engines : Rover SD1 Six (PE166)

Although it has received a bit rap in the trade thanks to its well-documented problems, the SD1 Six is a very capable engine. However, it could have been so much more had it been given the start it so richly deserved. On its 35th birthday, Robert Leitch casts an analytical eye over this oft-maligned engine […]

By 28 December 2016 45 Comments Read More →
Essay : Europe’s premium carmakers – where did they go?

Essay : Europe’s premium carmakers – where did they go?

Ian Nicholls Today, the roads of Europe are dominated by the German premium carmakers, who it seems, can do no wrong as far as their customers are concerned. The only real challenge seems to come from Jaguar Land Rover, but they still have a lot to do to catch up in terms of sales volume. However, […]

In production : Mini production landmarks

In production : Mini production landmarks

According to our resident historian, Ian Nicholls, more than six million classic Minis of all types were made between 1959 and 2000. Along the way, a number of interesting landmarks were passed. From the final Mini off the line (above) in bitter-sweet circumstances at Longbridge, to the first one 41 years previously, this little car […]

By 9 December 2016 2 Comments Read More →