Essay : Overture to the Allegro

Allegro Equipe

On the eve of its 40th birthday, Ian Nicholls digs into the archives to discuss the Austin Allegro from the perspectives of British Leyland’s movers and shakers at the time Britain in May 1973 was a different country to what it is now. This was a world where the most desirable consumer item was a […]

Essays : Leyland Bus – the declining years

Leyland Swansong: The Lynx became a decent bus but early examples were prone to serious corrosion and warranty issues. The last ones were Volvo engineered.

It’s 20 years since Volvo delivered three killer blows to our motoring industry: 1992 saw the end of Leyland Lynx and Tiger production with total closure being announced for the following year. Mike Humble takes a look at the declining years of Leyland Bus. Recession of an Empire Moving fast, in a fast moving world Looking […]

People : Lord Stokes

Lord Stokes: He was up against it from day one when British Leyland was formed in 1968… As is revealed in this interview by Eduard Steiner, which appeared in Auto Motor Und Sport in 1970, it didn’t lessen the man’s optimism for the future, or his pleasure at becoming a Lord. Stokes said he was […]

People : Lord Stokes interview

Lord Stokes in 1971

Autocar, 26 July 1973 Lord Stokes Speaks What I Plan For Triumph In an interview with Graham Robson, Lord Stokes laid bare his plans for sports car motoring at Triumph, and went on to make several provocative remarks about motor sport, new legislation and the future for sports cars in general. Graham Robson – The […]

The cars : Austin Allegro development history


What’s left to be said about the Allegro – it never met sales predictions, earned a terrible reputation in the press and with buyers, and its fame far exceeded its influence in the automotive industry. British Leyland threw everything into making it a success, and yet failed dismally… Goodbye market share WHAT is so very […]

Essay : Lord Stokes, the case for the defence

Ian Nicholls looks into the policies of the man everyone loves to hate – Donald Stokes. The argument is – was he the villain that history has painted him since the end of his tenure at BL, or was he simply a victim of cruel circumstance? WHEN seeking an explanation for the collapse of the […]

British Leyland in The Times : Part Two

Ian Nicholls Some time ago I wrote a blog detailing how I was using The Times Online archive service to research the history of British Leyland from 1968 to 1985. I have now extended my research back to 1959. By going back to 1959, I was able to examine some of the major news stories as […]

Obituary : Lord Stokes

THE INDEPENDENT Lord Stokes: Tough industrialist unfairly blamed for the failure of Leyland’s merger with the British Motor Corporation Donald Stokes was chairman of the ill-fated British Leyland Motor Corporation from 1968 to 1975. He was unfairly blamed for the inevitable failure of the government-inspired attempt to bring together all the major British-owned motor companies […]

Obituary : Lord Stokes

Lord Stokes: former president of British Leyland Keith Adams and Clive Goldthorp ‘I was not and I have never pretended to be a manufacturing expert, ever. I have no pretensions as to that.’ This quote is all the more curious when one considers that it is attributed to Lord Stokes, the man charged by the […]

Obituary : Lord Stokes

THE TIMES As chairman and managing director of the British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC) from its creation in 1968 from the merger with British Motor Holdings and the Leyland Motor Corporation until its demise in a government reorganisation in 1975, Lord Stokes was faced with the intractable task of bringing some shape and order to […]