Herbert Austin’s company was a dominant player in the UK car industry, cemented by brilliant products such as the Seven, the Mini and the Metro. Was a major component of the British Motor Corporation and British Leyland, but was muscled out in the Rover-era by its chairman Graham Day.
Austin-Morris looked seriously at a plan to build a saloon version of its upcoming Metro hatchback. But as we exclusively reveal, it was canned rather late in the day due to financial cut backs.
The first weekend in July saw the return of the BMC and Leyland Show to the British Motor Museum in Gaydon. Having reached its fifth anniversary, the event can now safely be regarded as established. Under the scorching sun the visitors were treated to an abundance of BMC to MGR products, although the cars from the 1960s […]
The biggest criticism normally aimed at the Maxi – other than the early model’s obstructive gearchange – is usually reserved for its plain Jane styling. The Aquila showed how it could have been made into a far more stylish beast. Alas, it was only ever to be a one-off styling exercise.
Ever wanted a full breakdown of BMC>MGR production figures, but didn’t know where to go? Fear not – AROnline has all the numbers you’ll ever need.
On 26 April 1977, British Leyland was still finding its way under government control, having been bailed out the previous year. The priority was to get the Mini’s replacement into production. To do that, it needed to deliver the Ryder Report, and hope that Callaghan’s Labour government would foot the bill. Here’s how The Times reported the story.
Phil Rixon takes a rare opportunity to compare the Morris Nomad with an Austin Countryman and an Austin Maxi to see how closely BMC’s tailgated trio are related.
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.
Rolls-Royce and Bentley worked with BMC on a number of short-lived prototypes based on the Austin 3 Litre and Vanden Plas 4 Litre R. Here are the best ones that never saw the light of day.
Designed and specially built to become the Corporation’s new mid-sized engine, the E-Series had a troubled early life, but eventually matured into something very worthwhile indeed.
‘All the fives’ was the Maxi’s high technology tag line when launched – with a five-door hatchback body and five-speed gearbox, Austin’s new mid-range fighter really did seem to have it all. Sadly, the technology might have been there, but the execution was a little less than marvellous, and this avant-garde car failed to sell […]
There are lies and there are damned lies… Okay, so the products of BMC>Rover have not always been built or designed as well as they could have been, but let’s not forget that, despite upper management ineptitude and Government meddling, the workers who actually built the cars still actively cared about the product. Here then […]
Updated: There was an operation to build Maestros in Bulgaria, and we have the full and exclusive story of how it came together. Thanks to ex-Rover Group and BAe executives, we have been able to piece together the story of the Roadacar assembly operation in Bulgaria and conclude why it failed in the way it did.
Anyone who knows Keith Adams might be a little surprised at this choice of Unsung Hero, especially considering the chequered history he has with A-Series Maestros. However, despite the dramas, there’s no doubting that Spen King’s post-Allegro Volkswagen Golf remix was far more worthy than the sum of its parts. The unfulfilled symphony If we […]
I had a brief run in an Austin Allegro today. The car in question is owned by Calum Brown, and it has to be said that he was very keen to get my views on his pride and joy. He’s a nice chap – 24-years old, a car nutter, and owner of a very interesting and diverse range of cars. He’ll go far in our industry. Anyway, I digress – he handed me the keys to his 1979 Allegro 3 1.3L, and told me to enjoy myself.
This William Towns-styled Metro-based, mid-engined roadster brought the concept behind the MGF to fruition some 10 years earlier… Looks pretty racy, too. Tracer fire… If you think the Tracer has a familiar look to it, there could be several reasons for that. First of all, William Towns clearly drew inspriation from his rather more exotic 1980 […]
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 […]
Words and photography: Alexander Boucke At times it happens to all of us: something bulky needs to be carried, typically after a visit to your local Swedish furniture store. In our case, a friend of the family had a surplus musical instrument – a small organ, a harmonium to be precise – which he wanted to get […]
With the number of BMC>MGR cars on our roads diminishing rapidly, we take stock of the successive companies’ 10 most popular cars during the post-war years. Some of these numbers are going to shock you, simply because the cars are so rare on the road now. In fact, even the latest car on this list is now proving to be a rather unusual spot.
ADO74 – the first attempt by British Leyland at replacing the Mini never saw the light of day. It was one project, but had many faces: a wide variety of styling exercises were produced before the programme was cancelled in 1973, as British Leyland could not raise the £130m needed to produce it.
Craig Cheetham A 1974 Austin Allegro Super with just 4111 miles on the clock has appeared for sale at an MG dealership in Northern Ireland. Offered for sale by SS Logan and Son Limted of Newtonabbey, Co. Antrim, the 1974 Series 1 Super is finished in period Blaze Orange, with black vinyl interior and the Allegro’s celebrated […]
Craig Cheetham I’ve had a fair few Allegros over the years… Back when I passed my test, in 1994, my first car was a 1979 Allegro 1.1 and that was the very reason for me recently spending the day as the chief custodian of such a vehicle… In my day job, I work for a […]