Safety first: A close look at the Safety Research Vehicles (SRVs) produced by British Leyland in the 1970s reveals some very prescient ideas. There were, of course, a few blind alleys, too. Following Ralph Nader’s 1965 report Unsafe At Any Speed, which highlighted the poor handling and/or crash-resistance of numerous cars sold in the US, the […]
Arguably, the Rover 400 was viewed with disappointment by both buyers and certain elements within Rover itself. That said, the Richard Woolley-penned saloon version was a huge improvement over the five-door hatchback, and Rover admitted as much when, at the launch of the five-door hatchback, they told us that the ‘Real 400’ would be with us within […]
We’ve talked about the Austin AR6 a lot in relation with the company’s development in the mid-1980s, and its march towards privatisation. Here is the car’s full story – from the glint in its designer’s eye to the moment it was cancelled. Would this Ford Fiesta rival have been a success, or was Rover right to stick with the Metro?
The all-British AR16 design continued to flourish throughout 1984 and ’85, and soon, full-size clay models of the entire range were produced at Canley. As all cars were based on the Montego, they featured the same, sound, suspension layout. But a lengthened wheelbase allowed the team to build a more balanced looking car – with heavy Rover 800 overtones.
The Specialist Division’s follow-up to the SD1 should have replaced the Dolomite. Shame this promising Triumph never happened…
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.
Rover Special Products wanted to recreate the magic of the early-1980s by producing a spiritual successor to the MG Metro Turbo. The Metro SP was that car and it reached the stage of a full-sized styling prototype. Keith Adams Special K While Rover Special Products had handed out the Montego Lifestyle and Maestro-based Tarka to […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]