Sir Alec Issigonis: an insight into the great man, from an interview originally published in Autocar magazine to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the launch of the Mini.
Harold Musgrove was Chairman of the Austin Rover Group between 1982 and ’86, a make-or-break time for the company. Now, he shares his unique insight into his time right at the very top of the company – and details the model plans which could well have seen the company succeed in the 1990s.
Timo Makinen, legendary Finnish rally driver has died, aged 79. Among his achievements was a hat-trick of wins in the RAC Rally driving the Ford Escort, but he is perhaps best remembered as one of the of the ‘three musketeers’ of the British Motor Corporation’s works rally team in the 1960s – alongside fellow Finn Rauno Aaltonen and Ulsterman Paddy Hopkirk.
On 26 April 1977, the Ryder Report was submitted for government approval. In it, were detailed breakdowns of what funding British Leyland would need, both to survive in the short term, and then deliver in the more distant future.
Ian Nicholls examines the time when Tony Benn’s political career intersected with that of British Leyland. Benn was well-intentioned for his plans for the Government-controlled carmaker, but events conspired against him. Here’s how and why. The troubleshooter The death of Tony Benn only a year after the demise of his political opponent Margaret Thatcher marked […]
The most comprehensive story you’ll ever read about the aborted 9X programme – the ill-fated Mini replacement, engineered by the man who created the original.
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 […]
BMC changed the world with the launch of the Mini in 1959. It was created in response to a crisis and was a genius piece of packaging which will forever be Sir Alec Issigonis’ legacy to the automotive world. However, as we all know, it was no profit-maker for BMC and, during its hyper-successful first decade on the market, its maker cruelly – and criminally – failed to develop the concept into something that the customers truly wanted – a hatchback.
As part of our Rover SD1 at 40 special, here’s why Leyland Cars’ Sales and Marketing Director, Keith Hopkins, thought his new car had the beating of the opposition. This article is taken from the British Leyland Mirror, 30 June 1976. Trading on the magical combination of tradition and advanced design and engineering, the Rover 3500 […]
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 […]
Ian Nicholls tells the story of former BLMC director, Jim Slater, who has recently died.
On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the imposition of the 70mph speed limit, Ian Nicholls tells the story of the man who introduced it to the UK, Tom Fraser… The late 1960s is seen as a hedonistic time when attitudes became more liberal, with homosexuality and abortion being de-criminalised. The London-based intellectual elite, […]
Ian Nicholls tells the story of the man who opened our motorways and had a soft spot for Minis with a twist. Apart from Prime Ministers, most politicians are destined to oblivion in our collective memory, here today and gone tomorrow. One name that still resonates today, over half a century since he left office, is […]
To mark the 30th birthday of the Montego, Russ Swift kindly offered to help cut the cake at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show. Mike Humble spoke to the man who did the stunt driving in one of TV’s most memorable car adverts ever… The one thing about being the wrong side of 40 is […]
After 50 years since the Mini won the Monte Carlo rally, Paddy Hopkirk is still regarded as the man who put the Mini on the global motorsport map. Mike Humble was invited down to Goodwood for a one to one chat. It’s staggering when you consider that it’s just over 50 years since BMC fought […]
Now widely seen as a joke car by the general public, who misunderstood the market it was aimed at, the Morris Marina sold well in comparison with its British Leyland stablemates. How successful was it, though, and how did it match up to expectations and its main competition? Ian Nicholls reveals all. The car that could be king […]
Ian Nicholls In the series ‘British Leyland – The Grand Illusion’, I argued that the sales success of the Mini and the BMC 1100/1300 (ADO16) encouraged motor industry executives, the Government and pundits alike to think that the British motor industry had a sustainable future as a global player. These hopes were ultimately dashed by a combination […]
An interview with the man behind many of the company’s greatest cars – and a few that you might not immediately associate with him…. Interviewed by Keith Adams, 13th December 2002 ROVER had enjoyed a very successful time during the 1950s and 1960s – once the company was swallowed by Leyland, Donald Stokes asked King […]
In Part One of this fascinating series, which originally appeared in Vehicle Engineer, AROnline Contributor Ian Elliott applies his insider knowledge to spelling out the exact sequence of mergers that led to the formation of British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC) and reviews the product engineering story… MANY people have published incorrect versions of this admittedly complex history […]
PART FOUR : MELTDOWN British Leyland’s self-destruction continued into 1977. At first the main trouble stemmed from the Castle Bromwich body plant, which had a dire productivity record. A strike there soon crippled production at Leyland Cars.
In July AROnline reviewed Martyn Nutland’s Brick by Brick, a biography of Sir Leonard Lord. It is an extraordinary and important work, the product of over 25 years of research, and establishes its author as the foremost authority on the enigmatic and oft-maligned man who wielded immense power over the British motor industry for over […]
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 […]
Every BMC/BL/Rover fan has heard of Lord Stokes, Sir Michael Edwardes and Sir Graham Day. They were the most famous chairmen of British Leyland. But three other men occupied the post after Lord Stokes: Professor Sir Ronald Edwards, Sir Richard Dobson and Sir Austin Bide. Here’s the story of the last. By Ian Nicholls. 3: […]