The cars : Matra-Simca Rancho development story

The 1977 Matra-Simca Rancho is one of those wonderful cars that made more of an impact than anyone realised at the time of its launch. Today, no-one would bat an eyelid if a manufacturer launched a chunky-looking van-based lifestyle vehicle with looks that hinted at off-road ability– but back in the late 1970s, this was radical stuff. Here’s its story. […]


Archive : 37 years ago – BL workers sleeping on the job

BL was an industrial soap opera that provided Fleet Street hacks with plenty to write about. Here’s the story of sleeping night shift workers. In this occasional series Ian Nicholls revisits some of these stories, using the newspaper articles of the time as the main source of information. Did the media have it in for British Leyland? Judge for yourself. […]


Archive : 40 years ago – Mini needs money

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. […]