Blog : AROnline, what would you like to see?

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

It's your site - what would you like to see more or less of, and anything you;d like bringing back from the dead (apart from Rover, of course...)
It’s your site – what would you like to see more or less of, and anything you’d like bringing back from the dead (apart from Rover, of course…)

Craig Cheetham

Okay… So, by the very nature of this site, we spend a lot of time looking into the past. And so we should, because among the many great things about the AROnline community is a kinship among us all for the love of British cars, old, new or somewhere in between. But let’s momentarily take a brief glimpse into the future…

We love our cars, and that’s great. Our research also shows us that you love Our Cars, as we update the highs, lows, trials, tribulations and celebrations of owning some of the best (and, moreover, some of the less good) British models in a way that celebrates the wonderfully irrational way in which we like to run them, be it as a cherished classic or a workaday hack.

On that note, I’m not even halfway through introducing my own fleet. The drip feed is primarily so my wife doesn’t find out how many are in my lock-up at any given time, not that she dedicates a huge amount of her time to reading AROnline – and that’s despite me putting her into an MGF, a Freelander and a Discovery 2 over the past decade. Hell, I even let her drive my 800 Vitesse the other week, lucky lady. But I digress…

Over recent weeks we’ve seen big spikes in traffic. The Jaguar XE reveal was popular, as were David Morgan’s fascinating retrospectives on the Land Rover Discovery and MG Maestro. I’m also delighted to report that the return of Not Their Finest Hour and Mike Humble’s irreverent but educated insights into the failings of the Rover 820 and Montego 1.6 created lots of interest, and some lively debate among AROnline readers. Look out for a new feature, Devil’s Advocate, which will debut next week, looking at the often overlooked weaknesses of some of BL-ARG’s more celebrated offerings. Great stuff, as we’re all entitled to an opinion.

And that’s the very ethos of this short update (indeed, apologies that the site has been a little quiet over the past week, but I’m about to undergo some minor surgery and have been back-to-the-wall with my day job to catch-up in advance. On the basis that adding content to AROnline is more fun than watching Trisha, it’s fair to say there’ll be a lot more coming up).

We’ve already made the decision, via the AROnline Facebook Group, to bring back Car of the Month, starting in October, so please send any contributions, with a couple of pictures and a few paragraphs as to why your car should be that month’s winner, to craig@aronline.co.uk. In addition, I’d love to know if there are any other historic features you’d like to see return.

Or what about event coverage? More, or less. News? Classic, modern or both? Should we include more road tests? New cars, road tests of classics? And as for the ever popular Our Cars, if you’ve a classic British car and you like to mess about with it, then let us know – we’re all part of the same community, so contributions to Our Cars aren’t exclusively the domain of those who administer the site.

Should we look to arrange more AROnline meets? Should we focus more on specific models? Our site stats show that cars from the Seventies to the mid-Nineties are currently the peak in popularity as far as interaction is concerned, and that it’s the more ordinary cars that generate the most interest – after all, if you own an MGB, a Land Rover Defender or a Mini, there are whole online communities out there that support your model, whereas if you have an Allegro, Princess, Maxi, Metro, Maestro, Montego, 200-800 inclusive or even a 75, there aren’t quite so many options.

All suggestions of ideas, no matter how ‘out there’ they may be, are welcome. The only proviso is that, unlike many consumer websites, we run without an editorial budget – so there’s no scope to involve professional photographers, hire venues or spend money on crazy stunts. What we do have, though, is a mutual love of cars and a want to celebrate their existence, and in my mind that counts for a lot…

And finally, if we got some AROnline car stickers made up, who’d want one, and would you display it in your rear window? At present, I’d need 17, so I’m already in a position to negotiate a discount…

Please feel free to comment below, good or bad (we’re all grown ups, after all), or if you’d rather send me an email directly to craig@aronline.co.uk

And finally, thanks. All of the site admins and contributors work hard, often while juggling full-time jobs, families and vehicles in various states of decrepitude to keep AROnline running, but it’s you, the readers and members of this community, that really make it what it is.

Craig Cheetham

A serial impulsive car purchaser, Craig has had his name on over 200 V5s over the past 20 years. 10 per cent of those have been either 800s or Austin Allegros, with between 10 and 20 cars usually owned at any one time. Started out as a local newspaper journalist then worked for car mags including Auto Express, Classic Car Weekly and Land Rover Owner. Worked inside the car industry for a decade as an employee of General Motors, now works for a news distribution agency. Home based, which is dangerously convenient for further irrational heap purchases. Lover of all makes of car since childhood, with a particular leaning towards Austin-Rover... Father of three boys, so hoping to spread the car love. Other passions include rugby union, travelling and eating out.

74 Comments

  1. Anything by Mike Humble – always a good read.

    More on the more obscure divisions/subsidiaries of BMC/BL, eg off highway/construction equipment, Bendix, Prestcold, etc.

    More news on what SAIC/MG/Roewe are up to would be good.

  2. I like to see / read about the cars that were not made and why. I would like to see more pictures of the old dealers and what they are now.

    Please stop saying the BMW Mini is more like a Maxi, we know, it’s like almost every new (small) car …..bigger.

    In the main though it’s a brilliant site so keep it up please.

    Best wishes for your op.

  3. I also love reading and seeing pictures of prototypes, read about development histories, why things changed during production and also about any new BL/ARG/MG SAIC/JLR etc developments

  4. How about a “spiritual successor” series. Pick a BLARG classic and compare with another vehicle (or perhaps several from different people) and write up why it is? Could be Mini = Smart Car as it is compact, or Triumph TR6 – BMW Z3 3 litre?
    .

    • I’ve got a candidate – the latest and previous generation ‘British Built’ Nissan Micra – surely the 21st Century answer to that flawed gem the Allegro.
      Similar in size, ugly as anything, uncompetetive with current rivals, little joy to drive and increasingly unreliable with each new model, (so I read)
      Just a thought….

        • The Sunderland Nissan K11 ( the bubble shaped car), was extremely reliable, one of the most reliable cars you could buy, I think it went off the boil as Renault took a hold on Nissan after the merger of the two companies.

          It was also fun to drive, the twin cam 16Valve engine being very eager.

          Even Jeremy Clarkson and the top gear team thought it was a great little car.
          I drove one for almost 10 years, wish I still had it.

        • I did’nt intend to imply nor did I actualy state that it was – but never mind, I suppose it depends on how you read it…

  5. Road tests of Rover 75/MG ZT v MG6; Rover 45/MG ZR v MG3.

    Jag XJ series 3 v XJ40, XJ40 v X300?

    Just suggestions, but there could be lots more like these!

  6. Also liked to read and see more pictures / sketches of sillborn cars, prototypes, proposals, etc as well as the story behind them. Perhaps maybe from non-BL/ARG/MGR carmakers as well whether in Britain, rest of World or even in the former Soviet / Eastern Bloc?

    Would also like to see more on obscure engine or transmission developments (both in-house and foreign) otherwise found in books and as (verifiable) titbits from people who previously worked for BL/ARG/MGR that were investigated or studied before the cars were finally signed off for production.

    Perhaps a series on todays City Cars / Kei Cars and to what degree they’re able to capture the spirit of older cars like the original Mini / Spridget / etc or not as well as whether they are worth downsizing to in this day and age from an enthusiast’s point of view.

    Maybe possibly road testing BL/ARG/MGR cars (albeit road-going examples) with in-house engine conversions / upgrades or others modifications for the purpose of improving a car’s perceived shortcomings.

    • Also more Top 10 “might have beens” Series involving other carmakers as well as engines / engine developments, etc.

  7. OOOOH Stickers! I’ll have a couple once sorted please Craig.

    I always tend to read the running reports in classic press first, always nice to see how others fair, so maybe some of those from owners who run older stuff could be incorporated? Say pre 95, as usually most cars made after that, just work, or projects, they’re always a good read.

    Hope the surgery goes well!

  8. I love the Our Cars, Blogs and Essays. Less so the concepts/prototypes and news about Jaguars and Binis (sorry!). I like reading about people’s first-hand experience of owning the old cars. More road tests? Definitely!

    Would be most interested in seeing readers’ Cars of the Month and more input from us reading ‘public’ to complement the excellent articles by the regular contributors.

    It’s a brilliant site and one I have a mooch around every day. I suppose in an ideal world updates (however small) would be drip-fed daily, rather than there being a flurry of new articles every few days, but I understand that is quite a commitment.

  9. Great work on keeping the site going and on into a new era Craig.

    I’d like to see more on the light commercials. The Sherpa has decent coverage here but there is scant info on many of its predecessors. What’s the full story of the Standard Atlas, The Morris JU or EA etc etc? There’s a great piece on Post Office vehicles, I wonder if there is an interesting story to be told on other public bodies’ fleets? Maybe British Rail with its Scammells? Or what about those pushed into military service?

    How about some older vehicles from the various marques too? I know the site nominally covers BMC-MG Rover, but there is plenty of creep into other marques and of course the modern era, so perhaps it would be interesting to get the lowdown on some earlier models. Maybe the big Wolseleys and Rileys of the 1930s, the Austin Seven or the Triumph Mayflower?

  10. I too love the articles about prototypes and the like. Another set of articles I really enjoyed were the ones on concept sketches like the Michelotti Triumph 2000 sketches.

    Another idea that I’d certainly appreciate, given that we all like to drive (if I’m being honest) flawed cars, is a set of articles detailing the known flaws of various cars and the fixes that people have arrived upon (and possibly websites where you can buy the necessary parts). I know that forums tend to have that information, but there’s nowhere that meticulously details the flaws and fixes of large numbers of British vehicles for a first-time owner.

    Think something like a ‘post-buying guide’. After you’ve bought your SD1/Triumph 2500/Stag/Allegro/Rover 200/ADO16, what problems are inherent to each design and what can you do to fix them?

  11. Forgot, another thing I would love to see personally is features on interesting/notable/really well done restorations/modifications to various British classics and retro cars.

    There’s a lot of development still ongoing with British classics, and it’s great to hear about new things being done with old cars.

    One example I can think of is Paul Tegler’s fuel injected 6-cylinder Spitfire (FiS6), and I’m sure there’s tons more out there. You could email to set up a dialogue with the designer, ask a couple of questions, get some cool pictures and perhaps (if you’re lucky) go for a bit of a drive 🙂

    Personally, I’d love to let someone come and drive my Spitfire 6 when it’s finished. I’m trying to get a 2.5l Lucas injected Spitfire with a weight and weight distribution similar to a stock Spitfire without resorting to moving the engine back in the chassis 🙂

    Oh, that gives me another idea 🙂 how about a ‘reader’s rides’ submission thing?

    • I would say more about SAIC – The SAIC operation at Longbridge is what remains of “the firm”. (to me Longbridge seems more like the last bit of BL than MINI at Cowley) In terms of UK & European market presence little has yet happened with the new MG but SAIC are still here, the seed for future growth remains. So, more about their activities would be interesting, relevant.

      I’d gladly display an AROnline sticker in my ZR’s window! I’d like to see it as Car Of The Month too!!

      Craig, it’s good to see you considering the Site’s future

  12. Just to say I agree with all of the above.

    Histories of rebuilds & restorations.
    Cars that never made it & ones which shouldn’t have made it.
    Cars which instill loving, or loathing, in equal measure, they all have their place.

    But just on a personal level, can there be more images of interiors. I know this sounds a bit strange, but – for example – there’s a great piece on the old Ford “Z” cars on the site, but no interior shots.
    Most of us oldies, and a lot of younger folk, know what the old car exteriors look like, but how many could say they know the wonders of the Citroen GS; with its satellite switch gear, and revolving speedo display? Or some of the “Wurlitzer” dashboards of early sixties Vauxhalls?

    Keep up the good work!

  13. Great site, always has been. The really interesting stuff, for me, is the history. I don’t suppose there’s much that’s not already on here, but some commentary, some analysis beyond what’s already on the site would be interesting: what if things had taken a different turn of events; why was that decision taken? These kind of things can get a good debate going. Good luck Craig, good to see you taking the site forwards.

  14. One car about which there is virtually nothing is the Spitfire and its derivative the GT6 . They were just as important as the Spridget yet have no coverage on this site for some reason

  15. Anecdotes from BMC/BL/ARG dealer sales and workshop staff. All the old dodges and bodges should be recorded for posterity. Hundreds of readers/contributors to this site must have stories to tell?

  16. How about the occassional article on pre-war Morris, Austin, Triumph etc I am sure that this would be of interest to a lot of people, myself included?

  17. What I’d really like to see is the resurrection of a British name, followed by people ditching their Krautmobiles and buying the impressive British motor car….
    Failing that can we have a bit on the later Alvis products.

    • Tell us, which British name could be resurrected to tempt people away from their “Krautmobiles”. Honestly, are there any mainstream British brands out there which still convey an aspirational and positive message? Jaguar and Land Rover are the only ones I can think of, and they’re alive and kicking. Everything else is tainted, in the collective mind of the British public.

      • Triumph (still widely known the last triumphs were generally well thought of)
        MG (still going in some form I suppose)
        Riley and wolseley are not tainted may lack any image.
        Is Austin really to tainted? Would calling the mini an Austin have damaged its sales. Never harmed the origional mini’s sales

  18. A focus on some key export markets would be interesting.

    I know there are a few features on local production & special edtions, but not too many looking at market shares in places where BMC/BL/AR cars sold well.

  19. Something about the factories maybe? There used to be so many! Tyseley, Acocks Green, Canley, Speke, Abingdon, Cardiff et al.

  20. There are several key personnel from the firm that need interviewing, Sir Graham Day for instance, Peter Stevens etc
    Be nice to see the Minki feature on the site too 🙂

    • More on SAIC – MG and Roewe, both international and domestic.

      More on other deceased brands e.g. SAAB, Hillman, NSU, etc.

      More from Mike, Sam and Clive.

      And the odd contribution from Keith Adams would be the icing on the cake.

    • I agree with ‘peterpiper’ and missed this in my original posting… Getting interviews with key people – the interviews often reveal something not known before, especially alongside design drawings, prototypes and development news

  21. I have things in the pipeline, Ianto 😉 And thanks for thinking of me…Unless you were thinking of Sam Skelton, the Alternative World version of me.

    I think AROnline has moved away from SAAB etc now. Have you checked out Honest John Classics? I think you’d like it…

  22. I find the car development stories fascinating, so would love more of these. I know this site is mainly for BLARG models, but perhaps we could have some more companies? Would love to see, for example, the development story on some Vauxhalls or the Nissan Bluebird. In fact any car that has a link with the UK, no matter how tenious.

  23. Feature on BL cars in films/TV – ie; Dolomite Sprint in The Professionals, Purdeys MGB & Steeds XJ12R etc.

  24. I’d like to see some pieces about the current UK industry. For example, behind the scenes at Nissan’s UK Engineering Centre.

  25. I enjoy ARONLINE and in addition to history, I would like to see more about the current growth in the UK industry. In particular the smaller, players as well as JLR, Nissan etc. It is a well produced and compelling website.

  26. More of the same please. More articles on recent (80s/90s) cars, more candid criticisms of what went wrong, and less of the “boohoo dastardly foreigners stole our business” excuses.

  27. Love anything to do with the Wedges – Princess, Ambassador, SD1 etc.
    Modern Jaguar, MINI, MG etc, not really interested!

  28. Would you be averse to branching out into non-AR/BL/BMC/Leyland British cars? I’d love to hear about things like the Hillman Imp and old/new TVRs 🙂

  29. There’s been so much on the site of interest so far so it’s hard to think of what next. But as The Vaux Cavalier, Astra and Chevette have been covered, how about doing a feature on the Viva HB & HC / Magnum? (My brother owned an HB & I had an HC.)

    I did suggest this to Keith a while ago. I do still have some period brochures on those cars and a glossy launch one for the Viva GT that I could make available… Thanks for consulting us readers Craig!

  30. As a lot of the other posters above, I mainly come here for the nostalgia. Being an engineer I’m alwas fascinated with development stories (complete cars or components such as engines), and think that comments from the people involved at the time make these features even more fascinating. Prototypes are something else that I can’t get enough of (as my two mates who came with me to Gaydon last week soon realised!), the “why didn’t they build this” question is always in my mind (but sometimes blindingly obvious!), plus, the sheer quality and depth of the work that goes into these one-offs I find amazing.
    I’d also like to see other British companies products and stories featured (there must be acres of stuff once un-earthed about Lotus for example), plus my old favourite, Vauxhall, especially the HB Viva (having owned and constantly worked on a Viva GT during my formative motoring years).
    Finally, hats off to all of you who spend your own time researching & writing the articles for this site, all done in your own time with the only payment being the satisfaction of seeing your work published.
    Please keep up all of your good work.

  31. I am most in agreement with first 3 posts, Matt, Christopher, Neil B and John Whale.
    I’d like to see a feature on the legacy (good, bad or zero) which Honda and BMW have taken from their time with Rover. Is there anything that Rover was able to feed into their vehicles or their businesses? Continuing to this day?
    I’d like to see an interview with Union activists and ordinary workers from the ‘bad old days’ and see what, with the benefit of hindsight, they think of those days now. It might be interesting to follow that with a similar management side-of-things response to the article. Could be an on-going debate there.
    I don’t like to see other makes on this site without a direct connection. I acknowledge a lot of interest (including my own) – undoubtedly, just based on numbers of car sales over the last 40 years, more people would be interested in other brands than the Rover stable – and would suggest seperate sites all linked for easy transfer between them. Seperate, yet not unconnected. I think it’d be neater and more to the original and good idea behind AROnline. Clone sites doing the same great job for other makes.
    I find my visits fewer as it becomes more fiddly to find my way around a site containing more and more of unrelated AR stuff which is not why I visit (possible solution above). The site has become more complex and complicated! I feel the content, while ever expanding, is correspondingly more opinionated (um…yes, I know) and somewhat less factual. I loved the original ‘integrity’ (if that’s a justifiable term) of the early days.
    The Whole Story, the models and their Development Hiostory were this site’s core. And its magic.

  32. I’d like to see some contemporary articles/road tests reproduced, particularly for the 1980s/90s. BL/Rover history during this period is always being rewritten by the UK motoring press and perpetuates the image that Rover Group was a failure before BMW bought it – which it wasn’t, Rover was BMW biggest threat.

    Also as had been suggested it would be good to get the real stories from people who engineered and designed the cars and the technology – while I didn’t work for BL Cars, I did work for and engineering consultancy that did work for them. Its too often forgotten just how forward thinking they were, using FEA models and CAE software long before their rivals were.

    ‘Readers Cars’ would be good too, I’ve had my 75 from new in 2005.

  33. I’d like a section for readers with old British cars to blog about their own experiences owning/running their cars. I read the Retro Rides website regularly, and there’s a great mix of people loving and living with older cars – some can wield a welder, many can’t, but it all makes fascinating reading. A thread per car, which owners can update as-and-when makes a great format for long-term owners.

  34. Another thought – I agree wholeheartedly with arelbe above. The original ethos of the site seemed to be to explore and explain the history of BL/ARG and linked marques, which made the site unique and fascinating. Cars not part of the BL/ARG family tree should be elsewhere. And the site should completely avoid the cliched opinion that seems to have crept in recently in some articles – that seems more focused on generating cheap website traffic rather than adding to the debate about the history (and future) of the British car industry.

  35. The boot light used on the original Maestro is still used on the MG6, apparently. Any more long-lived componentry?

  36. I’m of the if “it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality so I’d suggest a few tweaks rather than wholesale changes, basically to fill in the blanks of what’s missing. So stuff like the Truimph Spitfire, Morris Minor and others which are obvious omissions. The LDV Maxus is another one, pretty significant one actually as its the last product launched by part of the firm whilst it was British owned. Expand the commercials section and fill in gaps there. And whilst some may not agree, I quite like stuff on the competitors around the time, demonstrating what they got right. And also as a purely personal view, I’d split the Maestro/Montego section into two separate cars because whilst they were developed together they are pretty much different and aimed at different sections.

    Going modern stuff keep it UK focused but with a lineage back to BL. So have no issues with MINI/Jaguar/Land Rover/MG and other UK based companies. Optare, Leyland Trucks news on them also.

  37. One thing that I would like to see is a reversion to the original ( relatively ) stable platform for the site. Since the changes Hutber’s law ( improvement = deterioration – remember that ? ) has set in with a vengeance with the screen flicking about as it loads, so that when you think you are clicking on one thing, you find something else comes up. Also, the need to click once to select a subject, and then the need to move left and reclick on the subject, I find intensely irritating and time wasting. Did no-one actually try this platform out before putting it into operation ???

    • I agree the rotating selection on the home page is very annoying. Just clicking once on the story would make sense!

      Also would it be possible to number comments? Makes it easier to check back and find out where you left off.

  38. As others have mentioned above, I think interviews with personnel involved with the cars at the time would be insightful. That includes key personnel who had personal influence on the cars, but also people like factory workers. What were their opinions on the cars at the time ?

    Also, I’d like to see reviews / road tests in the foreign press of the time, particularly the continental press. What did they make of them ?

    The site does always make for fascinating reading, but its just my 2p worth.

  39. AROnline is a great website but I’d like to see more on the modern MGs for example something like MG6 GT vs MG6 Magnette would be interesting and as someone said above Rover 75 vs MG6 or even MG3 vs Rover 25. I would also like to see more on the Rover SD3. Possibly road tests etc…
    Voting polls maybe also an idea – e.g what is your favourite BL car and people have a choice to vote…

  40. I think we need more features on British Leyland’s contemporaries. The Vauxhall Viva has been overlooked and yet this was a top ten regular for ten years and also the last two generations of Victor deserve a feature as they were a common sight in the seventies and the last generation was a better car than people thought. Also overdue are features on the cars that Rover buyers deserted the SD1 for such as the Volvo 244, Saab 900 and Mark 2 Granada.

  41. More interviews with people from the factories. lets hear their side of the story, before they shuffle off this mortal coil

  42. No one has thought of a feature on Proton MPIs, which had quite a large following 20 years ago and no doubt would have attracted the elderly British Leyland follower who couldn’t afford the new Rovers? Having owned one, these were extremely reliable cars that went quite quickly due to their Mitsubishi engines, yet weren’t priced much more than poorer competition from Skoda and Lada.
    Actually a feature on the Skoda Estelle would be good.

  43. Hi from Argentina to every friendly Brit fan of AROnline. In general all of this website is quite interesting, but I`m agree with Francis Brett “go back to the previous format of this one” , because it was easier to search or random. For me the very best is to know ALL about British cars done in the 1960`s and 1970`s , since it`s the time the youngers don`t know almost anything about. I also love to know English cars that were assembled abroad especially in the nations of the third world. Finally, ignoring if it`d be costly, a parallel edition in Spanish language could make you gain a market of near 300 million people with its potential . Even the AROnline is obviously devoted to UK automóviles, it shouldn`t be bad to cover some miscelaneous like e.g. the demise/the end of certain brands , the reason of their bankruptzy, for Pontiac, FSO Polonez, Innocenti , Autobianchi, Plymouth, Wolseley, Riley , the history of cars`factories is always fascinating. Thank you !

  44. I already asked it to the Car House but no answer `til date : I wonder why Vauxhall didn`t ever think about building left-hand steerwheeling units of the Adam or others, you British could sell Brit cars through out GM`s dealers in Latin America as a Vauxhall división no matter it has it siblings at Opel, but this special rocket Adam would make a great competitiveness choice facing to the succesful Cinquecento in the USA or Citroën DS3 Sport in SouthAmerica, who ever bet a Fiat Cinquecento could revolution the market share in the U.S.A ?
    Now it`s a matter of configuration to offer Vauxhalls with left steeringwheels just think from Mexico to Colombia to Brazil to Peru to Chile and Bolivia to Uruguay `til Argentina there aren`t still available popular Brit cars unless you guess a Chevrolet is an Opel disguised, otherwise a Vauxhall name will be even more desired than a current Opel. ALL AMERICAS HASN`T ANY VAUXHALL CHOICE

  45. All, thanks for the overwhelming response so far. Some of the proposed ideas are easy to execute and can be done quickly. Others (web platform etc) are either more complicated, or outside of the editorial team’s control. But, on balance, it’s good to see the feedback is largely positive. In terms of historical features, watch this space. Meanwhile, we’ll be welcoming back Car of the Month imminently and extending our focus on the 70s to 90s, where the core following seems to be. Keep the feedback coming!

    • Craig, I’d love to see my ZR make ‘Car Of The Month’. It’s had a blessed life! Only covered 29K in its first 9 years then bought by me, of all people. How lucky it was!! It’s now covered 58k but still in great order. Initially looked after by the registered dealer, Windsors Of Wallasey. Then it passed into the care of Peter Jones Engineering, Oxton, Wirral and has remained with him ever since. Peter effectively took over from Windsors. During my ownership he has given it a full service every 9 or 10K miles plus an interim oil change. The MGem – truly blessed!

  46. I think the idea of some of the dealers, forecourt pictures and if possible accounts of some of their experiences through the good and bad times would be an excellent idea.

    Other site users cars and restorations would be interesting and a good incentive, when you feel like giving up!

  47. @ Glenn Aylett – perhaps you also saw my suggestion to feature the Viva/Magnum? The Victor FD/FE range would be suitable candidates too, after all, they were the last true British designed Vauxhalls.

  48. I too would love to see some interviews both with:
    – People in the BL successor organisations today (MG, London Taxis International, Paccar-Leyland, JLR). Looking bback on their heritage and forward to the future.
    – People involved at key times. I seem to remember an interesting blog from someone called Paul Stowe in China who helped source local suppliers for NAC and set up the LTI-Geely joint venture there. Whilst the P4 would not want to be interviewed, key managers in MGR below them might be interested.
    – Something on the state of UK car manufacturing today. We have overtaken France, will we overtake Spain?

    Also, I would be interested to see a follow-up to some of the things from a few years ago. What happened to EcoConcept? Was that just a backdoor route for SAIC to acquire the Maxus line or did it have legs? What happened to the fund promised for the ex-MGR workers? Does GAZ make the Maxus in Russia? What was it like working at LDV through the various quick changes?

  49. @ Hilton D, yes just been reading this, as Vauxhall were a big player all through the BL years and became bigger as the seventies went on.
    Also not well known over here, but Chrysler suffered similar problems to BL in the late seventies, uncompetitive range( too many V8s when everyone else was downsizing), quality issues and huge losses. Chrysler UK being sold to Peugeot was just the tip of the iceberg, the American part of the business was in dire straits and almost went under in 1980.
    Indeed Lee Iacocca, rather more successfully than Michael Edwardes over here, turned Chrysler round by reducing non core businesses and launching the highly successful K car, a compact range of cars that the market needed in the early eighties, and also pioneering the MPV. It’s America’s Leyland story, but with a happier ending and without the continued quality issues that dogged the M cars over here.

  50. I’d like to see more on the cars in context in their markets. If people have contemporary reviews or roadtests at the time, comparing a Vauxhall Viva with a Morris 1100 and Ford Anglia etc, that would be interesting.
    Also list prices at the time. Was the Herald really cheaper than the Minor etc?

  51. Maybe a feature on Reliant, an idiosyncratic manufacturer that produced three wheelers and luxury sports cars like the Scimitar. It’s a bit like Jaguar producing the E Type, but making a Mini rival at the same time and producing far more.

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