Also known as : Other cars

Cars from BMC and its successors have been sold abroad under a variety of alternative names. Here are just a few of them, including a couple of near-misses…

Austin A40 Futura
Home market name: Austin A40 Farina

The Futura name was chosen for the Swedish market, not only to suggest a futuristic car, but also to avoid confusion with the Swedish word ‘farin’, meaning castor sugar. This name was also used in Denmark.

Danish-market information kindly submitted by Erik L¿ye

Austin Lancer
Home market name: based on Wolseley 1500

Introduced in 1958, the Lancer differed only superficially from the Wolseley on which it was based, and was also sold as the Morris Major (see below). It lasted until 1962.

Etsong/FAW Lubao
Home market name: based on Maestro

Chinese tobacco manufacturer Etsong aquired the rights to the Maestro in order to diversify. They went on build both hatchback and van versions, before passing the baton to automotive group FAW.


Hindustan Ambassador
Home market name: based on Morris Oxford Series III

The Hindustan Ambassador was introduced in 1957 to replace the Hindustan Landmaster, which was based on the Series II Oxford. This restyled version, known as the Ambassador Classic, was unveiled in 2001, and bears an uncanny frontal resemblance to BMW’s new Mini.


Honda Concerto TD
Home market name: Rover 218


Honda Crossroad
Home market name: Land Rover Discovery

Innocenti Regent
Home market name: Austin Allegro

The Allegro was built and sold by Innocenti as the Regent for a couple of years, until BLMC sold Innocenti to De Tomaso.

MG 2.0 Si and Turbo
Home market name: based on Austin/MG Montego

When the Austin name was dropped from the Montego in the Eighties, the cars came to New Zealand with MG badges. But the Montego name was dropped as well!
The line-up was:

MG 2.0 Si
MG 2.0 Si Estate
MG 2.0 Turbo

Interestingly, most people called them Montegos, just as the 1700 was obviously a Marina — a quick Google search reveals 1989 MG Montegos in New Zealand when they had been dropped there.

These Sis were the Montego Si and Estate sold in the UK — the first ones without an Austin badge and something resembling a Viking longship on the front. New Zealand received the MG badge instead, which makes the 2.0 Si the first MG Estate. The Turbo was, of course, the ‘real’ MG Montego Turbo, minus the Montego name.

Prior to that, the MG Montego range was identical to the UK, with EFI and Turbo models, badged the same as in the UK. The only Austin Montego in New Zealand the estate, as a two-litre model. That and the Metro Mayfair were the last cars to have the Austin name sold in New Zealand. (The Princess R from 1983 was the last locally assembled Austin, and bore that brand name, and not Leyland, from 1978’s Princess 2 onwards here.)

Morris Major
Home market name: based on Wolseley 1500

Like its sister car, the Austin Lancer (see above), the Major was also built and sold in Australia from 1958. In 1962, however, a restyled version of the Major was introduced, known as the Morris Major Elite.

Morris Marshall
Home market name: based on Austin A95 Westminster

In 1957, this car represented BMC Australia’s first entry into the lucrative local six-cylinder market. It was dropped in June 1960.

Rover 100 series
Home market name: Rover Metro

When the Metro was relaunched as a Rover in 1990, the company agonised over whether to keep the much-loved name, or to align the car with its other models by calling it the 100 series. After dismissing such left-field options as “Metro, by Rover”, they decided that in the UK, it would be the Rover Metro, while in mainland Europe, it would be sold as the Rover 100 series, and badged 111 (1.1-litre models) or 114 (1.4-litre).

Rover Estate/2.0 GTD/GTi
Home market name: Montego

The Montego estate received full Rover badging in 1990 in most European markets in an attempt to boost the appeal of model and rationalise the range. The only differences between this and UK models were the Longship badges. The Rover range featured just the GTD/GTi models, and were basically the same as the UK Countryman models. All had electric windows (front), electric sunroof and self leveling suspension. In most countries the rear child seat was also standard fit. The GTi also came with the 15″ alloys from the UK GTi model. All Rover badged petrol Montegos came with lambda controlled three-way cat and had the EFi injection instead of MEMS fitted briefly before.

Rover Montego
Home market name: Montego

Introduced by Sipani Automobiles as an up-to-date competitor in the Indian executive car market, it was sold as the Rover Montego as Sipani did not want to be seen as being associated with a foreign product.


Standard Gazel
Home market name: based on Triumph Herald

Introduced by Standard-Triumph’s Indian subsidiary in the mid-Sixties, the Gazel replaced the Standard Herald in the local market. Both these models differed from Heralds built in the UK in that they were based on a 4-door prototype dating from 1960. The Gazel was restyled front and rear, losing the Herald’s distinctive fins in the process, and it remained in production for around ten years; a 5-door estate model was also available.

Standard 2000
Home market name: based on Rover SD1

In 1985 Standard resumed car production after ten years building vans and trucks. The 2000 used a reworked version of an ancient 2061cc Standard engine producing just 85bhp. Aimed squarely at India’s rich businessmen, it was quite well equipped, but lasted only until 1988.

Triumph Chicane
Home market name: based on Triumph 2.5 PI MkII

Dating from 1972, this car used the automatic transmission from the 2000 and the Stromberg carburettors from the 2500, thus giving Leyland SA an automatic saloon that had the power to cope with the local terrain, while avoiding the 2.5PI’s fuel injection system, which was perceived as being unreliable.

This page was contributed by Declan Berridge

Keith Adams

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