Part of a three-pronged attack on the medium car sector, the LM11 was to be BL’s new mid-sized saloon, based heavily on the upcoming LM10 (nee LC10).
LM11 was originally planned to sit closer to the LM10, performing a similar role to the hatchback that the VW Jetta does to the Golf, or the Orion to the Escort. As can be seen from the images below, the LM11 grew to become a true Cavalier/Sierra rival – and did so in a rather clever way..
LM11 styling models
As can be seen from this model, the LM11 saloon started off as a notchback LM10 – and although it’s not an unpleasant design, it would have had a more limited market appeal than the car than finally hit the shelves in 1984…
LM11E, the estate version
John Ashford, designer of the Montego estate, said: ‘Steve Harper and myself did a proposal each. Steve’s was more of a fastback and mine had the more vertical back which became the preferred option for production. I wanted to distance the estate from the Maestro hatch to give more capacity and make it obviously different. Although it looks larger than the Montego saloon, it is actually the same length.
‘I was keen to provide a level floor into the boot area to make an easy load platform and, from my point of view as a keen walker, possible to sit there comfortably, with the tailgate raised, to change from boots to shoes without muddying the interior. This requirement dictated the central drop line of the rear bumper.’
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Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
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