It’s May 1973, and we’re looking at the petrol forecourt of B&K Motors in the Kensington area of Liverpool. Judging by the crowds, there’s something interesting going on, but we’re not close enough to tell what the action actually is. As months go, it’s quite a significant one, because Value Added Tax has just been introduced in the UK to replace the old Purchase Tax, following on from a number of countries in Europe – we’re lagging behind somewhat considering France and Germany introduced it during World War 1.
Kit car manufacturers have already expressed their displeasure at the imposition of the new tax, as previously they weren’t covered by Purchase Tax. Now, with additional tax added to the basic cost of a kit, the costs of them would rise significantly, thus making them a whole lot less attractive than they used to be. Until last month, kit cars were selling well – but we’ll have to wait for the full effect of the new tax to manifest itself. The early signs aren’t good.
May 1973 has also seen the launch of the Austin Allegro (below) – the new driving force from Austin – which its maker hopes will sell in huge numbers, just like the car it’s replaced, the BMC 1100/1300. The main issue British Leyland has in selling its vitally important new car is that most of its factories are either on strike, or on go slows because of other factories within the supply chain. A quick look at AROnline‘s news archive for the month shows that it was dominated by industrial action.
So, tell us about the cars
The forecourt is a lovely freeze-frame moment, showing signs for Green Shield stamps (who collected those?) and BP’s own Quad Stamps, which were given with petrol sold and could be used to collect gifts. On the forecourt, we have a Ford Cortina Mk3, an Austin Maxi 1750 and a Cortina Mk2. That car’s deadly rival the BMC 1100 (can’t tell if it’s an Austin or a Morris from here) sits behind – and, nearest to the camera, is what looks like a Mini Clubman.
If you enjoyed this, let us know in the comments and, if you have any pictures you’d like featuring, drop me a line via any of the links below. Meanwhile, to see what the site where B&K Motors used to reside looks like today, scroll down for a view from Google Streetview.