2005 Rover CityRover

2005 Rover CityRover

Forgive me for having been on a bit of a Rover binge lately, but for those who don’t know on 15th April 2005, the Rover Group finally ran out of money and Britain’s last volume car manufacturer disappeared forever. I remember well the BBC news reports showing workers being turned back at the gates of the Longbridge Plant in south Birmingham, their jobs finished and their cars ceased. In all, nearly 6,000 people in the Midlands were sacked upon the closure of Longbridge, and whilst Rover, a brand that had dated back to 1904 and had once been a symbol of pedigree British Motoring, finally died after a long and painful spell under British Leyland and ownership by BMW, MG was able to claw away from darkness thanks to Chinese investors, rescuing one of the most renowned and hallowed names in Motorsport history.

However, when it comes to what finally killed the Rover Company, what put the bullet into the back of their confused head, this is usually what people will choose. You’ve heard them all say this before, Auto Magazines, Fifth Gear, Top Gear, any other gear, they’ve all said the same thing, the CityRover was the evil that murdered Rover and the British Motor Industry.

But should we malign the little CityRover? Was it really the sole culprit?

I personally don’t think so, sure it didn’t help, but at the same time in order to understand Rover’s situation you have to go back to the early 90’s. In 1994 BMW bought Rover Group from British Aerospace and started to reorganise the poorly performing company and its damaged reputation under British Leyland. Throughout the decade the company either refurbished models from the 80’s such as the Range Rover, the Rover 200, 400 and 600, or replaced many former British Leyland Models such as the Montego, the Maestro and the Metro, whilst also developing new ones such as the Rover 75. Things were on a high note for the company, the cars were great, the quality was great, they were reliable, well performing, smooth, crisp, the motoring press more often than not lauded them for their precision and craftsmanship, with a style that harked back to the grand old days of British Motoring.

Sadly Grand Old Britain was seen less as a nostalgic roadtrip by potential British buyers, and more a crude attempt by BMW at stereotyping the British as Victorian relics of a dated and long dead social layout. Although older drivers and retired couples would buy them up in droves, the younger demographic wouldn’t touch them with a bargepole and Rover was losing a fortune. Things didn’t look good, the Metro wasn’t selling due to safety issues, the Mini was no longer a mass-production car and more a customer request novelty item, and while Land Rover and Range Rover were doing well in their own right, the Rover Company was haemorrhaging money and BMW lost all interest.

In 2000, BMW chose to break up Rover Group into its …

Elcar Motorcar

Elcar Motorcar

1928 Elcar 8-91 Roadster. Saturday I saw my first Elcar automobile. Friday I told my 91 year old mother whom I was visiting that I was going to an automobile Concourse in South Bend where they would have some old classic cars on display. She then told me that her mother worked as a secretary for a automobile maker in Elkhart, IN for a time after she graduated from high school (around 1916) and that the car maker was called Elcar Motorcar Co. I had never heard of Elcar. Ironically, the very next day I saw my first one.

The Elkhart Carriage and Harness Mfg. Co. starting in 1873 built horse drawn carriages, a Motor Buggy in 1908 and a great American Automobile called the Pratt-Elkhart (1909-1915).
The Elkhart Carriage and Harness Mfg. Co. was a phenomenal success in the early 1900s and became one of Indiana’s largest businesses by the turn of the century. The Pratt Motor Buggy reflected its roots. However, the Pratt Brothers realized in 1914 that the Pratt-Elkhart was priced too high at $2,000.00 for most people.

So in late 1915 they designed and produced the 1916 Elcar with a four cylinder engine A five passenger Elcar touring car and a two passenger "Clover Leaf" Elcar Roadster was produced for a low price of $795.00. A four passenger touring roadster was added to the 1917 line. All three models were listed at $845.00 in 1917 advertising.

When the country was gearing up for World War I, the company destroyed most of the horse drawn side of the business to make way for the building of ambulance bodies for the army in May, 1918.

At the end of World War I in 1919, automobile production resumed for The Elkhart Carriage and Motor Car Company with a carry over of the 1918 models. Like most manufacturers, Elkhart Carriage and Motor Car Company had an immediate post war boom period. 4,000 Elcar units were produced in 1919 in spite of material shortages from their suppliers. In 1920 production decreased to 2600 units due to a tightening of credit.

In 1921 William B. Pratt and George B. Pratt decided to retire from the automobile business. Their company was sold to a number of former Auburn executives and the name changed to Elcar Motor Company. 1900 automobiles were sold that year and 1300 the following year. About 2000 automobiles were sold each year from 1923 to 1929. However, the "Great Depression" changed this company like many other automobile manufacturers. By the end of 1931, The Elcar Motor Company was bankrupt and only built a few Taxi cabs from 1931 to 1933, when they closed the doors for good.

I took the photo. I got the automaker information from the following web page. www.american-automobiles.com/Elcar.html

Posted by david.horst.7 on 2018-08-13 18:25:52

Tagged: , car , auto , automobile , vehicle , classic , vintage , Elcar , roadster , 1928 …

1993 Cadillac Allanté Roadster (1 of 8)

1993 Cadillac Allanté Roadster (1 of 8)

Photographed at the Williamsville Fall Festival Car Cruz in Williamsville, Illinois on September 18, 2010.

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You are invited to stay and browse through my stream. Here’s a quick introduction to my little corner of Flickr:

Automobile Photographs
: This is a very large collection of images whose primary, but not exclusive, focus is on American automotive classics. Images are organized by decade, by manufacturer, and by topics (such as convertibles, station wagons, muscle cars, etc.)

Central Illinois (excluding Springfield)
: Photos relating to the middle section of the "Land of Lincoln" (except for the Capital City of Springfield) may be found in this collection. Every city and town I’ve photographed is contained within its own set, and rural (as in "countryside") photographs are grouped by county.

Springfield, Illinois
: All of my photographs of Springfield and the Abraham Lincoln Sites are in this collection. For the City of Springfield, there are separate sets for the Capitol Complex, Downtown (including the Old State Capitol), Neighborhoods, Parks, Illinois State Fairgrounds and more. Photographs of Lincoln sites include the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Lincoln Tomb, and so on. Also in the Lincoln "All About Abe" (Set) are a few Lincoln sites not located in Springfield.

The Illinois State Fair
: My collection of photographs of the Illinois State Fair. The fair offers something for everyone. Grab a corn dog and lemon shake-up, and come take a look!

Beyond Central Illinois
: Other locales in the United States and Canada including New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle.

In addition to my location-based sets, here are links to some "topical" collections and sets I’ve put together:

Barbers & Barber Shops
: Traditional barbers and barber shops are on the endangered species list. But there are still plenty to be found if you go looking for them.

Almost Everything Else. Check It Out!!!
: Included topics range from man’s first walk on the moon to small town schools and churches, and from Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers (our favorite breed) to things that are abandoned, neglected, weathered, or rusty.

Thanks for stopping by! – myoldpostcards (Randy von Liski)

Posted by myoldpostcards on 2010-09-26 23:58:00

Tagged: , Auto , Autos , Automobile , Motor Vehicle , Car , Cars , Antique Car , Classic Car , Old Car , Collectible Car , Vintage Car , myoldpostcards , von Liski , General Motors , GM , 1993 , Cadillac , Allanté , 2-Door , Roadster , Convertible , Luxury Car , Fall Festival , Car Cruz , Car Cruise , Williamsville , IL , Illinois , 9/18/10 , September 18, 2010 , Grille , Front End , Nose , Chrome , World Cars …

1999 Rover 75

1999 Rover 75

Forgive me for having been on a bit of a Rover binge lately, but for those who don’t know on 15th April 2005, exactly 10 years ago, the Rover Group finally ran out of money and Britain’s last volume car manufacturer disappeared forever. I remember well the BBC news reports showing workers being turned back at the gates of the Longbridge Plant in south Birmingham, their jobs finished and their cars ceased. In all, nearly 6,000 people in the Midlands were sacked upon the closure of Longbridge, and whilst Rover, a brand that had dated back to 1904 and had once been a symbol of pedigree British Motoring, finally died after a long and painful spell under British Leyland and ownership by BMW, MG was able to claw away from darkness thanks to Chinese investors, rescuing one of the most renowned and hallowed names in Motorsport history.

This however was truly the last great Rover, and one that was a succulent blend of style and substance. Reliable, well priced, smooth riding and sweet, the Rover 75 was the embodiment of everything that was to be found in the everyman’s British motor car. But nowadays most people remember it as a prime example of how even though this car, as reliable, well performing and beautifully styled as it is, can be completely compromised by that all important part of the human psyche known as image…

The Rover 75 was unveiled in 1998 after 4 years of development, and was the first car to be launched by the company since the Rover 600 in 1993. In fact the car was built to replace both the Rover 600 and 800 to become the company’s flagship motor. The car was the last to be styled by world renowned coachbuilder Vanden Plas, famous for its distinguished chrome nose and luxurious internal styling. I remember well the style and profile of this mighty car, filled to the brim with soft leather seats and sublime wooden trim, built to emulate the mighty Rover P5 of the 1960’s, but with a fiery 4.6 Rover V8 under the hood for some extra grunt. It was perfect…

…trouble was nobody wanted it.

The main problem that killed the Rover 75 was its image. The car was designed to emulate grand old England, with that chrome and wooden trim making it look and feel very nostalgic. There’s nothing wrong with nostalgia, in fact I very much enjoy a look into the heritage of Britain and the Rover 75 strikes a chord with me, it’s very pretty, well styled and has a lovely feel to it, and many foreign buyers agree, with the 75 winning awards in Germany and France, as well as being dubbed the best car in the world by Italian stylists. The nostalgia of old England is something that foreigners love, they come to Britain in their droves to see old Castles and tour the quaint streets of our ancient cities. However, the only people who don’t like the …

1969 MG MGB

1969 MG MGB

Oh the MGB, the last great British Sports car?

A motor that refused to die even though British Leyland simply couldn’t stop messing around with it. The MGB is an example of a car that went from one of the most loved and lovable cars in British motoring, to what many describe as an empty husk broken and bent for legislation purposes. But the MGB would have its way in the end!

The story behind the MGB begins in 1962, when the car was designed to incorporate an innovative, modern style utilizing a monocoque structure instead of the traditional body-on-frame construction used on both the MGA and MG T-types and the MGB’s rival, the Triumph TR series. However components such as brakes and suspension were developments of the earlier 1955 MGA with the B-Series engine having its origins in 1947. The lightweight design reduced manufacturing costs while adding to overall vehicle strength. Wind-up windows were standard, and a comfortable driver’s compartment offered plenty of legroom. A parcel shelf was fitted behind the seats.

The car was powered by a BMC B-Series engine, producing 95hp and giving the car a 0-60 of 11 seconds, perhaps not the briskest acceleration, but of course this car was more a comfy little cruiser, ambling about the countryside in sedate fashion admiring the views. The MGB was also one of the first cars to feature controlled crumple zones designed to protect the driver and passenger in a 30 mph impact with an immovable barrier (200 ton).

The roadster was the first of the MGB range to be produced. The body was a pure two-seater but a small rear seat was a rare option at one point. By making better use of space the MGB was able to offer more passenger and luggage accommodation than the earlier MGA while 3 inches shorter overall. The suspension was also softer, giving a smoother ride, and the larger engine gave a slightly higher top speed. The four-speed gearbox was an uprated version of the one used in the MGA with an optional (electrically activated) overdrive transmission. Wheel diameter dropped from 15 to 14 inches.

Upon its launch the MGB was given almost unanimous acclaim, largely due to its advanced and innovative design combined with its beautifully and sleek styling. Previous sports cars of the same calibre had always been levied with a reputation for their ropey nature, with a majority of previous models being simply remodelled versions of the MG’s and Triumphs that dated back to the end of and in some cases even before World War II. But the MG was different, and if I’m honest, a large part of its appeal is due to its small, low body, and it’s poky round headlights that make it look rather cute. It’s the kind of car you could give a name, preferably a girl’s one. Either way, the MGB sold in hundreds, disappearing off to all corners of the globe, touring the South of France, storming across the deserts …