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 …

1971 MG MGB GT

1971 MG MGB GT

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 …

60 Bentley Continental R (1991-03) Special Edition ???

60 Bentley Continental R (1991-03) Special Edition ???

This is a post 1998 car (mesh grille, but does anyone know which of the Special editions – please)

Bentley Continental R (1991-03) Engine 6750cc V8 Turbo
Registration Number VUT 70
BENTLEY SET
www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157623759855498…
The Bentley Continental R is a large, ultra exclusive, luxury coupé made by Bentley from 1991 to 2003. It was the first Bentley to feature a body not shared with a Rolls-Royce model since the S3 of 1965, the first to use the GM 4L80-E transmission, and the fastest, most expensive, and most powerful Bentley of its day. It was also the most expensive production car in the world at launch. The concept which later became the Continental R was displayed at the 1984 Geneva Motor Show
he car’s body was styled by John Heffernan and Ken Greenley, who had run the automotive design school at the Royal College of Art, together with Graham Hull, who headed up the in-house design team for Rolls Royce and Bentley. The interior was entirely Graham Hull’s work.
The Continental R also featured roof-cut door frames, to allow easier access with a subtle spoiler at the rear.
At launch the Continental R was powered by a 6.75 L Garrett-turbocharged engine from the Bentley Turbo R with an output of 325bhp mated to the new 4-speed GM 4L80-E automatic transmission and featured self levelling hydraulic suspension, ventilated disc brakes at the front, with twin calipers. Engine management via the MK-Motronic digital fuel injection with fully mapped ignition control system. At launch, top speed was 145 mph and the car was priced at £178,000.
1994 model year saw a number of revisions to the engine, including revisions to the cylinder heads courtesy of Cosworth (another company within the Vickers group, the alloy wheels were also increased to 17 inch.
1996 saw some of the most significant changes in the cars production run notably the inclusion of the liquid cooled chargecooler as standard, along with improved engine management, Zytek EMS3, which meant improvement in throttle response, improvement in fuel efficiency and digitally controlled turbo over-boost. It also meant an increase in power output, figures which Rolls Royce now officially released, for the first time, as 385 bhp The 1996 model year also saw revised 17" alloy wheels and steering wheel tilt adjustment for the first time. This was electrically adjustable and so could now be set as part of the seat and wing mirror memory positions. Electronic Traction Assistance System began to appear on the later 1996 model year cars.
For 1998 saw electronic traction assistance system and some cosmetic changes with output remaining as before. Cosmetic revisions included fitting the same front seats as fitted to the Bentley Azure, which were lifted from the BMW 8 series (trimmed by Rolls Royce), featuring an integrated seat belt. Other revisions included small mesh vents below the headlights, laser-cut mesh radiator grill as standard, revised alloy wheels and minor changes to front and rear bumpers.
Under German ownership (1999–2003), several other special editions were made …

1963 Hillman Imp

1963 Hillman Imp

A car who’s name lives in British motoring infamy, a small and subtle little machine that was meant to take on the Mini, but went on to kill the Scottish Motor Industry.

The Hillman Imp was meant to be the company’s great white hope, entering production in 1963 after millions of pounds of investment, including the construction of a new factory at Linwood near Glasgow.

However, Hillman were impatient to get their car into the showrooms, and although there was a huge opening ceremony at the Linwood Factory featuring an appearance by HRH Prince Philip, Hillman had cut some corners. The Prince was only shown certain parts of the factory as most areas had not been finished, and the selection of seven cars he and his entourage were driven round in were in fact the only seven cars that would work properly.

The rest of the cars being produced were tested exhaustively by drivers hired in from the local population, basically driven until the cars wouldn’t run any more, but the distances between breakdowns were very short, some being as low as 30 miles.

Nevertheless the car was produced at the Linwood factory, which employed 6,000 people from one of the most impoverished areas of Scotland. All seemed well, until the sales numbers came in, which showed the initial problems had damaged the car’s reputation and thus resulted in it never selling the the estimated numbers. This was added to by heavy industrial action carried out by the workforce, which resulted in the factory only working at a third the capacity and suffering from many stoppages.

Because of this, the Hillman brand began to suffer, and although cars such as the Avenger, the company folded in 1976, the factory being taken over by Peugeot-Talbot. The factory continued on until 1981 and quickly demolished, resulting in high unemployment that even to this day struggles to recover.

Posted by Rorymacve Part II on 2015-04-27 15:34:53

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