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British Leyland

Discussion in 'General Cars' started by Seafarer1966, 16 Sep 2020.

  1. Seafarer1966

    Seafarer1966

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    I was talking about cars with my son (thirty years my junior) and particularly some bad experiences with British Leyland/ Austin Rover/ Rover masterpieces such as Marinas, Allegros, Maestros and the later 214. He thought I was making it up about how unreliable and badly made they were. He said 'but dad what company could survive so long making such rubbish cars?'
    'Well Leyland did, thanks to the British taxpayer' was the reply.
     
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  3. Gasguru

    Gasguru

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    This was on a few weeks ago... https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000lz6n ....fight :)

    Even before the BL days it was a joke, has he read about Issigonis?
    Some of the madness is extraodinary eg. his total obsession with maximising interior space meant that wind up windows were not featured until later
    in the Minis production...after countless sales were lost in hot climates due to the poor ventilation of the earlier sliding windows.
     
  4. ReganAndCarter

    ReganAndCarter

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    I liked some of the BL cars, especially quirky stuff like Landcrab 1800s, Princesses and SD1 Rovers. Their design was clever and when they worked, they were advanced for their time. But Ford and Vauxhall won because they didn't go all out to be clever. They just banged out conventional but reliable cars that people really wanted.

    Was an interesting time and BL always in the news then - Red Robbo V Micheal Edwardes, and all cars seemed interesting then. Current cars have about as much interest for me as a washing machine - it's just a tin box that performs a function.
     
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  5. bennymultifinish

    bennymultifinish

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    but , in fairness not really any worse than ford or vauxhall at the time in terms of build and reliability.
     
  6. bennymultifinish

    bennymultifinish

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    don’t forget the mini and metro, for me the metro was a seriously under rated machine . genius design spoiled by rot from cheap steel .
     
  7. mointainwalker

    mointainwalker

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    My brother was a mechanic at a BL dealership for a lot of years and I remember him talking about the Maxi ( first 'ordinary' car with 5-speed gearbox) when it was introduced. He said that they had new models delivered ex-BL with seized/non-working gear-boxes which were fixed and billed as warranty claims. I don't think he mentioned numbers, but it was clearly more than one 'exception'.

    It's difficult enough to believe that, but hopefully it never happened with the other two.
     
    Last edited: 17 Sep 2020
  8. Seafarer1966

    Seafarer1966

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    Good point about Fords earlier. My bro-in-law worked at a Ford dealership in the 80's. Brand new Sierras delivered with non of the hoses connected behind the dashboard all sorts of problems. Literally nailed together. Thank goodness Fords are now German or Spanish. I'm on my second German built Focus and can't fault it.

    Re: the Maxi as I recall these came in either a 1500 or a 1750 engine transverse mounted. A guy in my home town put a 1750cc Maxi engine in a mini. Went like the clappers but he struggled to stop it.
     
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  9. bennymultifinish

    bennymultifinish

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    someone round our way did the same. ridiculous.
     
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  11. Seafarer1966

    Seafarer1966

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    Agree. The Metro was a lovely car to drive and roomy inside. Just put together by muppets though.
     
  12. Notch7

    Notch7

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    British Leyland predated the period where the Japanese took back production control systems from America and went about a monumental development of quality control, JIT and all the other productivity and quality improvements we now take for granted in car manufacture

    one example is SMED Single Minute Exchange of Die

    Shigeo Shingo reduced the time it took to change over a die for bodywork presses from 5 hours down to under 10 minutes....and that led to the lean construction environment which encompassed quality control and flexible manufacture.

    The Nissan plant in Sunderland is the most efficient in Europe and only outclassed by plants in Japan.
     
  13. Seafarer1966

    Seafarer1966

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    They did indeed Notch my owd. They adopted the Deming Circle (American) principle of constant quality management....a cycle of checking, acting upon and improving. Nissan (Datsun back then) made the Austin 7 under licence from the 1930's. The Toyota Corolla is the worlds all time best selling line of cars. I learned to drive in a Datsun 140J which later became the Sunny.
     
  14. Avocet

    Avocet

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    At least you didn't learn to drive in that legendary collaboration between Alfa Romeo and Nissan (the Alfa Arna) where, by some staggeringly inept feat of product planning, Nissan did the styling and Alfa did the electrics!

    https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/alfa-romeo/97620/alfa-romeo-arna-the-worst-cars-ever
     
  15. Avocet

    Avocet

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    Let down by what was then a 30 year old engine and drivetrain though. Basically, a "Mini" in a different bag. Always liked the 4-pot front brake caliper though!
     
  16. bennymultifinish

    bennymultifinish

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    i thought the drivetrain particularly the engine was the best bit. old but bombproof.
     
  17. Seafarer1966

    Seafarer1966

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    I loved the Datsun 140J I learned to drive in (my instructors car Mr. Lambert god rest him). Way out of my price range back then and even when it became the Sunny, second hand models kept their value. After I'd passed my test my step-dad let me drive his Morris Ital (remember that shoddily built Marina facelift job?) which was a dreadful car. The fuses used to blow regularly, particularly the wipers and headlights. Fun when it was raining at night. I don't miss Leyland/ Austin Rover at all. I remember the hundreds of millions of pounds thrown at it by the govt in the late 90's/ early 00's. Money was diverted from other things i.e. grants for works to listed buildings and sprayed at Leyland from all sides. Then a rather clever bunch of crooks formed a consortium for a management buy out, got a large stash of taxpayers money, shut the company then disappeared into the sunset with the cash.......and it was all done legally.
     
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