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BS: British Cars!

Dave the Gnome 11 Jan 13 - 12:24 PM
Rapparee 11 Jan 13 - 12:29 PM
Pete Jennings 11 Jan 13 - 12:50 PM
Newport Boy 11 Jan 13 - 12:52 PM
GUEST 11 Jan 13 - 12:54 PM
Dave the Gnome 11 Jan 13 - 12:57 PM
Wolfhound person 11 Jan 13 - 01:06 PM
dick greenhaus 11 Jan 13 - 01:23 PM
Georgiansilver 11 Jan 13 - 01:41 PM
Rapparee 11 Jan 13 - 02:04 PM
Dave the Gnome 11 Jan 13 - 02:15 PM
Little Hawk 11 Jan 13 - 02:33 PM
GUEST 11 Jan 13 - 02:37 PM
GUEST,JHW(cookie on old computer) 11 Jan 13 - 02:38 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 11 Jan 13 - 04:20 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 11 Jan 13 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,JohnB 11 Jan 13 - 05:06 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 11 Jan 13 - 05:38 PM
Ed T 11 Jan 13 - 05:42 PM
Dave the Gnome 11 Jan 13 - 05:55 PM
Bobert 11 Jan 13 - 06:05 PM
GUEST,Jack Sprocket 11 Jan 13 - 06:07 PM
Dave the Gnome 11 Jan 13 - 06:25 PM
Ed T 11 Jan 13 - 06:26 PM
Dave the Gnome 11 Jan 13 - 06:29 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 11 Jan 13 - 07:27 PM
gnomad 12 Jan 13 - 05:19 AM
Dave the Gnome 12 Jan 13 - 05:31 AM
Dave the Gnome 12 Jan 13 - 06:15 AM
theleveller 12 Jan 13 - 06:30 AM
Newport Boy 12 Jan 13 - 06:56 AM
kendall 12 Jan 13 - 07:56 AM
GUEST,Peter 12 Jan 13 - 09:47 AM
Leadfingers 12 Jan 13 - 11:02 AM
Edthefolkie 12 Jan 13 - 11:43 AM
Rog Peek 12 Jan 13 - 12:20 PM
kendall 12 Jan 13 - 12:53 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 12 Jan 13 - 07:21 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 12 Jan 13 - 07:23 PM
Bobert 12 Jan 13 - 07:25 PM
GUEST,Jack Sprocket 12 Jan 13 - 07:52 PM
kendall 13 Jan 13 - 07:55 AM
Steve Shaw 13 Jan 13 - 08:47 AM
Bat Goddess 13 Jan 13 - 09:20 AM
EBarnacle 13 Jan 13 - 12:55 PM
EBarnacle 13 Jan 13 - 02:05 PM
Rusty Dobro 13 Jan 13 - 02:43 PM
JohnInKansas 13 Jan 13 - 03:40 PM
JHW 13 Jan 13 - 04:02 PM
Joe_F 13 Jan 13 - 05:37 PM

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Subject: BS: British Cars!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 12:24 PM

I feel left out with the spate of American car threads! I'll have you know that us Brits can have cars that are just as bad as your US ones :-)

I am sure that some of the petrol heads here will add to the list (C'mon Richard, you know you want to :-) ) but I can start off with the ones that I have personal experience of -

Austin Allegro (When the wheel falls off, A leg grows...)

MG Maestro (Brilliant 1.6 normaly aspirated twin-carb engine but rusted like hell and talked nonsense to me all the time!)

Hillman Imp (Imitation Mini with a rear engine. Used to frighten the life out of me thinking about head on collisions!)

and the ultimate...
Reliant Supervan III. Yep, the original Del boy one but in turquoise rather than yellow. I remember having to get the kids to pee in a jug so I could top the coolant up on the way back from Whitby one year. Surprised they made it through childhood unscathed both mentally and physically after having to sit on a make-do seat with no restraints in the back of a three-wheeled death trap!

Eeeeeh. Then were the days...

Cheers

DtG

...and I wont mention the European ones I had like the numerous Ladas, the Peugeot 505 and the Datsun Cherry!


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Rapparee
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 12:29 PM

How about the German Ford? Ever try to get parts for one in Ft. Madison, Iowa? Or that thing from the Isle of Man -- the Peel?


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 12:50 PM

Well, I used to have an MGB GT back in the seventies. Great car to look at then, and easy to work on (huge engine bay, plenty of room). Four speed box with overdrive on 3rd and 4th.

Great on the open road, but the bloody gear ratios for 2nd and 3rd were about a mile apart so driving it in town was a real pain. And let's not mention the clutch...I always said it was the car that put the strain back into driving (and no, there's was nothing wrong with the clutch).

Mind you, as Dave hints at, it wasn't a patch on the All-agro. I drove my mate's down to Paignton one time (from Wednesbury). Simply awful. The square steering wheel didn't help...worst car I ever drove by a long chalk.


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Newport Boy
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 12:52 PM

My worst two cars were both Fords. A 3-gear 100E Anglia with vacuum wipers which I hired about 1959. With 4 adults, it wouldn't pull up the hills on the A30 in top, and quickly ran out of revs in 2nd. In either gear, the wipers stopped after about a minute of full throttle, which meant frequent slowdowns to clear the screen. At least there wasn't much traffic then.

The other was a 105E Anglia (with the cut-back rear window) which I had as a works car in March 1967. The handling was lethal - wouldn't hold a line in a corner, and the back end would hop if it hit a matchstick. I managed to improve it a bit by bolting a 100 lb paving slab down in the boot, but it still wasn't good. I put up with it until August, when I managed to exchange with an office guy. The soft-top SWB Land Rover with a 2-litre engine was a much more civilised car!

The most fun was a Citroen 2CV in which I did 60,000 miles in 3 years. It worked well as a site vehicle in the earthworks stage of the M4 - kept up with the foreman's land rover. I can also vouch for Citroen's advertised "70mph maximum, 70mph cruising", if cruising is the right word. With 4 adults into a strong headwind on the M4, I held the throttle hard against the floor from Almondsbury to Heston Services on the M4 - 100 miles flat out. Downhill, it just reached 72, uphill it slowed to below 60. I can also confirm that the 2CV will go all round a roundabout on 3 wheels!

Phil


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 12:54 PM

Oh, sorry - Peugeot 504 - But I said I wouldn't mention it!

We were on our way to the Lakes - Fully loaded and with a trailer. Just got on the M61 and saw a wheel overtake me. Just before the car fell over to the right... Probably a good job I had the trailer to keep it in a straight line. Known fault apparantly - Used to sheer the rear stub axles as soon as look at them!

D.


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 12:57 PM

Me above, sans biscuit and not making a good job of explaining it was the Allegro that lost wheels. Not the 504, which I won't mention, that lost brake fluid...

:D


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Wolfhound person
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 01:06 PM

Morris Marina c. early 1970s.
Dreadful thing - only had it a year.

Also drove it with 2 loose kids in the back. Now they're parents of small children themselves stories of it are a good way of giving them cold shudders.

Paws


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 01:23 PM

In road racing circles, the line used to be: "Everyhing that falls off a British car is of the finest craftsmanship"


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 01:41 PM

I guess if you want to talk about British cars it has to be historical... how many actual British cars are made today?...........


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Rapparee
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 02:04 PM

Well, Tata of India bought the Jaguar franchise from Ford....


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 02:15 PM

All pretty specialist, Geogiansilver -

Arial
BAC Mono
Caterham
Mogan
Noble
Westfield

And probably some I have missed! But aside from that I think you will find that very few manufacturers world-wide can now say that they are the product of one country!

Cheers

DtG

BTW - Also had 5 motorbikes - 3 Japanese, I Italian and 1 British. Only the Japs were worth keeping! But having said that I am going to try the new Enfield when I get chance. Even if it is Indian...


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 02:33 PM

My mother drove a Morris Minor back in the 50s. It was a tough little car. I think that's the only British car we ever owned, and I remember it fondly. We had a Volkswagen bug for awhile too.


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 02:37 PM

Allegro - my first car. head gasket, 5 clutches, several gear lever linkages, coolant explodable caps, split drivers door - it just cracked across one day, numerous sixpenny sized knuckle joints, steering rack - no way I'd remember it all, 5 wheel bearings and when I first heard one screaming I radioed my garage who said if it hasn't fallen off it'll be ok to drive in screaming as the later models fitted a big washer to stop the wheel falling off when the bearing goes
Never bought another British car


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: GUEST,JHW(cookie on old computer)
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 02:38 PM

That was JHWs Allegro


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 04:20 PM

I once owned a 66 Vauxhall Viva that was a fun little car to drive. It only had about 50 horses but it stuck to the road like glue and would leave those VW bugs in the dust. I traded it for a sibling car, a new 69 Envoy Epic. That was the worst piece of shit that I ever owned! It burned exhaust valves and blew head gaskets like you wouldn't believe and started knocking (wrist pin) before 30,000 miles. It would cross-fire if it would start at all in damp weather and I used about a can of ignition spraw a month. In the end I traded the damn thing in on a Datsun.


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 04:22 PM

Typo "spray"


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 05:06 PM

Mk1 Cortina Estate, it was a state, never pushed a car so much and so often to start it. Eventually rebuilt the engine.
Triumph Vitesse convertible, nice car, GREAT engine, lousy gear box rear diff, distributor and rotten body. All except the body rebuilt and/or replaced. Really liked the front hinged hood though, you could sit on the front tires to play with the engine.
JohnB


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 05:38 PM

I'm American, but there were always Ford Anglias in my family when I was young. I had a couple of grease-monkey uncles who were very fond of them. They always had a couple of Anglias that ran and a couple more for parts. Prior to the Toyota Corolla popping onto the scene around 1970, the Anglia was probably the second most popular imported compact in the US, behind that beetlish looking thing from Germany.

As far as I know, the Anglia was the only model made by one of Detroit's British or European divisions that had much impact on the US market. GM had some success selling Opels through Buick dealerships, but it didn't last long. Most of the sales were of the late '60s/early '70s Opel GT that looked like a mini-Corvette. Most Americans have never even seen a Vauxhall except on a movie screen, and Ford Prefect is only Arthur Dent's pal, not a car.

But what we're seeing a lot of nowadays are Ford Transit Connect microvans. Neither of Detroit's Big Three are currently producing a cargo/delivery van smaller than the Ford Econoline or Chevy Express. When Detroit's automotive soothsayers announced the death of the minivan, they killed of the workingman's versions right along with the passenger versions. That left tradesmen who need a van, but don't necessarily need a full-sized van with nothing to drive. So, Ford started importing the Transit Connects from their European division. They're cuter than the defunct Aerostars, but they don't hold as much.

Ironically, though the Transit Connects are only sold on the US market in their stripped-down cargo version, they're actually imported as the passenger version with seats. That's to avoid 25%higher US tarrifs on imported trucks than on imported passenger cars. When they get here, the seats are removed and, presumably, shipped back to Europe where they're reinstalled in another batch.


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Ed T
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 05:42 PM

My dad had a small Hillman car. Does that count? He repaired it alot.


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 05:55 PM

Just remembered that my mate Ged wrote a song about a Hillman Hunter. The only bit I remember is -

The horn of my Hunter is silent
It's tappets will rattle no more

:D tG


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 06:05 PM

I had an Anglia when I went off to college... It was a late 50;s model and ver simple car to work on and keep running half ass-ed which is about as well as this car was capable of running...

My buddy had an MG-A in the 50s... Nice little car indeed... Crappy Lucas electrics...

If I ever find about $15K-$20K that I don't need I would love to own an old Rolls Silver Cloud I with the big single headlights...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: GUEST,Jack Sprocket
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 06:07 PM

Dave the Gnome wrote: "Hillman Imp (Imitation Mini with a rear engine. Used to frighten the life out of me thinking about head on collisions!)"

Dave, it was your British preconceptions that caused the problem. When the engine is at the rear, you still drive the car forwards, just like an ordinary car, the Vauxhall Cresta or the Jowett Javelin for example. It's sad nobody told you this at the time. Of course, crumple zones had not been invented then.

You could have chosen a better example of the British car's eccentricities. The Bond 250 for example. With a two cylinder, two stroke engine, it could carry a family, the camping gear and the dog, on holiday from Yorkshire to Cornwall (that's nearly 400 miles), on its three wheels- provided you could get it going: to start it, if the electric starter failed (as it usually did), Father opened the bonnet (hood), put his foot in, and used the kickstart.

This was luxury compared to the motorbike and sidecar that so many families used for Marcopolian explorations.


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 06:25 PM

Hey Jack - That is exactly the point I was making in case it eluded you. No crumple zones. Nothing between you and a front end collision and the weight of the engine (little as it was) coming up behind you! Now, what was your point or was it one of those odd things; like a joke but without the funny bit at the end? :-P

The Bond 250 with electric start was a luxury car! The earlier version (Yes, we did have one) had a 197cc Villiers engine and you could kick start it as you describe or ours had the added luxury of a pull start on the dash - Rather like a motor boat. 3 people could also pick it up to park it or turn it round BTW - Useful seeing as it had no reverse. I think I liked our BSA gold flash and Panther double adult sidecar better anyway.

They went quite upmarket later and I really did quite fancy a Bond Bug. In later years I had a work colleague who had a collection of about 5 of them. He took me for a spin in one and it was quite the white knuckle experience :-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Ed T
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 06:26 PM

How about the Zephyr and the Zodiac.


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 06:29 PM

'Z cars' - Now you are talking :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 07:27 PM

Early Vauxhall Victor, the one with the wraparound windscreen with backward sloping pillars to improve visibility as you spun like a top if someone spat on the pavement (sidewalk) nearby.

I used to carry a hundredweight of sand in the boot in a futile attempt to keep the rear tyres in contact with the road.

It wasn't like the average US model, not designed for cornering. It would corner beautifully without reference to where the road might be heading.

Eventually it took me on a side trip one damp morning and wrapped itself U-shaped round a telegraph pole. Thanks to the innovative windscreen, I had a perfect view of the whole affair.

I was actually pleased that it was a write off.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: gnomad
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 05:19 AM

I had an Imp as my first car, it had some interesting quirks. Never did find out where the burning steel wool came from that shot out of the exhaust from time to time (I would see it in the rear view mirror at night) but it never seemed to affect anything, though I imagine it disconcerted a few following drivers. Like EdT's dad, I spent a fair bit of time 'repairing' it.

It did demonstrate a tremendous ability to spin one winter's night as I exited a roundabout on the A1 near Stevenage, I think it was 2.5 turns before backwards onto the central reservation. I was lucky there was very little traffic, so got away with just a scare.

Its biggest surprise for me was just after getting it, I couldn't find the fuel filler, which turned out to be under the boot (trunk for USA viewers) lid, ie just above and between the headlights. I don't recall the exact placement of the fuel tank itself, on reflection it may have been the forward crumple zone. Engineering genius.


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 05:31 AM

I'd forgotton all about the fuel cap - I remember now, Thannks gnomad.

For those wondering wat we are on about - The Hillman Imp.

Didn't a few other manufacturers jump on the bandwagon with a mini car as well? I know the afore mentioned Reliant brought out a 4 wheel version of the Robin called the Kitten. I am sure there were others too.

Oh - I remeber my first, and only, 2 company cars were a Ford Sierra and an Austin Montgo. Both awful things but the Montego at least had the redeeming feature of being an Estate with an extra pair of seats in the back to accomodate all the kids!

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 06:15 AM

Ah - Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet are two I just remembered.

D.


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: theleveller
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 06:30 AM

My first car was a 1934 Lagonda Rapier Abbot-bodied tourer followed by a 1947 MGTC - great cars but hardly everyday motoring, although I wish I had them now.

Worst cars were a Volvo 480 with a complicated computerised system that simply didn't work and which kept breaking clutch cables, and a TR7 drophead with automatic transmission, which was so slow I was once overtaken by a milk float.

I loved my Saab 90 Turbo (the old shape) but went through 3 turbos and a gearbox in 2 years, and never got more than 15K miles from a set of front tyres (maybe it's the way I drive). My Mercedes E Class estate went on for years despite being used to carry large quantities of horse manure from field to garden.


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Newport Boy
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 06:56 AM

Ah - the Bond 250. When I was 13, a guy in our street bought one (the 5th car in our estate of 350 houses). We had very small front gardens with a 2 foot wall around and just a pedestrian gate. Obvious, isn't it - 8 of us lifted the Bond over the wall and 'parked' it in the garden. He knew who the culprits were, but we stck together and pleaded innocence.

I have fond memories of a Montego 2-litre turbo-diesel Estate - one of the last, so it had all the extras thrown in. The best of these was the self-levelling rear suspension. I bought it 9 months old and did 95,000 miles in it, a large part of which was transporting materials for my barn conversion. Two trips stick in my mind.

Our walking group did a 2-day walk and we needed to get back to the start - the Montego carried 7 adults with full kit for 25 miles. The exhaust scraped a bit as we started, but the suspension soon pumped up.

The best was a trip to the south of France to a friend's old mill. Four adults, everything for a 10-day holiday plus 400 lb of toolboxes in the boot. I did Saint-Malo to Avignon (about 1000kms) in one hop each way, cruising at 90mph most of the time. When we got back to Exeter and I filled up, the average fuel consumption was 50.2 mpg.

Phil


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: kendall
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 07:56 AM

I've always liked the look of the Morris Minor, but never owned one.

I've probably driven almost every car you could name and the greatest of all was a new Rolls Royce in 1960. Most impressive car ever. Belonged to the Father of a friend.


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 09:47 AM

My father always insisted on buying "British" cars. He was a little embarassed when delivery of my mother's new fiesta was held up by a Spanish dock strike.


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Leadfingers
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 11:02 AM

British Leyland shot themselves in the foot SO often , bringin new models out before they had finished Developement ! The Marina was crap , and by the time it was adjusted (renamed the Ital) it was totally out of date , as was the Maxi . The Mk4 Maxi was OK , but again , twenty years out of date .


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 11:43 AM

Well, I have owned and/or driven quite a few.

The Wolseley 1500/Riley 1.5. Designed as the Morris Minor replacement - instead BMC stuck in a 1498cc B series engine and applied Wolseley or Riley grilles to the front. I had a Wolseley which was very comfy inside, all leather and tree wood, but it did break halfshafts and the standard suspension was a bit iffy. However, a lot of Riley 1.5s were raced so maybe it was me.

The Triumph Spitfire mk II. Oh my gawd. Herald underpinnings and a souped up engine. All too easy to put one in somebody's front garden.

The Land Crab. (Wolseley 18/85 in my case). Amazingly sturdy car, as big as a 2 bedroom flat inside. Umbrella handbrake within millimetres of right knee, right rear Hydrolastic hose rubbed on rear subframe causing fluid to disappear! Pinhole in brake servo caused car to make smoke like the Bismarck trying to escape its pursuers. The power steering pump was driven off the back of the dynamo, overloading its bearings. On auto box versions, the slush pump was driven by a chain - which stretched. Strangely enough I still thought mine excellent.

The Davrian. A plastic kit car with an Imp engine - aaargh! The one I knew had a nice Singer Chamois instrument panel on the driver's side and 2 spear-like lumps of metal on the passenger side, pointing at the hapless passenger's crotch.

The Lotus Cortina mk II (no independent rear suspension, just as well given the Mk 1's propensity to leave differentials etc in the road). Went like the proverbial off a shovel, but the 1500 block and twin cam head leaked like a sieve.

Then there were the Mini Coopers. Oh God.


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Rog Peek
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 12:20 PM

Worst car I ever owned was a 6 volt VW beetle, (4th on chronological list) nothing but trouble from start to finish. Other cars until a couple of years ago all Bitish, and all gave good service: split-screen Morris Minor, Triumph TR2, Hillman Minx, Morris 1100, Vauxhall Viva Estate, Austin Maxi 1750, Reliant Scimitar GTE, Reliant Robin, Morris 1000 tourer. Always second hand, swore I'd never buy car on HP, and always did my own repairs. Last five or six years have run a couple of Citroen Picassos, convenient but boring. Bought the Scimitar in 1981 and still have that one for fun.

Would have to agree that the Allegro and Marina were particularly poor models. Donald Stokes was to oversee the final demise of the British mass production car industry.

Rog


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: kendall
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 12:53 PM

I had a 1958 Karmman Ghia. Fun car, no trouble at all.The nose was very vulnerable though.


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 07:21 PM

I had a Simca 1100 for a year.

Aptly named, it cost me just over £1100 in repairs and steadfastly refused to go more than forty miles at a time.

If you didn't stop every forty miles (less on hot summer days) and let it cool right down, it blew a core plug and a gallon of hot water across the road, and cooked the mains and big ends.

Back then £1100 was about six months wages. A very tough year!

Best car I've had is my current one.

Rover 75 Club CDT 116 Diesel automatic, first registered April 2002.

As reliable as next Wednesday, and comfortable as well.

55 per gallon at 60mph, 43 per gallon pulling my heavy steel chassis 1970s Sprite Alpine.

Holds the road like you had wheels on your elbows.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 07:23 PM

P.S. It does have the two litre BMW diesel, so only a bit British.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Bobert
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 07:25 PM

Morris Minors were cute...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: GUEST,Jack Sprocket
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 07:52 PM

and had kingpins most of the time


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: kendall
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 07:55 AM

I bought a new Simca when they first hit the market. Won a trophy at the drag strip.I was in the same class as an old woman with a wheelbarrow. No, it was a VW bug. The track was wet and we were going for top eliminator. He beat me by a fraction of a second.


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 08:47 AM

My Dad's first car, in the 50s, was one of those Ford Anglia biscuit tins, gear lever a yard long, three speeds, double de-clutch from 2nd to 1st. I learned to drive in his '65 Vauxhall Viva. I loved that. Our first car was a Morris Minor. I had to keep changing the radiator when stones shot through the grille, and the differential casing cracked open. Otherwise we loved it. There was so much room under the bonnet that you could almost get in there and stand next to the engine, and you could do the head gasket, tappets and valves with a cheap socket set on a Saturday afternoon. We had a lovely holiday in Ireland in it in 1977, where the starter handle came in handy after the starter motor decided it was going to jam at frequent intervals, and we had three punctures in four weeks. There was always the danger that the suspension top joint would come adrift, leaving you with one front wheel sitting at a 45-degree angle. Next was a Triumph Dolomite 1850. The nuts holding the exhaust manifold always worked loose and you couldn't get at them without taking off the starter motor. The front brake pads lasted 4000 miles if you never braked, less if you did. There were drilled-out recesses on top of the engine into which oil slowly leaked, which just sat there harmlessly - until you went up a very steep hill or drove on to a ramp, in which case the oil flowed backwards into the clutch bell-housing, resulting in a badly-slipping clutch for the next 200 miles. The rustiest car I ever had was an early 80s VW Polo. Brakes and a floor appeared to be optional extras. My mate next door came home one day with a brand-new Morris Marina and was proudly showing it off to me in his front drive. Less than 50 miles on the clock it had. I spotted rust in the seams (didn't want to hurt his feelings so kept shtum). Next I had a Cavalier estate. For 18 months it would mysteriously just stop, just like that, completely at random, and refuse to start again for anything between ten minutes and 24 hours, then all was completely normal again. Sometimes it went weeks without doing it, other times it would happen every other day. I was friendly with every AA relay bloke in the country. Oddly, a replacement distributor from a junk yard solved the problem. For a year we borrowed our friend's Maestro while she went on a long holiday. It would take a whole chapter to list what was bad about that car. You were thrown about like loose marbles in a biscuit tin when you cornered, you could never get more than 26 to the gallon and you could, almost literally, stand there and watch it rust. Not ordinary rust either. Sinister great cancerous tumescences under the paint, inches across, like huge cold sores that then erupted within days into flaky brown holes that you could poke your finger right through to fresh air underneath. After that, and a brief flirtation with a shit-brown coloured Vauxhall Nova (which I loved, until the driver's seat disintegrated), I very unwisely invested in a dirt-cheap Daewoo Nexia with only 22000 miles on the clock. It went like shit off a shovel but was incredibly uncomfortable and did 28 to the gallon at best. It underwent premature death when the cam-belt broke 17000 miles before it was due to be replaced.

That brought me into the modern era of the last 10 years. My cars have all been great in that time. Reliable and un-rusty. Open the bonnet and all you see is acres of plastic covers. Not my territory any more. But aren't modern cars so boring! No entertainment value, not like in the good old days!


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 09:20 AM

Hey, Pete, my first husband and I also had a MGB-GT (1967) in the early '70s. AND a 1954 MG-TF and a 1962 MGA 1600 Mark II. Just so any one of them might be drivable at any given time.

Best driving was the TF, but you should have seen me all dressed up to go out cutting a new valve cover gasket without getting a drop of oil on me.

Redid the electrics in (I think) all of them. Made the windscreen wipers in the TF electric, too, so they would actually work. My ex was handy that way.

Miss those cars... Biggest mistake of my life. Sold the cars and kept the not yet "wasband" for another seven years... Sigh.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: EBarnacle
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 12:55 PM

Nearly owned two Britcars. When my parents were out buying an Olds in the late 60's there were two on the lot that the salesman offered to throw in to sweeten the deal. One was a Goliath [even then an orphan] and the other was a Bugeye Sprite. He got out of it by telling them that neither of them was very reliable, so they did not go for the sweetner. Just one of many dumb "favors" they did me. Shortly after that, I got an Alfa 2000 droptop. Would have been better off with either of the Brits. At least they ran sometimes.


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: EBarnacle
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 02:05 PM

By the way, the Ford Transit van is available with several different passenger and cargo configurations here in the US. I would be happy to see a somewhat less bulbous top, though.


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 02:43 PM

Don't blame the Goliath on the Brits! It was part of the Borgward family of Germany. We have enough to be ashamed of without that.


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 03:40 PM

Never had personal experience with a British car.

A few friends who acquired one bragged for about a week about their great accomplishment, but then sort of quit talking about it so the rest of us never got much of a briefing.

I have had a fair amount of experience with a couple of British airplanes ...

... ... ...

... ... ...


But on reflection I don't think I care to talk much about that experience ... ... sort of like if I'd owned one.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: JHW
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 04:02 PM

Ref Hillman Imps above. Freind who very kindly gave me lifts to college esp on days too snowy for my scooter had the Singer one.
If only the factory had thought to put a label under the (rear) bonnet 'The engine is supposed to be at the back' as on snowy bends the car would keep forgettting


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Subject: RE: BS: British Cars!
From: Joe_F
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 05:37 PM

A rather old joke:
Why is there no British computer industry?
They haven't figured out how to make them leak oil.


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