Saturday, May 14, 2011

More Brits

 I decide to do another blog on British cars when I realised just how many British car photos I have.
The Rover P5B Coupes looked better than the saloons in my opinion, but it is difficult to find a good one now that hasn't been dissolved by rust. This is a 1969 model with the 3.5 litre V8 as indicated by the "B" suffix.  The large grille, deep sides and shallow glass area has been copied by the Chrysler 300c of recent years. Another car I think looks good, but my wife doesn't agree.

Alvis are not common in NZ. Their two door body, but with full size rear seats is similar in concept to Bristol's two door saloons, but to me the Alvis is far better proportioned and more handsome. This is a 1960 3 litre.

I saw this 1949 MG YA parked in Petone a couple of years ago. Not very common; a nice little car.

FB Vauxhall Victors were a common medium sized car in NZ in the 60s. This one was parked in Lower Hutt in 2006.

This is a 1974 Jensen-Healey parked at a supermarket in Feilding. I'm not sure what happened to the company producing these, but they weren't in production for very long.

I always think of these as being the "first" model of Capri, but of course there was the earlier coupe based on the Consul 315 saloon. This is a 1969 1600cc example. It didn't have the performance of the 3 litre V6 version, but still a pleasant car to drive fast.

Ford's Cortina was a very popular model in NZ, mostly as a 4 doors with bench front seat and 4 speed column shift. This one, however, is 1968 Lotus version. This body shape was known as the Mk 2.

The Mk 1 Cortina was also popular. Most NZ assembled models were 1500cc 4 doors with bench front seat and column shift. But Ford NZ did actually assemble a few floor shift models with front buckets, but as far as I know these only came with the 1200cc motor. This example is a 1966 GT.

This is a 1959 Mk 9 Jaguar.Although I have never driven a Mk 9, I once drove a fairly rough Mk 7 and was surprised at how effortlessly it cruised at high speed.

For many years the British sports car was an open 2 seater with 4 cylinder motor and 4 speed box. I'm unsure who started the trend, but several manufacturers began fitting much larger motors to existing models, with the necessary mods to brakes and suspension of course. I showed a triumph GT6 based on the Spifire in my previous blog, but this is a 1965 Sunbeam Tiger, basically an Alpine with 260ci Ford V8 where the 1600 or 1725cc  four originally resided. These were fairly short-lived as when Chrysler took over Rootes there is no way they would have a Ford motor in one of their products and the Chrysler V8 wouldn't fit.

MG did the same trick with the MGB, transforming it into the MGC with the 6 cylinder motor as fitted to the big Wolseley and Austin saloons. The MGC was often criticised for it's ill handling. A friend of mine owned one which I  travelled in and drove on one occasion. Although it probably wasn't as nimble as a "B" in tight corners, it was certainly a very capable high speed road car for covering long distances quickly. This is a 1968 roadster.

Austin Healey had already performed the same feat with the 3000. This is a 1967 model at the 2007 British Car Day.

In the 1980s MG/Rover tried to improve on he MGC by fitting the Rover V8 to the MG GT body. By all accounts these were a superb car, but the old fashioned body shape and rising fuel prices did nothing for sales.

In the 90s MG/Rover tried to upgrade the body panels and make the interior more luxurious and release it as the MGR V8. They were not produced in very large numbers and are now very collectable and of course fetch considerable dollars.

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