While You Were Sleeping: The Unbuilt Beauties of British Leyland

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
while you were sleeping the unbuilt beauties of british leyland

We go down memory lane this morning and look at some of the great cars British Leyland didn’t build.

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  • Pch101 Pch101 on Apr 30, 2015

    The fact that Rover was capable of screwing up its version of the Acura/Honda Legend tells you all that you need to know about British Leyland.

    • See 2 previous
    • Kyree Kyree on Apr 30, 2015

      @Corey Lewis Although there were some mechanical and electrical differences between the British Leyland (or Austin Rover, or whatever they were calling themselves) and Honda models, Rover's plight was first and foremost caused by poor or nonexistent build quality, which PrincipalDan humorously mentioned...to the point that even though the UK-market Hondas were assembled in the Cowley facility alongside the Rover version, Honda had its units re-routed to its own Swindon facility, where build defects were rectified before they were sent out to dealers. That also pretty much killed the short-lived Sterling brand here in the States, for whose unreliability no excuse could be made.

  • CJinSD CJinSD on Apr 30, 2015

    If you were to use a venn diagram to represent cars BL built and great cars, the circles wouldn't overlap.

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Apr 30, 2015

    I do think any vehicle produced by Leyland was an "unbuilt beauty". Leyland had potential. This potential was the fact the maybe one day it could of produced a reliable vehicle. Back in the 70s Leyland Australia used to manufacture the Leyland P76. This was powered by the alloy 4.4 V8. The vehicle could of been great. Because Leyland was involved it was a flop. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leyland_P76

  • ExPatBrit ExPatBrit on May 01, 2015

    Leyland did well with large trucks/ buses and owned Standard/ Triumph and Rover. They were arm wrestled into the merger with BMC by then UK government, when they saw the BMC numbers and forecasts up close they wanted to back out of the deal. It was supposed to be a merger of equals but most of the BMC management were pushed aside as part of the agreement with Leyland. BMC was in terrible shape, and was heading for bankruptcy. Morris and Austin had merged 15 years earlier but minimal consolidation had occurred with factories. Multiple dealers with badge engineered Austin, Morris, Riley, MG, Wolseley models. The money that Leyland required for investment on new models was squandered on keeping the BMC part of the business afloat. Leyland should have stayed independent, or looked for a better suitor.