From time to time Aston Martin, using their Lagonda brand, launched a four-door saloons. In 1961 they brought back the Lagonda name again with the Rapide saloon which was based on the then current Aston Martin DB4 but was the first car to use the new dual overhead cam 4-liter inline six which produced 236 bhp, at 5500 RPM and 288-foot-pounds of torque at a relatively high 3850 RPM. With this power unit, the car was reported to achieve 0-60 in 9.0 seconds, quite fast for the era, and a top speed of a very impressive 130 MPH. This was, however, the last Lagonda to use a six-cylinder engine although this engine was standard fitment in the DB5.
NEO, a maker of high-quality 43rd scale models produces an extensive range of car models from foreign manufacturers as well as US car makers. They have added another MG to their range which previously included the MGTD and Arnolt MG coupe. Their latest is a 1933 MG F1 Magna Salonette a small four passenger two door closed car. There were MG Magna roadsters produced as well but no scale models as of yet. These Magnas made use of a small 1271cc overhead cam engine which William Morris had acquired after he purchased Wolseley and added it to the Nuffield group.
Some may not realize that the MG brand and logo are now in the hands of a Chinese firm, SAIC Motor Corporation Limited, a state-owned firm based in Shanghai. They are the largest Chinese automaker by sales with over 5 million units sold in 2014.
Jon Pressnell, a well-known writer and researcher of the British motor industry has written a comprehensive book on the Morris automobile and the company that produced them. Morris – The Cars and the Company was published in 2013. This 286-page large format hardbound book is a definitive study on the Morris cars from the very beginning all the way to the last of the British Leyland days and the final Morris marque product, the Harris Mann designed wedge-shaped 1800 and the restyle of the Morris Marina into the Ital. The Morris Marina was sold in the USA and Canada from about 1973 to 1976 as the Austin Marina. This book is highly detailed with considerable research done on the early, mid and late years of Morris car production. There are voluminous photographs, both in color and black and white, to illustrate […]
Back in the 1952-1953 period, the importer of MGs for the Midwest who was based in Chicago, Stanley H. Arnolt who ran S H Arnolt Inc, decided that the MGTD which was one of his big sellers needed a new updated body. Not seeing such a product likely to come from the Nuffield organization in England, he set about finding a coach building firm to create a new body for the car. He met with Giovani Bertone in Italy at the Turin auto show in 1952 and the foundation for a cooperative agreement was made.
For students of the history of Jaguar Cars, a book written by Chris Cowin, first 2012 and republished 2014 may be of interest. The book, British Leyland: Chronicle of a Car Crash 1968-1978 is simply packed with interesting history. This is the comprehensive story of a collection of once great and diverse British industries, primarily automotive, and their slow but relentless move toward destruction with only a few surviving pieces, Jaguar and Land Rover. For Jaguar only followers much of this book may be irrelevant as it deals in great detail about the downward spiral of the largest indigenous British car companies beginning about 1968 but this date is approximate.
Jaguar’s companion brand, Daimler, was acquired in June 1960. At the time Daimler made buses, military vehicles and a range of cars such as the Daimler Dart roadster also known as the SP250 and a large sedan/limousine known as the Majestic Major. Daimler was long the vehicle supplier to English royalty and can trace its beginnings to earlier than 1900. After Jaguar acquired Daimler they began to phase out some models and badge engineer existing Jaguar models as Daimlers. Cars such as the Mark 2 based Daimler 2.5 liter sedan which used Daimler’s own 2.5 liter hemi V8 in place of the Jaguar XK engines. Later there was a whole range of Daimler badged XJ sedans beginning with the Series 1 and continuing through the Series 3. In 1968 Jaguar introduced the DS420 limousine which was based on many of the mechanical components of […]