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Automotive Unicorns


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143 replies to this topic

#31 OFFLINE   vaughant

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 10:49 AM

Approx 43k on the roads in 2003 (which was MK1 and MK2/facelift) and now approx 10% of that total.
But if we ignore the mk 2 such was around yr2000, is only about a thousand in total including SORN and 150 taxed on the road.
Incredible when you think by 2000 they'd sold 24000 of the buggers!!!!

#32 ONLINE   NorfolkNWeigh

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 11:07 AM

Lonsdale.........doubt that any survive in the uk.........attachicon.gifLonsdale~YD41~(2).jpg


The Lonsdale story has it all; Internationla mystery , political shenanigans, failiure tempered by just swapping the badges of unsold cars and flogging them as something else.
As an aside I never knew the Sigma ( YD41/ Galant) was made and sold by Chrysler in Australia, not Mitsubishi or that it was sold as a Dodge in America.
The long production run and numerous factories all over the World churning them out under different Marques must mean there were loads of the feckers around, can't remember seeing even a Colt Sigma for at least 25 years.

#33 ONLINE   MorrisItalSLX

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 11:48 AM

As an aside I never knew the Sigma ( YD41/ Galant) was made and sold by Chrysler in Australia, not Mitsubishi


Chrysler Australia had connections with Mitsubishi since 1971. Mitsubishi bought one third of Chrysler Australia in 1979 and took full control in 1980, thus becoming Mitsubishi Australia. Mitsubishi Australia ceased local production in 2007.
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#34 OFFLINE   kinkersaab

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 12:21 PM

I have genuinely never ever seen a 3 dr bluebird like that? had i not seen the pic i would have denied all existance.  ?


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#35 OFFLINE   Pete-M

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 12:25 PM

No you don't.
Trust me on that.


The 3.0 24v Senator was the only good one.

Trust me on that.

214837.png 180526.png

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#36 OFFLINE   Datsuncog

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 12:48 PM

That's an amazing information, thank you so much! Also, Aussie market stuff is fascinating, so this is definitely going into the episode. I will have to read the whole post more carefully when I get home later.

 

No worries, I lived out there for a while and became fascinated by this rich seam of cars I hardly knew anything about... I first heard about the P76 in the April 1991 edition of Classic and Sportscar, I think, where it was mentioned as a bit of a joke. Then I saw one in the metal in Queensland in 2002, and was actually quite taken with them...

 

I still seem to be permanently locked out of my Flickr account (thanks to Yahoo), but here's a few pics I took in a scrapyard in New South Wales in 2006 which you're welcome to use. The single headlight one is an ultra-rare base model, just to cap it all.

 

Leyland P76 Base - Cooma, Feb 2006.png

 

https://www.flickr.c...cog/2541668309/

 

Leyland P76s - Cooma, Feb 2006.png

 

https://www.flickr.c...cog/2541667445/

 

Autocar's website did a brief feature on the P76 last year, too:

 

https://www.autocar....aussie-disaster

 

If you do find yourself with an interest in Australiana, I'd highly recommend 'Golden Miles: Sex, Speed & the Australian Muscle Car' by Clinton Walker for an entertaining read through the history of some the fantastic creations that came from Down Under.

 

I'd totally rock a Chrysler Valiant CL/CM - especially in wagon format.

 

https://www.flickr.c...cog/2541647137/


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#37 ONLINE   Tadhg Tiogar

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 01:48 PM

VW K70, first of the water cooled?


I had one. Managed to get it back on the road for a couple of years before selling it. It was one of only about 12 RHD cars known to exist at the time (1991/2) - a fella named Stephen Bood in Wolverhampton was the guru for this model.

 

Only 800 RHD cars ever built, out of 211,127, so that gives a taste of how popular it was over here.


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And f*ck your Mitsubishi, I've a horse outside,
If you're lookin' for a ride, I've got a horse outside

#38 OFFLINE   Datsuncog

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 01:57 PM

Actually, just realising I was a bit rambly last night (at 2AM, typing on my phone) - it was specifically the P76 Force 7 that sprang to mind when I saw 'Automotive Unicorns'.

 

Leyland P76 Force 7 - Home On Th' Orange.jpg

 

Leyland P76 Force 7 - yellow.jpg

 

 

I mean, hey, a 4.4 litre V8 5 seater 2dr hatchback, topped off with a BL plughole badge, the majority of which were crushed by their own maker before they'd even left the factory gates, is surely worthy of the term...

 

Leyland P76 Force 7 - Zetland, crushing 1.jpg

 

Leyland P76 Force 7 - Zetland, crushing 2.jpg

 

 

This car was Lord Stokes' own personal conveyance.

 

Leyland P76 Force 7 - ex Lord Stokes 3.jpg

 

Leyland P76 Force 7 - ex Lord Stokes 4.jpg

 

Brought over to the UK and originally wearing the registration 1FDM, after it was sold (but the private plate retained) it became TXC465M. A few years ago it returned to the southern hemisphere.

 

Leyland P76 Force 7 - ex Lord Stokes.jpg

 

Leyland P76 Force 7 - ex Lord Stokes 2.jpg

 

 

Yet apparently it wasn't the only P76 to hit these shores - this one appears to be wearing an L-suffix plate, suggesting a very early car, maybe even a pre-production version sent over to the UK for BL evaluation:

 

Leyland P76 - London.jpg

 

(Right, I'll give over about this now!)


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#39 OFFLINE   Tamworthbay

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 02:11 PM

Renault Fuego? Haven’t seen one on the road in more than a decade.
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#40 OFFLINE   Matty

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 02:27 PM

I thought a unicorn car was something common with a rare spec. Like someone ordering a brand new range rover Vogue se, but insisting they wanted to spec manual box and cloth seats, that sort of thing
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#41 ONLINE   JimH

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 03:07 PM

The brief is a little bit blurred but some oddities, common as mucks and were never going to works that might have some interesting tales are:

 

Could have been so good but the dice were loaded against it from the start: Panther Solo

They came, they saw, they conquered, they were completely forgotten: Datsun 120Y

Ball hoofed firmly into the back of their own net: Alfa Romeo 33

Dear Lord, what were they thinking: The Mk6 Escort RS2000

Well that was never going to work was it?: Perm one from Peugeot 605, pretty much any large Renault ever although I would probably vote for the Safrane, the aforementioned Tagora, the Phaeton or the Maybach,

Platform sharing, time wasting: Fiat Croma, Alfa Romeo 164, Saab 9000, Lancia Thema


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#42 OFFLINE   vaughant

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 03:36 PM

Mk1 Tigra
Three have appeared on eBay in the past six months.



Shit I'd forgotten all about those!!!!

Tried to help someone over in the blue once with one he couldn't get started but he was one of these idiots who believed what the pub gossips told him and continually ignored what I told him was wrong, having had an identical issue on a Corsa with it being the same car etc. I even sent him eBay links for the parts that would have cost him £60 and a few hours work (bear in mind he'd just had the engine replaced so wasn't averse to working on cars) but no, he knew better and his mechanic* told him it needed xy and z. Still wasn't running 4 months after the original thread and numerous hundreds in money thrown at it. But then, there's no helping some people.
It was the immobiliser box on the side of the engine is anyone cares, which I doubt they would!!!
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#43 OFFLINE   mitsisigma01

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 04:13 PM

Also a great suggestion. I must admit I had to google that one myself. There used to a millions of Gallant estates from the 90's around. Don't know if  have ever seen a Sigma in the steel

31da1a4fb799f70bd39cb6a3470cd67c.jpg
cf4b0996368bd70ac72006cf89ec1f17.jpg f89ec1f17.jpg]
20170827_144411.jpg

The last one being a crud pic of my estate/wagon or kombi.
I think uk Sigma saloons are just as rare
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#44 ONLINE   SierraMikeHotel

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 04:50 PM

Some interesting stuff here.

I'm sure I remember a contemporary joke about the Leyland P38, because it was half the car it should have been. Why do I remember this rubbish?
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#45 OFFLINE   colnerov

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 04:50 PM

I had one. Managed to get it back on the road for a couple of years before selling it. It was one of only about 12 RHD cars known to exist at the time (1991/2) - a fella named Stephen Bood in Wolverhampton was the guru for this model.

 

Only 800 RHD cars ever built, out of 211,127, so that gives a taste of how popular it was over here.

 

 Hi, My mate bought a '72 K70 back in the early 80s, I say bought 'ended up with' would be a better description, it came from a trade in at a local Vauxhall main dealer needing a clutch.  It gave sterling service for a number of years considering he used to drive it like he stole it.

 

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#46 OFFLINE   TheClutchBasketPodcast

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 06:30 PM

Actually, just realising I was a bit rambly last night (at 2AM, typing on my phone) - it was specifically the P76 Force 7 that sprang to mind when I saw 'Automotive Unicorns'.

 

attachicon.gifLeyland P76 Force 7 - Home On Th' Orange.jpg

 

attachicon.gifLeyland P76 Force 7 - yellow.jpg

 

 

I mean, hey, a 4.4 litre V8 5 seater 2dr hatchback, topped off with a BL plughole badge, the majority of which were crushed by their own maker before they'd even left the factory gates, is surely worthy of the term...

 

attachicon.gifLeyland P76 Force 7 - Zetland, crushing 1.jpg

 

attachicon.gifLeyland P76 Force 7 - Zetland, crushing 2.jpg

 

 

This car was Lord Stokes' own personal conveyance.

 

attachicon.gifLeyland P76 Force 7 - ex Lord Stokes 3.jpg

 

attachicon.gifLeyland P76 Force 7 - ex Lord Stokes 4.jpg

 

Brought over to the UK and originally wearing the registration 1FDM, after it was sold (but the private plate retained) it became TXC465M. A few years ago it returned to the southern hemisphere.

 

attachicon.gifLeyland P76 Force 7 - ex Lord Stokes.jpg

 

attachicon.gifLeyland P76 Force 7 - ex Lord Stokes 2.jpg

 

 

Yet apparently it wasn't the only P76 to hit these shores - this one appears to be wearing an L-suffix plate, suggesting a very early car, maybe even a pre-production version sent over to the UK for BL evaluation:

 

attachicon.gifLeyland P76 - London.jpg

 

(Right, I'll give over about this now!)

 

Amazing stuff. The pics of the p76 are particularly apt for a car that was a massive failure. Why were they crushing them at the factory? Poor quality not passing QC?



#47 OFFLINE   TheClutchBasketPodcast

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 06:31 PM

Speaking of utter garbage that people have forgotten. Does anyone remember seeing 4 door Maserati Bi-turbo's?



#48 OFFLINE   Tamworthbay

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 06:32 PM

Speaking of utter garbage that people have forgotten. Does anyone remember seeing 4 door Maserati Bi-turbo's?

Yup, saw one flattened on top gear on Dave today.

#49 ONLINE   bramz7

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 06:34 PM

I always saw the Arna as a unicorn car (probably not those words per se, but for the purpose of this topic).
We've all had the hilarious 'Japanese styling, Italian build' jokes but these were meant to be some sort of lifeline for Alfa Romeo in a trying time, released a short while before the inevitable Fiat takeover, which probably was an indirect result of the Arna. Fiat had originally opposed the Nissan and Alfa Romeo venture as it was feared an 'invasion' would threaten their own sales.

Seeing one today in Italy is itself an event, seeing one here is unheard of.

Personally I think the Cherry suits the Alfa trimmings.
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#50 OFFLINE   TheClutchBasketPodcast

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 06:37 PM

The brief is a little bit blurred but some oddities, common as mucks and were never going to works that might have some interesting tales are:

 

Could have been so good but the dice were loaded against it from the start: Panther Solo

They came, they saw, they conquered, they were completely forgotten: Datsun 120Y

Ball hoofed firmly into the back of their own net: Alfa Romeo 33

Dear Lord, what were they thinking: The Mk6 Escort RS2000

Well that was never going to work was it?: Perm one from Peugeot 605, pretty much any large Renault ever although I would probably vote for the Safrane, the aforementioned Tagora, the Phaeton or the Maybach,

Platform sharing, time wasting: Fiat Croma, Alfa Romeo 164, Saab 9000, Lancia Thema

 

Yes to all of this!

 

I was already considering the Lancia Thema 8.32 considering what a preposterous though process it must have been to lead to that actually happening.

 

I also have very little knowledge about Panthers apart from having a vague recollection of the older Morgan looking cars. That is a rabbit hole that I will have to go down.



#51 OFFLINE   TheClutchBasketPodcast

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 06:40 PM

I had also forgotten about the Arna. I don't remember seeing them when I was younger either, though I might just have found them unremarkable as a kid. 

 

Something very alluring about boxer engined Alfa's. The Alfasud might also need an honourable mention in the episode.



#52 OFFLINE   pshome

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 06:41 PM

let me drop this here:

 


1978 504 GL
1977 504 V6 Convertible
1982 Tagora 2.2 Automatic
2002 Zafira Diesel
2004 Corolla Diesel
2017 Duster 1.2

1986 505 Turbo Injection
1981 Talbot Tagora Dinin replica
1983 Talbot Tagora SX
1981 Talbot Tagora GLS

1984 505 Turbo Injection
1989 505 SX
1982 Talbot Tagora SX

http://www.altefranzosen.de
http://www.504cc.de
http://www.talbot-tagora.com
http://www.504forum.de
http://www.talbot-tagora.de

http://schulzeknipst.de

 


#53 OFFLINE   Datsuncog

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 06:44 PM

Amazing stuff. The pics of the p76 are particularly apt for a car that was a massive failure. Why were they crushing them at the factory? Poor quality not passing QC?


Apparently, the cars were crushed because they'd stood for a year after production had been halted and Leyland didn't want (another) world of pain with warranty claims... and yes, many of them had failed QC, in fact at one point more failed than passed!

Rollcall of shite:

1980 Ford Cortina 1.6 L (1997); 1976 Mini Clubman 1.0 (1997); 1973 Vauxhall Viva HC 1.3 (1997-2005); 1984 Datsun Sunny B11 1.5 Coupé (1999-2000); 1983 Datsun Sunny B11 1.5 Coupé (2000); 1986 Ford Fiesta 1.1 Ghia (2001-2003); 1996 Ford Escort 1.6 LX (2003-2008); 1985 Toyota Corona 2.4 Avante (2005-2006); 1981 Ford Cortina 2.0 GL Estate (2008-2010); 1993 Volkswagen Polo 1.0 Genesis (2010); 1996 Citroen XM 2.5TD VSX Estate (2010-2011); 1988 Volvo 240 2.0 GL Estate (2011-2012); 2004 Alfa Romeo 156 1.9JTD Veloce (2012-2014); 1993 Volkswagen Polo 1.0 Fox (2013-2014); 1996 Renault Laguna 1.8 RN (2014 - 2018); 1997 Renault Laguna 2.0 RT Sport (2015-2017); 1998 Renault Laguna 1.8 RT Sport (2017 - 2018); 2003 Subaru Forester 2.0 XT (2018 - present); 2005 Toyota Yaris 1.0 VVT (OH's motor: 2005 - present)

 

822434.png 836445.png


#54 OFFLINE   TheClutchBasketPodcast

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 06:47 PM

Does anyone have any suggestions for cars that were actually very good but had a fatal design flaw leading to them being massive failures?



#55 OFFLINE   mitsisigma01

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 06:53 PM

Fiat 130

#56 OFFLINE   quicksilver

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 07:02 PM

Does anyone have any suggestions for cars that were actually very good but had a fatal design flaw leading to them being massive failures?

Austin Maxi. A promising and innovative design let down by that awful cable gearchange on the first ones. I wouldn't say it was a massive failure but it was nowhere near as successful as BL hoped.


Always look on the Shite side of life

 

1999 Vauxhall Zafira - shit or shite?

1978 Austin Maxi - proper shite or proper classic?

1972 Renault 6 - genuine garage find

 

Rusty Old Rubbish - a shite blog about shite and stuff


#57 OFFLINE   Talbot

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 07:24 PM

Rare when they were new, Not seen one in forever, doubt I ever will again.

Mazda 929 anyone? I think about 4 were sold here.
Current fleet:  Mercedes.  Xantia.  Berlingo.  Discovery.  Forward Control.  Nova. Historic shite.

#58 OFFLINE   DSdriver

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 07:28 PM

Ford Pinto (the car)
JohnF said:
"I have to say, I don't really like the styling of Citroens.

But I just love the fact that they exist."

#59 OFFLINE   pshome

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 07:29 PM

Austin Maxi. A promising and innovative design let down by that awful cable gearchange on the first ones. I wouldn't say it was a massive failure but it was nowhere near as successful as BL hoped.

this is particularly true for the diesel version


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1978 504 GL
1977 504 V6 Convertible
1982 Tagora 2.2 Automatic
2002 Zafira Diesel
2004 Corolla Diesel
2017 Duster 1.2

1986 505 Turbo Injection
1981 Talbot Tagora Dinin replica
1983 Talbot Tagora SX
1981 Talbot Tagora GLS

1984 505 Turbo Injection
1989 505 SX
1982 Talbot Tagora SX

http://www.altefranzosen.de
http://www.504cc.de
http://www.talbot-tagora.com
http://www.504forum.de
http://www.talbot-tagora.de

http://schulzeknipst.de

 


#60 OFFLINE   Mrs6C

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 07:32 PM

Some more P76 and Force 7 resources here:

http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Leyland_P76

 

Photo of the 'fill yer boots' drum variety here:

https://upload.wikim...gallon_drum.JPG

 

Not meaning this to look like a list of my/Six-cylinder's cars, but it appears we have managed to acquire a motley collection of scarce oddities between us, over the years! :-)

 

Citroen Visa - used to be zillions, but now very rare in the UK, only around 80 examples all in and up to half of these-ish on the road. It was their 40th anniversary last year. We have three on the road, one off the road, one for spares and another that really belongs to another AS member and will get back onto the road in due course...

 

Citroen LNA - about 4 or 5 RHD known, I think. Ours is a scruffy old thing, returned to the road recently from a rolling shell and a few boxes of bits.

 

Oltcit / Citroen Axel - never RHD and never imported officially into the UK. rare everywhere these days, although has a bit of a cult following in Romania. It was the product of a Citroen & Romanian government joint venture, using the original design for the Visa, created before the Citroen<>Peugeot get-together required the Visa to be based on a Peugeot platform. There are about half a dozen or so (comprising both types) over here now, all personal imports. I think ours was the first imported and the only one in the UK for a few years.

 

Triumph Herald coupe - not many left. Mine is the earliest surviving 1200 coupe from 1961.

 

Alfa Romeo Giulietta from the 1980s. Mine is my second, a 2 litre car. The first was a 1.8.

 

Maserati Bi-Turbo 4 door - not common but there are three or four on AS. Mine is a 425.

 

Maserati Quattroporte II - the original Bertone design with Citroen suspension. There were only ever 13 produced. There is one in the UK that turns up to the Silverstone classic festival most years. It's not ours! :-)


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