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The Tragic Near Miss Models...

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4 hours ago, andy18s said:

Opel Manta,a cracking drive but always underpowered

If GM had dropped the 2.0 16v Redtop into it as well as the Astra,which was literally a bolt in job,it would have given the car a whole new lease of life...

If Vauxhall had put that engine in the nova, mk2 cavalier, Carlton and corsa, it would have been a great idea.

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6 minutes ago, sierraman said:

Why no Cavalier Mk3 Estate either? 

Wasn't that something to do with GM reckoning that the forthcoming Astra F estate was quite a bit roomier than its predecessor, and so an estate version of the Mk3 Cav would fall uncomfortably between the Astra and the Carlton estate - not really differentiated enough to pull in sales (or justify the development costs).

Remember, we only got a Mk2 Cavalier estate because the Aussies developed that...

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I always thought the Ford Fusion was woefully mis-marketed.

It was seen as what it was, a taller Fiesta that was easier to get in and out of, and that made it popular among a 'more experienced'' element of society.  It was always tarnished as a bit senile and incontinent.

Had Ford stuck roof rails, bigger wheels and a set of butch-looking cladding on it – basically given it the Streetwise treatment –  and marketed it in the 21st century Matra Rancho bracket, things might have been different.

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The Morgan Plus 4 Plus an answer to a question nobody asked? A 1960s update of the traditional offering. A fixed head fibreglass body that looked odd side on. A very slow seller as the people who wanted a Morgan wanted open top, separate wings, etc. People wanting a fibreglass coupe didn't want something with suspension designed in 1909. A slow seller, 26 made, now sought after. Photo courtesy of Morgan Motor Co.

History-Photo-47.jpg

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Citroën Xsara. I had an estate version from new and it was a perfectly competent if rather gutless load  lugger although the diesel versions were apparently better. The basic formula and pricing must have been OK as the Picasso version sold in droves and there are still loads around, so it seems strange that  the Xsara versions never sold well and are now virtually extinct.

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Agree on all the BL/ARG choices. The whole company was basically one big near miss and almost everything they made never quite hit the target as it should have with a little bit more effort.

Apart from them, I'd nominate the Jensen FF, an Audi Quattro 15 years early, complete with 4wd, ABS and traction control. Such a shame they engineered it to be RHD only when their biggest market was the USA. Maybe the Gordon-Keeble as well - it had it all, except financial stability. There were reportedly 200 more on the order books when the company folded after building only 100 so there can't have been much wrong with the car itself.

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4 hours ago, Asimo said:

Renault Avantime....

A car that looked this special needed a magic carpet ride....

They weren't going to get that off Citroën without licence fees!

3 hours ago, sierraman said:

They were mad really weren’t they. Proper arse about tit decision making, take the Allegro, went from being a fairly sleek design to being morbidly overweight because BL just had to include the criteria it be able to fit the 1750cc in it. ...

My understanding was that the Allegro ended up as it did because management dictated that an existing heating/ventilation system (out of the Marina?) had to be used to save money. That parts bin assembly was much taller and bulkier than the one Harris Mann would have wanted for it.

As for the Maxi, it just looked awkward, like a blancmange. Having to use the Landcrab's sit-up-and-beg barn doors didn't help the design, making it look much older instead of modern and rakish.

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9 hours ago, Kiltox said:

"City Rover"

They should’ve really launched it under a different brand and then did what you say - Dacia / Daewoo style dirt cheapness. 

Absolutely this. 

Trying to sell 75s and Tata Indicars under the same brand?  Madness. 

I've lost track of who owns what name now, but could have been an Austin or maybe a completely new brand? 

Cobra or Tiger?  Bangra? Dansak or Biriani? 

They could have saved all the money they wasted Roverising it. 

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Unfortunately people didn’t want velour seats and digital clocks inlaid in fake wood by the time they went bust. They also wasted a lot of time and money on the MG SV, why they did this when their bread and butter range was hopelessly outclassed is astounding. Meddling while Rome burns.

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1 hour ago, anonymous user said:

The Morgan Plus 4 Plus an answer to a question nobody asked? A 1960s update of the traditional offering. A fixed head fibreglass body that looked odd side on. A very slow seller as the people who wanted a Morgan wanted open top, separate wings, etc. People wanting a fibreglass coupe didn't want something with suspension designed in 1909. A slow seller, 26 made, now sought after. Photo courtesy of Morgan Motor Co.

History-Photo-47.jpg

I like the styling of those apart from the roof.  To me it always look like a conehead.

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I would suggest the Jensen Healey. All the ingredients were there, Lotus twin cam engine, design input from Donald and Geoffrey Healey, manufactured by Jensen, decent handling as well (or so people say). Should have been a nice replacement for the Healey 3000.
 

Let down by Lotus selling Jensen an underdeveloped engine and letting them take the wrath of the dissatisfied customers. The styling is a bit bland as well. I think they look a bit like a mk4 Spitfire that ate all the pies. Finally killed off by Jensen going bust.

 

 

6E0D5D7D-6F39-48D4-B3E4-0EBAE10E164F.jpeg

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13 minutes ago, bangernomics said:

Lada Niva should’ve kept selling them. Great things and something I’d buy new today.

I think you can (there was a guy importing them dahn sarf recently I'm pretty sure?).  There's even a five door lwb jobbie now.

 

EDIT:  Ok, my idea of recently needs re-tuning!!  Google tells me I'm thinking of a guy called Mark Key, about ten years ago!

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7 minutes ago, bangernomics said:

Lada Niva should’ve kept selling them. Great things and something I’d buy new today.

they never stopped making them! :) 

https://www.lada.ru/en/cars/4x4/3dv/about.html

(buying one new is one of the things on the "if I won the lottery" list :) )

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4 minutes ago, TrabbieRonnie said:

EDIT:  Ok, my idea of recently needs re-tuning!!  Google tells me I'm thinking of a guy called Mark Key, about ten years ago!

No you are aren't far off.  

I think 2010 was about last Wednesday. 

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8 hours ago, 2MB said:

My memory is skewed by childhood and nostalgia but the Dedra turbo my dad has in the mid 90s was sublime: comfy, fast and the best seats ever. Nobody was using alcantara apart from Lancia then and it’s everywhere now. And they look like an Italian Primera which has to be a good thing. Now they’re remembered as the last car Lancia sold in the UK, and so the model that killed the brand to the point where their current models have to be rebranded as a fuckin Chrysler to have any hope of selling any. 

1AA6786A-39AD-4109-B540-90288BBE6FA6.jpeg

Sorry, can't agree with you about the Dedra. The engines were crap as the UK never got the 16v versions only the 8v ones. They rusted for fun & were nowhere near as good a car as the Thema even though that was launched around 5 years earlier.

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I had a Dedra 1.6 8v and it sounded amazing, but was so slow for what it was, much like the early 1.4 injection Tipo I had. Sadly the Lancia was really rather broken as well.

 

I also think the Streetwise was a bit ahead of its time, but it wasn't alone in that. The C3 XTR and CrossPolo were very much the same faux off roader style. 

 

I think Subaru would do well with another incarnation of a proper Justy, with AWD and all,  but that is very unlikely to happen now. 

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For me it had to be the Smart roadster it was a fantastic little car to drive but plagued with problems with water ingress and soggy Sam units plus that horrible semi auto box.

The thing was dropped after 3 years due to Mercedes losing a fortune in warranty repairs.

It would of been a brilliant car with a jap 3 pot and a manual transmission.

The funny thing is mine was perfect and never gave me any trouble but I was in The minority compared with most owners plus the Merc dealers didn’t seem to know how to repair them.

The joke was that the Bridgestone tyres would outlast the car.

07FE885F-BD52-4334-AD5A-BCA49BCA978F.jpeg

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6 hours ago, sierraman said:

Missed opportunity as I see it the City Rover, sell them at £6-7k, get some money in the coffers to fund replacing the 25, skip all the bollocks with the digital clocks inlaid in fake wood. They could have done it with bringing something similar to the MG3 out but one that didn’t look so bloody stupid. 

 

 

Having driven one I'd agree - a perfectly nice - if basic - little motor that should have been pitched as the cheapest new car you could buy. I reckon they'd have sold in droves.

 

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8 hours ago, Luxxo Waftybarger said:

Subaru SVX. Could have changed the brand image from rally/farm hack to BMW sports coupe competitor but they bodged it and even with the BRX have still never recovered.

Never recovered? Millions of Impreza WRX STI Spec B Super Batshit Mental Version 6 Editions (etc) disagree with you there.

They capitalised on this well in the early 2000s, so much so that around 30% of UK Imprezas sold were WRXs. The issue was that everything else caught up; you’ll put up with gawky looks, cheap interiors and shit fuel economy when the car is cheaper than the competition and can outrun pretty much anything else. A few years on, everything else had 300bhp+, £ sterling against ¥ meant they were no longer cheap and people wanted refinement as well as the performance. 

SVX was always going to be a niche thing, like the XT before it

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BL's over problem in the 70's was competing with its self ie selling several lacklustre models in the same market segment often in the same showroom instead of developing one decent model to fight other manufacturers .

I think the range should've been

Mini

Allegro 

Medium saloon/ estate ??? (Marina was useless, maxi/princess/dolomite as above comments) the most important market & the range couldn't supply a good all-rounder it was a case of which had the least minuses rather than the most pluses.

SD1

Midget

Triumph lynx ( TR7 hatchback)

Stag with the S6 & V8

XJ

Range Rover

The last 2 as a separate company

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