BMC no-merger sanity options?

Following the AROnline essay on no BMC merger...

Were there decisions BMC could have made to prevent (or make unnecessary) the merger?

In particular, I think of, from the off, offering Mini 4dr, notchback, & hatchback variants, & of offering (if possible) an MG Mini (instead of the Cooper), with a 1300cc four (70.6x83.8mm, the biggest the A-series would allow, AFAICT; perhaps 71x83.8mm/71x84mm, or 1327/1330cc), later the E-series. I like the idea of a blown Mini early; IDK if that's sensible. I'd have them built in Belgium (same as Cowley) & Innocenti from the off, with the Bertone bodies standardized from about 1970. (I couldn't find any Michelotti or Pininfarina styling exercises earlier than that, so I could be persuaded.) I might add a targa variant (akin the ARO70), perhaps as an MG-only model. I'd also offer the optional 4- or 5-sp auto (developed, AIUI, but never built).

I'd offer the BMC Oz *P76 in about 1967, in answer to the Cortina. If the Marina still developed (& IMO it wouldn't), I'd offer a V8 option & a ute.

Putting Joe Edwards in charge looks good. BMC, however, desperately needed product research & price control units or divisions. :eek::eek: (I would have costed Mini production to the last nickel, myself...& even then, it probably wouldn't make a lot more.)

Closing down some of the divisions (there's no good reason to have Wolseley, Austins, & Morrises competing with each other😵:rolleyes: ), merging production, & increasing attrition to reduce surplus workforce, look good ideas.

Since this looks like a Mini-wank,;) were there other ideas not actually involving Minis?

4-dr Mini
4-dr Mini (alternatehisotry).jpg
Notchback
'69 s afr mini notch (aronline.co.uk).jpg
ADO70
ado70 calypso front (michelotti) (aronline.co.uk).jpg
 
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Masked Grizzly is yer man for this. However, I'll give me tuppence worth. You're obviously right about management being key; Joe Edwards or George Turnbull would have been good leaders in a BMC that had to fend for itself rather than dragging down Leyland with it into the black hole of BL. But that's not quite as much fun as talking about the cars!

So a few things. I quite liked Cooper being set up as the sporting arm of the mainstream cars. It would allow MG to eventually evolve into a standalone brand that could eventually go upmarket and take on the likes of a successful Triumph, Alfa Romeo or even BMW. You'd never make an Alfa Romeo-ised Fiat 500, you'd make an Abarth. Cooper is the UK's Abarth.

Although I really like the idea of Austin and Morris being differentiated with Austin being the more avant garde high tech Citroen analogue and Morris being the more conventional Peugeot analogue, I think that by the 60s, the two overlapped so much that there wasn't much point in differentiating them. So a new brand, Austin-Morris, could be created instead. As for the other brands, there needed to be some rationalisation. So I think you'd have Austin-Morris, MG, Vanden Plas, Austin-Healey, no Wolseley and probably no Riley (although I like the idea of them being butterflied away into the arms of another manufacturer rather than being closed down). Vanden Plas might have gained more distinctiveness not just in terms of its more traditional styling but also in taking Hydrolastic suspension to the next stage and allowing Austin-Morris to be more conventional in its approach. I can imagine VP becoming a kind of luxurious cross between Citroen and Jaguar. Perhaps a modern V8 based on the E series could eventually power its range topper.

I think Pininfarina should have been contracted to sort out BMC's styling, although I just don't think the great British public would've accepted its Berlina Aerodynamica aesthetic. Something like the Bertone Mini look should have been applied throughout the range by the early seventies and would have been more in line with what other European makers (notably VW) were doing. Elements of the Aerodynamica seemed to have found their way into the SD1 in OTL. Its been suggested that perhaps that car (or at least that low slung look) should have been used for a standalone MG saloon. A smaller version would perhaps have looked like the Aquila proposal for rebodying the Maxi. Or perhaps if Pininfarina did it, something like their SD2 proposal: https://images.app.goo.gl/Q624rQCyHvXpqH6TA

If we imagine that some of the cars produced by BL would've been produced by BMC, then it would be nice to think that the Marina would have had slightly less ancient underpinnings.

ADO21 as a small MG sports car, with an MG version of what eventually became the TR7 as the successor to the MGB GT.

The Princess should've been rear drive and come as a saloon and as a five door hatchback. More Bertone like styling would be desirable too, although I thought the twin headlamp, non-chromed grille look suited it really well and makes it look quite purposeful even today.

The styling of the Allegro should have been changed to stop it from looking like a motorised teapot.

The Maxi shouldn't have been compromised by using oversized doors from an older model.

And then we get to things that caused some of these disasters: the lack of an end on gearbox for the A series, the various odd decisions associated with the E series. But that's where my limited expertise runs out...
 
Hedge against De Gaulle vetoing the EEC entry and build/buy integrated plants in Europe (Buying the remnants of Borgward and using their plants if the POD is early enough?).
 
Following the 555201[/ATTACH]
Notchback
View attachment 555199
ADO70
View attachment 555198
What's the POD for this? Plus do you meant that Austin and Morris didn't merge to create the British Motor Corporation or BMC didn't merge with Leyland Motors to create British Leyland?

The underlying problem was that there were a large number of car companies which because of their small size didn't have :
  • The money to spend on new models and advertising;
  • Didn't have production economies of scale because they didn't make enough cars;
  • Each company produced a large number of models, which made the second point even worse.
BMC was an unsuccessful attempt to cure these faults by reducing the number of car companies. British Leyland was a disastrous attempt to do it. The disaster being that BMC dragged Leyland Motors (which included Standard-Triumph), Rover and Jaguar with it into bankruptcy.

Crysler, Ford and General Motors tried to solve these problems by unifying their European subsidiaries with varying degrees of success. That is the Rootes Group became part of Crysler Europe, Ford of Britain became part of Ford of Europe and Vauxhall was merged with Opel.

So my solution is to make each company larger rather than merge them.

AIUI British cars in the period 1945-60 weren't very good, but it didn't stop people at home and abroad from buying them and AIUI demand exceeded supply so the British car companies could have sold more cars of the same quality. AIUI things didn't go wrong until the continental car companies improved the quality of their products and most importantly of all, the Japanese arrived.

Therefore, what I think is really needed is to create a British car industry that has the same number of car companies in 1960, but each company produces at least twice as many cars and preferably four times as many cards. Then Austin, Morris, Rootes, Ford of Britain and Vauxhall might be large enough to enjoy economies of scale.

The smaller companies like Jaguar, Rover and Standard-Triumph might not be large enough to enjoy production economies of scale, but that didn't matter so much because they were building what were known as Premium Cars. What is important is that they would have more money to spend on new models and advertising. Having written that, Rover built over 300,000 P6s IOTL and Standard-Triumph built 300,000 of its equivalent the 2000/2500. They might have reached economies of scale had they sold over 1.2 each of these models.

Also the Mini has to be cheaper to produce or sold at a higher price. AIUI it was the automotive equivalent of Blue Monday by New Order, that is Factory Records made a loss on each record sold due the high cost its sleeve so the record's success contributed to the demise of the company. Therefore, selling more Minis would only make BMC's balance sheets and profit & loss accounts even worse in the 1960s than they were IOTL.
 
But that's not quite as much fun as talking about the cars!
My thoughts exactly.:):)
Plus do you meant that Austin and Morris didn't merge to create the British Motor Corporation or BMC didn't merge with Leyland Motors to create British Leyland?
I had the BMC merger to create BLMC in mind.
Hedge against De Gaulle vetoing the EEC entry and build/buy integrated plants in Europe (Buying the remnants of Borgward and using their plants if the POD is early enough?).
I don't have a POD in mind, beyond the decision to merge/not. I'd go back to the engineering of the Mini & cost it carefully, plus allow for adding a narrow-angle V6 or V8, if I had my way--but I doubt Austin would go for that. So let's start in 1958, with Mini well underway but not yet on the production line, when some costing could still be done, & ideas for 4dr & hatchback for immediate sales could be entertained more readily.

I hadn't considered a Borgward takeover, but using that as an in for EEC sales makes more sense than setting up new production--tho that's likely to be needed, too.

I could happily see Mini's MSRP be £100 or so higher, which wouldn't be unreasonable. Don't try selling it as an entry-level commuter as much as a sporty coupé/sedan/hatch.
Joe Edwards or George Turnbull would have been good leaders
My question is, how would we get them in place? (I confess, I know more about the actual cars than how the company worked. ;) )

Cooper is the UK's Abarth.
Agreed.

What I meant was, rather than treating the Cooper as a production model, make it strictly a tuner or racing model, with production MGs taking OTL Cooper's slot, & the Coopers above that in performance.
Although I really like the idea of Austin and Morris being differentiated with Austin being the more avant garde high tech Citroen analogue and Morris being the more conventional Peugeot analogue, I think that by the 60s, the two overlapped so much that there wasn't much point in differentiating them. So a new brand, Austin-Morris, could be created instead. As for the other brands, there needed to be some rationalisation. So I think you'd have Austin-Morris, MG, Vanden Plas, Austin-Healey, no Wolseley and probably no Riley (although I like the idea of them being butterflied away into the arms of another manufacturer rather than being closed down). Vanden Plas might have gained more distinctiveness not just in terms of its more traditional styling but also in taking Hydrolastic suspension to the next stage and allowing Austin-Morris to be more conventional in its approach. I can imagine VP becoming a kind of luxurious cross between Citroen and Jaguar. Perhaps a modern V8 based on the E series could eventually power its range topper.
I could happily see Wolseley (& maybe Riley too) shut entirely. I can (just) see VP topping the BMC range.
I think Pininfarina should have been contracted to sort out BMC's styling, although I just don't think the great British public would've accepted its Berlina Aerodynamica aesthetic.
I'd agree with both. I'd avoid the "wedge" look so common in the '70s entirely, if possible. (I do like their proposal for the SD2.)
it would be nice to think that the Marina would have had slightly less ancient underpinnings.
Agreed. Updating the MGB to IRS & IFS would be really good, too. Adding a V8 (Rover's?) as the MGC (or as the MGC V8?) seems like a good idea.
ADO21 as a small MG sports car, with an MG version of what eventually became the TR7 as the successor to the MGB GT.
Not a fan of the wedge. An updated & mildly reskinned B (as the C or D) suits me better. I'm picturing the *Mini (or Mini GT) as taking the place of the Spridget, with maybe it slotting just above that & the B/C/D above that.
The Princess should've been rear drive and come as a saloon and as a five door hatchback. More Bertone like styling would be desirable too, although I thought the twin headlamp, non-chromed grille look suited it really well and makes it look quite purposeful even today.
Princess concept?
'71 pininfarina nsu ro80 concept (driventowrite).jpg
(Minus the open/glass roof & black rubber grille, obviously.) Not that I think the OTL Princess' styling was horrible.
The styling of the Allegro should have been changed to stop it from looking like a motorised teapot.

The Maxi shouldn't have been compromised by using oversized doors from an older model.
Agreed. Can (should?) they be replaced/supplanted by improved Minis or *P76s?
And then we get to things that caused some of these disasters: the lack of an end on gearbox for the A series, the various odd decisions associated with the E series. But that's where my limited expertise runs out...
You're already hitting my limits.;) I'd agree, tho, from what I do know.
The underlying problem was that there were a large number of car companies which because of their small size didn't have :
  • The money to spend on new models and advertising;
  • Didn't have production economies of scale because they didn't make enough cars;
  • Each company produced a large number of models, which made the second point even worse.
Indeed, which is why I advocate rationalizing production, setting up in Belgium (or buying out Borgward, or both), having an MG *Mini (same name? Or not?) to improve U.S. sales, & having 4dr & hatchback models. If you're right & mediocre quality isn't a bar (yet), the 4dr Mini should outsell the 2dr nicely, putting BMC nearer (or over) break-even on economy of scale; EEC sales can only help with that.
Also the Mini has to be cheaper to produce or sold at a higher price. AIUI it was the automotive equivalent of Blue Monday by New Order, that is Factory Records made a loss on each record sold due the high cost its sleeve so the record's success contributed to the demise of the company. Therefore, selling more Minis would only make BMC's balance sheets and profit & loss accounts even worse in the 1960s than they were IOTL.
Right on all counts, which is why I'd cost it better (better engineering to reduce production cost), & sell at a higher MSRP.

Edit:
I'd also start with Minis not having exposed hinges or body seams. I don't see any good reason for them, & do see why they should be removed.
 
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Hedge against De Gaulle vetoing the EEC entry and build/buy integrated plants in Europe...
They kind of did – there was the plant at Seneffe in Belgium, partnerships such as Authi in Spain, Innocenti in Italy, BMC in Turkey etc. Most of them look to have started in the early 1960s though, and even Borgward was only forced out of business in 1961.
 
They kind of did – there was the plant at Seneffe in Belgium, partnerships such as Authi in Spain, Innocenti in Italy, BMC in Turkey etc. Most of them look to have started in the early 1960s though, and even Borgward was only forced out of business in 1961.
AFAICT, BMC never did really serious production at any of them (totals around 25000 each before being closed?).

I wonder, too, if building in Belgium or Spain couldn't bypass fairly lunatic British unions... How do you suppose HMG would react to Spanish-built Minis being imported (as CKDs?) because of that?:eek: (I'd do it... Actually, I think I'd build them in India under supervision of German quality control inspectors.:openedeyewink: Try & persuade people I've discovered a new vein of unobtanium, in Wakanda or somewhere, so it's not limited to M-B anymore.:openedeyewink: )
 
I wonder, too, if building in Belgium or Spain couldn't bypass fairly lunatic British unions. How do you suppose HMG would react to Spanish-built Minis being imported (as CKDs?) because of that?
You still need workers to assemble the complete knock-down or semi-knocked-down vehicles. If you want to import into the UK, I have vague memories of reading somewhere that Ford produced and imported right-hand drive vehicles to meet demand during industrial difficulties, it really needs to be as complete vehicles. Of course that's assuming the dockworkers, railwaymen, or transporter drivers don't refuse to handle them out of solidarity.
 
You still need workers to assemble the complete knock-down or semi-knocked-down vehicles.
Fair point.
If you want to import into the UK, I have vague memories of reading somewhere that Ford produced and imported right-hand drive vehicles to meet demand during industrial difficulties, it really needs to be as complete vehicles. Of course that's assuming the dockworkers, railwaymen, or transporter drivers don't refuse to handle them out of solidarity.
True. If that's a high enough risk, shut the UK factories entirely & quit pretending. Be explicit about why, too.

Notice, I am in no way trying to break British unions. I just find some of the lunatic reasons I've seen to strike (Jaguar, in particular) incomprehensible. If it takes a threat to shutter production completely to get that changed, I'd do it. And if there was just one more crazy strike, every single plant would be closed & tooling would be in India in no time.

Edit:
Is it a mistake to standardize Mini on the longer estate wheelbase? Or, at least, standardize the 3dr hatch, 4dr saloon, & 5dr (hatch) on it?

Edit 2:
Based on the Mini Remastered standard, it looks like the max capacity could be 1372/1375.
 
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Princess concept?
View attachment 555403
(Minus the open/glass roof & black rubber grille, obviously.) Not that I think the OTL Princess' styling was horrible.
I'm so glad I found this site - you learn new things every day. I've never seen that before. That is a beautiful concept for the 70s and I think it would make a perfect Vanden Plas as a range topper for a successful BMC with a slightly more chromed grille - perhaps along the lines of the proposed Daimler version of the SD1 that was floated in the late 70s (although I can't find an image of that at the mo).

Mind you, maybe not an absolute range topper. There was quite a bit collaboration between BMC and Rolls Royce and the mid 60s; as I've said elsewhere, perhaps a more successful BMC would have broadened this collaboration into a more permanent arrangement?
 
As far as I can tell BMC never did really serious production at any of them (totals around 25,000 each before being closed?).
True. Looking at the dates again the EEC only started in 1958 which is three years before Borgward's demise and seven years before the Seneffe takeover, so the timing might actually work. Would need to check and see when the Single Market effectively came into being and caused continental production to become better than importing though.
 
A few ideas come to mind, however it depends on whether the POD is pre-war or post-war as well as pre-BMC or post-BMC as there are almost countless options for BMC to thrive and butterfly away its merger with Leyland Motors to create British Leyland.

Post-War options for BMC include:

- Austin would be otherwise unchanged apart from initially producing a post-war Austin A35 derived from a SWB Austin A40 Devon with 1-litre version of the 1.2-litre A40 engine, which Nissan reputedly produced later on in the late-1950s as part of its license agreement with Austin as the Nissan C (aka Stone) engine. It could also maintain relations with Nissan whether by adding more strings to their license agreement or further collaborations down the road (with scope for ATL BMC to ally/acquire Nissan in place of Renault along with possibly BMW).

Austin would also produce an earlier 2-litre+ inline-6 version of the 1.2-litre A40 engine that post-BMC would eventually become an ATL early 2.0-3-litre B-Series "Blue Streak" 6-cylinder. The B-Series under BMC would later be enlarged to 106 hp 1998cc as well as be converted to 112-115 hp B-OHC (in 2-litre form) for non-MG models from the early-1960s before the production tooling is completely worn out.

- Lord Nuffield takes a step back and not sabotage post-war modernization / investment of the company nor lets his feelings for the Morris Minor to get in the way of its success as a viable rival for the Volkswagen Beetle, yet still plots with Leonard Lord on merging the companies into BMC albeit on more equal terms compared to OTL.

ATL changes include rationalized engines down to a 33-85 hp 918-1600cc version of the Wolseley Eight OHV engine that would remain in production post-BMC till the early/mid-1960s, along with an earlier post-war 47-200+ hp 1500-3250cc+ (to 4-litre) 4/6-cylinder C-Series OHV (later OHC / Twin-Cam) from the outset.

Upon the formation of BMC. They would to rationalize their marque portfolio down to 4 (Austin, Morris, MG and Vanden Plas) as well as would put their under-utilized Research Department towards taking the cost out of the Mini and other FWD models from the outset instead of Harriman telling the head of the Research Department to speak to Issigonis about his proposal in late-1962 (that went nowhere).

Before that would have Joe Edwards succeed Leonard Lord in place of George Harriman, meanwhile Gerald Palmer would be kept a bit longer at BMC to properly-develop the B-Series Twin-Cam, along with produce the C-Series Twin-Cam and play a productive role in developing BMC's new generation of conventional RWD cars for the 1960s while Alec Issigonis sticks to his trio of FWD cars.

After thoroughly developing their 5 (later 4) engines from the 918-1600cc Wolseley Eight OHV, 719-1275cc A-Series, 1600-3000cc 4/6-cylinder B-Series , 1500-3250 (possibly 4-litre) 4/6-cylinder C-Series and 2000-4000cc 4/6-cylinder D-Series engines. The car production engines would be rationalized down during the 1960s as follows:

  • A-Series - Essentially updated to early A+ spec from the mid/late-1960s, it plays a similar role for BMC as the older Renault Billancourt did for Renault once the newer C-Type engine appeared as a more economy focused long-stroke OHV engine that still shares much with the larger A-Plus for both to be considered Half-Relations or more and spawns smaller capacity variants, thereby allowing the Mini to fit into even lower tax brackets in certain markets as well as allow it to be exempt from various emissions standards for cars with engines below 49-50 cubic inches / 803-819cc when they appear in the late-1960s. It would later be indirectly replaced by 3-cylinder versions of the larger A-Plus before being directly replaced in the mid/late-1980s by a rough composite of the Nissan CG / Nissan CR and Renault D-Type engines.
  • A-Plus - Replacing the Wolseley Eight OHV and indirectly the A-Series. Despite carrying over the A+ name, it is essentially a slightly upscaled 850-1600cc A-Series half-relation that roughly weighs the same as the existing A-Series and is still able to easily slot into the engine bay of a Mini. It is an early composite of the A+, South African A-Series and A-OHC engines where the lower-displacement versions are short-stroke units, whilst featuring elements of the distantly related Nissan A OHV / Nissan E OHC / Nissan MA SOHC / Nissan GA (SOHC / DOHC) as well as similarly sized Renault C-Type and E-Type (plus related Ford CHT unit). It would feature limited-run 1.6 Twin-Cam versions to take on the Lotus-Ford Twin-Cam as well as 3-cylinder variants to eventually replace the smaller A-Series and diesel variants (including Daihatsu C engine inspired 3-cylinder diesel), with its distantly related successor resembling a late-1980s composite of the Renault K-Type and Nissan QG engines (with elements of the Suzuki G engine).
  • E-Series - Replacing the B-Series, C-Series and D-Series engines. It is essentially a properly-developed version (with involvement from the likes of Daniel Richmond of Downton Engineering, etc) that resembles the Volkswagen EA827 yet features a more compact block like the later related S-Series engine (thereby allowing BMC's models to feature lower-bonnet lines akin to the OTL Austin Montego - as opposed to the Austin Maestro whose rush to production did not allow for it to be designed around the S-Series engine), displacements for the 4/6-cylinder engine would range from 1300-3000cc instead of 1500-2200/2600cc as in OTL as well as diesel/turbodiesel (plus ethanol, LPG / CNG) variants. Its successor would follow the EA827-derived Volkswagen EA113 as well as the O-Series derived Project Storm / Td5 in being a far more modular design by spawning 4/5/6-cylinder and V8+ engines.

ATL BMC Cars:

The late-50s Farina B/C RWD cars would largely be derived from Morris Oxford III / Isis mechanicals instead of the mk1 Austin Cambridge A55 and Austin Westminster A95/A105, its styling featuring more elements from the Peugeot 404 and more subtle or zero tailfins. MG would utilize similar components though feature an independent rear suspension whether via Coil Springs with Watts linkage or properly-designed Frontline-style Panhard Rod for its own range of RWD cars as was originally intended for the MGB.

The above along with the Minor and A40 Farina would be replaced by a Morris-only conventional three-box RWD family trio of cars akin to an early-1960s Morris Marina / Ital.

The new RWD Minor would conceptually resemble a Vauxhall Viva HA (which Gerald Palmer was involved with at Vauxhall) and Nissan Sunny B10/B110/B210 as well as precede the mk1 Ford Escort featuring 1000-1300cc+ engines, the medium-sized RWD Marina model would be a mk1/mk2 Ford Cortina rival with 1100-2000cc engines, while the largest model would be akin to the Opel Commodore (and Ford Corsair) with 2400-3000cc+ engines. Their role is to retain their existing clientele of conservative customers who would be suspicious of BMC's FWD cars and prevent them from going to rivals still making conventional front-engined RWD cars, at least until the FWD layout has proven itself by the early-1970s onwards for Morris to eventually switch over to FWD with conventional suspension and gearbox.

The Austin-only FWD cars would feature 3/5-door hatchbacks from the outset, apart from more luxurious three-box saloon Vanden Plas variants and a possible two-box saloon entry-level 2/4-door version of the Mini with sub-803cc engines. The three-box saloons would resemble the MG ADO34 and Vanden Plas 1800 prototype from the rear-end. The ATL 1100/1300 and 1800/2000 meanwhile would feature conventional end-on instead of in-sump gearboxes from the beginning, followed later by an ATL version of the Mini ADO20 (the latter being a composite of Project Ant, Clubman hatchback and Minki-II with Rover R6-like Hydragas suspension and 12-inch wheels). The Cooper name would be used to denote sporting non-MG versions of BMC's cars.

BMC would acquire Rover instead of Jaguar in the mid-1960s, which depending on whether the ATL revised C-Series meets its weight reduction targets (and features proper development) could mean the Rover V8 finds its way into the ATL MGC from the outset. In Rover's case the ideal before joining BMC would have been to also acquire the rights to build the Buick V6 (along with AMC), though can see Rover replacing the P6 OHC 4-cylinder and Rover V8 with a common family of 4/5/6-cylinder and V8 engines derived from the unbuilt DOHC 16-valve fuel-injected P10 engine before it is eventually replaced by BMC's own modular engine family.

The OTL aerodynamic styling themes found on the MG ADO21 (later the Triumph TR7/TR8), Pininfarina 1100/1800 and Ferrari Daytona-inspired Rover SD1 would have been better off utilized exclusively by MG from an ATL EX234 prototype and beyond (with the Rover P9 possibly becoming a flagship MG supercar). Austin would in turn benefit from Peugeot-like Pininfarina styling and Morris from in-house styling, while Rover would look to the successful Range Rover on ideas for a more conservative styling approach for its higher-end P10 (ATL SD1) and P8 saloon cars.

The Mini-sized 1100/1300-derived Suzuki Jinmy rivalling Austin Ant prototype would be repurposed as a junior Land Rover model. The ATL 1100/1300 platform would also form the basis of British equivalents to the Autobianchi Primula-based Fiat 238 and Fiat 128-based Fiat X1/9 sportscar (akin to Healey WAEC prototype), along with possibly a stop-gap supermini akin to the Fiat 128-based Fiat 127 as well as the Simca 1100-based Matra Rancho. The 1800/2200 meanwhile would form the basis of a FWD Austin commercial vehicle (essentially a production version of the CV300), while the early-1960s Marina/Ital family would form the basis of an early-1960s Morris Sherpa.

Both MG and Rover would be twinned to some extent under BMC, though the latter would be more upmarket with conventional styling and sophisticated suspension while MG would feature sporting aerodynamic styling, all-independent suspension and reliable Twin-Cam engines akin to Alfa Romeo.

The Mini and 1100/1300 would be replaced by ATL ADO20 and ADO22 from the late-1960s, the ATL 1800/2200 meanwhile would be replaced by an ATL X6 prior to being succeeded by ATL Austin Princess with all featuring end-on gearboxes and Hydragas suspension. Some form of Austin Allegro does still reach the prototype stage in ATL, however it is instead used as a starting point for a common family of mid/late-1970s FWD cars ranging from a large supermini and early-Maestro/Montego to a Princess successor. The Austin versions would feature Peugeot-like Pininfarina styling and Hydragas suspension, while the Morris versions would feature in-house styling and conventional suspension.

Some form of Metro does still appear in ATL below the early Maestro-derived large supermini, though it is commonized with Mini ADO20 and is more like the Rover Metro R6 in featuring end-on gearbox as well as Hydragas suspension in Austin form, while Morris versions feature mk1/mk2 Volkswagen Polo-like conventional suspension and differing styling. It is possible the Mini ADO20 reverts to more retro-styling by the early/mid-1980s as a unique marque in its own right below the Metro. Its platform would evolve along similar lines to the Ford B platform that underpinned the (1st to 4th gen) Ford Fiesta from 1976 to 2003 along with the Ford Ka, Ford Puma, Ford Ikon and Ford Bantam / Ford Courier that depending on the model remained in production until 2011.

By the mid/late-1980s the FWD cars are replaced by a modular version of the Austin AR6 platform ranging from a Metro to a Montego/Princess replacement.

On the MG sportscar front. Envision an ATL version of the EX234 platform going on to underpin various MG sportscars for a number of decades akin to the Nissan Z-Car (from S30 and S130 to 31Z), Nissan S platform and Mazda RX-7 (from FB to FC), curiously the latter would also form the basis of the mk1/mk2 Mazda MX-5 until 2005. Another interesting thing would be the fact the OTL Nissan Silvia S10 that first used the S platform was derived from the coupe version of the Nissan Sunny B210.

International post-war PODs that would benefit BMC:

- A right-leaning India headed by Sardar Patel / Rajaji with no License Raj would provide opportunities for BMC to establish a larger presence in the country.

- Following Volkswagen's example by establishing a presence in places like Brazil and Mexico.

- The UK joins the EEC in 1963 partly a result of Charles de Gaulle (who prevented the UK joining in OTL) being assassinated in 1961 when his car was hit by a bomb near the village of Crancey in the Pont-sur-Seine district (with Gaston Monnerville taking over as acting president prior to becoming a 2-term president).

- BMC would integrate its European operations in Spain (e.g. Authi, Santana), Italy (e.g. Innocenti / Lambretta) as well as its Latin American branches (including Siam Di Tella).
 
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I'm so glad I found this site
TYVM.😎 I stumbled on that looking for Mini styling exercises, to see if Michelotti'd done one. (Maybe my Google-fu is weak, but I didn't find one...:teary: I'd love to see any options BMC had.)
with a slightly more chromed grille
That RO-80 proposal, IMO, also needs a bit less-formal C-pillar & opened rear wheelwells (not a fan of the half-spats), but otherwise, it's not awful.
...collaboration between BMC and Rolls Royce ... perhaps a more successful BMC would have broadened this collaboration into a more permanent arrangement?
I'd limit it to a technical exchange, but that would still give BMC access to the smart people in the Bentley engine department...😎 (Names are escaping me ATM.:teary::teary: )
A few ideas come to mind
That is such an understatement. ;) You are my hero.🤩

The idea of an 803cc Mini *Commuter would never have crossed my mind, but I like it, especially for the 4/5dr family car. (I've always seen the Mini more as the Cooperesque sporter.)

In ref the A+ (or A-series generally), was it credible to have the OHC standard for the Mini in '59? And to go with a 4v before 1970? Or at least upgrade to 4v with a reskin? I'd make a twincam 1300+ standard for the Mini GT & MG Mini.

The Italian Mini might just end up looking a bit like this:
notional '60 alfa gina (mini) (msn).jpg
:openedeyewink: (Successful BMC takes over Alfa?;) Gets into F1?;) Signs Senna & rules the world?:openedeyewink: )

The E-series, IMO, needed work to reduce its overall height; otherwise, I don't know enough about it to make intelligent remarks.:teary:

Reading about the Clubman, I find the nose redesign allowed for a front-mounted rad; was there any chance Issigonis would allow that from the off? Or BMC insisting on it? Besides making the range less noisy (good for a family saloon), it'd allow fitting the turbo 4 later (or maybe a Villiers blower in the '60s?). I honestly don't see the "ugliness" issue.

Those twincam B/C-series 3L+ proposals look really good for the MGA & MGB, if the Rover V8 isn't available (& maybe even if it is;) ).

I'd keep the TF in production, updated with the twincam B-series 4, IRS/IFS, & a mild reskinning (per the MGA proposal), if sales warranted.
mga concept (mgnuts).jpg
MGA proposal
BMC would acquire Rover instead of Jaguar
That looks really good for MG. I wonder if that doesn't bugger Jag for body supply, tho.:eek: (I can't recall who owned Pressed Steel at the time.:teary:)

Thinking of Jag, is there any way the proposed Kammback saloon could survive? Or the Ascot reach production?
'77 jag ascot concept (aronline.co.uk).jpg
1977 Ascot proposal
could mean the Rover V8 finds its way into the ATL MGC from the outset
Would you argue against both being available?
OTL aerodynamic styling themes found on the MG ADO21 (later the Triumph TR7/TR8), Pininfarina 1100/1800 and Ferrari Daytona-inspired Rover SD1
Was there any hope of avoiding the wedge designs?:eek: (Not a fan.) Honestly, I'd keep the OTL MGB, maybe with some freshening akin the 240Z or Alfa Spyder; IMO, the B doesn't need fixing. Give the B/C the 3L C-series or 3.5L Rover (better still, greater capacity, 4-5L, & Morgan tuning), IRS/IFS, & (for the U.S. market) optional 4/5sp auto, not much needs fixing IMO.
Charles de Gaulle ...being assassinated
So The Jackal succeeds?:openedeyewink:
 
That is such an understatement. ;) You are my hero.🤩

The idea of an 803cc Mini *Commuter would never have crossed my mind, but I like it, especially for the 4/5dr family car. (I've always seen the Mini more as the Cooperesque sporter.)

In ref the A+ (or A-series generally), was it credible to have the OHC standard for the Mini in '59? And to go with a 4v before 1970? Or at least upgrade to 4v with a reskin? I'd make a twincam 1300+ standard for the Mini GT & MG Mini.

The Italian Mini might just end up looking a bit like this:
notional '60 alfa gina (mini) (msn).jpg'60 alfa gina (mini) (msn).jpg
:openedeyewink: (Successful BMC takes over Alfa?;) Gets into F1?;) Signs Senna & rules the world?:openedeyewink: )

The E-series, IMO, needed work to reduce its overall height; otherwise, I don't know enough about it to make intelligent remarks.:teary:

Reading about the Clubman, I find the nose redesign allowed for a front-mounted rad; was there any chance Issigonis would allow that from the off? Or BMC insisting on it? Besides making the range less noisy (good for a family saloon), it'd allow fitting the turbo 4 later (or maybe a Villiers blower in the '60s?). I honestly don't see the "ugliness" issue.

Those twincam B/C-series 3L+ proposals look really good for the MGA & MGB, if the Rover V8 isn't available (& maybe even if it is;) ).

I'd keep the TF in production, updated with the twincam B-series 4, IRS/IFS, & a mild reskinning (per the MGA proposal), if sales warranted.
mga concept (mgnuts).jpg
MGA proposal
The 4-cylinder A-Series was capable of lower-displacements, there was also thought of reviving the 803cc engine (or an updated version of differing displacement) for the Mini as well as a sub-800cc version for certain markets that ultimately did not go anywhere. In retrospect however a sub-850 emissions exempt / tax special would have opened up new markets for the Mini to exploit compared to OTL.

Would leave the A-Series as an OHV in early-60s A+ spec, while an A-OHC would have been more viable in the mid/late-1960s for the ATL A-Plus with the latter being updated to feature production twin-cams and 16-valves (plus turbocharging and dieselization).

The original Mini in-sump gearbox (as with the in-sump layout in the OTL 1100, 1800, Maxi, Allegro and Princess) could only cope with so much power as higher outputs signficantly reduced the life of the gearbox despite the A-Series being capable of reliably putting out 120-130 hp, which is why am looking for the ATL Mini ADO20 to follow the ATL ADO16/22 and ADO17/X6 in featuring an end-on gearbox that is capable of taking higher power outputs.

Where does the Alfa Gina photoshop originate from?

A successful BMC could have always acquired/merged both Cooper and Repco if they wanted to compete in F1 possibly under the MG marque in order to push it further upmarket. Gerald Palmer was influenced by the Alfa Romeo Twin-Cam engine when developing the MGA Twin-Cam, so it would not be a stretch for ATL MG to further build upon their pre-existing branch recognition and reputation for sportscars by becoming the British analogue of Alfa Romeo.

Not sure why BMC would want to keep the TF in production. That isn't to say BMC could not have followed the example of Alfa Romeo by producing a 3 decade earlier limited-run Twin-Cam powered precursor of the Naylor TF 1700 reminiscent of the Alfa Romeo Gran Sport Quattroruote.

The image of the white roadster prototype (one of two proposals) was done by Gerald Palmer though despite weighing as little as 612kg and featuring monocoque construction it ultimately lost out to what eventually became the MGA partly because it cost much more to build along with other factors mentioned in David Knowles MGA book.

Have accounted for the height of the ATL E-Series since the later related S-Series featured a much short and compact block, the in-sump gearbox also had a negative impact on the height of the E-Series with an earlier end-on gearbox layout helping to mitigate / butterfly away the tall height of the engine. It would also help to butterfly away the large very deep bulky heating system reputedly developed at great cost for the Marina or Sherpa under OTL BL (that later found its way into the Allegro).

Issigonis preferred the clean-sheet 9X/10X replacements for the Mini and 1100/1300, am instead opting for an evolutionary approach that builds upon the existing FWD models whilst carrying over the Peugeot-like Pininfarina styling for the Austin version of ADO20 and ADO22, whereas the Morris version of ADO20 is basically the Clubman hatchback (with elements of Project Ant, etc) with ADO22 featuring Roy Haynes in-house styling.

That looks really good for MG. I wonder if that doesn't bugger Jag for body supply, tho.:eek: (I can't recall who owned Pressed Steel at the time.:teary:)

Jaguar would be acquired by Leyland Motors and slot above Triumph, thereby avoiding overlap between the latter and Rover in OTL.

Thinking of Jag, is there any way the proposed Kammback saloon could survive? Or the Ascot reach production?
'77 jag ascot concept (aronline.co.uk).jpg'77 jag ascot concept (aronline.co.uk).jpg
1977 Ascot proposal
Doubtful,

Would you argue against both being available?
It depends on whether the ATL revised C-Series reaches its weight reduction targets and receives the proper-development it deserved, where the ATL version would only weigh 36kg more at 192kg compared to the 1.8+ B-Series or 63kg more compared to the Rover V8 instead of 95kg more and 122kg more as in real-life.



Was there any hope of avoiding the wedge designs?:eek: (Not a fan.) Honestly, I'd keep the OTL MGB, maybe with some freshening akin the 240Z or Alfa Spyder; IMO, the B doesn't need fixing. Give the B/C the 3L C-series or 3.5L Rover (better still, greater capacity, 4-5L, & Morgan tuning), IRS/IFS, & (for the U.S. market) optional 4/5sp auto, not much needs fixing IMO.
They can be made to work since the Triumph TR7/TR8 basically carried over the styling of the mid-engined MG ADO21 prototype. Otherwise an alternative approach would be for Oliver Winterbottom’s Bertone Concorso Grifo d’Oro silver prize winning drawing to be used as a starting point, which resembled a composite of the Datsun 240Z and Mazda RX-7.

The MGB and MGC would feature IRS and 5-speed gearbox from the outset though envision an ATL EX234 with different exterior styling (and possibly suspension) replacing both the MG Midget and 4-cylinder versions of the MGB, with the MGB / MGC being superseded by an upscaled EX234 platform.

Albeit two years earlier than film setting,
 
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The 4-cylinder A-Series was capable of lower-displacements, there was also thought of reviving the 803cc engine (or an updated version of differing displacement) for the Mini as well as a sub-800cc version for certain markets that ultimately did not go anywhere. In retrospect however a sub-850 emissions exempt / tax special would have opened up new markets for the Mini to exploit compared to OTL.
Even not tax- or emissions-exempt, it could be a good thing. It's a bit like the kei car, & I love the Beat. (The Fronte could be a Mini.)
Would leave the A-Series as an OHV in early-60s A+ spec, while an A-OHC would have been more viable in the mid/late-1960s for the ATL A-Plus with the latter being updated to feature production twin-cams and 16-valves (plus turbocharging and dieselization).
That fits my thinking pretty well: go to *A+ (including TC & turbo or blower at the top end) around the time the Mini (& clones) are reskinned by Bertone (1975?)
The original Mini in-sump gearbox (as with the in-sump layout in the OTL 1100, 1800, Maxi, Allegro and Princess) could only cope with so much power as higher outputs signficantly reduced the life of the gearbox
:rolleyes: I take it Issigonis wanted the in-sump box, & BMC management didn't overrule it? I would. Get at that in the development/costing process.
the A-Series being capable of reliably putting out 120-130 hp
:cool::cool: Would that be a factory rating? I've seen tuned 850s rated 85hp.
Where does the Alfa Gina photoshop originate from?
It's an MSN look at "automotive what ifs", along with a 911/Cayenne cross & a '36 Tesla.
A successful BMC could have always acquired/merged both Cooper and Repco if they wanted to compete in F1 possibly under the MG marque in order to push it further upmarket. Gerald Palmer was influenced by the Alfa Romeo Twin-Cam engine when developing the MGA Twin-Cam, so it would not be a stretch for ATL MG to further build upon their pre-existing branch recognition and reputation for sportscars by becoming the British analogue of Alfa Romeo.
I like the merger idea. I wouldn't move MG up-market. I've always pictured MG as a blue-collar sporter, Triumph a bit up-market, & Jag for the playboys & poseurs.;) (Not that I don't think the E-type is lovely--even if it wants a faster windshield.)

Aside: the MGB FHCs do need better rear-end styling; from the B-pillar back, it looks tacked on.
Not sure why BMC would want to keep the TF in production. That isn't to say BMC could not have followed the example of Alfa Romeo by producing a 3 decade earlier limited-run Twin-Cam powered precursor of the Naylor TF 1700 reminiscent of the Alfa Romeo Gran Sport Quattroruote.
Because I like it?;) Morgan kept a TF analog alive for 40yr; why can't MG? I don't say it should be MG's primary model; that should still be the A/B/C/D/E?/F (if they get that far).
Have accounted for the height of the ATL E-Series
My ignorance is showing, then.:oops:
am instead opting for an evolutionary approach that carries over the Peugeot-like Pininfarina styling for the Austin version of ADO20 and ADO22, whereas the Morris version of ADO20 is basically the Clubman hatchback (with elements of Project Ant, etc) with ADO22 featuring Roy Haynes in-house styling.
I prefer a more Taurus-like appearance to the Peugeot--& for the Mini, not even that. The OTL Mini got it so right, I wouldn't do much beyond tweak it until Bertone gets their hands on it.

As for the K-back Jag & Ascot, TBH, I wouldn't miss either one.;)
It depends on whether the ATL revised C-Series reaches its weight reduction targets and receives the proper-development it deserved, where the ATL version would only weigh 36kg more at 192kg compared to the 1.8+ B-Series or 63kg more compared to the Rover V8 instead of 95kg more and 122kg more as in real-life.
I'm thinking less of weight that performance potential or capacity growth. I'm a bit of a sucker for the 3.5 Rover, knowing it can be stretched as much as it can by rodders; more wrecking yard blocks would get my vote.;)
They can be made to work since the Triumph TR7/TR8 basically carried over the styling of the mid-engined MG ADO21 prototype.
That's just it. I disliked the styling of the TR7, & much prefer the B/D.
Otherwise an alternative approach would be for Oliver Winterbottom’s Bertone Concorso Grifo d’Oro silver prize winning drawing
Can you link that? I got no hits on Google...:teary::teary:
which resembled a composite of the Datsun 240Z and Mazda RX-7
That's very like what I want. Mix in something like the RV8.
The MGB and MGC would feature IRS and 5-speed gearbox from the outset
I like that a lot.:cool::cool:
though envision an ATL EX234 with different exterior styling (and possibly suspension) replacing both the MG Midget and 4-cylinder versions of the MGB
That could work. I'm seeing the MG Mini taking that slot, unless you want to position the Midget at the bottom of the range; that might reasonably put the Mini at the top: it's costly to build, so reasonably sold at a premium. That undercuts the brand value of the MGB, tho...
with the MGB / MGC being superseded by an upscaled EX234 platform
I'd keep the MGB/C/D around well into the '80s, especially with the proposed improvements & (mild) reskin; do you see the EX234 in the late '80s or early '90s, only? That works for me; the drawings I've seen of an EX234 cabrio are really nice (tho the front end reminds me a lot of a Neon:eek: )--except the beltline is a bit high. (Quit trying to fake people out; chop the top.)
Albeit two years earlier than film setting.
I can live with that.;)
 
That fits my thinking pretty well: go to *A+ (including TC & turbo or blower at the top end) around the time the Mini (& clones) are reskinned by Bertone (1975?)
Pininfarina would do the reskin / rebody for the Austin version of the ATL Mini ADO20 akin to the OTL Mini 9X prototype, which has some hints of the later Peugeot 104.

I take it Issigonis wanted the in-sump box, & BMC management didn't overrule it? I would. Get at that in the development/costing process.
Partly though the brief Issigonis was given to produce the Mini according to the dimensions set by Leonard Lord also precluded the use of an in-sump gearbox. Whereas both the 1100/1300 and 1800/2200 could have accommodated an in-sump gearbox due to their large engine bays, which stem from being originally intended to use a large Lancia-like narrow-angle V4 engine that could not be built due to tooling costs and questions as to build it, hence the approach taken with the more conventional ATL A-Plus and B-Series / B-OHC / B Twin-Cam units that utilize existing tooling.

Would that be a factory rating? I've seen tuned 850s rated 85hp.
It is roughly what the existing 1275cc engine is capable of before requiring major modifications.

I like the merger idea. I wouldn't move MG up-market. I've always pictured MG as a blue-collar sporter, Triumph a bit up-market, & Jag for the playboys & poseurs.;) (Not that I don't think the E-type is lovely--even if it wants a faster windshield.)
MG would be akin to Triumph and Alfa Romeo, though the presence of Rover would serve as a glass ceiling in the same way Jaguar would be to Triumph in ATL Leyland Motors.

Because I like it?;) Morgan kept a TF analog alive for 40yr; why can't MG? I don't say it should be MG's primary model; that should still be the A/B/C/D/E?/F (if they get that far).
Beyond limited-run models, there would be little reason for MG to copy Morgan. Especially since the latter was more associated with Triumph in OTL and only used 2-litre M/T-Series engines from the late-1980s in the +4 as well as other companies that can build the likes of the Naylor TF 1700.

I prefer a more Taurus-like appearance to the Peugeot--& for the Mini, not even that. The OTL Mini got it so right, I wouldn't do much beyond tweak it until Bertone gets their hands on it.
This ATL has Pininfarina and BMC remaining involved at least with Austin models, for the Morris version it would be a choice between the ATL Clubman hatchback or Project Ant bodies with only Innocenti possibly making use of either Bertone or the Project Ant style (that may also be used by Authi, Siam Di Tella, etc).

I'm thinking less of weight that performance potential or capacity growth. I'm a bit of a sucker for the 3.5 Rover, knowing it can be stretched as much as it can by rodders; more wrecking yard blocks would get my vote.;)
It also depends on whether Rover would be inclined to share the Rover V8 with MG given their own sportscar project with the P9 as well as the limited production capacities for the Rover V8. Additionally whether despite the appeal of the V8, its OHV layout would be considered a retrograde step since embracing Twin-Cam engines.

Maybe the Rover V8 allows the Healeys to reconsider abandoning the planned MGC-based Big Healey successor (though it would still have needed different exterior styling to completely mollify them), while the MGC utilizes 6-cylinder B/C-Series Twin-Cams.

That's just it. I disliked the styling of the TR7, & much prefer the B/D.
The only issue with the styling on my end would be the pop-up headlights, which is where the Ferrari Daytona-inspired styling of the Rover SD1 comes in and in hindsight would be more suited for MG.

Can you link that? I got no hits on Google...:teary::teary:
Only available in A Life in Car Design by Oliver Winterbottom.

That could work. I'm seeing the MG Mini taking that slot, unless you want to position the Midget at the bottom of the range; that might reasonably put the Mini at the top: it's costly to build, so reasonably sold at a premium. That undercuts the brand value of the MGB, tho...
The OTL EX234 was originally intended to be powered by both A-Series and B-Series engines, along with possibly the E-Series. In ATL however it would be powered by 1.6-2.0 B-Series Twin-Cam later 1.6 A-Plus and 1.6-2.0 ATL E-Series Twin-Cam engines and be sold as the new MG Midget. It is possible the likes of Jensen or Healey would be interested in using ATL EX234 as a basis for more accessible versions depending on the relationship both companies have with ATL BMC.

It is possible the Mini-based MG ADO34 could serve as a token entry-level MG (and Austin-Healey) powered by A-Series engines with an ADO20 update featuring end-on gearbox allowing for more potent engines up to 1.6-litres.

I'd keep the MGB/C/D around well into the '80s, especially with the proposed improvements & (mild) reskin; do you see the EX234 in the late '80s or early '90s, only? That works for me; the drawings I've seen of an EX234 cabrio are really nice (tho the front end reminds me a lot of a Neon:eek: )--except the beltline is a bit high. (Quit trying to fake people out; chop the top.)
The underpinnings would be an upscaled EA234, yet both it and EX234 would feature different exterior styling more in tune for the 1970s and beyond.

It should be theoretically be possible to rebody the MGB, especially one with IRS and 5-speed gearbox. Reputedly the OTL attempt by Aston Martin to acquire the MGB looked at a rebody by William Towns (elements of which were later carried over to his ideas for face-lifting the Michelotti-styled Reliant Scimitar SS1) before the deal fell through (see David Knowles MGB: Including the MGC and MGB GT V8 book).
 
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Pininfarina would do the reskin / rebody for the ATL ADO20 akin to the OTL Mini 9X prototype, which has some hints of the later Peugeot 104.
I wouldn't oppose that, but I'd far & away prefer the Innocenti (Bertone). I find the 104 plain & dull by contrast.
Partly though the brief Issigonis was given to produce the Mini according to the dimensions set by Leonard Lord also precluded the use of an in-sump gearbox. Whereas both the 1100/1300 and 1800/2200 could have accommodated an in-sump gearbox due to their large engine bays, which stem from being originally intended to use a large Lancia-like narrow-angle V4 (and related V6) engine that could not be built due to tooling costs and questions as to build it, hence the approach taken with the more conventional ATL A-Plus and B-Series / B-OHC / B Twin-Cam units that utilize existing tooling.
TTL, I'd expect the Mini to have a Clubman-sized engine bay, & maybe have a slightly wider tread (more space between shock towers).

If I had my druthers, the narrow-angle V4/6/8 would see production & be in the Mini. :cool:
It is roughly what the existing 1275cc engine is capable of before requiring major modifications.
:cool::cool:
MG would be akin to Triumph and Alfa Romeo, though the presence of Rover would serve as a glass ceiling in the same way Jaguar would be to Triumph in ATL Leyland Motors.
I could see that. As noted, I'd rather MG be a bit more down-market: aim it at the Camaro & Firebird, less than the Corvette, still less any Ferrari.
Beyond limited-run models, there would be little reason for MG to copy Morgan. Especially since the latter was more associated with Triumph in OTL and only used 2-litre M/T-Series engines from the late-1980s in the +4 as well as other companies that can build the likes of the Naylor TF 1700.
Call it author fiat, then.;) I'd do it just because & find a flimsy excuse to hang it on.
This ATL has Pininfarina and BMC remaining involved at least with Austin models, for the Morris version it would be a choice between the ATL Clubman hatchback or Project Ant bodies with only Innocenti possibly making use of either Bertone or the Project Ant style (that may also be used by Authi, Siam Di Tella, etc).
As noted, I'd far rather standardize on Bertone, & I'd use one body design across the range no matter whose was settled on (except maybe for the *ARO70, which might end up an MG-only product).
It also depends on whether Rover would be inclined to share the Rover V8 with MG given their own sportscar project with the P9 as well as the limited production capacities for the Rover V8. Additionally whether despite the appeal of the V8, its OHV layout would be considered a retrograde step since embracing Twin-Cam engines.
That's a good point. Of course, if the goal is more 3.5s (& it isn't the only one;) ), a 3.5 Marina (& Marina ute) works nicely, too.
Maybe the Rover V8 allows the Healeys to reconsider abandoning the planned MGC-based Big Healey successor (though it would still have needed different exterior styling to completely mollify them), while the MGC utilizes 6-cylinder B/C-Series Twin-Cams.
I could live with that, I think. I have some concern with the straight 6's hood clearance; if it needs a "bubble" (as the OTL MGC did), I'd bulge the hood right across, not just "blister" it.
The only issue with the styling on my end would be the pop-up headlights, which is where the Ferrari Daytona-inspired styling of the Rover SD1 comes in and in hindsight would be more suited for MG.
The SD1 is much better. Honestly, tho, I like the Chevy Celebrity better (or the Cavalier, for a Brit market-sized car).
Only available in A Life in Car Design by Oliver Winterbottom.
:'(
The OTL EX234 was originally intended to be powered by both A-Series and B-Series engines, along with possibly the E-Series. In ATL however it would be powered by 1.6-2.0 B-Series Twin-Cam later 1.6 A-Plus and 1.6-2.0 ATL E-Series Twin-Cam engines and be sold as the new MG Midget. It is possible the likes of Jensen or Healey would be interested in using ATL EX234 as a basis for more accessible versions depending on the relationship both companies have with ATL BMC.

It is possible the Mini-based MG ADO34 could serve as a token entry-level MG (and Austin-Healey) powered by A-Series engines with an ADO20 update featuring end-on gearbox allowing for more potent engines up to 1.6-litres.
That works for me.
It should be theoretically be possible to rebody the MGB, especially one with IRS and 5-speed gearbox. Reputedly the OTL attempt by Aston Martin to acquire the MGB looked at a rebody by William Towns (elements of which were later carried over to his ideas for face-lifting the Michelotti-styled Reliant Scimitar SS1) before the deal fell through (see David Knowles MGB: Including the MGC and MGB GT V8 book).
If the *MGD ended up looking like a big Miata with headlights like the Pontiac Grand Prix, I'd be happy. Lean-back M-B style lights on a more/less '75 MGB (with totally different underpinnings & engine) wouldn't displease me, either.
 
I wouldn't oppose that, but I'd far & away prefer the Innocenti (Bertone). I find the 104 plain & dull by contrast.
As noted, I'd far rather standardize on Bertone, & I'd use one body design across the range no matter whose was settled on (except maybe for the *ARO70, which might end up an MG-only product).
Also best Bertone would likely be limited to Innocenti.

TTL, I'd expect the Mini to have a Clubman-sized engine bay, & maybe have a slightly wider tread (more space between shock towers).

If I had my druthers, the narrow-angle V4/6/8 would see production & be in the Mini. :cool:
BMC were in a rush to get the Mini into production according to the parameters set by Leonard Lord.

Additionally the V4 could not be mounted transversely, which was another reason they were canned.

That's a good point. Of course, if the goal is more 3.5s (& it isn't the only one;) ), a 3.5 Marina (& Marina ute) works nicely, too.
Possible, though can see it being used by Land Rover / Range Rover or even a low-volume stand-alone Vanderbilt Plas flagship even after the Rover V8 is replaced by a quad-cam 32-valve fuel injected V8.

I could live with that, I think. I have some concern with the straight 6's hood clearance; if it needs a "bubble" (as the OTL MGC did), I'd bulge the hood right across, not just "blister" it.
The blame for the height of the C-Series not being reduced amongst other proposed developments / etc by MG people can be laid at Alec Issigonis, whereas someone like Gerald Palmer would be able to fight their corner.

If the *MGD ended up looking like a big Miata with headlights like the Pontiac Grand Prix, I'd be happy. Lean-back M-B style lights on a more/less '75 MGB (with totally different underpinnings & engine) wouldn't displease me, either.
See both the MG EX-E and MG F-16 concepts (the latter exterior being the ancestor of the MGF), becoming the ATL styling theme from the mid/late-1980s.

It is possible an ATL MG RV8 plus RV8 styled EX234 are considered if retro becomes a theme in that period.

That said, it would be interesting to see Nissan produce a front-engined RWD MX-5 challenger from the late-1980s to early-1990s below the Silvia. Think Nissan 300ZX Z32 like front and Lotus Elan M100 like rear, powered by Nissan GA and Nissan SR engines.
 

WILDGEESE

Gone Fishin'
They kind of did – there was the plant at Seneffe in Belgium, partnerships such as Authi in Spain, Innocenti in Italy, BMC in Turkey etc. Most of them look to have started in the early 1960s though, and even Borgward was only forced out of business in 1961.
2nded

That was the killer, having no proper production plants on the continent and instead sending out 'kits'

I think I read that the Innocenti Regal (Austin Allegro) sold decent although it was in kit form
 
Also best Bertone would likely be limited to Innocenti.
Not clear why. Even allowing Bertone's capacity was limited, I see no reason BMC couldn't build the bodies to a Bertone design.
BMC were in a rush to get the Mini into production according to the parameters set by Leonard Lord.

Additionally the V4 could not be mounted transversely, which was another reason they were canned.
I'd say the first wouldn't (shouldn't!) happen. The second IMO could be overcome, but probably not before a second-generation Mini. By then, IMO, it should be a V6 or V8.
Possible, though can see it being used by Land Rover / Range Rover or even a low-volume stand-alone Vanderbilt Plas flagship even after the Rover V8 is replaced by a quad-cam 32-valve fuel injected V8.
Oh, I presume it for the Range/Land Rovers per OTL. I'm thinking Marina in addition.
The blame for the height of the C-Series not being reduced amongst other proposed developments / etc by MG people can be laid at Alec Issigonis, whereas someone like Gerald Palmer would be able to fight their corner.
In that event, I see no reason the C/D couldn't use the B hood--unless there's a good reason for a cowl induction scoop. (I don't have one offhand... ;) )
See both the MG EX-E and MG F-16 concepts
I much prefer the F-16, despite the Neon echo.
It is possible an ATL MG RV8 plus RV8 styled EX234 are considered if retro becomes a theme in that period.
I'm picturing TTL's MGB/C reskin resembling the RV8, up through it being replaced. (With a front end treatment not unlike the 1st generation Elan? Minus the headlight doors, IMO.)
That said, it would be interesting to see Nissan produce a front-engined RWD MX-5 challenger from the late-1980s to early-1990s below the Silvia. Think Nissan 300ZX Z32 like front and Lotus Elan M100 like rear, powered by Nissan GA and Nissan SR engines.
The headlights of the 300ZX make me cringe.:eek: The Elan front end, with the '88-9 Poncho headlights, beats it.
 
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