In the 1970s a bunch of Rovers required welding; no big deal, after all these cars had been crashed, metal-work would probably be required. At the moment this is a non-story, a Daily Mail feature; however out of these Rovers, 6 caught fire. The fires were traced to bitumastic underseal, a manufacturer oversight that typified the poor business decisions made by BL in the 1970s and 80s.
With all these in mind, here are more stories about BL cars and their issues:
1. The Rover SD1 had a sophisticated paint booth developed with filters to prevent dust particles spoiling the paintwork during. Yet on launch of the SD1, the filters were fitted backwards filling the paint booth alongside unpainted SD1 with vast quantities of dust in front of the press.
2. The Mini lost money on each sale.
3. The Rover 800 series was longer on one side than the other and the interior would green in the sun, much like an onion.
4. The Austin Maxi was transported by lorry as bare shells to be treated and painted because it didn’t fit down the tunnel that connected the Longbridge factories.
5. ‘Friday afternoon cars’ were renowned for being especially badly made; with reports of cars not fitted with wiring looms and even door locks. One lucky customer even got a free sandwich left from a workers lunch in the door card, talk about aftercare.
6. The Morris Marina had its windscreen wipers fitted backwards because developers saw they lifted off the windscreen when fitted properly.
7. The Austin Allegro would lose wheels for fun.
8. The Allegro would also jam its back doors shut and the rear window would pop pop out if you jacked it wrong due to excessive flex in the chassis.
Plus here’s a bonus, equally flawed British car manufacturer from the 1970s fact:
- The Hilman Avenger (owned by the Rootes Group) was so structurally unsound that the coupe model was unable to be ordered with a sunroof because it became so unstable without a full roof it wobbled like a slapped arse.