The 1970s and 1980s were critical years for the British motor industry. A downward spiral in industrial relations led to crippling strikes; two major oil crises made thirsty older designs virtually unsaleable; and foreign manufacturers moved in with products that were affordable, reliable and available on demand.
Yet, by and large, British family motorists carried on buying British as long as they could. The average Briton was broadly content with what the domestic motor industry produced (though he might have grumbled a bit), and it certainly produced an array of cars which entered the public consciousness as symbols of their times. Names like Marina, Maestro, Montego, Cortina, Escort, Granada, Cavalier and, above all, Mini live on in popular memory. Looking back, we remember these humble workhorses with more fondness than we might expect.
James Taylor has been a motoring writer and historian for more than 30 years, and in this book he remembers this period with a mixture of affection and amusement, tempered with an honest appraisal of how good or bad these cars really were.
Table of Contents
The Market Leaders: Ford and Vauxhall
Built in Britain: British Leyland and Chrysler
French and Italian Flair
The Sensible Choices: German and Swedish
Eastern Promise: The Soviet Bloc and Japan
Places to Visit