As an owner of a Classic Car, namely a 1968 Triumph Vitesse Convertible, and a most enthusiastic member of “Our Club”, I am moved to write to your Letters page on the subject of the new Leyland Rover Vitesse.
There is one aspect of motoring which has recently disturbed me greatly, and although an already much contested subject, I think “Badge Engineering” has stooped to an all time low, and is a product of British Leyland’s pathetic marketing techniques.
I cringed mildly at the introduction of the Metro MG, which owes its looks as much to the London Underground as it does to MG Cars.
I slumped to my knees when the Triumph Acclaim was launched, another fine British name, and how can the Company hope to hold our esteem when only two years ago Leyland asked us to “Buy British”, and now they ask us to “Buy half British”.
This new Rover is a fine car, but to call it a Vitesse really plunged the “Never buy Leyland Again” dagger right into my back. Vitesse always was a Triumph name, even in pre-war days, and many proud Vitesses are still around, some 3,000 within the Triumph Sports Six Club alone.
As a once proud follower of Leyland, I can say without doubt that their popular leaning to selling cars with famous names tacked onto them rests on borrowed time; as a conversation went this week: “Is that a Vitesse, it’s in lovely condition.” Acclaim owner: “Do you know my Triumph grille badge fell off my Acclaim this week?”
I wonder if the badge was trying to tell him something.
Maywick, Shetland MIKE THOMAS