Sir, I have just been looking through the Austin “Allegro” sales literature and see that British Leyland make a great song and dance about all the “extras” that are included in the specification. I wonder who does their policy planning? Many of these items, which are “thrown in” on the more expensive models, I would personally rather be without and yet seat belts, without which you cannot legally drive the car, are still extras! I am sure I’m not alone in saying I would not buy one of these cars unless the dealer would fit a circular steering wheel for nix. I wonder who dreamed that one up! Yet they still hang on to one of the most niggling irritants to buying a car; the delivery charge. I wonder how many sales they have lost to Ford on this score alone.
As a matter of fact I run a couple of British Leyland cars, although they were both made in Abingdon. They have both been “Downtoned” and both give immense pleasure and satisfaction. Soon after I got the “B” GT, many years ago, I wrote to Mr. Enever and suggested that it would be greatly improved by a bit more power, which I felt sure it was strong enough to take, and suggested he fitted the 2½-litre Daimler V8 engine; instead of which the MG-C appeared, with that heavy old iron engine completely upsetting the balance of the car. However, now that Ken Costello has shown them the way and done the development work for them, they are, at long last, using the 3½-litre Rover V8 unit, which should make it into the car I have been waiting for for the last six years.