Getting Britain Out of the Red: 1966 London Motor Show

As the narrator of this Pathe newsreel tells it, the 1967 models were to be The Big Drive for the British auto manufacturing industry, because "exports must increase if the country is to pay its way." We see such hot-selling British success stories as the Singer Chamois Sport and the Hillman Hunter (which features booth babes dressed in fox-hunting gear), plus a nice assortment of non-British stuff. How about a '67 Ferrari 365P, with that bizarre 3-seater setup? Or a Saab Sonnet? Too bad about the country not paying its way, of course, but some nice cars nonetheless.

Related:
British Steel: The 1962 London Motor Show [internal]

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DISCUSSION

dvanderp71-old
dvanderp71

Cool vid! And ohno, not the old "who killed off what" discussion again. It was first and foremost the many financial crises in the world, and a bit bad management added to that, what mangled lots of industries in the '70s.

Yes, the US issued laws on emissions and safety, and that may have helped, not caused, the British motor to put itself out of its misery. Those laws were issued for good reasons. Most of the cars on display in this 1966 show are hugely unsafe and polluting, as were most of the products of the USA car industry. An industry that has also struggled to meet those laws. Being a fan of classic cars and knowing about both classic and modern car construction, the difference especially in the safety department nowadays is huge, even though the adaptions seem fairly simple and not particularly expensive. I am glad they did something about it, hope you're not saying they never should have issued laws on these matters.

BTW, I loved the hallucinetic floor on the Vauxhall Viva stand! You probably had to be on LSD anyway to order one. I still remember Quentin Wilsons' remarks on it: "a shimmering pile of dog poo" and "one of the worst contraptions ever to disgrace tarmac". Ouch. Fortunately for the Viva, this happened a good 30 years after its conception.

The BMW is a 2000CS, a nice but special-looking 120hp 4-cyl coupe that soon evolved into the 170hp 6-cyl 2800CS and 200 hp 3.0 CSi.