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History & Development


Here you'll find a selection of information relating to the history & development of the range.

To view a particular section click the image to the left of the description.

 .: ADO74

ADO74 was an elaborate Supermini make over that would bring the Mini into the 70's.

Of course, BL soon closed the project when the price was revealed!

 .: Britain's best seller

When people see the 11/1300 in whichever guise you always hear the phrase "We used to have one of those...". The ADO16 was without a shadow of doubt Britain's best seller.

Now the proof... figures gathered for this page show that the 11/1300 was on the top spot for 10 of it's 12 year life. That's not bad for a car prone to rust problems.

 .: Building Britain's best seller

It wasn't just a case of designing the car, selling it and claiming it was Britain's best selling medium sized saloon car. There was all the hard work done producing the cars at factories throughout Britain.

We take a closer look at the production methods used, and follow the production line from beginning to end.

 .: Commercial 1100

A small batch of 1100 vans were built by BMC to see if the popular ADO16 concept could be made into a successful commercial. Unfortunately due to problems with the Hydrolastic suspension the idea was dropped.

Did you know, only 50 1100 vans were produced?

 .: History

The 11/1300 was without a doubt Britain's best selling medium saloon car for nine years. Here you'll find the reasons why BMC had themselves a winner from the start.

When the plug was pulled 12 years later, British Leyland found they had some mighty boots to fill!

 .: International flavours: American market

During the 11/1300s short run in the US, it still managed to be present in four various guises. There was the MG 1100, MG Princess, Austin 1100, and Austin America.

Just 154 MG Princesses were made... not many when you consider how difficult it was to get hold of a Vanden Plas in the UK, which is of course a much smaller country.

 .: International flavours: Australian market

Not only was the Morris 1100 available in Australia you could also get the Morris 1300, Morris 1500, and a Nomad - all some what modified for outback conditions.

It's a shame that we had the Maxi in the UK. The Nomad could have been a viable alternative.

 .: International flavours: Chilean market

An interesting slant on the production of the 1300. Chile used fibre glass to build their MG 1300.

Maybe British Leyland could have applied the same technique in the UK? It probably wouldn't have allowed many more vehicles to survive...

 .: International flavours: Italian market

Innocenti made some very stylish alterations to Pinninfarina's original 1100. My favourite model is the Innocenti I4 model that shares a similar grille to that found on the UK Morris 1100 models.

It's quite interesting to see that the 1971 Innocenti I5 took some of the UK Mk3 traits such as the Matt Black radiator grille.

 .: International flavours: Spanish market

Spain is more commonly known for it's flamenco dancing, however to those interested in the 11/1300, perhaps better know the Spanish for their production of the Austin Victoria.

Did you know they also produced a 998cc ADO16 badged as an Austin De Luxe?

 .: International flavours: South Africa

South Africa didn't just produce the Austin Apache, there was also a range of 11/55 models.

Similar to the Victoria, that was produced in Spain, the Apache featured a bonnet and boot set up similar to that of the Triumph Dolomite and was sold until 1977!

 .: Makes & Models

Perhaps the most comprehensive model listing on the internet, even if I do say so myself. Covering everything built from Australia to Spain.

Well worth a click...

 .: Production figures

When you come to piece together information from sources why do things differ so greatly? I've tried to use accurate figures when compiling the Production figures page... however things don't appear to add up.

If you can help with the breakdown of each model I'd be interested in hearing from you.

 .: Proposed replacement - ADO22

What a shame this wasn't considered more seriously! I'm all for this 11/1300 replacement. One can see the resemblance to the Ford Escort with the squared off front styling.

Other revisions under the ADO22 project would have included a refined suspension system, and revamped interior.

 .: Proposed replacement: Aerodynamic saloon

Pinninfarina's attempt at changing the 11/1300 concept and making a car the seventies could be proud of. Rubber bumpers were fitted at the front and rear to make it pedestrian friendly. Internally the passenger compartment was made safer by padding each edge.

Shame the Aerodynamic was never mass produced by British Leyland... could have done what it's done for Citröen.

 .: Prototypes

Designing a new car isn't an easy task. It takes a lot of time and resources to get it just right.

Take a look at some ADO16 prototypes here.

 .: Prototype: Glass fibre Morris 1100

Long before the glass fibre MG 1300 was available in Chile the first prototype was developed at Longbridge.

How come BL never took the idea and turned it into reality in the UK? Just think how many more 11/1300s there could have been still running around if this had been the case...



The ADO16 is what makes this site possible. Here you'll find a selection of information relating to the cars themselves. In depth features on each model, and even details about the BMC Competition departments 1100's.

To view a particular section click the image to the left of the description.

 .: Austin 1100 Countryman cutaway

There are two ways to look at this vehicle. 1) It provides excellent, natural air conditioning in the summer. 2) With few panels to rust or damage, the cost of ownership is kept to a minimum.

Now, for the reality, it's a marketing machine!

 .: Brochures

Brochures, the perfect way for any manufacturer to show off their pride and joy!

Of course, BMC/British Leyland were no different, and many of the brochures used "artistic licence" to impress!

 .: Colour charts

Half the buzz of buying a new car is getting to pick the colour...

Choose wisely, or you could be stuck with something you don't like for a long time!

 .: Conversions

Back when the ADO16 was a "trendy" car, CD players, full body kits and massively over sized wheels were just a dream. If you wanted to customise your car you could take advantage of one of many body/engine conversions that were available.

From Crayford and Downton to lesser known companies such as Folkstone Motor Co, and Marchal.

 .: DER Vans

Large companies such as DER invested in 1300 estate cars, because their sales reps and repair engineers could fit large appliances in the cars. At weekends the employees had the flexibility of a car.

 .: Duo tone colour schemes

If you spot any ADO16, other than an MG, Riley or Wolseley in duo tone colours, I'd suggest walking away.

This guide shows which types of ADO16 were available in which Duo tone colour scheme.

 .: Finance options

If you didn't have the capital to buy your new car outright, then Hire Purchase was your next best solution.

 .: Internal publications

These leaflets were never intended for you and me to see...

So now they're here, what are they all about?

 .: Invashrew

Looking for an disabled access car that's 'years ahead'?

Check out the competition run for school children by BP, and see how a simple idea became a very sought after product!

 .: Kit cars

Kit car manufacturers cashed in on the fact that the humble 11/1300 rotted.

Here you'll find a selection of kit cars, some of which should never have dared touch the road!

 .: Magazine advertising

Well, you've had the press photos promoting BMC/BL cars in all their finest - so it only seems right that the Magazine advertising is just as grand!

 .: Meet our ADO16s

After just under two decades of ADO16 ownership, our time has come to an end. Take a look at our previously owned 11/1300's here.

 .: Mysterious MG turned detective to crack this one... Why, if it wasn't for that meddling Webmaster!

 .: Press photographs

I'm sure you'll agree each and everyone of these photos the cars are shown in idyllic surroundings.

But.... would I really want to go out in the snow?

 .: Price lists

The list price of a new car can certainly spark debate...

How many people actually paid the list price for their ADO16 when it was new?

 .: Police cars

An ADO16 was an ideal choice as a cop car, but who'd have thought that even though forces right across the UK had them, so many would be long gone?

The police car pictured, was the last 1100 in service with the Metropolitan police.

 .: Rally cars

ADO16s were used as rally cars, however not so much as the Mini. The competitions department had a habit of taking as much out of the cars as possible, seats, trim, glass (replacing it for Perspex).

The ADO16s life as a Rally car never, took off, which was a shame when you consider what a good package they had.

 .: Ranger Kit Car

This particular kit car reminds me of a "grown up" Mini Moke.

 .: Trivia

Some interesting snippets of ADO16 information you may not already know. A nice idea if you plan to catch someone out...

 .: Warranty information

Although I wouldn't like to try and hold BMC to this warranty these days, they are a valuable source of information.

4 months warranty for a second hand car... not bad considering what you get now!

Owning an ADO16

Owning an ADO16 can be a trial from time to time, but as I'm sure you'll agree a very enjoyable one!

Whether you are looking for an event to take your car too, or looking for information relating to a job you need to carry out on your vehicle then you'll find the information here.

 .: Buying guide

You MUST be mad!?!?

It's common knowledge that the humble ADO16 rotted from around you. So why would you want to spend hundreds of pounds of a piece of junk?

Use this guide to ensure you get the "most" car for your money.

 .: Carburettor guide - HS dismantling & reassembly

Official SU carburettor guide for dismantling and reassembly the HS type carburettors.

 .: Carburettor guide - HS tuning

Official SU carburettor guide for tuning the HS type carburettors.

 .: Dashboard layouts

The ADO16 wasn't worried about what guise it came in - it had a dashboard for every occasion!

Here you'll find the dashboard layout for pretty much every ADO16 flavour.

 .: Dimensions

Ever wondered the dimensions of your ADO16 are? Maybe you're buying your first ADO16 but aren't sure whether it will fit in your garage?

Not only do you get the exterior dimensions you also get the interior dimensions, just in case you plan to carry anything larger than yourself... and a passenger.

 .: Getting started?

Choosing a classic car was never meant to be easy. Why should you choose an ADO16? Do they rot as badly as everyone says? Are spares easy to obtain?

Check out the "Getting started" guide. It answers some of the commonly asked questions. Do you have a question you would like answering and adding to the guide? Contact us using the link at the bottom of the page.

 .: Identification

Is your ADO16 everything it should be? How could you find out for sure? Well you could check your registration document, or your identification plates.

By using your identification plates you should be able to tell how many vehicles had rolled off the production line before your ADO16.

 .: Identification - Engine numbers

Not sure if your engine matches the type of car you own? Use this guide to check that serial numbers match.

 .: Price Guide

You aren't wanting to sell your ADO16... are you? Although, you might be wanting to add another ADO16 to your collection - even better.

You'll find the current market values for all makes and models of ADO16.

 .: Restoration

When I've been carrying out tasks on various ADO16s I've written up some tips and tricks you can use when carrying out certain jobs on your ADO16.

 .: Servicing

When's the right time to service? What needs to be done to ensure your ADO16 continues running at it's best? The servicing section gives you all of this information plus measures you may wish to carry out to prevent serious faults.

If you've got a servicing tip that's not included drop us a line.

 .: Services

Whether you've just been hit with your insurance renewal quote, or you car is getting ready for it's annual service. Then you've come to the right place!

Please note: Our services guide will take you to our forum boards. In order for you to view the boards you need to be a registered member.

 .: Suspension ride height

A common ADO16 problem is that the suspension system hasn't been checked for ride height/fluid pressure for a number of years.

Use this guide to check those all important settings!

 .: Weights

When living near a weighbridge just isn't possible - you can always take a look at our weights guide. You'll find most ADO16s are covered here.

I'm still missing the I3/I5/I4 models. if you've got these details then please contact us.

Our community is a thriving community for enthusiasts around the world! We pride ourselves on being accessible to everyone, wherever you are.

If you've got a tale to tell then wants to hear from you!

 .: Contact us

Wherever you are, there's always an representative on hand to help...

 .: Events

Keen to find out where we'll be?

 .: News, Reviews & Blogs

News topics which feels will affect the community.

You can view archived material in this section too.


This page was last modified on Wednesday, 06th December, 2017 @ 18:29:29 CET