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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...

 .: Safety research programme

The safety research programme was started in 1974. It's aim was to show customers how through thoughtful design alterations cars could be made safer to both occupants and pedestrians.

Do you agree that a pedestrian catcher can be hidden in the bodywork, so it is virtually un-dectable?


This page was last modified on Sunday, 01st January, 2017 @ 22:22:09 CET