For decades Britain was arguably the birthplace and spiritual home of the two-seater sports car.
Kalamazoo is a town in Michigan, midway between Chicago and Detroit, known to millions thanks to the Glenn Miller hit, I Got a Gal in Kalamazoo.
Few people outside car enthusiast circles would today would know much about, or show much appreciation for, Lea Francis, although for many years it was a significant UK car maker. But like so many other manufacturers, fate was not always on its side….
George Brough, pronounced Bruff, made his repute by producing Brough Superiors, “the Rolls Royce of motorbikes”, from 1920 to the late 1930s. Lawrence of Arabia was so smitten with them that he bought eight. When he died in May 1935, serving under the alias Aircraftman Shaw in the RAF, he was riding bike number seven.
If there is one car whose demise has hardly caused any regret from car buffs, it is the Trabant. In a way, it was not just that the car was poor—above all it embodied everything that was wrong with a state-run enterprise in a near-totalitarian state.
If there is one name that has scaled the heights and plumbed the depths of post-war car-making in Britain, it is Rover. However, like so many other great marques of the past, it was sucked into British Leyland and, along with countless others, is no more. One can say it was a quirk of history that made it the longest-surviving name (bar Mini) in the BL portfolio. Of course, the Land Rover name lives on.
In the annals of car-making, Edsel holds a unique place. It was no little operation started in a backstreet workshop by two underfunded petrolheads.
Few fathers tend to name their sons after motor cars, but it does happen.
For classic car fans, Perth and Scone Palace are THE places to be today. Why? Because 150 classic cars, from Model T Fords to Bugatti Veyrons, are on parade from Scone to Tay Street and back—all in the aid of charity.
The motor industry is a ruthless place. However good the cars a firm makes, they have to sell well and be profitable if the firm is to survive.