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Many of you will have already heard the news that Mazda plans a return to rotary power next year. According to an interview with AutoRai.NL, Martijn ten Brink, the Vice President of Sales and Customer Service for the company's European division, the idea is to offer the company’s forthcoming electric car with a ‘range extender in the form of a Wankel engine’. And such an announcement is especially timely as 1978 marks the 40th birthday of the RX-7.
As the summer continues, those of us who are devotes of British cinema recall a film in which Britain is ravaged by a heatwave so intense that water is rationed, beatniks riot and a Morris Minor MM is attacked.
On 17th April 1964, Henry Ford II unveiled a car at the New York World Fair, one that sold 22,000 units on that same day. It was, of course, the Mustang, the car Ford intended as ‘the working man’s Thunderbird’.
When Autocar evaluated the BMW 1800 Ti their conclusion is best described as ‘uber-1965’; "For the sporting driver who is denied a two-seater for family reasons we would put this 1800TI high on the list. Yet this car would appeal as much to the young (but rich) bachelor who enjoys his driving, knows how to handle a fast machine and most of all appreciates quality engineering."
The array of models produced by the overseas plants of BMC/BL do tend to prompt one question – could any of them have succeeded in the UK?
The Australian-market Wolseley 24/80 - a 16/60 powered by the locally-designed “Blue Streak” 2.4-litre six - certainly had its merits but by 1964 it would have clashed with the Austin 1800 “Landcrab”.
This column is by way of a tribute to one of the most interesting public service vehicles of post-war Britain - the Bedford ‘Green Goddess’ fire appliance. Its origins date back to 1949 when the Home Office created the Civil Defence Corps (CDC), whose purpose was to work alongside the Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS) in the aftermath of a nuclear war.
Watching an Ami 6 negotiate a roundabout was one of the most alarming, yet fascinating, sights ever experienced by my younger self - at one point it looked as though the body was at a 45-degree angle to the tarmac as its engine sounded like an irate banshee. A Citroen Dyane looked dramatic enough when cornering but the Ami 6’s distinctive styling made the entire process even more entertaining.
The first ten finalists in the Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership’s autumn competition is an eclectic mix with a selection of cars that are guaranteed to turn any petrolhead. From a traditional British classic to an American stunner, an original adventurer to a fire breathing hot rod, expect the unexpected!