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The Leyland Italia years

Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:30 pm
by mab01uk
"We all know about Innocenti‘s work, and how the products it sold were closely based on BMC’s model catalogue. But The Leyland Italia years aren’t a story that’s anywhere near as often told – Chris Cowin puts right that wrong with his account of Leyland Italia.
Things could only get better after BL’s Innocenti sell-off, and they did. Chris Cowin takes a look at Leyland Italia in the late-1970s and early-’80s." ... nd-italia/

Re: The Leyland Italia years

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:06 am
by mab01uk
Innocenti Mini 90/120 (P53) development story
"In 1974, Leyland’s Italian subsidiary Innocenti introduced a rebodied, three-door hatchback Mini, styled by Bertone. However, within a year of its launch, BLMC went bankrupt, the company was sold to de Tomaso and the opportunity to sell the Innocenti Mini 90/120 in the UK was lost forever."

What if BL had introduced the Innocenti Mini in the UK?

"It’s a question that many people asked throughout the mid-to-late 1970s, and yet we’ve never really looked too deeply into. The story of BMC, BL and Rover is littered with frustrating and tragic what-ifs, but the question of whether BL should have introduced its own version of the Innocenti Mini 90/120 really does bear pulling off the shelf and dusting off once again." ... in-the-uk/

Re: The Leyland Italia years

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:28 pm
by Costafortune
You only have to drive a Mark 1 VW Polo (1976) to realise the Innocenti was a waste of time. They are absolutely tiny inside and with woeful crash protection. The Metro was vastly superior and a proper car.

BL could have imported the Innocenti Cooper 1300 however as an expensive upmarket regular Mini. Ford mastered this with the various Ghia versions of humdrum saloons to great effect. At 30% more than a 1275GT it would have had a steady market.