Saturday, 25 October 2014

My odd dream about cars

I had a series of dreams last night, in all but one of which I was determined to buy an "Austin Westminster" car for myself.  I dreamed of scouring U.S. based vintage car dealers in order to purchase one.
The scene changed a bit in the final dream. In that one I had been asked to buy an Austin Westminster for Hillary Clinton. Go figure!
When I awoke I wondered "was there ever such a car?"
There was. 
 Here is a picture of a 1966 Austin Westminster.
The Austin Westminster had a twin car which used the Wolseley Marque - The Wolseley 6-110
This Wolseley was greatly favoured by the (London) Metropolitan Police as an area car.
Maybe my dream was spurred by my reference in yesterday's blog to the Morris Minor.  It was introduced by Morris Motors in 1948.  Vintage car buffs favour the earliest models with the split front windscreen.
Morris Minor 1948
I once owned a Morris Minor.
Many British (English?) Police Forces introduced what we called "Panda Cars"  -  smaller vehicles for the police "beat". See below for more information.
Here is a Morris Minor Panda Car.
 In 1959 the British Motor Corporation introduced the (for then) revolutionary front wheel drive car the Mini.  (See below).
In deference to the component companies of B.B.C.  the mini was offered under various marques, using titles which referenced older cars
There was an Austin Seven.
(This is the Austin Seven of my youth - essentially a pre- WW II Car)
 Here is an Austin 7 mini
 Then there was the Morris Mini-Minor (with a name which tried to remind purchasers of the formerly successful Morris Minor
Muni-Minor 1961
The venerable car manufacturers "Riley" and "Wolseley" were by now part of B.M.C.
So there were modified Mini cars which were pretending to be in the classy traditions of Riley and Wolseley.
The Wolseley Hornet.
The Riley Elf
 The four "minis"  (Austin, Morris, Riley and Wolseley) were essentially the same car, all manufactured by B.M.C. -  but sold by rival dealerships.  This marketing stupidity, and British Government policies,  helped to drive B.M.C. to destruction.  (See "British Leyland -  below).
The modern MINI  (*note spelling) is manufactured by BMW.  Its name and style is a tribute to the original minis (but no more).  I want one!
Here are some references.

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