This little car was built between 1963-1976. it was a good seller for its makers “The Rootes Group” that group would become Chrysler of Europe. When production stopped over 440,000 were built. Not known for building Micro-Cars this would be this car makers first attempt into the very high profit Europeon market. Its cross town rival the Mini would beat it to market by three years.
It had a rear mounted 874cc engine with an all aluminum black and head. It also featured a single overhead camshaft unusual for this price range. The engine would be angled at 45 deg. to aid in rear deck clearance. The rumor at the time was the engine started life as a “Fire Pump” engine. Maybe the rumor was started by Mini. Another reason for the engines strange mounting was to aid in handling. rear engine cars IE: VW’s Beetle suffer from “Massive Torque Oversteer”
The set up did help somewhat but the Mini could still run circles around it. A factory race program did in fact have good success in Europe but could never match the Mini and BMW’s 2002. Also helping with handling was a fully independent rear suspension and swing arm front suspension. All costly items for a low dollar car. Its rear mounted engine and flat floor gave it larger than Mini interior space but a phone booth is larger than a Mini. Three body type were available.
A two door sedan. A two door coupe (named after a USA state) and a very milk truck like van. At one point in its long run it was Englands lowest priced car boosting slow sales for a short time. Very few revisions or upgrades happened during its long life span. One big upgrade cam in 1968 when a real dash board with Smiths gauges were standard issue. Sort of a Skateboard with doors and roof. What Auto is This??