"You've never had it so good"

...Motoring in the 1950s and 1960s

Austin Metropolitan 1960
West End Garage Warwick 1990

Though fundamentally different in their corporate philosophies, Austin and Morris merged in 1952 to form the British Motor Corporation the forerunner of the ill-fated British Leyland.

St Helens Classic Show display2

In the early postwar years, Britain was the world’s second-largest car producer but the seeds of decline had already been sown. The period started with the merger of Nuffield and Austin and ended with the creation of British Leyland. In the ‘you’ve never had it so good’ era, one in three families were now able to own a car. The majority of cars were home-produced and included evocative but now obsolete names such as Wolseley, Sunbeam and Jowett as well as innovative models such as the Mini and E-type Jag. Re-visit an era when motorways, MOTs and breathalysers were new and pool petrol, side valve engines and starting handles began to fade into history.

...So many vehicles failed the MOT that at the end of 1961 the limit was reduced to seven years.

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