August 13, 2022

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They went where no one dared

For the section on cars you didn’t know, here’s the sadly endless story about the sedan that was supposed to revolutionize an unknown market. Unfortunately, Australia was not prepared to welcome it as it should.

It is always interesting to take a look at the lesser known car markets. Some time ago, we explored the darkest of all, North Korea, and discovered that in a country where a communist-style dictatorship is being imposed, you can actually buy a domestic copy of the famous Fiat. Then it was the Brazilian who was almost defeated by Alfa Romeo. Today, we take the plane to the site More exotic!

Ready for today’s story? (Youtube site)

Our story begins in 1969 in Australiaa country that as far as we know does not yet have such a large auto industry: the big island in Oceania actually imports most cars from abroad and in particular homes almost as unknown in Italy as Holden do business with gold in what popular culture calls kangaroo land .

In that year, one British Leyland More and more because of Japanese competition she had the idea of ​​trying to expand into a virtually undiscovered market: yes, we are talking about the Australian market. The British consortium that at the time included strong and powerful brands such as Austin, Rover and MG made its move. But it will soon prove that it was a wrong move.

All kinds of problems

The Australian Leyland Motor Corporation was officially renamed in 1972, and the Australian division of British Leyland immediately began marketing an imported version of the popular Austin Mini with mixed success. But To approve the end of the company It was the car that should have started to enter the BL market in the country.

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P76 Wikipedia 05_07_2022 Quattromania
Aesthetically, the P76 wasn’t bad at all (Wikipedia)

there Leyland P76the first car designed from scratch for the Australian market by the British company Leyland, presented itself in the best conditions in 1973, and was also chosen as the best car of the year by the weekly Wheels. A car that made extensive use of Rover mechanical components such as its six-cylinder engine, was a stylish sedan designed by Giovanni Michelotti that immediately attracted potential customers.

Unfortunately, he introduced Coincided with the oil crisis 1973 – Deja vu What are we seeing this year? – and above all with soaring automotive component prices that literally broke the legs, or rather the steering columns, of the newly launched Leyland P76. Sales were minimal and within two years, the home had sold only 18,000 units.

As often happens for cars of this type, today P76 It’s a small worship for amateurs. The same can’t be said of the brand that closed its doors for good shortly after the car went out of production. A real shame also because since then, Australia has not seen such an attempt to produce a domestic car as the sedan that you can admire in this article.