[Healeys] Decline of the British Car Industry

Jack Feldman qualitas.jack at gmail.com
Sun Dec 14 11:45:00 MST 2008

If you can get your local library to interlibrary you a copy, try

*The End of the Road: The Rise and Fall of Austin-Healey, MG, and Triumph
Sports Cars*, by Whisler.

It is published by the University of Illinois Press as part of a series of
sociological studies. Since it is an academic study it gets thick in some
places, but has a lot of examples.

One that I remember is the time the shop told Austin that a new car wasn't
ready for release at the designated time. He said to begin selling it and
let the customers find the faults!

Arrogance was the problem. The founders of the industry were self taught
men. They had no use for trained mechanical engineers. If one approached for
a job they were rudely turned down. I'm surprised that Alec Issigonis talked
them into the Mini.

I used to be a product manager at Teletype Corp, which is long gone. NIH was
the motto of the engineering design staff. If they hadn't though of it, it
just wasn't going to be a Teletype product.

The book also points out that these designers were good at patching what
existed, rather than creating an innovative answer to a problem . When the
new US bumper and emission rules came in the folks at MG just jacked up the
car without changing the suspension, detuned the engine and removed one
carburator. The result was a poor handling car with no power. That they were
able to continue to sell the cars was a tribute to those who had gone


More information about the Healeys mailing list