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MG ZR ZS ZT Technical - MG Landcrab?

I wonder if BMC ever proposed an MG Landcrab?

(I admit I liked the car in an odd kind of way. Much better than that Austin Cambridge thing. And the Cortina. I particularly liked the 2200 - the one with a transverse straight six).
JH Gillson

BMC no - but one enterprising enthusiast did back in the '60s - it appeared in a contemporary 'Safety Fast!'.
David Knowles

Well, MG people probably would've greeted such a car with derision.

But the landcrab, in my opinion, was a really great car. Certainly better than the Wedge Princess that replaced it. If only BMC had seen fit to take up the design penned for the Lancrab by one of the Italian styling houses (might've been Pininfarina, I'm not sure off the top of my head) that looked like the CitroŽn GS/CX - BMC would've been light years ahead of the game and the Landcrab would be revered today.

It's also too bad that BMC's bonehead marketers didn't figure out that the six-cylinder landcrabs were exactly the sort of mainstream British cars that Americans would have bought had they been sold here. Same goes for the Triumph 2000 and 2500 - a great potential wasted.

It was Pininfarina who did the 'aero' 1800. Pininfarina also used the same styling theme on an 1100 platform.

I think a fella called Leonardo Fioravanti was responsible for these two. (He also doodled Ferraris Dino and Daytona - in fact I think the Daytona was an evolution of the aero 1800 theme.)

And yes, I think the designs were sold to Citroen while we in the UK made do with the Allegro and Princess - presumably the result of Leyland's meddling: I remember reading in Autocar years ago that Issigonis was muchly impressed by the Pininfarina prototypes.

In fact, you could argue that the aero 1800 is one of the most influential syling themes ever. I mean look at the Rover SD1 - inspired by the Daytona, it's shovel-nose, slim headlight look was copied by just
about everybody in the 1980s. That's probably why the SD1's successor the Rover 800/Sterling (which took its styling themes from the SD1)looked so damn ordinary: everybody else was producing lookalikes. Ditto the 1989 Rover 200. Hence the intoduction of Rover chrome grille as a means of brand differentiation.

Interesting fact: the 1969 Austin Maxi (it used the Landcrab's doors) was also styled by Leonardo Fioravanti during his time at Pininfarina.

In my opinion the Maxi is the world's sexiest car...ever! Amorous couples could fold the seats to make a double bed. With hydrolastic suspension it becomes a double water bed. It was co-created by an engineering genius (Issigonis) and a styling genius (Fioravanti.) And it's a relation to the Dino and Daytona.

And Peter Wheeler, chairman of TVR (makers of gorgeous road rockets for hairy-ar*ed men)is a fan of the Maxi. Visit TVR's website if you don't believe me.

Alas, the Maxi was a sales disaster. All it really needed to become successful was a mirrored ceiling.
JH Gillson

When are we going to see MG versions of the Rover 75?
JH Gillson

Any minute now, JH, if you look carefully.

Ed Clarke

I was only joshing
JH Gillson

Interesting fact: the 1969 Austin Maxi (it used the Landcrab's doors) was also styled by Leonardo Fioravanti during his time at Pininfarina.

Where did that story come from???
Tom Jones

All very interesting, but surely the only reason an MG Landcrab does not exist, is that no-one in marketing actually thought of it at the time?
They didn't think of a VDP Allegro estate, either....

It was featured in one of a series of aricles called "Heroes" by Peter Robinson in Autocar some years ago. I believe Pininfarina was also responsible for the initial styling concept of the Landcrab before it was altered by Issigonis and his crew.
JH Gillson

This thread was discussed between 15/08/2001 and 19/08/2001

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