The cars you longed for in 1962
As you’ll see from our main picture, the nation’s motorists had a bigger choice than ever from a range of innovative British cars in 1962.
Two great models introduced that year had obviously not hit Hull yet, but would soon be seen everywhere. The Ford Cortina had just made its debut and we also saw the launch of the MGB. These are not two cars you’d readily compare but both were up-to-the-minute with their monocoque bodywork, and each relied on tried-and-tested running units – not necessarily bad thing. Both were also good allrounders in their markets, proving competent, if not brilliant, at everything.
BMC boasted 46% of the home market and sales were increasing in many European countries. Rather ironically, considering recent developments, BMC chairman George Harriman backed the campaign for Britain to join the Common Market, an approach vetoed by French president Charles de Gaulle, with a firm ‘Non’, the following year.
BMC did of course launch its most successful (far more so than the Mini in commercial terms) and possibly best model ever in 1962, the initially Morrisbadged 1100. Apart from its awesome capacity to rust, here was a true world beater.
You would have paid £590 including taxes for the Morris, though for £720, one could opt for the reliable, spacious and utterly conventional Austin A60. Several of our car park inhabitants are Vauxhall’s pretty and reliable FB Victor, introduced in 1961, or Rootes could seduce you with a range of sturdy and charming saloons, from a Hillman Super Minx
to a sporty Sceptre (£743 and £920 respectively). The choice was yours, or maybe you could stagger through a final winter in your Morris 10 and save up hard for a Rover or Triumph 2000 in 1963. And a Hillman Imp for the wife, of course.