The cars you longed for in 1962

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - The Way We Were -

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.

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