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Award-winning author Jonathan Wood's Wheels of Misfortune: The Rise and Fall of the British Motor Industry, (1988) received accolades in both Britain and America. In 2006 he presented the Institution of Mechanical Engineers' Sir Henry Royce Memorial Lecture on Sir Alec Issigonis, creator of the Morris Minor and the Mini. He is the author of over 35 books, including several past titles for Shire.
I've been writing about the fall of British Leyland for some time... putting bits I knew with those I learned. Then I came across this book, which after TRYING to read it, I gave up more than a few times! It's out of order, the dates are here and there, the man from Ford (who wrote it) doens't seem to know his Leyland cars very well. I learned a few things, but in general it's not fun to read.
My problem is... my dad joined the Rover Motor Company of North America Ltd in Feb 1960(he retired 3-days before Ford took over Jaguar Cars Inc in 1989). Based in South San Francisco, CA (and NY City) he was the Service Manager and later Product Development Engineer under Bruce McWilliams. in 67 Rover merged with Leyland... I even worked there as a high school kid at the port and later as an engineer for Land Rover... so now you know my back ground in short. This book wanders about instead of getting to the point, that being; Leyland management (Stokes & Company) had no business running Leyland... the British economy tanked & the British Gov made matters worse when they changed money (which was devalued) , but it was the unions and their workers (oxy moron, as the didn't want to work, in fact they would sabotage cars they shipped to America... like 600 TR7s on one ship sent to Benicia, CA and every one had a blown head gasket because no one did up the bolts! SO I changed head gaskets for weeks! and the American arm of BL sent UK the bill!) that killed the British auto industry, not Thatcher!
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