Telewest SEZ -
> Entirely unconnected. The Government was already supporting BL, and when
> Edwardes closed Abingdon the then Prime Minister James Callaghan is reported
> to have said to him "I thought when we gave you the job (of running BL) you
> were going to make sound business descisions" i.e. "what did you go and do a
> stupid thing like that for?". De Lorean was more about getting investment
> and jobs into Northern Ireland.
BL refused to back any new models for MG without an infusion of
government cash because the American market was doubtful due to
the mess of emissions/"crashworthiness"/economy/rollover (which
killed the MGB-GT in the US) regulations. Parliament decided
that Delorean was a safer bet because it was proposing to produce
a hardtop car. There were reports in the press at the time that
no money was given to MG because the Delorean funding used up
all funds available for subsidized automotive manufacturing.
That's what ties Abingdon's shutdown with Delorean.
The last US convertible, the Cadillac Eldorado, went out of
production in the late 70s in anticipation of the anti-softtop
rules. It was a real threat. Remember, during the Carter
administration, the head of the NHTSA was Joan Claybrook, a
Nader sychophant, who only wanted "safety vehicles" produced.
The late 70s were a dark time for car enthusiasts in the US.
I got my driver's license in 1976 and I was certain that
every car worth owning had already been built. That's why
I bought a 68 MGB. It really seemed like there would never
be another enthusiast's car built again, at least one you
could buy ib the US. It was a dismal, wretched time to be
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