Iconic Cars from Britain That Were Re-Badged For Other Markets
There are many popular and famous British cars that sported different badges in many other global markets. Here’s looking at some of them.
Britain was once one of the world’s biggest car manufacturing hubs with Coventry and Birmingham being flourishing manufacturing cities as well. This is why many iconic cars in the UK were sold with other badges and names in many other countries and markets. Here are some of them:
The Austin America is one of the many BMC AD016 variants, the latter being one of the most famous cars in Britain. It was sold as the Austin America in Canada and the United States along with Switzerland, marketed as the ideal second car by Austin.
Innocenti Morris IM3/IM3 S and the Austin I4/I4S/I5
Innocenti started retailing Austin Morris vehicles in 1960 before the Italian company was bought in 1972 by British Leyland. The IM3 came in 1963 with an MG 1100 twin-carb engine. Then came the I4 in 1964 and other variants.
The Morris Marina was a successful 1970s British car, selling more than 1.2 million models as per reports. Production of the car started in 1972 in Australia initially as a Morris and then as the Leyland. The Marina was also retailed as the Leyland model in Finland.
Standard Herald & Gazel
Standard Motor Products of India Limited (SMPIL) was integrated for building Standard Vanguard versions assembled locally in Madras. The launch of the Standard Herald, based on Triumph, commenced in the 1960s. The four-door version came in 1968. The Gazel came with a new look in 1971 and could accommodate up to 6 people as well. This was manufactured until the year 1978.
The Hindustan Ambassador was based on the Morris Oxford series three which was one of the most iconic British models ever. Production commenced in the year 1958 with the BMC B-Series mill generating power. Future versions came with 1.5 and 2.0 litre diesel mills and even the Isuzu 1.8 litre petrol mill. The final Ambassador, unfortunately, was manufactured in May 2014. It was one of India’s most iconic and highest-selling vehicles ever!
The charming Triumph Italia is attributed to the prowess of Salvatore Ruffino, the Italian distributor of the brand, who made the TR3A’s coach-built version. He acquired the concession rights and roped in Giovanni Michelotti for building a coupe before the Turin Motor Show in 1958. Another prototype was shown in 1959 before manufacturing started in that year itself. 330 cars were manufactured first in the name of the Triumph Italia although it later became the Italia 2000.
Dodge Omni or Plymouth Horizon
The Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon are both synonymous with Britain’s Talbot Horizon. It also had Simca and Chrysler badges throughout Europe and Plymouth, Dodge, and Scamp badges in North American markets. The production also happened in France, the UK, Finland, Spain and the USA.
The Hillman Avenger was the rear-wheel-drive family car of the Rootes Group (from Britain) in the 1970s. It was first retailed as the Avenger and then the Talbot, Dodge and Sunbeam versions also arrived along with the Plymouth Cricket between 1971-73.
The Volkswagen 1500 is another variant of the Avenger and is called the Dodge 1500 and Dodge 1500 manufactured by Volkswagen Argentina. Production started in Argentina back in 1971 although the car was being produced by the Volkswagen Audi Group till 1990-91.
The Chevrolet Firenza was locally assembled at South Africa’s Port Elizabeth with Vauxhall Viva HC kits that came from the United Kingdom. Local components were also used for manufacturing four and two-door saloons along with two-door coupe and three-door estate models. There was also the Firenza Can-Am V8 which was a rival for the Ford Capri Perana. Chevrolet also came up with a hatchback in the future that made use of similar Viva architecture.