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10 Forgotten cars - Lonsdale
[09 May 2003]


In the summer of 1982 the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) met to discuss the impending threat of Australian cars flooding the British market. High import taxes and quotas ensured few British cars could be sold in Australia, but there was nothing stopping unlimited numbers of cars heading the other way. Apart from buyer apathy.

The whole process had been started by the announcement that rebadged Mitsubishis would be heading to our shores wearing Lonsdale badges. In Oz the car was called the Mitsubishi Sigma and under the bonnet was a 2.6-litre engine which also happened to be one of the world's biggest four-cylinder powerplants. But UK buyers didn't have to have such a big mill at the sharp end - there was also a choice of 1.6 or 2.0-litre engines.

There was even a choice of estate or saloon bodystyles, but in the end it made no difference, because it seems the company didn't actually get around to setting up a dealer network. Which must have pleased the SMMT and its members rather a lot.
Page 1: Introduction
Page 2: Aston Martin Bulldog
Page 3: Citroen Bijou
Page 4: Ford Saxon
Page 5: Lamborghini LM004
Page 6: Lea Francis Ace of Spades
Page 7: Light Car Company Rocket
Page 8: Lonsdale
Page 9: Panther Rio
Page 10: Sao Penza
Page 11: Talbot Tagora
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