"The BMC A-series engine did service in a variety of cars for almost 50 years, during which time it was available in a bewildering variety of capacities and states of tune."
Keith Adams introduces the legend, and follows it with LJK Setright’s thoughts on the subject, as first published in CAR magazine.
The A-series engine was certainly a case of the ‘British Curate’s egg’ – good in places. In fact, that is not quite true: the A-series was a fine engine. Of course, by the time of the launch of the Austin Metro in 1980, great play was made by the British press about the fact that here they had a new car, which truly competitive and as good news as it was, it was still powered by an engine that first saw service in the Austin A30 some 30 years previously. Of course, to make this criticism was to miss the point entirely.
British Leyland had expended much time and effort on the task of replacing the A-series engine, but the trouble was that it was capable of delivering fantastic fuel consumption figures thanks in no small part to its excellent torque characteristics and thermal efficiency. Because of this, the A-series became a victim of its own success: why produce a replacement, when there was doubt that anything new that was produced would be any better to drive?"
http://www.aronline.co.uk/facts-and-fig ... -a-series/
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(i.e. ALL Minis made from 1959 to date)
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