The 1969 Austin Zanda – the ‘sports Maxi’? See it at FAST Live

Written by: Tom Austin-Morgan | Published:

An important development following the formation of British Leyland in 1968 was to set up a complete styling studio, initially based at the Pressed Steel plant in Cowley, Oxford.

It was later merged with the design studio at Longbridge. The first chief stylist was Roy Haynes, who, along with his studio deputy Harris Mann, headed a team which styled a variety of Austin-Morris models from the Marina to the Metro, as well as the TR7 sports car. One of the studio’s first design exercises in 1968-1969 was the Zanda, which was also intended to demonstrate the Pressed Steel body plant’s newly developed computer-aided design techniques. The Zanda was Harris Mann’s concept of a sports car, designed to use the transverse engine and gearbox from the Austin Maxi, driving the rear wheels. This idea was later revived as ADO 21, another intriguing project which might at one point have become an MG. The Zanda never got further than the mock-up which can be seen at the British Motor Museum today. It is made of glass-fibre reinforced polyester over an original clay model.

The Austin Zanda is just one of almost 300 interesting, intriguing and often unique vehicles to be seen at the British Motor Museum. You can save the standard adult entry fee of £14.50 and view this and all the other cars, up close free of charge, when you pre-register to visit the FAST Live, Make Measurement Matter, PCB Live or Engineering Materials Live events on March 12th.


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