10 Things You Need To Know About... Bmc 1100/1300 (1972-1974)
Classics Monthly|Issue 260

For a car that was Britain’s best seller for most of its 12-year production run, the BMC 1100 and 1300 are remarkably scarce with survivors being just a tiny fraction of the two million plus cars that were produced between 1962 and 1974. Built in both Cowley and Longbridge, demand for the 1100 was so great that even after Longbridge started building the Austin version in late 1963, the Cowley plant had double shifts working to build enough cars.

1 Alec Issigonis undoubtedly a talented engineer insisted on designing the 1100 bodyshell himself despite misgivings from Pressed Steel engineers. Had the 1100 been built today with modern rust proofing techniques it would have been better – but sadly it became an absolute rust bucket.

2 Where does the 1100 rust? Everywhere. Floors, sills, front inner wings (the reinforcing ‘trumpets’), outer wings, door bottoms, rear arches, boot floor, the bulkhead near the heater and under the rear seat where you’ll (hopefully) find the transverse box section that the rear subframe bolts into. Many 1100s failed their second or third MoT on corrosion and they were not easy cars to repair.

3 Very early 1100s made in 1962 used bored-out 848cc Mini blocks due to insufficient supply of 1100 ones – the 1098cc engine was also used in the Minor and Midget. This wasn’t a problem and these early motors also used 848cc connecting rods with pinch bolts for the gudgeon pins. One of these fell out in a long-term test car for a major magazine, writing off the entire power unit.

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