Following Ralph Nader's 1965 report "Unsafe At Any Speed", which highlighted the poor handling and/or crash-resistance of numerous cars sold in the US, the race was on by the car manufacturers to prove that they took the safety issue seriously, despite the old automotive adage that "safety doesn't sell".

Like all other companies wishing to maintain a presence in the US market, BLMC had already been forced to react to the pending Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards legislation (introduced in January 1968 almost as a direct result of Nader's report) by developing revised versions of the Austin 1300 and MGB with enhanced safety features.

However, by the early 1970s, the company had embarked on a programme to explore the future of car safety technology, leading to the development of the Safety Systems Vehicle (SSV1) in 1972. Two years later, in collaboration with the Transport and Road Research Laboratory, a further five prototypes were developed under the Safety Research Vehicle (SRV) project.







This page was contributed by Declan Berridge

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