Saturday, November 03, 2007

People Carriers - Britain to blame after all...(1)

I recently found this picture in the October 15 1977 issue of 'Motor' - described as a "stylish experimental utility" from Vauxhall.

Is it a contender for the "First MPV" title

There were of course the Fiat Multipla, and VW Microbus, and indeed Borgward's Lloyd LT600, but conventional wisdom gives equal honours for the first modern day MPV to Giugiaro's 1978 MegaGamma and the study originally conceived in Chrysler UK's Whiteley, Coventry design department that which was picked up by Matra and became the Renault Espace.

Just check the chronology:

1978 Ital Design MegaGamma
1981 Nissan Prairie
1982 Mitsubishi Chariot (Space Wagon)
1984 Dodge Caravan / Plymouth Voyager
1984 Renault Espace

The Japanese were unquestionably out in front in this race, yet history seems to have awarded the Americans and French all the credit. Maybe the world has to revise its ideas and accept that the idea could have originated, not in Detroit, nor Paris, nor even Turin
or Coventry, but in Luton.

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