1978 Matchbox Superkings

Matchbox is a popular toy brand which was introduced by Lesney Products in 1953 and is now owned by Mattel, Inc. The brand was so named as the original die-cast Matchbox toys were sold in boxes similar in style and size to those in which matches were sold. Subsequently the brand would encompass a broad range of toys including larger scale die-cast models and various non die-cast lines such as plastic model kits and action figures.

During the 1980s, Matchbox started to switch to the more conventional plastic and cardboard “blister packs” that were used by other die cast toy brands such as Hot Wheels. The box style packaging was re-introduced for the collectors’ market in recent years, particularly with the release of the “35th Anniversary of Superfast” series in 2004.

Info gleaned from Wikipedia

1964 BP Long Life Motor Oil

BP p.l.c. is a British multinational oil and gas company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the third-largest energy company and fourth-largest company in the world measured by 2011 revenues and one of the six oil and gas “supermajors”.  It is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation andtrading. It also has major renewable energy activities, including in biofuels, hydrogen, and wind power.

BP has operations in over 80 countries, produces around 3.8 million barrels of oil equivalent per day and has 22,400 service stations worldwide.  Its largest division is BP America, which is the biggest producer of oil and gas in the United States and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.  As at 31 December 2010 BP had total proven commercial reserves of 18.07 billion barrels of oil equivalent.  The name “BP” derives from the initials of one of the company’s former legal names, British Petroleum.

Info gleaned from Wikipedia

1981 Austin metro

The Metro is a supermini car that was produced by the Austin Rover Group division of British Leyland and its successors. It was launched in 1980 as theAustin miniMetro. It was intended to complement the Mini, and was developed under the codename LC8.

During its 18-year lifespan, the Metro wore many names: Austin MetroMG Metro and Rover Metro. It was re-badged as the Rover 100 series in January 1995.  There were also van versions known as the Morris Metro and later, Metrovan.

At the time of its launch, the Metro was sold as an Austin. From 1982, MG versions became available. From 1990 until its withdrawal in 1997, the Metro was sold only as a Rover.

Although the new Rover 200 (introduced in 1995 and smaller than previous 200 models) had originally been designed as a replacement for the Metro, it was not marketed as such after its launch.  A direct replacement in the supermini class did not arrive until 2003 with the CityRover. The Rover 100 finally ceased production in 1997, ironically being out-lived (by two years) by the original Mini it was meant to replace.

Info gleaned from Wikipedia

1977 AA

The Automobile Association (The AA), a British motoring association founded in 1905 was demutualised in 1999 to become a private limited company which currently provides car insurance, driving lessons, breakdown cover, loans and motoring advice, and other services. Following demutualisation the AA Motoring Trust was created in 2002 to continue its public interest and road safety activities. In 2007 the AA merged with Saga Group to form Acromas Holdings.

Info gleaned from Wikipedia

1976 British Leyland Cars

British Leyland was a vehicle manufacturing company formed in the United Kingdom in 1968 as British Leyland Motor Corporation Ltd (BLMC). It was partlynationalised in 1975 with the government creating a new holding company called British Leyland Ltd which became BL Ltd (later BL plc) in 1978.  It incorporated much of the British owned motor vehicle industry, and held 40% of the UK car market, with roots going back to 1895.

Despite containing profitable marques such as Jaguar, Rover and Land Rover, as well as the best-selling Mini, British Leyland had a troubled history.  In 1986 it was renamed as the Rover Group, later to become MG Rover Group, which went into administration in 2005, bringing an end to mass car production by British owned manufacturers—with MG and the Austin, Morris and Wolseley marques becoming part of China’s SAIC, with whom MG Rover attempted to merge prior to administration.

Info gleaned from Wikipedia