As 1981 drew to its conclusion BL Cars Ltd and Honda shook hands on a new collaboration. To jointly design a new car, a new luxury executive car. This was new territory for Honda, for BL it would be the SD1 replacement and the car to take them back into profit. It would be loaded with new technology, yet retain classic Rover values, slightly sporting but with a certain elegance and executive feel, a new car for a new era and front wheel drive. By mid 1982 styling bucks would be ready for evaluation in the new Design Studios at Canley, the old Triumph factory, BL Cars Ltd would give way to the new Austin-Rover Group and Roy Axe would become the new Head of Design. From this moment on the birth of 800, or XX as it was coded for now, would also be the re-birth of the once near bankrupt British Leyland Motor Corporation. 800 design and build was responsible for the re-emergence of confidence amongst the men and women who worked on it, a priceless resource, self belief. A fuller account of the birth of 800 can be found in the Archive, but for now, shortly after the launch date of 10th July 1986, this advert appeared, enjoy.