An innovative British invention of the 1960s that never quite worked properly.

Hydrolastic suspension worked by attaching a hydraulic cylinder to each wheel of the car, and linking them by a system of thin bore pipes to their opposite members. Fluid flowed through them in response to the car tilting, acting to firm the suspension on the downward side, thus limiting the body roll. Hydrolastic systems were self-levelling, which was clever.

Hydrolastic suspension was a great idea lacking only in implementation. The systems were hard to adjust correctly and, remarkably among hydraulic systems, needed more maintenance than the more usual passive damper and anti-roll bar systems.

They were finally abandoned as a bad job because passengers complained that they felt seasick. Apparently this was only because the systems were badly adjusted or worn, and a well-maintained Hydrolastic system gives a beautiful soft ride, firming and becoming more precise during cornering- just when you need it.

Hydrolastic systems were fitted to BMC cars, including Morris and Austin models.

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