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1 June 1964: Production began at Vauxhall's new factory at Ellesmere Port on Merseyside. Today it is one of the most efficient plants in Europe and will build the seventh generation Astra which means more than five million vehicles will have been produced in 2012.
1 January 1967: Blanket 70mph speed limit was introduced on Britain's roads.
9 October 1967: Breathalyser tests were first introduced for British motorists. This specified that if a driver's alcohol limit was found to exceed 80mg per 100ml of blood, the individual could be liable for prosecution.
1 January 1974: A 50mph speed limit was introduced on Britain's roads to conserve fuel supplies.
May 1974: The world's first catalysts to control vehicle pollution were produced by Johnson Matthey in Royston, Hertfordshire.
1976: British supercar, the Lotus Esprit, went into production. Outstripping its own sales forecast the Elise was introduced in 1996, and by 2011 Lotus had built more than 90,000 sports cars.
6 February 1977: Rolls-Royce Phantom VI, a gift presented by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders for the Queen on her Silver Jubilee.
March 1978: Ford Bridgend plant in Wales commenced engine production – annual capacity has since doubled to one million engines today, while Ford’s Dagenham Diesel Centre opened in 2003.
22 October 1980: The last MGB, a pewter coloured GT, was built at Abingdon. Introduced in 1962, over half a million MGBs were built.
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