By 1967 with plans already
in motion for setting up a separate Research & Development centre at Solihull's Umberslade Hall, which would
see selected staff from BSA's three motor cycle factories (Small Heath, Meriden and Reddtich) transfer
there, for the first time a 'Styling Department' was also created. The position of 'Chief Stylist' was
filled by ex-Ogle industrial designer Stephen Mettam and while this was a new concept to the motor cycle industry, it
had been commonplace within the automotive design world for several years.
Mettam's task was to 'style'
motor cycles such that the finished machine would have the appearance of something 'whole', rather than a collection
of bits and pieces and this, skillfully assisted by his five man team, he undoubtedly achieved. A complete
range of slim and sleek motor cycles, far removed from the previous year's offerings, appeared for the 1971 model
year, with the most attractive of these probably being the 350cc DOHC P30 models.