Its a big subject, but its never one size fits all. You are better off looking at the experience of various companies and following that, rather than saying all British engines are bad.
There was a the example of a car ive always rather liked, the Triumph Stag. It was designed to operate with a V8 engine, but British leyland decided they didnt want to buy the rights off the Americans. So they built their own, which was basically 2 V6 engines welded end to end. Even then it could have avoided disaster, but various design issues with the radiator got in the way. The results reflected it. Sales did well for a couple of years before the story of the overheating problems got around, and then tailed off and died. As it turns out, modern restorers have put in new solenoids in it, as well as more efficient radiators, and they run fine. Too ahead of its time, or not properly developed? Probably a bit of truth in both.
Ultimately British Leyland sucked. Jaguar and Rover always seemed to produce pretty good engines. Rolls Royce, well ive yet to hear anyone have a bad word to say about their engines. And nobody, absolutely nobody, has a good word to say about Lucas Electrics. I can still recall my father cursing blind, trying to start a Mk3 Cortina of a cold morning, and im pretty sure those were luca's fitted.
Its also remembering quite how bad the 1970's were economically for Britain. Probably less money for development, industrial unrest, desire to get maximum out the door so QC is cut. All have their place in discussing the decline of British industry. What people forget is, it recovered. That Ford still build their diesel engine's here says something I guess.
If anyone wants a good coverage of the L60 engine and its protracted development, its worth getting the Haynes book on the Chieftain tank. Its possibly the best coverage ive ever seen of its issues, or how they came about. Once again though, it was fixed. It was never great, but it was adequate.
Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 20 January 2019 - 1141 AM.