News and events

News : H&H to sell New Avengers Jaguar XJ-C

News : H&H to sell New Avengers Jaguar XJ-C

John Steed’s famous wide-bodied Jaguar XJ-C, in Racing Green, is coming up for auction with H&H on 14 October with an estimate of £10,000-12,000. It was the eighth XJ-C built, and originally an experimental model featuring a Broadspeed body kit and extra-wide wheels fitted for the TV series. Dry-stored for many years and now in need […]

News : Aston Martin announces apprenticeship places

News : Aston Martin announces apprenticeship places

Aston Martin currently employs almost 40 young apprentices at its factory and global HQ at Gaydon, Warwickshire, and would like to add a further 10 to that tally.  The vacancies are in a selection of priority positions, and apprentices will be on a four-year fixed contract to learn their trade in one of the following areas: Paint, Trim, […]

News : MG GS caught testing in the UK

News : MG GS caught testing in the UK

MG Motor UK’s new Qashqai rival, the sharp-looking GS SUV is now testing in the UK, and sporting Birmingham number plates. The car, which was snapped by AROnline reader, Steve Webb on the M42 last week, is powered by a GM/SAIC 1.5-litre engine according to DVLA registration data – although we rather hope it’s actually sporting the promising 2.0-litre turbo that powers the launch models in China.

First drive : Jaguar XE 2.0d SE

First drive : Jaguar XE 2.0d SE

Better late than never, AROnline bags a brief and very useful drive of the entry-level Jaguar XE, and comes away pleasantly impressed. Dynamically polished, swift and refined, it competes well in a tough market.

News : Land Rover shows its wares at Goodwood

News : Land Rover shows its wares at Goodwood

The engineering bloodline that links the original Land Rover Series 1 with the Defender will be celebrated in a special presentation and displays, which include re-creations of key elements from the development of the original. These include drawing board plans and an early pre-production chassis.

Blogs

Blog : Ask AROnline

Blog : Ask AROnline

I decided that I could set up an ASK ARONLINE section of our moribund forum, and have added a link to our top menu. So, if you have any question about cars that’s burning away, click the link, hit ‘New Topic’ and ask away. I don’t profess to know everything, by any stretch of the imagination, but I do know a lot of people who do know a lot of things, so if I can’t come up with an answer, I’m sure one of those can.

Blog : Remembering the Whistlers

Blog : Remembering the Whistlers

Ian Nicholls   One of the most fondly remembered British Rail diesel locomotives was the English Electric Type 4, later christened Class 40. Nicknamed ‘Whistlers’ by rail enthusiasts, due to their distinctive engine noise, it was at one stage the star of the British Railways diesel fleet, hauling top line expresses in the east of England […]

By 26 August 2015 14 Comments Read More →
Blog : Could Jaguar have been braver?

Blog : Could Jaguar have been braver?

It’s funny how a mature and well-resolved design can make a car lack ‘surprise and delight’ appeal. Take the Jaguar XE – it’s a great looking car, superbly engineered, and after a quick drive, it was easy to conclude that it’s there or thereabouts at the head of one of the most competitive market sectors. But seeing it in standard small-wheeled form in silver, it’s a little underwhelming in the looks department, and it leaves me wondering whether the (understandably) safety-first approach to its design, was really necessary?

Blog : Let’s hear it for the Class 37

Blog : Let’s hear it for the Class 37

The Class 37 has had an even longer career than the Brush Class 47, but because it was more of a mixed traffic locomotive, and less powerful, it never hauled the crack expresses. The locomotive was a product of the English Electric company, which in the 1950s was riding high. During World War II, English Electric had built Handley Page Halifax bombers under licence at their Warton plant.

By 20 August 2015 11 Comments Read More →
Blog : The return of ‘other’ cars

Blog : The return of ‘other’ cars

You’ll have to be eagle-eyed to spot it, but I’ve reinstated the ‘other’ cars link on the site. Head up to the menu, above, click on ‘The Cars’, wheel down to ‘Other Cars’, and you’ll see an interesting collection of British cars we’ve covered on AROnline.

Concepts and prototypes

Concepts and prototypes : MGF during the MGA era

Concepts and prototypes : MGF during the MGA era

Steve Harper has a fundamental role in the genesis of the MGF, which under his direction was transformed from a neat little roadster, lacking a splash of creativity, to a shapely new-age sports car that shouted its mid-engined layout from the rooftops. In his own words, Steve walks us through the design changes he made.

By 30 August 2015 1 Comments Read More →
In-house designs : Austin AR16

In-house designs : Austin AR16

The all-British AR16 design continued to flourish throughout 1984 and ’85, and soon, full-size clay models of the entire range were produced at Canley. As all cars were based on the Montego, they featured the same, sound, suspension layout. But a lengthened wheelbase allowed the team to build a more balanced looking car – with heavy Rover 800 overtones.

Concepts and prototypes : Mini – classic

Concepts and prototypes : Mini – classic

A brief look at how the ground-breaking Mini made it from sketch pad to showroom in little more than two years, a remarkable achievement for a car that completely threw away the rule book. Keith Adams walks through the Mini’s development to production reality in August 1959. From cigarette packet to showroom in 30 months […]

Supermini projects : ADO74

Supermini projects : ADO74

ADO74 – the first attempt by British Leyland at replacing the Mini never saw the light of day. It was one project, but had many faces: a wide variety of styling exercises were produced before the programme was cancelled in 1973, as British Leyland could not raise the £130m needed to produce it.

Concepts and prototypes : Jaguar XJ-S

Concepts and prototypes : Jaguar XJ-S

Replacing the legendary E-type was never going to be easy for Jaguar – and radical thinking was going to be needed. On the 40th anniversary of the XJ-S, we take a look at the prototypes that helped shape Jaguar’s brilliant 1970s GT. Ian Nicholls charts the development of the car that was given the uneasy […]

Buying Guides

Buying Guide : Austin Maxi

Buying Guide : Austin Maxi

The Austin Maxi has the honourable distinction of being Sir Alec Issigonis’ final production car – and just like the Mini and 1100 before it, the Maxi boasted an extremely advanced spec sheet.

Keith Adams takes a look at this oft-misunderstood car and highlights the good… and the bad.

Buying Guide : Austin/MG Metro

Buying Guide : Austin/MG Metro

Fancy a Metro in time for its 40th birthday? Here’s Dale Turley’s guide to what to look out for… Years produced: 1980-1990 Body style: 3 and 5 door ‘Supermini’ hatchback, 3 door hatchback ‘van’ Engine options: 998cc and 1275cc A+ Series, 1275cc A+ Series (turbocharged) Transmission options: Four-speed manual and four-speed automatic, front wheel drive […]

Buying Guide : Rover 800

Buying Guide : Rover 800

Fancy a Rover 800? Here’s what to look out for… Availability Years produced: 1986-1998 Body style: 4 door saloon, 5 door fastback, 2 door coupe Engine options: 1994cc O-Series inline-four 1994cc M-Series inline-four 16V (118, 138bhp) 1994cc T-Series inline-four 16V (136bhp, 180 and 197bhp turbocharged) 2498cc Honda V6 (170bhp) 2675cc Honda V6 (177bhp) 2497cc KV6 […]

Buying Guide : Rover 75

Buying Guide : Rover 75

Rover’s bargain 75 offers class, refinement and ability for not much money. Richard Dredge gives you the low-down on the front wheel drive models… Availability Years produced: 1999-2005 Body style: 4-door, 5-door estate Engine options: 1796cc K-Series, 115bhp 1796cc K-Series Turbo, 150bhp 1991cc KV6-Series, 150bhp 2497cc KV6-Series, 177bhp 1951cc M47-Series CDT, 116/131bhp Transmission options: 5-speed […]

Buying Guide : MINI 2001-2007

Buying Guide : MINI 2001-2007

Replacing the classic Mini should have been a tall order, but BMW managed the job in style in 2001 – and as Keith Adams explains, they make a great second hand purchase today. Following BMW’s takeover of Rover in 1994, the Mini’s passage into the 21st century was guaranteed. The German company’s boss was a […]

Around the world

Around the world : Malta

Around the world : Malta

Malta: that beautiful enclave in the Mediterranean is a favourite for tourists all over Europe. Unbeknown to many, it was also host to an assembly operation that saw the construction of Triumphs and Morrises among others. Christopher Camilleri takes up the story, with additional images from Andreas Lampka… Carmaking was late coming to Malta: The Mizzi […]

News : Kimberley makes it as a model…

News : Kimberley makes it as a model…

Most die-cast models are of popular subjects – cars that the model makers know will appeal to such a broad cross section of people that they’ll get back their tooling investment on the day that the first Christmas shoppers start panic buying for that person in the family they know likes cars. I know that […]

Around the world : Australia’s Rover 416i – ‘Everything you ever wanted in a car’

Around the world : Australia’s Rover 416i – ‘Everything you ever wanted in a car’

Craig Cheetham Much has been written on AROnline about the collaboration between Rover and Honda and the cars which that generated – indeed, the vast majority of those have a huge following amongst our readers. However, one of the lesser known offspring from the alliance is the Australian-market Rover 416i, sold from 1985 until late 1989 – a whole four years of sales before […]

News : When is a Maestro not a Maestro?

News : When is a Maestro not a Maestro?

Craig Cheetham ANSWER: When it’s a Yema F16 SUV… Believe it or not, beneath the SUV-style exterior of this somewhat utilitarian-looking vehicle lurks the heart and soul of the Austin Maestro… The rights to the Maestro/Montego platform were passed to Yema in 2008 by FAW, which had been building a Montego-nosed Maestro van and various spin-off […]

In production : Seneffe

In production : Seneffe

BL Belgium press kit: Celebration of the 500,000th car assembled in Seneffe, 10 May 1977 // Translation by Dimitri Urbain, original material supplied by André Vermeersch The Seneffe plant is the main British Leyland investment outside the UK. On top of being an assembly plant, Seneffe is now BL’s unique distribution centre for its largest […]

Facts & Figures

The Converters : Towns Hustler

The Converters : Towns Hustler

Built around a pair of Mini subframes connected by a low-slung, monocoque steel floorpan, its lower body panels and clamshell bonnet were formed from fibreglass, while its upper-body styling mated a rakish front end to a boxy, hatchback-style rear framework filled with large panes of glass, and topped off with the a vinyl-covered roof fashioned from marine-grade plywood.

Tested : 1997 MGF 1.8i

Tested : 1997 MGF 1.8i

We take a spin in an early 1.8-litre car and come away with the distinct impression that despite the well-documented Heritage issues, here’s a car that can step up to the plate and delight the driver.

Essay : Road versus Rail, part one

Essay : Road versus Rail, part one

Ian Nicholls, AROnline’s forensically detailed historian takes a detailed look at how the UK’s railways developed, and compares it with the rise of the motor car. In part one, we cover from the dawn of motoring to 1945.

Essay : Road versus Rail, part two

Essay : Road versus Rail, part two

Ian Nicholls, AROnline‘s forensically detailed historian takes a detailed look at how the UK’s railways developed, and compares it with the rise of the motor car. In part two, he looks at the growth of both rail and road use between 1945 and ’59. In 1945 the Labour Party led by Clement Attlee (above) was […]

Essay : Road versus Rail, part three

Essay : Road versus Rail, part three

Ian Nicholls, AROnline’s forensically detailed historian takes a detailed look at how the UK’s railways developed, and compares it with the rise of the motor car. In part two, he looks at the decline of rail and the growth road use between 1960 and 1970.