AROnline Blogs

We’ve been commenting on the motoring scene – and, sometimes, a little bit more, since June 2004. Read what’s on the minds of AROnline’s Contributors and see if you agree with them – as always, blogs are opinion pieces and don’t always refect the editorial stance of the site.

Blog : 1966 and all that…

Blog : 1966 and all that…

This was the year that TIME magazine described London as swinging, Harold Wilson and Ian Smith met on HMS Tiger, Michael Caine was Alfie and Ronald Reagan entered politics. The Beatles were reaching their creative peak. Their long playing opus, ’Revolver’, introduced the world to artificial double tracking, and left other artists trailing in their wake.

By 1 January 2016 9 Comments Read More →
Blog : The year it went pear-shaped

Blog : The year it went pear-shaped

Ian Nicholls One of the joys of being able to trawl through the news archives of our favourite car manufacturer is being able to pinpoint when the course of history irrevocably changed. In the year 2000, we were told by those who were much more intelligent than us British car enthusiasts, that the Rover brand […]

By 21 August 2016 56 Comments Read More →
Blog : MG – more jam tomorrow…

Blog : MG – more jam tomorrow…

Richard Williams, a Director of Caterham, Lotus and Morgan dealers Williams Automobiles Limited, shares his BMC>MGR history and gives his very frank prognosis of the future prospects of MG Motor UK – he also exclusively reveals an aborted plan to put the Rover 800 back into production! The Past My family business has been involved with […]

By 20 August 2016 48 Comments Read More →
Blog : The Austin AR6 and me

Blog : The Austin AR6 and me

Ian Nicholls The BMC/Leyland show at the newly-branded British Motor Museum at Gaydon on 3 July was my first sight of the Austin AR6 prototype, the car that was meant to replace both the Mini and the Metro in around 1988-89. Until I saw the AR6 in the metal, I was in no doubt that the main […]

By 8 August 2016 23 Comments Read More →
Coffee Break Memories : Type B or not Type B – that is the question!

Coffee Break Memories : Type B or not Type B – that is the question!

Mike Humble shares more motoring mayhem from a few years ago. This one really did cause one or two moments of frustration. Didn’t you know this kind of caper is how his hair turned grey? Even though within these hallowed pages of the inter-web, I am known for championing the act of doing a job right, I’ve never […]

Blog : So, when did we reach the automotive pinnacle?

Blog : So, when did we reach the automotive pinnacle?

Keith Adams It’s a subject that I keep coming back to, time and time again. This time, it’s been sparked by the realisation that the Rover 800 – Engineering in a finer form – is now 30 years old. As you’re here, the chances are that, like me, you like old cars. And the question remains: are […]

Blog : Rover 800@30 – Genesis

Blog : Rover 800@30 – Genesis

From the News archive 12 November 1981 Today in Tokyo, BL and Honda announced that they had reached an initial agreement to design and develop a car, code-named Project XX. The media were told that Project XX would be an 1800cc model pitted in the market just below the Rover SD1 range. Under the terms […]

By 11 July 2016 7 Comments Read More →
Blog : British Motor Holdings, 50 years on

Blog : British Motor Holdings, 50 years on

Fifty years ago today, BMC and Jaguar joined forces to become British Motor Holdings. We bring you the transcript from the original press conference, launching the deal.

Blog : Brexit – keep calm, and carry on…

Blog : Brexit – keep calm, and carry on…

Keith Adams In the run-up to last week’s referendum AROnline kept pretty quiet about the various pros and cons of an anticipated Brexit. Why? I guess because I thought that it would never happen. It was going to be close, that’s for sure, and the Remain campaign was absolutely useless on both sides of the political fence, […]

Blog : MG6 – gone, and probably forgotten

Blog : MG6 – gone, and probably forgotten

Keith Adams Well, that’s it – as Mike Humble confirmed in his recent First Drive story on the MG GS, MG Motor UK has pulled the plug on the 6, with the final unsold cars in the dealer network not being replaced when they’re gone. Given this was the first all-new car to wear the MG […]

Blog : Brexit – what next for the UK’s motor industry?

Blog : Brexit – what next for the UK’s motor industry?

Ian Nicholls Now that the divisive EU referendum has been settled, attention turns to what happens next. Where, then, does the British motor industry stand? Much of the British motor industry has been rebuilt in the past 30 years with a focus on attaining access to the EU Single Market. Out of the ashes of the British Leyland […]

By 24 June 2016 79 Comments Read More →
Blog : Four nations, four nights

Blog : Four nations, four nights

Steven Ward On Tuesday, 31 May at precisely 18.00hrs, I resigned and left my job. I’d had enough and needed to escape the Rat Race with immediate effect. My next stop was hastily decided upon by a weather report and a half-hearted promise made during my previous job. By 19.00hrs my car, the Freelander 2 […]

Blog : Vauxhall Insignia vs Rover 75 – the parallels are uncanny

Blog : Vauxhall Insignia vs Rover 75 – the parallels are uncanny

Mike Humble As most of you will know, I take a big interest in all the current cars and other vehicles which are built by the major UK-based manufacturers on my own website. Needless to say, I was chuffed to bits when the new Vauxhall Astra was awarded the 2016 European COTY award and rightly so – it’s very efficient, technology-led and […]

Blog : MG GS – First impressions

Blog : MG GS – First impressions

The recent SMMT Test Day at the Millbrook Proving Ground had one or two surprises in store for those attending. One of them came via MG Motor UK – in addition to the MG3 and MG6, the company was also displaying the soon-to-be-launched MG GS as a static exhibit. Mike Humble Rather like the new series of […]

Blog : Seeing the F-Pace in the wild for the first time

Blog : Seeing the F-Pace in the wild for the first time

Keith Adams Out on my travels, and it was good to enjoy the first really sunny weekend of the year. The sun was shining, the roads were nice and open and there was plenty of nice metal out there to truly appreciate. Bimbling through Oakham, I spotted this rather nice F-Pace, and realised that it was, in […]

Blog : Making AROnline better for you

Blog : Making AROnline better for you

If you’re not a regular AROnline reader, it might have escaped your notice that I’ve made one or two changes, which I hope will make your viewing/reading experience that bit better. The problem is that with more than 6500 pages to navigate, there’s an awful lot of content to plough through – especially if you’re just dipping in for a quick fix.

Your Cars : Mark Deegan’s Rover 45

Your Cars : Mark Deegan’s Rover 45

Mark Deegan might not be your typical Rover 45 owner, but thanks to an unfortunate incident that befell his Honda Civic, he ended up buying one – and over time, he’s found he rather likes it…

Blog : Is it just me, or should we…

Blog : Is it just me, or should we…

…make our police forces use British cars? I was trundling home along the A1 this evening heading home, when the traffic started to grind to a halt. A sea of brake lights is a not-uncommon sight on our overcrowded roads, and one which we spend too much time moaning about. But for me, the inconvenience […]

Blog : Time heals old wounds

Blog : Time heals old wounds

I had a brief run in an Austin Allegro today. The car in question is owned by Calum Brown, and it has to be said that he was very keen to get my views on his pride and joy. He’s a nice chap – 24-years old, a car nutter, and owner of a very interesting and diverse range of cars. He’ll go far in our industry. Anyway, I digress – he handed me the keys to his 1979 Allegro 3 1.3L, and told me to enjoy myself.

Ones to watch : Rover Metro and 100

Ones to watch : Rover Metro and 100

Let’s have a sideways look at some of our long gone, but can picked up for a song kind of cars. The Rover Metro and 100 is our first example and it’s starting to become quite collectable. Mike Humble kicks us off with Longbridge’s offering to urban transport…

Blog : Design for design’s sake – what’s the point?

Blog : Design for design’s sake – what’s the point?

If anyone out there thinks that car design is stagnating, and we’re living deep in the era of me-too styling, may I present you with the Lexus RX450h. Here’s a car that’s suffused with slashes, folds and creases, and although it’s a high-riding SUV, many of its design themes scream sports car at you. But here’s the thing – before I’d spent my week with this car, I could barely bring myself to look at it, but by the end of my tenure with a car I so wanted to hate, the beast had wormed its way into my affections.