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 : Why the Italians beat us to a supermini by a decade

Blog : Why the Italians beat us to a supermini by a decade

BMC changed the world with the launch of the Mini in 1959. It was created in response to a crisis and was a genius piece of packaging which will forever be Sir Alec Issigonis’ legacy to the automotive world. However, as we all know, it was no profit-maker for BMC and, during its hyper-successful first decade on the market, its maker cruelly – and criminally – failed to develop the concept into something that the customers truly wanted – a hatchback.

By 26 November 2016 52 Comments Read More →
Blog : To think it’s little more than 20 years ago…

Blog : To think it’s little more than 20 years ago…

Keith Adams Reading through my back issues of CAR Magazine to research a feature about the Jaguar X300, I unearthed a brilliant piece that I’d forgotten all about. Back in 1994, TV journalist Michael Kirsch had trekked into the war zone of Bosnia-Herzegovina to extricate three locals who’d saved his life a year previously and […]

By 16 November 2016 33 Comments Read More →
Blog : Skoda Superb proves the ‘Dad car’ isn’t quite dead

Blog : Skoda Superb proves the ‘Dad car’ isn’t quite dead

Keith Adams Following my recent blog about the Citroen C5 bemoaning what appears to be the beginning of the end of the traditional ‘Dad car’, it’s good to know that Skoda still makes something perfectly suited for that role. Don’t know what I mean by ‘Dad car’? Think big saloon/hatchback of the non-premium variety, nice to […]

Coffee-Break Memories : Rail replacement – a job of Olympian effort

Coffee-Break Memories : Rail replacement – a job of Olympian effort

Public transport for the masses is not a job for the faint-hearted, especially when it comes to rail replacement and most certainly following a tragedy. In times of crisis, you would like to think the public become understanding and, for most of the time, they do… However, sometimes they don’t. The Leyland Olympian with ECW bodywork. My […]

Blog : So, what replaced the Mini?

Blog : So, what replaced the Mini?

Ian Nicholls Okay, at first glance this looks like a stupid question. The Mini was replaced in 2001 by BMW’s new MINI. Question answered, let’s move on – but that is not really what I am asking. The classic Issigonis Mini was innovative, a great success at motorsport and the best-selling British car of all […]

By 19 October 2016 60 Comments Read More →
Blog : Y-reg Minis – gotta catch ’em all!

Blog : Y-reg Minis – gotta catch ’em all!

The R50- and onwards-generation of MINI rather neatly dovetails AROnline in many ways. It appeared in 2001, started out with good intentions, and has grown beyond all recognition from the original idea. Well, something like that. That maybe why I now seem to have two very early MINIs in my possession right now.

Blog : A milestone motor – and a tree

Blog : A milestone motor – and a tree

If you’re still coming to terms over MG Motor UK’s admission that it’s no longer going to carry out some final assembly here, then I’ve got a heart-warming story for you. With post-Brexit fears larger than ever, I’ve been eagerly waiting to write this little blog for a few days now.

By 11 October 2016 9 Comments Read More →
Blog : It was 20 years ago today

Blog : It was 20 years ago today

Twenty years ago – on 1 October 1996 – BMW through its British subsidiary the Rover Group made a significant announcement. The Mini Mk7 MPi was announced at the Paris Motor Show, the final incarnation of the Issigonis car.

By 1 October 2016 17 Comments Read More →
Blog : MG UK – So long, and thanks for all the fish, Part Two

Blog : MG UK – So long, and thanks for all the fish, Part Two

So, now we have the news that MG Motor UK is wrapping up its UK assembly operation in the UK. The reality is that this will surprise no one, and draws to a close the most unsatisfying aspect of the post-MG Rover apocalypse once and for all. For the poor 25 people who have lost their jobs as a consequence, we offer our sincere condolences.

By 25 September 2016 101 Comments Read More →
Blog : Brexit and the UK’s Automotive Industry…

Blog : Brexit and the UK’s Automotive Industry…

Dave Leggett The subject of Brexit – the UK’s decision to leave the EU, following a referendum – is already proving somewhat tortuous for the UK Government. The basic problem is that no-one actually knows what Brexit looks like or even what the UK’s negotiating position with the EU – when it eventually decides to […]

By 9 September 2016 42 Comments Read More →
Blog : Will MG’s slow boat to Europe hit Hinkley Point or the Brexit rock?

Blog : Will MG’s slow boat to Europe hit Hinkley Point or the Brexit rock?

Matthew Cheyne and his colleagues at Longbridge clearly have some challenging decisions to make about MG Motor UK’s mid-to-long-term future during the coming months – decisions which may also be influenced by events which are outside their control both here and in China.

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 74 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 59 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 […]