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 →
Coffee-break memories : The magic of the self repairing car.

Coffee-break memories : The magic of the self repairing car.

Minimize that spread sheet and flick the kettle on for a coffee time smiler. This time Mike Humble ponders for a moment on that mystical motoring phenomenon… cars that fix themselves. Lets be truthful, how many of us have gone to look at used car only to be fed a load of old pony from […]

By 10 February 2016 13 Comments Read More →
Blog : Oh my, oh my, oh my… Range Rover love

Blog : Oh my, oh my, oh my… Range Rover love

Last week, my Citroen C6 embarrassed itself a little bit, by throwing up a bunch of errors and then losing power. These things happen – it’s a 10-year old French car, and one that actually so far hasn’t cost me a penny to run in the nine months I’ve owned it. Still, never one to look too closely at my failures, I decided to ask around the CCW office and see if anyone had anything I could borrow until I could get the C6 up and running again (it is now, by the way).

Blog : Cactus – why I think Issigonis would approve

Blog : Cactus – why I think Issigonis would approve

Keith Adams It cannot have escaped any of this wonderful site’s readership that the bulk and heft of modern cars has been getting out of hand since the late 1990s. Safety legislation accounts for a lot of this, as does the need to pass the brutal EuroNCAP test, but additional equipment and the fact that people are […]

Blog : Land Rover, what next?

Blog : Land Rover, what next?

Vivian Griffiths What the heck are we going to do in flooded areas like we have here in Cumbria without a regular supply of new Land Rover Defenders, now that their production run has come to an end? We have all gone nostalgic about the story of the Land Rover now that it’s no more, but there […]

By 1 February 2016 11 Comments Read More →
Blog : Opinioning your value

Blog : Opinioning your value

Mike Humble In the real world, unless they are something really special, MGR cars tend to be as loved and as valuable as a Gary Glitter LP. To us fans of the brand they are worth every penny of what we are happy to pay Putting the value on a used Rover or MG is a […]

Sales Talk : Pulling in the punters, dealers can’t do right for doing wrong.

Sales Talk : Pulling in the punters, dealers can’t do right for doing wrong.

Mike Humble: I have site fan and good mate Neil Rapsey to thank for this one after he recently posted on the Facebook page about MG Motor’s offer of a free gift with every test drive. He posed the question of whether this smacked of desperation on the part of what remains of old the Longbridge empire and […]

Blog : Happy 21st!

Blog : Happy 21st!

Very shortly, I’ll be celebrating my ‘second’ 21st. My first 21st celebrated my time spent on this earth. This 21st celebrates my time spent with a full driver’s license. And what a ball its been. As an elder, please allow me the indulgence of reminiscing about my first car and first year of driving.

By 26 January 2016 12 Comments Read More →
Blog : Bathgate engine information sought – can you help?

Blog : Bathgate engine information sought – can you help?

Well, as with all things in life, you end up doing a favour for a favour – at the end of the day, that’s what makes us all tick and, indeed, makes life all that little bit sweeter, isn’t it? Anyway, a contact of mine through another good automotive friend is desperately seeking information/first-hand accounts of Leyland engine products relating to activities that once took place in the Bathgate factory in Scotland.

By 25 January 2016 1 Comments Read More →
Blog :  Low oil prices – is it just me?

Blog : Low oil prices – is it just me?

Ian Nicholls The recent turmoil in the world stock markets has been attributed to the low price of oil which, we are told by all the clever people, is bad for us. Excuse me? Since when has the low price of fuel been bad for us? Granted, if I worked in the energy industry, or […]

Coffee-break memories : Concorde – 40 years since the first commercial flight

Coffee-break memories : Concorde – 40 years since the first commercial flight

The Queen of the Sky always plucks an emotional chord at the heartstrings despite there being an incredible thirteen years since her demise. However, this week marks a significant supersonic anniversary. Mike Humble wipes away a tear and explains… As the First Officer calls out ‘rotate’ on the flight deck, G-BOAA blurs the background at […]

Sales Talk : Bums on seats sell cars – they did in my day.

Sales Talk : Bums on seats sell cars – they did in my day.

Mike Humble: The title says it all really, that’s the well used phrase that sales managers use. Any sales exec worth their salt will only stand half a chance of a signed order if the potential customer is placed at the helm and offered a chance of the all important test drive. Its the point […]

Unsung heroes : Volkswagen Phaeton

Unsung heroes : Volkswagen Phaeton

Mike Humble ponders the passing of a victim of its own pointlessness… After years of ruling the roost globally in so far as aspirational, mass-produced cars are concerned; the Germans are having a rough time of it. On one hand, we have ‘Emissiongate,’ where the quoted figures for exhaust outputs have seemingly lied like a cheap watch and, on the other, Volkswagen has finally admitted defeat and yanked the plug from the skirting board on one of the loveliest cars I’ve ever driven – and, dare I say it, the most spectacularly pointless – the Volkswagen Phaeton.

Blog : MINI – the more things stay the same…

Blog : MINI – the more things stay the same…

It’s good to know that if you want a full-scale punch up in the comments section of AROnline, all you need to do is post a news story about MG Motor UK or MINI, or post a picture of a car wearing overseas number plates. It’s not as if I deliberately want to poke the readership with a stick, you understand, but sometimes I do struggle to grasp some of the objections that we hear. And how in the 15 years of running this website, they really don’t change very much.

The Best of AROnline : MG Rover RDX60, the full story

The Best of AROnline : MG Rover RDX60, the full story

Between 2005-2010, Keith Adams managed to piece together the full and unexpurgated story of the ill-fated mid-liner that should have saved MG Rover, had things been different. The car, which was based on the Rover 75, and which went through several design processes before being canned in early 2005, looks better now than it did […]

The Best of AROnline : Steven Ward’s motorway rant

The Best of AROnline : Steven Ward’s motorway rant

Back in 2011, and no doubt after another day’s slog in the outside lane, Steven Ward let rip his frustrations with the British driving public’s attitude to motorway driving. We’ve all been there, we’ve all felt his pain… This morning, on my gentle canter into work, I saw what we commonly refer to as a […]

Blog : Happy New Year from AROnline

Blog : Happy New Year from AROnline

Better late than never, I say. But in between the business of adding stories to the The Best of AROnline section, I thought it might be a nice thing to wish all of our readers a very, happy New Year for 2016, and hope that it’s going to be a very good one for you. I’ve been a bit busy during the past 12 months, so being able to spend some quality time here over the past few days has been very nice indeed.

The Best of AROnline : Driving into hell

The Best of AROnline : Driving into hell

In 2006, Keith Adams and Mike Duff drove to Chernobyl in a £100 Lada Riva, to mark the 20th anniversary of the nuclear catastrophe that changed the course of history. The journey wasn’t without incident, but that hard work was put into context by the solemnity of the place, and the legacy of Europe’s worst radioactive […]

The Best of AROnline : Why Mike Humble hates the Freelander

The Best of AROnline : Why Mike Humble hates the Freelander

In 2013, Mike Humble opened his own personal floodgates on a subject that continues to irritate him to this day – his experience of owning a Land Rover Freelander. The car should have been great, and it was brilliant in theory, but in actuality, it was spoilt by shoddy build quality and poor engineering. Try not […]

The Best of AROnline : When Keith Adams met Raymond Baxter

The Best of AROnline : When Keith Adams met Raymond Baxter

Raymond Baxter was a national treasure, BBC frontman, one of the chosen few during WWII and, for many years, he was also a high-profile public relations man for BMC when it was at its most embattled. In February 2002, Keith Adams met him him at his Thameside home, and took him to a local pub for […]

The Best of AROnline : When Mike Humble was given a new Daewoo

The Best of AROnline : When Mike Humble was given a new Daewoo

In 1995, Mike Humble was given a brand new Daewoo Nexia to drive for a year and help to mark the launch of this brand new marque to the UK scene. It took him nearly two decades to work up the courage to recount the tale of breakdowns, misery and heartache – be prepared to feel […]