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.

Essay : Cummins in the UK – Darlington celebrates 50 years

Essay : Cummins in the UK – Darlington celebrates 50 years

Despite all the historical trauma of Leyland, our sole remaining builder of trucks is in American ownership but still producing plenty of vehicles for the home market and for export at the factory in Leyland, Lancashire. Its major component supplier is Cummins, which is also US owned. Now in its fiftieth year in the UK, Cummins’ current engine facility in […]

By 25 February 2015 10 Comments Read More →
Sales Talk : Text and Internet time-wasters

Sales Talk : Text and Internet time-wasters

Mike Humble A prospect, in showroom speak, is the term for a customer who is potentially interested in a vehicle for sale. Regardless of this happening in an actual dealership or showroom, it makes no difference – if your phone rings from the result of a small ad or internet listing that still counts as a prospect. […]

By 21 February 2015 18 Comments Read More →
Our Cars : Craig’s ‘new’ Rover 800 Fastback…

Our Cars : Craig’s ‘new’ Rover 800 Fastback…

Craig Cheetham Okay, it’s confession time… Back in the summer, when I picked up the reins of AROnline from the legend that is Keith Adams, one of the first stories I covered was the imminent appearance at Anglia Car Auctions of an ultra-rare low-mileage Rover 820e – almost, but not quite, the base of base […]

First Drive : Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

First Drive : Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

Mike Humble A wannabe E-type or a modern day XJ-S were just some of the comments that were banded around in my earshot when sampling the top of the range Jaguar F-Type Coupe. As you may remember, we experienced the 3.0 supercharged “S” back in the summer and came away feeling impressed and proud to […]

By 18 February 2015 12 Comments Read More →
Essay : Metrocab – back from the dead?

Essay : Metrocab – back from the dead?

Craig Cheetham I’ll never forget the ridiculous level of excitement I felt, back in 1987, when I rode in a Metrocab for the first time… My home town, Stockport, was one of a handful of provincial towns in the UK where ‘London’ taxis operated on the town ranks, which to a car nut was a […]

Blog : Driverless cars – the beginning of the end?

Blog : Driverless cars – the beginning of the end?

1984 and all that… Craig Cheetham Much has been made in the news this week about the advent of driverless cars, following the announcement that the UK is the first European country to give the green light to the testing of such technologies on the public roads. In terms of Britain’s engineering and technological expertise, […]

eBay Find of the Week : Low-mileage, late 400

eBay Find of the Week : Low-mileage, late 400

Craig Cheetham A bit of an anomaly, this one, being an R8-shape 416 on an N-plate. Given that the HH-R 400 Series debuted as an M-reg, it’s clearly one of the last (and, arguably, a far better car, but that’s a topic for a different day). Nevertheless, good R8s are getting thinner and thinner in […]

Car of the Month : February 2015 – Dave Dawson’s MG ZR 105

Car of the Month : February 2015 – Dave Dawson’s MG ZR 105

Since its launch in 2001, the ZR has had a cult following. However, today, good ones are getting fewer and further between. Although this one is DAVE DAWSON’s daily driver (at least until his MG3 arrives), it’s good to know its in good hands… My ZR followed a Rover 75 1.8.  I’d always wanted a 75 […]

Our Cars : Some wheely good news for Craig’s Vitesse…

Our Cars : Some wheely good news for Craig’s Vitesse…

Sometimes, it’s the minor details that make all the difference… Since repatriating my Rover Vitesse from Amsterdam last summer, I’ve set about a course of gradual improvement and turned it from a very presentable Vitesse into a really rather nice Vitesse, but like any critical owner, there were areas of the car that many people […]

Essay : Metro – its time has come… (or 1980s and ’90s classics on the rise)

Essay : Metro – its time has come… (or 1980s and ’90s classics on the rise)

Craig Cheetham FOR those of us of a certain age, it’s pretty astonishing to see the prices that some cars have been achieving of late. On the one hand, it’s proof that an element of economic certainty has returned to the UK, or that savings interest rates are so low we’re finding somewhere else to […]

Our Cars : Mike’s a welcome in the hillside…

Our Cars : Mike’s a welcome in the hillside…

His self-imposed Rover sabbatical lasted somewhat less than he thought. Mike Humble takes a drive out west to the land of song and re-kindles some funny, familiar, forgotten feelings upon arrival… Oh, well, that lasted a long time, didn’t it? My life without a Rover lasted barely two months, though it was not down to any cold […]

eBay Find of the Week : When is a Metro not a Metro?

eBay Find of the Week : When is a Metro not a Metro?

Craig Cheetham ANSWER: When it’s a Metruck… While I’d never be 100 per cent convinced of the structural integrity of such a thing, this interesting homemade venture appealed to me for one reason and one reason alone – if I squint a bit, I actually think it’s quite pretty… Whilst I ready myself for cries […]

Essay : Is the world ready for the Rover’s return?

Essay : Is the world ready for the Rover’s return?

Editor’s Note: Published below is an article that appeared earlier this week in the Birmingham Post, written by one of the title’s most established journalists, Enda Mullen. In the piece, Enda looks objectively at the arguments for and against the Rover name making a comeback.  The article is published word-for-word as it appeared in the […]

By 23 January 2015 172 Comments Read More →
Car of the Month : January 2015 – David Whitham’s 2002 Rover 75 Connoisseur SE CDT Tourer

Car of the Month : January 2015 – David Whitham’s 2002 Rover 75 Connoisseur SE CDT Tourer

David Whitham A little introduction first – I’ve been lurking around AROnline for a number of years now and have taken plenty out if it, so thought I would offer something in return. I’m a serial AR enthusiast, having admired and, in some cases, lusted after the bread and butter that make this site so appealing […]

By 19 January 2015 17 Comments Read More →
eBay Find of the Week : MG Metro Turbo (and a rather pricey one at that)

eBay Find of the Week : MG Metro Turbo (and a rather pricey one at that)

Craig Cheetham Here’s an indicator of how times change – and, hopefully, for the better… Back in the day, this MG Metro Turbo would have been pretty worthless other than for its engine – we don’t need to go into detail here about Metros giving up their engines to Mini nuts, but the fact that, despite […]

Essay : The road to 2005 started in 1985…

Essay : The road to 2005 started in 1985…

Ian Nicholls In the first of our 2005-themed articles to mark the tenth anniversary of MG Rover’s demise, AROnline Contributor Ian Nicholls puts forward a well-constructed argument that the beginning of the end was 20 years sooner. 1985 – THE DEFEAT OF AUSTIN ROVER It may have been the year of Live Aid, but 1985 was also the […]

By 12 January 2015 96 Comments Read More →
Essay : Why MG Motor has more than a fighting chance…

Essay : Why MG Motor has more than a fighting chance…

Craig Cheetham Based on the 2014 full-year sales figures, MG Motor claims that the brand’s rebirth has been ‘highly successful’, and that MG is also the fastest growing automotive brand in the UK, with sales up 361 per cent year-on-year –  AROnline’s Editor believes that, this time, it isn’t all smoke and mirrors…   A couple […]

eBay Find of the Week : A guaranteed future classic?

eBay Find of the Week : A guaranteed future classic?

Craig Cheetham Okay, so I’m biased. I love Land Rover Discoverys and have owned three, including our current family hack, which is a W-reg Td5 ES Auto. Given that we have a large family and live in a grand but crumbling Victorian DIY project, I can’t think of a vehicle more practical or versatile to […]

Sales Talk : And now, from Norwich…

Sales Talk : And now, from Norwich…

Norwich isn’t just Partridge and mustard you know. It has a link with BLARG cars thanks to one of the biggest watched TV game shows of its era. Mike Humble shares an ironic tome of a trip out to Norfolk’s capital… Norwich – a fine City. Well, that’s what the road sign just beyond the […]

By 30 December 2014 27 Comments Read More →
Blog : Winter tricks and winter tips…

Blog : Winter tricks and winter tips…

Mike Humble We live in a fairly quiet commuterville cul-de-sac for those who don’t know and, as a consequence, anything motor-related means the word travels fast. Now that winter is well and truly upon us, most of the garages up and down the land brace themselves for the influx of dead batteries and temperamental alternators. […]

By 23 December 2014 11 Comments Read More →