Blog : Goodbye, and it’s been emotional!

Keith Adams

Staples2Naples (2)

Regular followers of my ramblings on social media will know that, as of 23 June, I start a new job. It’s one of those ones that represents a bit of a step-change in my career and will definitely occupy a huge amount of my time – certainly more than my previous stints at Practical Classics, Octane and Honestjohn.co.uk.

That’s why, as of 20 June, I’ll be hanging up my faded AROnline keyfob to hand it over to someone who’ll be able to continue running the site that I created back in 2001, and to which so many people have contributed to enormously over the years – in fact, without them and you, this website would not have ended up being the huge success it’s been.

AROnline may not, in terms of raw numbers, be one of the bigger car websites out there, but its influence and respect within the industry is immeasurable. I like to think that, in its own small way, AROnline has changed the world – if, for no other reason, than people in the mainstream media are getting less things wrong when recounting the history of British Leyland and its constituent companies.

More importantly, though, I’ve made so many friends for life through the website and enjoyed some incredible adventures, that I wouldn’t even know where to begin in recounting them. You know who you are.

However, for all of that, and all of the hard work along the way, it’s been great fun – even when debating the finer points of MINIs and MGs with the wider community – as well as defending the Allegro and Marina, and explaining that they really are great classic cars, to those who really don’t understand them.

The site will continue – of course it will – and will grow from strength to strength, but I’ll always be truly proud of what we’ve all achieved together.

I’ll be on hand to ensure a smooth handover in the coming days – so, if you have any requests, get them in quick.

It’s been emotional!

Staples2Naples (1)

Posted in: AROnline Blogs
Keith Adams

About the Author:

AROnlineholic between 2001 and 2014 - editor of Classic Car Weekly, and all round car nut...

76 Comments on "Blog : Goodbye, and it’s been emotional!"

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  1. Kevin Clarkson says:

    Good luck Keith in your new job and thanks you for creating the hub that is AROnline which has cemented as my favourite website.

    I’m sure the next caretaker will do well and he or she will have big shoes to fill.

  2. Ken Strachan says:

    Good heavens, is nothing sacred. So long, and thanks for all the fish.

  3. dzt103 Daren,Lancs says:

    All the best Keith,
    Thank you for all your great work over the years.
    Good luck on your new venture.

    (You’ll be back one day – you know it makes sense) :)

  4. Wish you all the best Keith!
    ARonline is definitely one of the best guidebooks out there on the AR heritage and hope it stays that way!
    I still am looking forward to seeing you sometime in Sunny Kuwait…
    Regards from a long way off!

  5. Boydongood says:

    Good luck Keith, your hard work over all the years in establishing this website has been immense and much appreciated by all. You will be sorely missed. Thank you!

    (BTW what is to happen to the Twitter account for ARO, which is currently in your name?).

  6. mark gooding says:

    A huge thanks to you for allthat you have done. It is a wonderful repository of all stuff AR/AM/BMC and more.
    I eally like the “concepts” and the stories behind the final model.
    Again a huge thank you

  7. Ian Seabrook says:

    Blimey. How on earth will you cope without the endless, entertaining* BINI discussions? ;-)

    Seriously though, thanks very much for this site, and the opportunities it has presented for folk like myself over its very long life. I wish all the best to those who have the unenviable task of keeping this hugely valuable site going and wish you all the best for the CCW role. Change is good!

  8. Magnus says:

    Well, ‘Bottoms Up’ to you, Sir – to continue the theme of the second photo!

    You have created a veritable encyclopaedia of the British motor industry over the years, Keith – and a reliable one, at that. You can be hugely proud of your achievements.

    My very best wishes to you for the future. Somehow, I suspect we haven’t seen the last of Keith Adams. I certainly hope not!

    Thank you, Keith.

  9. Bruce says:

    I’ve really enjoyed this website, it is almost a club! Hopefully you’ll remain a regular visitor and I wish you much further success with your future.

  10. Bernard Taylor says:

    Good luck with the new job, Keith. You’ve created THE best site on the British Motor industry on the Web for which we’re all grateful.

  11. David Marsden says:

    You leaving? Blimey, nobody tells me ennyfink!

    But seriously… all the very best, Keef – looking forward to seeing what you’ll do with CCW.

  12. steve harper says:

    did you really create this site???? well i’ll be hammered over the head with a quartic wheel ….I thought it had been passed down from the great Round House & Kremlin Gods…… ‘snigger’ rather than Lots of Love

  13. Ross A says:

    WOW! Keith. I followed this site right from the start and watched it grow and evolve into something that became interactive and more community like. The tiniest seed of an idea has become a big oak I am sure it will be here for many years to come. I may or may not have agreed with some points but all the same, your writings have been fascinating and to be able to dig deep and get to the nitty-gritty, cutting out the bull**** has been a great part of what has allowed the site to grow, and vindicate the engineers that worked on these project and given back some of the credibility that they were due.

    The site still pushes passionate debate and continues the interest of the old British cars, long after it all ceased on that fateful day in 2005. In any case, I wish you all the best for the future and hope that you continue to have a fulfilling and prosperous career and keep on doing amazing things.

    Don’t be a stranger now… :) :)

  14. Jonathan says:

    Keith I want to thank you for aronline..I have learned more about BLARG in the last 2 years then I had in the 5 years before..Gonna miss you at the helm of this great site..

    As the Spanish say:Via con Dios mi amigo

  15. Slartybartfast says:

    Good look Keith. Thanks for starting AROnline, its a really great site and you can be proud of your achievement. All the best in your future endeavours. Off into the sunset with three ladies….Can’t be bad :D

  16. Chris Lane says:

    Thank you for the best car site in the universe. All the best in your new job. Please do keep us posted with you company car experiences and AR/JLR findings on the road wherever you are.
    Take care and tanks from Devon.

  17. David 3500 says:

    Thanks for bringing together some great snippets of information and interviews with ‘those in the know’ who might otherwise not have had the opportunity to have told their side of the story. Particularly in relation to MG Rover Group and its predecessors.

    I think it was in 2005 after the events relating to MG Rover Group that I really appreciated the real value of aronline and keeping the passion for these cars alive, not to mention the need to document as much information as possible. Some of us have done some of this on a personal level over the years, although often the message about the need to try and record/save this information often only has impact when coming from a well regarded website such as this one.

    Thank you so much for your contributions and editorship over the last 13 years and best wishes for your new challenge. When you have the free time, don’t forget to look in on us and grace us with your knowledge.

  18. Jude.Currie says:

    Thanks for such a great car site Keith! It has made me learn so much about British leyland, Austin Rover etc… Good luck on your new job!

  19. Craig says:

    Thanks so much, Keith. Through AROnline, you’ve changed my life for the better. Wishing you all the best in your future projects.

  20. Adam says:

    All the best Keith ;)

  21. Aidan Fisher says:

    Wow–is nothing sacred!!

    All the very best Keith and thank you for all your great work over the years in creating the best source base on all things AR (and otherwise).

    The very best of luck on your new venture but come back soon.

  22. Gary says:

    I’ve never posted before, but have been a regular visitor to your site over the years. I grew up within a stones throw of the Rover Acocks Green engine plant, (I can remember the Range Rover Pope mobile being parked there when I was a kid). The plant is no longer there, and nor am I. I now work in the Middle East and visiting your site has been a pleasant and regular reminder of home via what was once common street “furniture” from my childhood.
    Thank you for making this available over the years and wishing you every success in the future.

  23. TwoR8s says:

    Praying for you at this time. Thanks for the best website in the world. Andrew.

  24. Glenn Aylett says:

    I’ve been online nearly as long as AR Online has and it’s been an excellent 12 years for me. I only came on to find out something about Canley and kept coming back.

  25. Kev says:

    I remember way back in 2002 when I first found this cosy little website and forum that brought together like-minded enthusiasts who appreciated the cars from the BL empire. I couldn’t believe the sheer amount of detail that had gone into the stories of each make and model and in one fell swoop blew away many of the myths that had long been spoken these cars.

    I was so enthusiastic I even wrote a few articles for the site and Keith even posted them, and the fact that anyone could send in an article of their BL experiences, good or bad, added even more value to make this monumental website so great.

    It’s a shame that many people now find the Facebook page the fountain of all BL knowledge, but as long as there are fans who can point the misguided onto this, the original austin-rover.co.uk site, for the facts then its future is assured.

    May it continue to prosper.

    Kev Davis.

  26. Kev says:

    Oh, and the best of everything in your new post, Keith. I know a few journo’s are very excited about it.

    Kev.

  27. The obvious question being – where are you going Keith?!

    Chris.

  28. Patrick Warner says:

    Congratulations on the new job Keith! I reckon that if they gave out gongs for services to the British Motory Industry in terms of preserving the history of it (and what a rich tapestry that entails), you’d surely be up for a high honour through your efforts with AROnline. It is a constant source if interest to me and is a tribute to your efforts and those who have worked with you over the years.

    A real tough act for your successor to follow, I wish them well and will continue to check back regularly.

  29. Tony Evans says:

    Keith,

    You can be proud of creating this excellent website. Good luck with your new job wherever it may take you.

    Tony

  30. Tim_Burgess Tim Burgess says:

    You leave very big boots to fill sir!

    I think I found AROnline back in 2003 and it has been a favourite ever since. The knowledge base here really is invaluable. Long may that continue.

    I know times change but it really won’t be the same without you and I’m sure you’ll be popping in from time to time.

    All the very best with CCW mate, I may even start buying it again now. Remember if you’re ever looking for some top driving roads and scenery we have it all here in Argyll, we can even manage B&B as well!

  31. Dave Dawson says:

    That’s quite a shock, Keith! All the best, however.

    I must say AROnline has massively influenced my free time this past decade! So many days do I visit.
    Indeed, my current gem of a ZR is mine because of AROnline and Clive Goldthorp.

  32. John Whale says:

    I will be very sorry to see you go, Keith, you have kept me well amused and informed with your articles this last few years. Still I suppose ARONLINE’s loss is CCW’s gain. All the best for the future, and keep up the good work no matter where you are.

  33. woofwoof says:

    It’s nearly all been said above, Keith, but, along with a number of visitors, this has become my favourite site. My disappointment is like a child not getting their much-wanted toy at Christmas if I get my daily fix and no new article has been posted. Fortunately, that’s a very rare occasion.

    Best of luck with the new job – I hope you will still be a regular contributor. If you remember, my soon Father-in-law is another Keith Adams – his brother lives up your way! Small world. Mind you (with the World Cup imminent), altogether now (in a chanting voice), “there’s only one Keith Adams”

  34. Richard PS says:

    You have done an amazing thing in creating this huge repository of information and opinion on ‘our’ cars. I well remember following the monthly sales figures on here through the final decline of MG Rover in 2004/5 and praying for miracles.
    Thank you!
    Good luck with the new job and as someone else has already said, don’t be a stranger.

  35. Jeroen W says:

    A big thanks to you Keith! Thanks for the lovely website which has kept me entertained for more hours than I want to know. No really, I mean it.
    Ever since I ‘discovered’ your wonderful website, now about 10 years back, I’ve visited it almost every week, and very often even more frequent.
    I don’t know to which pastures green you’ll be heading but I wish you the best of luck. It’s been a nice ride! Thanks for the many happy hours and memories.

  36. maestrowoff says:

    Gosh, a shock to see you go, many thanks for all your efforts in creating this incredible site, I trust the handover will be done in an appropriate manner – the ceremonial handing over of the Marina door handle perhaps…

  37. Soorej says:

    Hey all the best for your new job mate! You made a fantastic job. Your site is an important resource in GB classic cars. I am a big car lover from Mauritius island. Do not hesitate to contact me. Mr email add smunraj@gmail.com. Love the girls behind the Allegro :). Take care. Soorej

  38. Auntie Ian says:

    Good luck Keith and thanks for all the effort. I’ve followed ARO pretty much from the start and it’s been amazing to see the network you’ve created – no doubt much of the fascinating stuff you’ve reported from key players in the BL/AR story would never have been documented without your enthusiasm.

    The internet is awash with bilge and misinformation (particularly with respect to British manufacturing) but this is one unique and invaluable archive.

    Cheers
    Ian

  39. Eamonn says:

    I cannot begin to estimate the time I have spent on the various incarnations of this outstanding website. I have learned a great deal about our rich motoring heritage, warts and all. I have also made several valued friends/contacts through this website and associated Facebook Group.

    You and the team have created “One Of Britain’s Finest Websites” – I had to get a Rover connection in somewhere :)

    All the very best to you Keith for what I am certain is a great future!

  40. michael young says:

    Sorry to see you go. Brilliant web site esp the cars and history of the companies. Btw how come Marina/ital missing from the cars list? Anyway you will be a big miss. Least i will still see you or your efforts in ccw mag every week. Good luck and all the best in your new posting.Hopefullly you will pop in from time to time to say hello.

  41. Richard Truett says:

    If it was not for you, Keith, the true history and all the real stories of Standard-Triumph, BMC, BL/ARG/Rover Group and, finally, MG Rover, would have never been told. Now they are part of history that will live longer than us.

    The stories here, the photos, the production information, the details of the concept cars, the people, etc. are nothing short of amazing.

    I am so honored to have been part of it almost since the start bringing the U.S. perspective to the site.

    Thank you for all you have done to make ARO such a wonderful and timeless resource.

    Richard Truett

  42. WarrenL says:

    I could see this coming, but it’s a sad occasion nevertheless. Keith, you’re the heart and soul of this website, and Keith Mark Two is going to have an enormous amount to live up to. Where will he/she start? And who is the designated heir and successor? To whom shall I send these two half-completed blogs when I get them polished up and ready? What’s to become of my life?

  43. Albert says:

    The only thing that I would like to say it is that I am so grateful to have enjoyed all these years this website.
    For people who lost something in 2005 as Longbridge closed, this site has bring us news, fun and a worthly amount of well researched information and acquitances.

    all the best Keith in the future!
    hasta pronto from Spain, a land which stills wait for the coming back of made in Midlands cars.

  44. Retro cars Christian Skelton says:

    Good luck old chap!

  45. Bilbo says:

    Thank you, Keith, for all the hard work for having taken the most unlikely of subjects for a successful motoring website and made it into a wonderfully entertaining and useful resource for fans (or otherwise) of one of this country’s least favourite car companies- and then expanded it widely.

    I don’t think anyone, even you, could have imagined how successful this site would become- and how well respected.

    I hope that this site continues to go from strength to strength- and wish the new editor well in his eneavours. He will be building on a rock-solid foundation, and can no-doubt draw on a considerable amount of good will to see it continue to thrive.

    Don’t be a stranger though- pop back when you can spare the time. And all the best in your future career.

  46. Johnny says:

    Best wishes in the new job Keith and I hope you will still contribute to the site as I always enjoy your posts. How I wish this site was around when I did my university essay on the British car industry back in 2001. Like many other readers I discovered this site whilst looking for a particular bit of information and have been a regular visitor though not commentator since.

  47. christopher storey says:

    Best of luck for the future, Keith . For those of us who don’t do Facebook etc, where are you going ?

  48. Ianto Ianto says:

    And on that bombshell!

    Thanks for starting this great website and sticking with it through all the unpleasantness. I have spent many happy moments here, and enjoyed debates whilst satisfying my curiousity for all things BL shaped.

    You will be greatly missed.

    Good luck in all your future endeavours.

    Hare krishna, hare rama!

  49. Nate says:

    Best Luck Keith, spent many hours on this site over the years and have learned to appreciate the history of the UK motor industry, reading up on the good, bad, ugly and downright wasted potential of Britain’s car-makers.

  50. IanW says:

    Thanks Keith for this website, so many of us have learned a lot from its content. Surely you will be able to find time to pop by and contribute from time to time.

    Good luck with the new job – if you put in as much effort as you have with AROnline you will be highly appreciated.

  51. Karel Hupscher says:

    Hey Keith,

    Wow… I had expected you to spend less time on the site… not stopping… I am shocked. What is AR Online without you?

    Well live goes on…

    Anyway… I want to thank you enormously for your initiative and for the great site you built. OK, with help of a lot of others, but the quality of information is so good that AR Online really is the database for all you ever wanted to know about the cars of British Leyland and beyond. Super !!!

    I really hope your successor will have the same spirit as you have.

    All the best of luck with your change of working-lifestyle! I am sure you will be successful again with your down to earth, positive and sharp attitude.

    Thanks again!

    Kind Regards from the Netherlands

  52. withebob says:

    er, ccw anyone…when i googled it i got carry concealed weapon magazine. that can’t be right can it ?

  53. Sam Mace Sam Mace says:

    All the best Keith! Thanks for creating AROnline, it’s what got me really interested in writing about old cars…It’s also taught me loads and kind of changed how I look at cars as a whole. Thanks for giving me that first chance to get my voice heard. Here’s to the future!

  54. Chris Cowin says:

    Wishing you the best of luck in your new venture Keith…
    - Hope I haven’t made too many silly errors on British Leyland Chronicles or in my writing efforts over the last couple of years that annoyed you : )

    Chris

  55. AndrewP says:

    Keith,

    Good luck and best wishes for the future.

    Thank you for all your efforts with the website which has been both informative and enjoyable (as have your various magazine columns and articles over the years.

    A n d r e w

  56. CarBoffin4Ever says:

    Keith – Good luck for the future and thanks for creating and maintaining this amazing website. As a fellow car boffin, I have found this site to be 1 of the best automotive sites out there. I mean, where else can I read fantastic articles about Development Stories, Production Histories, captivating features (the trip to Chernobyl was brilliant) and so on to the level of interest, passion and detail that ARONLINE has provided?

    Good luck in whatever your new direction takes you
    Alex

  57. Hilton D says:

    I discoverd AR Online in 2005 at the time that MGRover collapsed and have been a fan ever since. There’s always something of interest for car enthusiasts be it BMC / BL/ Rover or other British marques. I usually look at the site every day or other day.

    You’ve done a great job Keith and I wish you all the best in your future ventures – I’ll still be hooked on AROnline!

  58. Ian Ian says:

    This is a cause for a song.
    http://youtu.be/-0u3NM8rd1U

    Good luck, best wishes from Galicia, Spain

  59. James Riley james riley says:

    Gutted! Genuinely. AROnline.co.uk is Keith Adams. Not sure how it can possibly continue without and maintain the same sense of soul and passion for the subject. Very very very sad.

  60. James Riley james riley says:

    I’ve followed this site since 2001 – its been a daily visit for me even if I haven’t posted or anything. It ignited the British Auto passion in me and Ive gone on to grain a love for British cars ever since. This sight drew me to join MG-Rover.org, we all met at a factory tour some 12 years ago. Since then I’ve bought Metro’s, Ital’s, various Rovers. This is all down to Keith’s efforts in what was the early days of the Web. Forever grateful Keith and I wish you more than well for the future. Once again, so sad you won’t be a part of this brilliant historical reference site.

  61. Landyboy says:

    Keith,

    Good luck with the new job. I’ve been a regular visitor and contributor to AROnline since I discovered it when settling an office argument about the voice of the talking Maestro. Pleased to see that a picture of myself aged 20 can still be found buried in the depths of the archives.

  62. DillTheDog DillTheDog says:

    Good luck Keith – and thanks for creating one of the BEST sites on the Web.
    Your level-headed attitude and painstaking attention to detail has been the backbone of the site.
    I hope you don’t stray too far and keep popping back on here to say hello.
    Best wishes from an appreciative fan !

    • Paul Taylor Paul Taylor says:

      And his patience with some of the clientele!!!!

      • Keith Adams Keith Adams says:

        Ain’t that the truth!

        Remember the furore we had when I did my first drive in a Jaguar XKR on German plates? It was like World War III had broken out!

        If there was ever a time I should gave said ‘sod it’, that was it…

  63. Keith Adams Keith Adams says:

    Thanks, all, for the kind comments. It’s nice to know the work’s been appreciated.

  64. Richard Butt says:

    There are fewer better ways to spend the time on the internet than reading this. Thanks for everything and good luck.

  65. Carl says:

    All the best Keith – thanks for creating my favourite website of all time. I have followed it since the early days and I hope it continues to be as interesting under its new management.

  66. Mike Butler says:

    Keith,

    I’ve just read the Autocars of Israel “article”.

    All I can say is this.

    I hope that your sucessor can produce such in-depth, and readable material about a manufacture that most people have never heard of. If they can, then the future of AROnline is assured. (Also, I never knew the Triumph 1300 – one my favorite smallish cars – had been engineered to accept all wheel drive. Audi won’t have stood a chance.)

    Keith, All the best in your new ad-venture.

    P.S. Very non-PC, but are the BL Babes in the picture going with you?

  67. The Wolseley Man says:

    What’s to say – just a huge thank you for the creation and management of this site. All the very best!

  68. Will M says:

    Best of luck Keith, the site has grown from a small acorn to a mighty Oak, everyone I speak to who mentions anything BL to Rover related I refer to the site, and it always surprises me how many people say they know!

    Good luck with new endeavors!

  69. delboydenmark says:

    With out doubt the best BL/BMC/Call it what you bloody like homepages out there,thanks Keith and good luck.

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