Austin

Herbert Austin’s company was a dominant player in the UK car industry, cemented by brilliant products such as the Seven, the Mini and the Metro. Was a major component of the British Motor Corporation and British Leyland, but was muscled out in the Rover-era by its chairman Graham Day.

The cars : Sipani Automobiles’ Indian Rover Montego

The cars : Sipani Automobiles’ Indian Rover Montego

A couple of years after production had ceased in the UK, the Montego was re-introduced in the Indian subcontinent in order to compete in the executive car market. WHEN BMW bought the Rover Group in 1994, it has been said many times that Bernd Pischetsrieder was surprised to find the antiquated Montego and its hatchback […]

By November 22, 2014 3 Comments Read More →
Interviews : Montego stunt driver Russ Swift talks to AROnline

Interviews : Montego stunt driver Russ Swift talks to AROnline

To mark the 30th birthday of the Montego, Russ Swift kindly offered to help cut the cake at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show. Mike Humble spoke to the man who did the stunt driving in one of TV’s most memorable car adverts ever… The one thing about being the wrong side of 40 is […]

By November 20, 2014 14 Comments Read More →
Events : NEC Classic Motor Show preview

Events : NEC Classic Motor Show preview

Craig Cheetham and Mike Humble This weekend sees the traditional show season close at the NEC with the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, and AROnline will be there… Our very own Craig Cheetham, Clive Goldthorp and Mike Humble will all be at the show at various points during the weekend and we’ll bring you a […]

By November 13, 2014 3 Comments Read More →
Blog : Raise a glass to… the MG Maestro 2.0 EFi

Blog : Raise a glass to… the MG Maestro 2.0 EFi

Never one to pass up a celebration, David Morgan raises a glass to 30 years of the MG Maestro EFi/2.0i and tells us why the appeal of this MG is still so special to him… David Morgan Go on, admit it, you have probably overlooked this milestone in the history of the Maestro, not to […]

News : Fully Equipe-d… (and your chance to own a piece of Allegro history)

News : Fully Equipe-d… (and your chance to own a piece of Allegro history)

Craig Cheetham Allegro Equipes are like buses, then – and I’m not referring to the gearbox whine (even if my old Allegro 1750 did used to sound a lot like the Leyland National that took me to school every morning as a nipper). Three at once, though? According to Allegro Club Chairman Paul Vincent (left […]

News : Mystery Maestros…

News : Mystery Maestros…

Can anyone shed any light on this mysterious Maestro spotted by Mark Graham in the car park of Guildford railway station on Friday August 8th? Assuming it’s a British-built example then N-plate is very late indeed, but there doesn’t appear to any vehicle record relating to it on the DVLA Vehicle Enquiry website. It appears […]

The cars : Austin 3 Litre development history

The cars : Austin 3 Litre development history

Celebrated as one of BMC’s greatest white elephants, the Austin 3 Litre emerged the way it did because circumstance was not on its side… Here, we tell you why… Misunderstood The Austin 3-litre was a disaster. There is no other way of putting it. The thinking and ideology behind the creation of the 3-litre was […]

Concepts and prototypes : Maxi-based Aquila

Concepts and prototypes : Maxi-based Aquila

The biggest criticism normally aimed at the Maxi – other than the early model’s obstructive gearchange – is usually reserved for its plain Jane styling. The Aquila showed how it could have been made into a far more stylish beast. Alas, it was only ever to be a one-off styling exercise. What might have been […]

Concepts and prototypes : Longbridge LC10 proposals

Concepts and prototypes : Longbridge LC10 proposals

LC10 was a conventional family hatchback in every sense of the word, and followed industry standard thinking in terms of mechanical layout. However, because of internal politics, lack of resources and the fact that the Metro had to come first, the Maestro seven years to get into production. Longbridge proposal

Concepts and prototypes : Meet the LC family

Concepts and prototypes : Meet the LC family

Sometime in 1979, the Austin-Morris product planners would have met with BL’s upper management to explain the LM10 strategy. This model set perfectly demonstrates how the Montego saloon and estate were developed from the Maestro, and more intriguingly, how an upper middle market hatchback was also planned. The modular model is comprised of a centre […]

Concepts and prototypes : LM10 and LM11 facelifts

Concepts and prototypes : LM10 and LM11 facelifts

You’ve seen the photoshops and the styling proposals, but here for the first time are the images that all Maestro and Montego fans have been waiting for. Thanks to Roy Axe, we get our first glimpse of the improved versions of the two cars that failed to sell in the numbers anticipated by their management. […]

Concepts and prototypes : AR7 Maestro facelift

Concepts and prototypes : AR7 Maestro facelift

The industry norm for the mid-1980s was for a car design to last about three-to-four years before it received its first facelift. In the case of the Maestro, the first facelift was planned for even before the original hit the streets. With thanks to Stephen Harper we now know just how radically they were thinking […]

Concepts and prototypes : LM11 saloon and LM11E estate

Concepts and prototypes : LM11 saloon and LM11E estate

Part of a three-pronged attack on the medium car sector, the LM11 was to be BL’s new mid-sized saloon, based heavily on the upcomng LM10 (nee LC10). LM11 was originally planned to sit closer to the LM10, performing a similar role to the hatchback that the VW Jetta does to the Golf, or the Orion […]

History : When Alex Moulton tried to advise Spen King

History : When Alex Moulton tried to advise Spen King

Keith Adams This wonderful vignette of a fertile, tumultuous and ultimately forlorn piece of British Leyland history has come to me directly from the archive of Dr Alex Moulton. In 1975, development of the ADO88 was well underway, with Spen King and Charles Griffin leading the programme. But for Dr Alex Moulton, King was on […]

Blog : Happy 30th birthday, Montego

Blog : Happy 30th birthday, Montego

Keith Adams Oh, how time flies! The cold realisation that today marks the 30th Anniversary of the launch of the Austin Montego hits home just how time’s moved on – and how, if events had been kinder, the company which made this car might well still be with us. Indeed, in a way, it feels apt that we’re […]

Concepts and prototypes : Austin Allegro

Concepts and prototypes : Austin Allegro

Some photos taken during the Allegro’s development… Alternative frontal treatment for the Allegro GT model. Did the 1750 version (with a single carb) deserve the “GT” badge? Austin obviously thought not The grille on this 1970 mock-up was solid because the intention was for the Allegro to have its radiator side mounted, like the Mini […]

History : MG Metro 6R4 Group B

History : MG Metro 6R4 Group B

The MG Metro 6R4 was Austin-Rover’s entry into Group B, the controversial rallying category that gave us a series of spectacular cars before being banned at the end of 1986. What made the MG rather special was its bespoke 3.0-litre V6, the only non-turbo’d car in its category, and its scintillating performance. Sadly, the Metro […]

By January 30, 2014 27 Comments Read More →
News : Alex Moulton’s R6 development Metro sold

News : Alex Moulton’s R6 development Metro sold

Keith Adams The car that was instrumental in the development of the Rover Metro/100 has been sold by Bonhams for £1035 at its final auction of the year. The 1981 Austin Metro 1.3S was owned from new by Moulton Developments and, like so many of the good Doctor’s cars, was highly modified from original specification. […]

By December 15, 2013 20 Comments Read More →
Modified Metros : Crayford Metro Politan

Modified Metros : Crayford Metro Politan

It seems that few – if any – of these Crayford convertibles actually reached customers before the company decided to concentrate on its Fiesta conversions. And it had a Dr Who connection back in 1982… Open up and say ahh… In January 1981, Motor magazine reported that Crayford was planning to build a prototype convertible […]

By November 24, 2013 10 Comments Read More →
News : New images of the Lennons and their Maxi emerge

News : New images of the Lennons and their Maxi emerge

Keith Adams Here’s proof, if it were ever needed, that one of the finest musical talents the world has ever seen had a great taste in cars – or, at least, he ended up driving one for a family outing in Liverpool on 26 June 1969. The Liverpool Echo has revealed some fascinating new images […]