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.
Words and photography: Alexander Boucke At times it happens to all of us: something bulky needs to be carried, typically after a visit to your local Swedish furniture store. In our case a friend of the family had a surplus musical instrument – a small organ, a harmonium to be precise – that he wanted to […]
With the number of BMC>MGR cars on our roads diminishing rapidly, we take stock of the successive companies’ 10 most popular cars during the post-war years. Some of these numbers are going to shock you, simply because the cars are so rare on the road now. In fact, even the latest car on this list is now proving to be a rather unusual spot.
ADO74 – the first attempt by British Leyland at replacing the Mini never saw the light of day. It was one project, but had many faces: a wide variety of styling exercises were produced before the programme was cancelled in 1973, as British Leyland could not raise the £130m needed to produce it.
Craig Cheetham A 1974 Austin Allegro Super with just 4111 miles on the clock has appeared for sale at an MG dealership in Northern Ireland. Offered for sale by SS Logan and Son Limted of Newtonabbey, Co. Antrim, the 1974 Series 1 Super is finished in period Blaze Orange, with black vinyl interior and the Allegro’s celebrated […]
Craig Cheetham I’ve had a fair few Allegros over the years… Back when I passed my test, in 1994, my first car was a 1979 Allegro 1.1 and that was the very reason for me recently spending the day as the chief custodian of such a vehicle… In my day job, I work for a […]
The main problem with Hydragas is that, over time, the sealed units would lose gas and become less effective. Alexander Boucke describes the steps involved in getting your Hydragas suspended car back into rude health Update: More than 11 years after the initial work, the first units that were fitted to a Maxi in autumn […]
Craig Cheetham ANSWER: When it’s a Yema F16 SUV… Believe it or not, beneath the SUV-style exterior of this somewhat utilitarian-looking vehicle lurks the heart and soul of the Austin Maestro… The rights to the Maestro/Montego platform were passed to Yema in 2008 by FAW, which had been building a Montego-nosed Maestro van and various spin-off […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 You could also look at […]
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 […]
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. […]