Concepts and prototypes : three-door Maestros

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.


Three-door LC10

Body in white

The long-awaited picture of the three-door Maestro proposal. (Photo supplied by Richard Bremner)

The long-awaited picture of the three-door Maestro proposal. (Photo supplied by Richard Bremner)


Stephen Harper styling sketches

With all-new pressings from the A-pillar back, the Maestro suddenly starts looking exciting. Note the duo-tone paint that predicted the 'Roverisation' of the range from 1987.

With all-new pressings from the A-pillar back, the Maestro suddenly starts looking exciting. Note the duo-tone paint that predicted the 'Roverisation' of the range from 1987.

All of these images were created in 1983 by Stephen Harper. As can be seen, it’s entirely possible to create a very different looking Maestro, although admittedly, these schemes would require rarther a lot of re-engineering. Interestingly, they all feature front bumpers that look remarkably like the 1988 Turbo version later produced by Tickford…

The high performance Turbo version featured bold side graphics and large wheels...

The high performance Turbo version featured bold side graphics and large wheels...

It looks even sleeker with a Renault 11-style glassback rear window.

It looks even sleeker with a Renault 11-style glassback rear window.

Without the rear bustle, there's an almost VAG-look about the Maestro three-door in this form.

Without the rear bustle, there's an almost VAG-look about the Maestro three-door in this form.


Photoshop creation

A great rendering of how the three-door Maestro may well have looked had they pushed the ‘go’ button.

And how it might have looked in production... (Image: Mark Mastrototaro)

And how it might have looked in production... (Image: Mark Mastrototaro)

Keith Adams

About the Author:

Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007. Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Clsssics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent... Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.

8 Comments on "Concepts and prototypes : three-door Maestros"

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  1. Chris Baglin says:

    Impressive- ok, no version of the Maestro is ever going to be pretty, but this would certainly have looked far better than the awful 5 door, and in MG trim as a GTi contender, would have been far more convincing looking- after all, in that market sector looks are everything. The XR3 was no great shakes, but that sold and sold.

  2. francis brett francis brett says:

    Why oh why did ARG not put this into production?so many missed opertunities its almost laughable.

  3. Paul says:

    Did Stephen Harper work for BL, or are these sketches from the cover of his maths book?

  4. Nate says:

    Love the look of near-VAG-like Maestro 3-door sketch, whether it would have looked as good together with a Renault 11-style glassback rear window is a matter entirely though I’ve always liked the look the backend of the late-model phase 2 Renault 11.

  5. Will M says:

    Top sketch looks almost R8-like with the two tone and the fastback bootlid.

    I much prefer the look of 80s/90s fastback style hatchbacks to the 2 box van-like side profile of modern hatches as popularised by the golf and focus.

  6. Yorkie says:

    The Notchback with a Montego style nose would have looked pretty spiffing IMHO, especially in MG form, with a subtle colour coded bodykit

  7. Yorkie says:

    And to add to that, the notchback might have leaned towards another option..A Maestro cabriolet. Ford and Vauxhall shifted plenty of ‘hot’ open top mid liners, and VW kept pedalling the Mk1 Golf pram to eager punters…Oh it’s a wonderful thing is hindsight

  8. Will M says:

    The notchback hatchback is something of a rare beast these days, except for the D segment.
    2 box Golf/Focus style hatches are the flavour of the day

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