Maestro economy run

One of those interesting publicity stunts was staged in order to highlight the Maestro’s potential for fuel economy…


This photo provides proof that Nicolette McKenzie existed in person and was not just the voice behind the Talking Maestro dashboard!

This photo provides proof that Nicolette McKenzie existed in person and was not just the voice behind the Talking Maestro dashboard!

THE photograph was taken as she flagged off the two teams of Oxbridge students at the start of the Austin Maestro Economy Run challenge, (presumably alongside the Thames) in London. This publicity stunt to promote the high fuel economy of the new Austin Maestro HLE took place on 8th April 1983 just a week after that other annual London encounter, between Oxford and Cambridge Universities, namely the Boat Race.

The format of the challenge was for 2 teams of 6 people, to drive in pairs over three legs of a 200-mile route, starting and finishing in London and going via Oxford and Cambridge.

The participants were members of the University Motor Clubs, the Cambridge University Automobile Club (CUAC) on the left in the Marshalls of Cambridge car, and the Oxford University Motor Drivers Club (OUMDC) on the right in the Hartwells of Oxford car. It does not look like the cars were light and dark blue, which is perhaps why the photo is in black and white.

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.

1 Comment on "Maestro economy run"

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  1. Landyboy says:

    The picture was taken round the corner from the Oxford and Cambridge Club on Pall Mall, not far from the river, but not next to it.

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