‘All the fives’ was the Austin Maxi’s high technology tag line when launched – with a five door hatchback body and five speed gearbox, Austin’s new mid-range fighter really did seem to have it all. Here’s its story.

The cars : Austin Maxi development story

Maxi Slider

‘All the fives’ was the Maxi’s high technology tag line when launched – with a five door hatchback body and five speed gearbox, Austin’s new mid-range fighter really did seem to have it all. Sadly, the technology might have been there, but the execution was a little less than marvellous, and this avant garde car […]

News : New images of the Lennons and their Maxi emerge

The Lennons

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 […]

News : World Cup Maxi goes under the hammer

Austin Maxi (1)

Historics of Brooklands is offering one of the more unlikely competitors in the 1970 World Cup Rally, an Austin Maxi. The car, which goes on sale on 9 March in Surrey was one of the first 500 built and ended up taking an all-female team on a 16,000 mile epic. The Maxi was professionally-prepared for […]

Technical : Hydragas explained


Hydragas suspension was one of the quiet achievements pioneered and refined by British Leyland – and yet, it never received the praise it deserved. KEITH ADAMS briefly explains how the system works. Pioneer that led nowhere… SINCE the introduction of the Mini in 1959, BL’s predecessor, the British Motor Corporation (BMC), had been right at […]

Engines : E-Series

Designed and specially built to become the Corporation’s new mid-sized engine, the E-Series had a troubled early life, but eventually matured into something very worthwhile indeed. New engine, new factory; new start? By the mid-1960s, it had become clear to BMC’s management, that in order to maintain sales volumes, the company would have to produce […]

Those doors

When the ADO17 was launched as the Austin 1800 in 1964, few people can have imagined that one of its defining features – its doors – would later appear on a series of cars ranging from a 1.5-litre family hatchback to a 3-litre executive saloon. But the story doesn’t end there. As well as being […]

Tech : Recharging Maxi spheres

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 From 1977/78, Maxis leaving Cowley no longer used the Hydrolastic suspension system, having been upgraded to the more advanced Hydragas […]

Concepts and prototypes : Maxi-based Aquila

BL Aquila prototype at the 1973 London Motor Show (Picture: Shahin,

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 […]

Buying guide : Austin Maxi

The Austin Maxi has the honourable distinction of being Sir Alec Issigonis’ final production car – and just like the Mini and 1100 before it, the Maxi boasted an extremely advanced spec sheet. KEITH ADAMS takes a look at this oft-misunderstood car and highlights the good… and the bad. Availability Years produced: 1969-1981 Body style: […]

Concepts and prototypes : Austin Maxi


The Maxi received a couple of facelifts before it reached production in 1969. Here are a number of prototype images of the ADO14 project before it received its final Roy Haynes penned front and rear ends. Pictures supplied by Ian Nicholls. Styling sketch Full-size clays Full-sized prototype The four-door Morris Maxi Thanks to Ian Nicholls […]