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.
On 26 April 1977, British Leyland was still finding its way under government control, having been bailed out the previous year. The priority was to get the Mini’s replacement into production. To do that, it needed to deliver the Ryder Report, and hope that Callaghan’s Labour government would foot the bill. Here’s how The Times reported the story.
Phil Rixon takes a rare opportunity to compare the Morris Nomad with an Austin Countryman and an Austin Maxi to see how closely BMC’s tailgated trio are related.
Andrew Davis, a former worker at Cowley, sent us this fascinating image of one of those workaday hacks that never escape the factory. This one, a pick-up conversion of the Maestro, lived a long and absolutely fascinating life.
Rolls-Royce and Bentley worked with BMC on a number of short-lived prototypes based on the Austin 3 Litre and Vanden Plas 4 Litre R. Here are the best ones that never saw the light of day.
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.
‘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 failed to sell […]
There are lies and there are damned lies… Okay, so the products of BMC>Rover have not always been built or designed as well as they could have been, but let’s not forget that, despite upper management ineptitude and Government meddling, the workers who actually built the cars still actively cared about the product. Here then […]
Updated: There was an operation to build Maestros in Bulgaria, and we have the full and exclusive story of how it came together. Thanks to ex-Rover Group and BAe executives, we have been able to piece together the story of the Roadacar assembly operation in Bulgaria and conclude why it failed in the way it did.
Anyone who knows Keith Adams might be a little surprised at this choice of Unsung Hero, especially considering the chequered history he has with A-Series Maestros. However, despite the dramas, there’s no doubting that Spen King’s post-Allegro Volkswagen Golf remix was far more worthy than the sum of its parts. The unfulfilled symphony If we […]
I had a brief run in an Austin Allegro today. The car in question is owned by Calum Brown, and it has to be said that he was very keen to get my views on his pride and joy. He’s a nice chap – 24-years old, a car nutter, and owner of a very interesting and diverse range of cars. He’ll go far in our industry. Anyway, I digress – he handed me the keys to his 1979 Allegro 3 1.3L, and told me to enjoy myself.