Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Austin

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.

Concepts and prototypes : Maxi-based Aquila

Concepts and prototypes : Maxi-based Aquila

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.

History : Production figures

History : Production figures

Ever wanted a full breakdown of BMC>MGR production figures, but didn’t know where to go? Fear not – AROnline has all the numbers you’ll ever need.

Archive : 40 years ago – Mini needs money

Archive : 40 years ago – Mini needs money

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.

Essay : Morris Nomad vs Austin Countryman vs Austin Maxi

Essay : Morris Nomad vs Austin Countryman vs Austin Maxi

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.

By 18 February 2017 13 Comments Read More →
History : Maestro pick-up hack from Cowley

History : Maestro pick-up hack from Cowley

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.

By 7 January 2017 13 Comments Read More →
Prototypes : Rolls-Royce/Bentley collaboration with BMC

Prototypes : Rolls-Royce/Bentley collaboration with BMC

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.

Engines : The E-Series

Engines : The 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.

By 28 November 2016 61 Comments Read More →
The cars : Austin Maxi development story

The cars : Austin Maxi development story

‘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 […]

By 27 November 2016 99 Comments Read More →
Features : Urban myths and old wives’ tales

Features : Urban myths and old wives’ tales

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 […]

By 18 November 2016 85 Comments Read More →
Around the World : Bulgaria

Around the World : Bulgaria

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.

By 11 September 2016 14 Comments Read More →