Happy New Year from AROnline!

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Keith Adams

As the sun sets on 2011, I thought I’d wish you all a Happy New Year, and hope that 2012 ends up being a good one for you. Usually the last night of the year is a time of thought and reflection, a pause for breath before launching into a whole new year of ups, downs, trials, tribulations, triumphs and challenges…

For me, it’s been a funny one, and for New Year’s Eve, I’ll be tucked up at home being boring with my old 1970s and ’80s copies of What Car? magazine to read and Atari 8-bit computer to play on. There’s nothing like a little reminiscing about old times to make a perfect night off… have a good one, wherever you are, and enjoy whatever you find yourselves doing!

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up 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 Classics 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 unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams


  1. And all the same to everyone running, and reading AROnline, thank you all for making me feel so welcome on your fantastic website, and I’ll defiantly be reading AROnline next year and beyond! This is where I’ll be spending my evening, AROnline beats any pub for an evenings entertainment 🙂

  2. That’s a great way to spend the New Year, imho.

    Better than going into a freezing and being mugged, sorry, paying an additional charge to go into a club/bar.

    Happy New Year to all and all on AROnline…

  3. I’ve been sat here (on my birthday no less) watching cheesy 80s advertys on Youtube, and playing games on my ST emulator, cos the mouse port on my STFM is on the blink again. All the best for 2012

  4. A happy new year to all; I want one of those Atari’s, look at the standard spec! They blow my Sinclair ZX81 into the weeds. I wonder if we’ll ever be able to fully utilise as much as 48k RAM AND 16 colours!

  5. Old issues of What Car? !!!!

    As a young lad I bought EVERY issue for about 4 years. The first issue purchased featured a yellow TR7 Convertible – May 1980 if memory serves me correctly. Can’t check – the magazines are all on my Dad’s loft. Recognise the issue with the Ital on the front.

    Anyway, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

  6. May 1980 – the Sports Car issue… it also had the Reliant Scimitar GTC in it, and an excellent group test of the MGB, Capri, Scirocco, Cavalier Sports Hatch and Lancia Beta.

    Simpler times 🙂

  7. Thinking back to early issues of What Car? –

    Each of the three M’s won their respective group tests at launch. The MG Metro 1300 was awarded ‘Car Of The Year’ in 1982.
    In the 800’s first group test (a brown/bronze 825 I think) I remember a comment similar to “we were bowled over” by the Rover. The R8 200 impressed even more – “..now that’s class..”

    At this time the company was definitely on the up. As I’ve said so often before the BMW aquisition should have continued and capitalised on this…

  8. Best wishes for 2012 Keith and I look forward to a daily dose of ARonline.

    By the way I also still have old car brochures from the 70’s & 80’s. mainly Vauxhall, Honda, Datsun and a 1966 Ford Zodiac MKIV launch edition. Nice to have an occasional browse through them and remember when we were young!

  9. I know, Keith, I do go on about ‘BMW what could have beens’!!!! I’m like a dog with a bone!

    More on 80’s car magazines –

    The “Good, The Bad & The Ugly” in the back of CAR makes a good read.

    Also, early What Car? used to have an interesting ‘Rarity’ feature.

  10. Like the one with the test between the Morris Ital, Renault 18 and Talbot Solara on the cover. I can just imagine what the reported would have put about each car:
    Ital- cheap enough to buy and own, but dated and no advance on the Marina.
    18- good to drive and comfortable, the winner of the test
    Solara- nice design, spacious, good value for money but let down by noisy engine and drab interior.

  11. I remember as a schoolboy buying the first issue of What Car back in 1973/74. It featured a group test of five British family saloons; Cortina, Victor, Hunter, Marina and Maxi! I think the Cortina won.
    Later editions used to wax lyrical about the Lancia Beta, which was years ahead of the opposition in terms of handling and ride combined with its’ gorgeous Lampredi dohc engine. A teacher at my school bought one but within months the rust globules were starting to appear.
    Years later I took the plunge and bought a really nice looking red Beta coupe. It was all true! It rode and handled fantastically, the engine was a turbine like gem that really growled at high revs. I’ve not driven any other car that provided so much high performance pleasure, although my old MG ZS 180 came pretty close.

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