Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from AROnline

Keith Adams

Merry Christmas from AROnline
Merry Christmas from AROnline

Without doubt, 2011 has been a momentous year for AROnline, and one that at times I thought it was never going to make it through. We had unending hosting problems – probably as a result of our increased readership and interaction – and ended up going through three hosts before being bailed out by Justin Clements at Street Safari. During these tough times, special thanks must go to Brian Gunn and Alexander Boucke, who massively helped with the database side of the operation, and valued contributors such as Mike Humble, Ian Nicholls, Steven Ward, Robert Leitch and Andrew Elphick, who provided fresh content for the site – in their own time, and for the love of the subject – to keep it ticking over, while I was buried in boring web development.

And of course, you guys for coming back and interacting with us… as without your interaction, feedback and continued reading, AROnline would be nothing!

Anyway, the hosting problem was, of course, bandwidth – and while the site was on a low-cost hosting package, we were always going to be prey to the Ts&Cs gods… we gobble bandwidth, and they complain. Anyway, that’s behind us now, after teaming up with Skelton Media, running a few ads, and paying for a proper dedicated server. So no more AROffline gags, please.

During 2011, I moved from our old HTML site and onto a WordPress-based solution, and here, Christian Skelton proved invaluable in licking the design into shape for me, turning my vision into reality. There was the small matter of copy/pasting well over 3000 pages, of course, and I’ll hold my hand up and say – that was mainly me. The natural rest I had following my shattering of five bones and dislocating another six in Romania (and sharing the driving back with equally damaged Andrew Elphick!) meant I could do a fair bit of this – between writing features for Octane. In short, it’s been emotional. And we got through it.

I’ll be taking a few days’ rest from Friday, so the updates might slow down between then and New Year (I always say that, but end up not being able to stay away!), but rest assured, everyone involved with AROnline will be working double-hard to maintain the site’s position as one of the best car sites on the Interweb.

We’ll see some extraordinarily exciting developments here in 2012 – the first of which we’ll announce in January.

Until then, thank you for making this a brilliant year, and giving your unstinting support. It’s been truly astonishing. And that leaves me simply to say – Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Enjoy the break, and here’s to a calmer 2012 🙂

Keith Adams
Editor/Creator AROnline

Keith Adams


  1. This is my first post on here but I am a frequent reader. A big well done and thank you for the many entertaining reads, long may it continue!

  2. Thanks Keith and Team for a fantastic website, even better than before and you managed the transition so well. Wishing you all a very happy christmas.


  3. Always an interesting read and never fails to impress! Keep up the good work. Best wishes to Keith and the Team for Christmas and a productive new year!

  4. Thanks to everyone involved with the managing of this website, writing the featuring and the comments from fellow bloggers like me.

    We might often disagree on comments etc. made by each other, but at least we do all have a genuine passion for this website and of course some, if not all of the marques that it covers.

  5. @ Keith Adams. And happy Christmas to you to! And thank YOU for giving guys like us a refuge, where we can talk about 800s, 3500s, 600s, Triumphs, Sterlings, Montegoes and Alfasuds without people being concerned for our health 😀
    I may only be a newbie when it comes to the forums and commentary, but I’ve been an avid reader for quite a long time now-heck, AROnline is the only reason I’ve got an internet connection 😉
    It means a lot to know where you can find people who care as much as you do about your passion, you know.

    Best wishes for 2012 to everyone from AROnline!

  6. You’ve done a great job through a difficult year so here’s looking forward to 2012 with anticipation and exitement, keep up the good work as there is nothing else like this site on the web. Merry Christmas.

  7. All the best fellas. All the hard work you guys put in, is very much appreciated.
    Seriously, this site is top notch. Really enjoy reading the articles.
    Love the mixture of nostalgia & the new stuff.
    Sometimes, I think I’m addictied to aronline!

  8. Let’s hope 2012 is better than 2011, and I hope that leg of yours is mending Keith!

    All the best for the Winter Solstice 🙂

  9. Thank you Keith, Mike, Ian, Steven, Robert and Andrew for constantly updating what has become my favourite website (visited at least once a day, and commented on with as much frequency). This website, apart from being a treasure-trove of information on the BL/ARG/MGR rolling soap opera, has become a welcome refuge from the endless round of VAG group adverts which masquerade as car magazine websites (are you reading this Autocar?). The forums are friendly, the articles informative and absorbing, and the layout and navigation spot-on. I hope you have a prosperous and peaceful festive season, and I look forward greatly to what 2012 has in store! 🙂

  10. If anything this website has become a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. Nobody really knows about my passion for the old British marques, and sometimes I find myself sneaking a peek whenever no-one is in the room, especially on a Tuesday afternoon when it’s empty in the computer rooms. Merry Christmas everybody! P.S. If this blog is up now, does that mean that mean… No more updates for the rest of the year?!?

  11. Thank you and a Merry Christmas to you too!

    A most excellent site, with extremely high quality content in many cases obtained former employees of the firms concerned with direct first hand knowledge of their subject!

  12. Seasons greetings and best wishes to the site team.

    Thank you for keeping me amused and informed throughout 2011.

  13. Nollick ghennal as blein vie noa from the sunny Isle of Man. I’ve spent so many hours on this site. Learned so much. Love it. Gura mie ayd (thank you).

  14. Well done to Keith and the team! This site is my first log on of the day, every day, to see what is new and for my daily motoring fix. Congratulations on the “transition” over they year and may 2012 bring more brilliant reading (and totally mended bones!)
    Best Wishes to all from the damp and chilly North West.

  15. Merry Christmas to you and everyone on AROnline, Keith. It’s been another great year on the best website in cyberspace. The highlight was probably the trip to Gaydon in July. Looking forward to much more in 2012.

  16. Brilliant site spend many hours reading all your features and news items WELL DONE
    Merry Christmas to you all and fellow readers
    Look forward to 2012

  17. That’s an SD3 dashboard, right?

    A Christmas tale from 1981. I was returning the Morris Minor my brother had bought for me. As the seat was acutely uncomfortable, I had stopped for a stretch in a truck stop. Imagine a vast tarmac car park, half full of trucks and softened by swirling mist. A beautiful young lady in a flowing chiffon dress appears, and clip- clops determinedly towards me. There is no-one else around. I am convinced that every Christmas since Christ had come to me at once. Then she stops, about twenty feet away, and says “You’re not Peter!” – and clip-clops away.
    Short pause. A strangled cry, which I barely recognized as my own voice.
    “WON’T I DO!!!”

    Cheers Keith, and all my fellow contributors.

  18. All the very best to AR Online and fellow Online addicts, This is total addiction which just gets better and better! The amount of you guys put into this site Deserves serious praise, you are the “Unsung Heroes”.

    You have Dedicated serious amount of your life keeping the site alive and showing no signs of slowing down, If only BL/AR/Rover put as much time and effort into its products!

    Love the early 800 trip and Xmas tree ! I have a spare computer someplace…

  19. Love the picture – I remember that shot from the 800 brochure well (minus the tree of course – nice touch).

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone at AROnline. I’ve been a reader for some years now and really appreciate the work you put into the site. All the best for 2012!

  20. Happy Christmas Keith!

    T’was the night before Christmas, and all through Longbridge, not a creature was stirring, not even a welder.

  21. Merry christmas to Keith and the team and all who read these pages, and lets hope 2012 sees 2000 MG sales, the new Routemasters in service, BMW launching a new Triumph sports car, JLR a new smallish Rover and the rebirth of ERF and Foden trucks. Wouldn’t all that make a nice year! Merry christmas to all! Oh and that my ZT lasts untill I can buy a cheap second hand Evoque.

  22. Well done Keith & crew, for keeping calm and carrying on! AROnline is a brilliant site for BL and ‘interesting car’ fans – long may it continue.

    It’s also staggering how much regular AROnline reading can flesh out your average Haynes manual. Penny drops while deep in article on A-series – “aaah, so that’s what the manual meant!”.

    And I hope the injuries are all healed nicely. Actually, I hope MG’s injuries start to heal nicely too 😉

    @ Ken S – beautiful! The young lass clearly showed a distinct lack of common sense in not returning after your witty, yet plaintive cry. Or perhaps she was an Austin fan; just not that into Morries… 😉

    Happy Christmas!

  23. To all that have put in time and effort to make this my number one car site MERRY CHRISTMAS.

    I must admit to being something of and addict and I have become something of a ARONLINE preacher getting everyone I know with even a small interest in automotive pornogrpahy to check this site out.

    Again many thanks and a Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year.

  24. Well done to Keith & Co. AROnline is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me too, possibly the only place where I can stand up, cough nervously and say “Hi, I’m Ian and I like TR7s”.
    Merry Christmas to all, and a happy and peaceful new year!

  25. @ Simon Hodgetts
    Hi, my name’s Frankie and I’m and AROnline addict. It started off as just something I did in the evenings to help me wind down. But I started to turn to AROnline more and more. It got to the stage where I couldn’t go online without visiting it, and I couldn’t get out of bed with my fix. When I got home I needed to check for any new content.
    My family became concerned about me, and said I needed to get help.
    It was too late. After three years of my AROnline addiction I purchased I Rover 75.
    It’s too late for me, but if you, or somebody you care about is showing these signs:

    Increased reading of Haynes manuals and other publications.

    Undue excitement at seeming a British car.

    Using underground phrases like “K-series”, “R8”, or even “Roewe”

    Increased talking about Rover or any other British car manufacturer, CONSTANTLY to their friends and family.

    Send them a link to this website :-D!

  26. I hope for the Team and all readers of this wonderful site also, Merry Christmas and Happy new year, and always with health around the world.

  27. @Charles Bishop

    The new Routemasters are on their way, seeing them coming down the road from Ballymena was something of a random sight!

  28. Happy Christmas to you Keith and the team at ARonline!! Still producing some fantastic articles and news of British cars. I hope SAIC start to take their MG brand much more seriously in 2012 and beyond. When one compares what JLR are achieving, MG needs to up its game. I personally think SAIC need to reintroduce Austin as their workaday brand to compete with Vauxhall, Kia etc and price accordingly. MG need to become a bit more hardcore and then why not a slightly luxury brand (not Roewe) – Wolseley to offer the laether and walnut experience to compete with Volvo. I hope JLR seriously consider a new Rover saloon more like a P6 and sold through Land Rover outlets.

  29. It’s my home page – what more can I say? Brilliant work by a brilliant team (and my father-in-law coincidentally is “Keith Adams” – he even looks a bit like the real one!).

  30. Thanks Keith… I’m pleased to have contributed to aronline for 5 years now and look forward to tuning in frequently in 2012. All the best!

  31. Thanks Keith,
    that’s a wonderful picture of the Rover 800 trip computer and Phillips radio/cassette player.
    All the best for Christmas and the new year.

  32. Great site everybody – this is my default site for all things automotive!

    Merry Christmas and a great New Year to those who contribute and those who read!

  33. Keith

    Great website I visit every day, thank you for the most interesting place to find information on Rover etc…. product amazing after 6 years of the factory shutting.

    Merry Christmas!!

    Malcolm Jones

  34. A Merry Christmas to Keith and all the Team. Like Frankie @27, I stumbled on austin-roveronline, as it was back then, whilst browsing wikipedia (at rover no doubt..)and never looked back!!!
    Just like him, “they” think I spend too much time on aronline, but hell, I enjoy every minute I spend there.
    I believe that I might not have bought my 75 (nor the JAG, as a matter of fact) and kept the Xedos and go to the “enemy” afterwards…
    Your passion got me falling in love with British motors again, just for that I thank you SOOOO MUCH. You still owe me £250 for the last HGF though!!(lol)
    May 2012 be less chaotic than 2011, but as rich, for youse all…(for me, well, good news is we’re getting the keys to our new house tomorrow, less good is that £ 10946 deposit are leaving my acc. in the process, the 260-V8 might be a far fetched dream for 2012 but I don’t lose hope, never has, never will…

  35. Merry xmas to one and all.

    My big hope for 2012 is that JLR’s product launches match the number of teaser pictures and scoops in Autocar and AE! (XF Estate, XF 4wd, new small sports car, new compact Jag, new RR)

    Oh, and that the World economy doesn’t sink into a 1930s style slump…

  36. Many thanks for all you do Keith.
    I have been with you pretty much since the start, and it just keeps on getting better. As an addition, although this site is dedicated to British cars, is there any way in light of recent developments we could gather data on SAAB as there are so many parallels between this much loved marque and Rover?

  37. To everyone, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    Thank you Keith, you should be proud of your achievements with the place 😀

  38. merry christmas to all whom make this site so fantastic not just keith but all the commentators too i wish you all good health!

  39. I don’t always agree with some of the cars and content of late but I still appreciate the time and effort that goes in to it. As has been said already, it’s a compulsory daily read.

    It’s a great community and long may it continue.

    Merry Christmas to you all.

  40. I have been a regular reader of this site for the last four years and still can’t find anything to match it on the interweb. I hope the good work continues and wish all the contributors that have provided me much enjoyment for all this time a happy christmas and a prosperous new year!

  41. a merry christmas for you also Keith, what a lot of work you put in this site…
    happy newyear and hopefully troublefree for my MG ZT_T diesel auto, just spend 2 grand in euroos in my 190000 km car… yet it drives superb now…

    greetings for all MG, Rover enthousiast

  42. Thanks for helping keep the memories alive. Looking forward to more in 2012.

    Still the best automotive site on the net.

    Greetings to all in BMC/BL/ARG/Rover Group/MG Rover land!

  43. Greetings to all in BMC/BL/ARG/Rover Group/MG Rover land and anyone else who comes here . much respect to Keith and his helpers who have kept this site going no mater what ills happened . a very merry Christmas to one and all and i hope a very merry new year..

  44. thanks Keith, and I hadnt thought about the gags and associations…I cant help it even thought its probably been said…..are we off the BLMC server and onto a Jaguar Server? well done! Rule Britainia (even though one of my cars is from ze GermanZ), Alex

  45. Thanks for a great Kieth and everyone involved with the site,as I have followed it since early 2004.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.

  46. Happy Christmas to Mike and Keith and everyone who is part of our ‘club’ – looking forward to more interesting reading, comment and debate in 2012.
    Take care

  47. Well done to Keith & Co for an excellent infomative website, not any keeping us up the date with the goings with MG and others, also finding rare snippets of interesting information on BMC, BMH, BLMC, Leyland Cars Ltd, BL, ARG, RG, MGR. Keep up with the good work and I wish everybody at ARO Merry Xmas, and a Happy new Year, from an Rover and BL owner.Regards Mark

  48. Thank you Keith & the team for all that effort you put into this site over 2011. I hope 2012 allows you time to reflect a little more, but things usually turn out just as busy. You either have too much work (you guys) or no work (Longbridge.)

    I also wish for your bones to heal totally Keith; enough to allow you another book project.
    Take care.

  49. Merry Xmas to all Contributors and readers! I got hooked on here from way back when it was just B(L)MC, love the site and log on every day, get really downhearted when there is nothing new to read!

  50. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all who follow this invaluable site

    A big thank you to all the AR Online team for maintaining this superb site.

    Your efforts are appreciated!

  51. Merry Christmas everyone – Keith, the team and all of AROnline’s contributors.

    Don’t know what I’d do now with all the time I spend on the site. And, my addiction is forever growing!!!!!

  52. Happy Christmas and New Year to all.

    Love the site, it’s the first page I look at when I go on the net. Looking forward to 2012.

  53. Keith Wrote Until then, thank you for making this a brilliant year, and giving your unstinting support.
    No we all thank you for providing a wonderful informative website.
    I love the Facebook page too.

  54. Merry christmas to all on aronline, and to keith adams and his team for a wonderful year of debates and for this excellent website ,

  55. Just time to wish you all at AROnline and all it’s readers a happy Christmas.

    Keith. Comment 69 re badge, I think Keith means you were having a compertition to redesign the logo.

  56. Merry Xmas Keith and thanks for the site, be lost without it! If you ever need a bit of IT support then do not hesitate to ask.

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