News : Happy New Year from AROnline, plus some important anniversaries

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Craig Cheetham

Happy New Year from all at AROnline...
Happy New Year from all at AROnline…

Happy New Year! Whether you love partying until the early hours and revelling in the sentimentality of the occasion, or, like me, prefer to stick the kids in bed and curl up on the sofa with a beer and a good book, the festivities are pretty much over, and for many of us it’ll be back to reality with a bang over the coming few days.

In terms of New Year’s resolutions, I’ve made a few. The vast majority won’t interest you – although among them are a commitment to buy a Rover 75 or MG ZT before the year is out (as cheaply as possible, for I always do) and to finally get my two latest projects up and running so I can write about them in ‘Our Cars’, especially as I’ve owned one of them for five months now…

2015

There’s plenty to come from AROnline in 2015, too. In terms of new cars, there’s the Land Rover Discovery Sport, Jaguar XE and MG’s new SUV to look forward to, and no doubt many others besides.

And there are also a number of significant anniversaries – not least the fact that 10 years will have passed since MG Rover fell off its perch – we covered the story in great detail on this site at the time, and will be going back over some of the coverage during the Spring.

Amazingly, almost 10 years have passed since MG Rover closed its doors...
Amazingly, almost 10 years have passed since MG Rover closed its doors…

In addition, we also hope to bring you a couple of interviews with people who were there at the time – no guarantees, but we’re working on it.

One thing we’ll definitely do, though, is mark some of the more significant birthdays among ‘our’ cars. I’ve no doubt missed a few, as this list was compiled under the influence of eggnog, so please leave a comment if there’s one we’ve missed and need to cover…

For starters, though, 2015 marks:

60 years of the MGA

Albeit extremely hard to believe, given the fact it still looks so lithe and aerodynamic.

Happy 60th, MGA!
Happy 60th, MGA!

50 years of the Mini Marcos

An often forgotten, but ultimately pretty cool half kit car Mini derivative.

Has anyone else always really fancied one of these?
Has anyone else always really fancied one of these?

40 years of the BL Princess, Jaguar XJ-S, Rolls-Royce Camargue, Reliant Kitten and AMC Pacer

Clearly, 1975 was a vintage year for the car industry. Although there’s nothing British about the Pacer, we’ve included it in this list as it’s often referred to as ‘America’s Allegro’, and we’ll be profiling its rise and, er, fall later in the year…

Except, it wasn't actually that small...
Except, it wasn’t actually that small…

 

Not even Rolls-Royce could escape the excesses of the decade that taste forgot...
Not even Rolls-Royce could escape the excesses of the decade that taste forgot…

Happy Birthday, too, to Coventry’s infamous flying buttresses and arguably Mann’s greatest creation, the Princess ‘Wedge’.

An XJ-S just how I like them - shabby and in regular use...
An XJ-S just how I like them – shabby and in regular use…

 

Happy Birthday Wedge!
Happy Birthday Wedge!

30 years of the MG Montego Turbo and MG Metro 6R4

One, an iconic and highly successful performance car well worthy of the MG moniker, the other a souped-up Metro (you can tell he’s been drinking, can’t you?)

Not to be cruel, but the plate's probably worth more than the car...
Not to be cruel, but the plate’s probably worth more than the car…

 

It may have been a white elephant for Austin Rover, but in many ways we're so glad they did it....
It may have been a white elephant for Austin Rover, but in many ways we’re so glad they did it….

25 years of the Rover 400, Rover Metro Mk 2 and Mini Cooper RSP

The car that put Mini back on the map, the car that put the boot into the excellent R8 and the upmarket-feeling supermini that won What Car’s Car of the Year award as Rover rode the crest of a wave – how times, sadly, changed…

A huge phenomenon of the 1990s - here's where it started...
A huge phenomenon of the 1990s – here’s where it started…

 

And here's a variation of the car that pretty much bankrolled it...
…and here’s a variation of the car that pretty much bankrolled it.

 

Meanwhile, this unassuming little beauty is marking a quarter of a century, too
Meanwhile, this unassuming little beauty is marking a quarter of a century, too

20 years of the MGF

Unbelievable as it seems, Gerry McGovern’s mid-engined two-seater is two decades old this year…

Who remembers the excitement when this first came out? It was fever pitch in the media, 20 years ago...
Who remembers the excitement when this first came out? It was fever pitch in the media, 20 years ago…

Wishing you all a safe, prosperous and Happy New Year – and please keep supporting and following AROnline…

All the best for 2015 - from the Editor, and his car...
All the best for 2015 – from the Editor, and his car…

Craig Cheetham

A serial impulsive car purchaser, Craig has had his name on over 200 V5s over the past 20 years. 10 per cent of those have been either 800s or Austin Allegros, with between 10 and 20 cars usually owned at any one time. Started out as a local newspaper journalist then worked for car mags including Auto Express, Classic Car Weekly and Land Rover Owner. Worked inside the car industry for a decade as an employee of General Motors, now works for a news distribution agency. Home based, which is dangerously convenient for further irrational heap purchases. Lover of all makes of car since childhood, with a particular leaning towards Austin-Rover... Father of three boys, so hoping to spread the car love. Other passions include rugby union, travelling and eating out.

21 Comments

  1. Happy New Year to all the AROnline team!

    A couple of other anniversaries not mentioned: 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of HHR/Theta, the ‘2nd’ generation Rover 400 Series and R3, the third generation 200 Series.

    Thirty years ago in April was the launch of the MG Montego Turbo, not the MG Montego [EFi] which itself was announced in April 1984 as part of the main Montego saloon line-up. 1985 also saw the launch of the evolution Rover SD1 Vitesse, the much vaunted twin-plenum Vitesse.

    Talking of Rover Vitesses, it was 30 years ago in March that the first Austin Rover Group engine appeared in a Honda-designed model in the form of the S Series-powered Rover 216, which of course included the 216 Vitesse EFi.

    Twenty years ago the first examples of the mildly updated Rover Metro range(now known as the Rover 100 Series in all markets) went on sale, having been announced on Boxing Day in 1994.

    45 years ago saw the launch of the Triumph Stag and the Range Rover.

    There are probably a few other anniversaries I have missed out, but 2015 certainly looks like being a bumper year for celebrations.

  2. How can the XJS be 40? Every inch a “proper” classic now, love it or hate it.

    It’s also 20 since the launch of the e39 generation 5 Series – again, love it or hate it, it was a game changer!

    Happy new year everyone 🙂

  3. 30 years since the Bentley Turbo R, whilst they may have bodged a turbo onto the Mulsanne in ’83, the R was the real deal with suspension and handling tweaks that allowed you to really enjoy the extra power.

  4. Happy new year, this is definitely the best motoring website around and I’ve enjoyed it for the last 13 years.
    40 years of the Princess, this is one anniversary I will be celebrating as I’ve been a big fan of the wedge shaped car since the late seventies and once it was sorted around 1977 became a very nice car.

  5. Happy New Year to all. So many enjoyable hours have been spent on this website along with making friends with several who share the same passion for the cars.

    MG geek observation – the red MG F above seems to have a different tonneau cover to Fs and TFs that I have seen which tuck under the rear edge of the boot lid. Any ideas?

    • @Eamonn: there were two versions available, I think up to and from 1998. I recently bought one which does not go under the boot lid on ebay but it doesn’t fit on my 2000 model year MGF. This variant is held in place by a wire worked into the rear edge of the tonneau cover but there is nowhere for this to go on my MGF.

  6. Was it not in the autumn of 1995 that the Vauxhall Cavalier was replaced by the Vectra? I still miss that generation of Vauxhall Cavalier.

  7. 25 years of the ROVER Metro – that one really strikes me! Again, I can remember my first viewing – I was working for Plaxton Group ( which owned Henlys ) and the very first had that day arrived at the dealership. Seems like yesterday when Metro suddenly became a refined, quality machine.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR !!

  8. Yes, almost 10 years since MG Rover folded. That was about the same time that I discovered aronline and it was so useful in providing so much objective detail as to what was happening, plus the involvement of SAIC and Nanjing Auto. I look forward to another great year for aronline!

  9. A personal annicersarie: 10 years since i bought my very first car: a 1985 rover vitesse, which in turn sparked the Rover-Fever again in the family.

    Still got the vitesse… She’s turning 30 this year…. Wonder what kindoff cake i should get 🙂

  10. For me, Rover Metro Mk2 is one of the most interested car, by the fact that it was one of the last ‘real’ British cars and ‘fun to drive’ character(Although it hasn’t been existed in South Korea). Maybe I have to say like; Congratulations to having a 25th birthday!

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