YOU heard it here first. Thanks to the enterprising people at the Triple ‘M’ Club, it looks like brand new Maestro body shells could well be making a welcome return to the UK.
It is a scheme I have been thinking of myself for a while, and I remembered sometime back mentioning it to the Maestro and Montego Owners’ Club, and getting a non-committal response. Basically what you do, is get a fluent Chinese speaker to get in touch with Etsong on your behalf and order half a dozen brand new body shells. You then get them imported into the UK – not as expensive as you would think – and hey presto – you can freshly re-shell that cherished, but rusty Maestro.
Well it seems I wasn’t the only person to think of this – when I mentioned this to Gareth Kidman, he who runs Triple ‘M’ and owns possibly one of the fastest Maestros out there, said, ‘we’re already making plans…’
…you get new Maestro shells imported into
the UK (not as expensive as you would think)
and hey presto – you can freshly re-shell
that cherished, but rusty Maestro.
The club has access to a shipping company and a fluent Chinese speaker, and it only seems like a matter of time before it happens. All it seems they need, is a commitment from one or two enthusiasts.
But I hear you ask – why new shells?
Simple really – Maestro and Montego body panels are plentiful in the UK at Rover dealers, but shells are no longer available. And as we all know, Maestros are not averse to the odd bit of structural rust. So, instead of welding up what you have, get a new shell, properly treat it before using it, and then stuff all the bits from your existing cars into it.
Now if that sounds silly and overboard for a car at best worth a couple of thousand pounds (and a lot less if you believe the Glass’s Guide), remember that there are now little over 100 Turbos left, and even today, in a climate where these cars are revered for their ability by enthusiasts, badly corroded ones can still get scrapped. Today you can buy new off-the-shelf MGB and Mini bodyshells thanks to British Motor Heritage and no-one bats an eyelid.
So why not the Maestro?
After all, we love them here at Austin-Rover, don’t we?
And the scheme for importing new body shells is a no-brainer – we wish Triple ‘M’ a lot of luck, and hope that they can find enough people who are interested in getting one…
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.