Car of the Month : October 2007

There can’t be many readers out there now who haven’t heard all about the Bulgarian built Maestros – a few ended up back in the UK as uncompleted kits when the Rodacar venture failed…

Ledbury garages built a few, as did Apple – but here we reckon is the lowest-mileage example left in the UK, recently bought by Maestro enthusiast Steve Worsley, in unregistered form.

Pictures and words: Steve Worsley

Feisty Maesty…

STEVE Worsley is a fine example of someone who’s really into their cars – and in his case that’s the Austin and MG Maestro. He’s owned a fair selection of the most interesting sorts, including an early Vanden Plas, one of the UK’s only ‘Monstros’ (a Maestro with Montego front, just like Etsong used to build)… but his latest acquisition is even more interesting.

We’re no strangers to the Ledbury and Apple Maestros on this website – we’ve told the full story about the Rodacar operation in Varna, Bulgaria. Despite that, we’re soft on these honest to goodness cars here at AR, and when we heard about Steve’s fascinating example, we couldn’t resist giving it the treatment…

Left hand drive, and beautifully minimalist…

Steve recalls, ‘ I bought it earlier this year from eBay, and unregistered with just 900 miles on the clock. With that kind of mileage, it seemed too good to be true, but in the end, the price was right, I went for it… and now the car is mine.

‘Built in 1996 in Varna, Bulgaria, by Rover/Daru Group company ‘Rodacar’ with a close-ratio van gearbox and high suspension/14-inch wheels and A-Series engine. Choices were Flame Red, White Diamond, Midnight Blue and rarest of all, Black. This particular car was completed in Bulgaria so has a proper Rover chassis number, which for these cars begins ‘SAXXCHWD8AV’ – the V representing Varna. The first known number is 801110 and the last 802323, with about 75 per cent of numbers missing, at random, between these.’

Although unregistered, any thoughts of it receiving an 07-plate from the DVLA were soon dashed when Steve went to his local office to get the car up, running and legal. ‘Mine was registered for the first time as of 1st August 2007, as N207 ENE, a Manchester registration. Have put about 1000 miles on it now, purely in joy-rides. It’s certainly different driving a LHD car, but I am getting on well with it.’

Keith Adams

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