Maestro-based Banham 200

The Ford RS200 was once a competitor to Austin-Rover’s own Group B rally car, the Metro 6R4. This modern-day reinterpretation of the RS200 uses one of the production Metro’s stablemates as its basis…

Banham appears to have ceased trading in 2004, although we have yet to find out the full details…

To find out more, contact Kit Car magazine.

When Paul Banham was offered the opportunity to purchase the original bodywork tooling for the legendary Ford RS200, he jumped at the chance; indeed, had he not, there was a good chance that it would have just been scrapped. Of course, turning out faithful replicas of the original car, with its rally-bred mid-engined, 4wd specification, was not a viable proposition, so the hunt was on for something else to act as chassis donor.

It was then that Paul realised that there was another car which shared virtually the same dimensions as the RS200: the Maestro. OK, right now you may be thinking “chalk and cheese”, and to be fair, if your idea of the Maestro stops at the A-series shopping versions, you’d be right. But Paul was thinking more in terms of the very respectable performance offered by the 2.0-litre MG Maestro, especially in Turbo form. Indeed, the Maestro has a proven track in the Maestro Challenge Series, and has been rallied in various forms by enthusiast and site contributor John Dalton. Having said that, there’s nothing to stop someone building a 1.3-litre Banham 200 – or even a diesel-engined version – if they so wish…

In the course of the conversion, the Maestro’s basic structure and suspension is carried straight over, so the engine and gearbox are installed at the front, driving the front wheels – meaning that the finished car offers a rear seat and a decent-sized boot roughly where the powertrain would have been in the original Ford car. Surprisingly, the 200 can also make use of the Maestro’s seats and dashboard assembly, although owners in search of a more authentic look can opt for an orginal-style dashboard and rally-specification seating. All-in, it’s reckoned that one of these cars could be put on the road for less than £5000 (depending on specification). The first examples hit the streets in 2000.

Information and images used with the kind permission of Paul Banham Conversions.
Further information on the Banham 200 can be found at their website

Keith Adams

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