One of those interesting publicity stunts was staged in order to highlight the Maestro’s potential for fuel economy…
THE photograph was taken as she flagged off the two teams of Oxbridge students at the start of the Austin Maestro Economy Run challenge, (presumably alongside the Thames) in London. This publicity stunt to promote the high fuel economy of the new Austin Maestro HLE took place on 8th April 1983 just a week after that other annual London encounter, between Oxford and Cambridge Universities, namely the Boat Race.
The format of the challenge was for 2 teams of 6 people, to drive in pairs over three legs of a 200-mile route, starting and finishing in London and going via Oxford and Cambridge.
The participants were members of the University Motor Clubs, the Cambridge University Automobile Club (CUAC) on the left in the Marshalls of Cambridge car, and the Oxford University Motor Drivers Club (OUMDC) on the right in the Hartwells of Oxford car. It does not look like the cars were light and dark blue, which is perhaps why the photo is in black and white.