Richard Gelder explains why the Maestro is just his cup of tea…
My first experience of Austin – Rover cars was when I was about four years old. My dad had just bought a Brown 1987 Rover 213. There’s not much I remember about this car, but it marked the beginning of my interest in the cars built by Rover and the other manufacturers associated with it. Over the years, the Rover was replaced by a 1990 216 Vitesse and recently a Rover 218, which is now used by my grandmother when my parents gave up the Rover brand for the likes of Peugeot and SAAB.
During the past few years, my interest has grown; no doubt this website has helped to fuel my passion! The start of 2003 marked the year I turned seventeen, and thus, my attention turned to driving! I quickly started to trawl the ads – trying to find the perfect car. Of course, it wasn’t going to be a Fiesta or a Nova for me; it had to be a Rover or an Austin. After a few weeks of looking, my eyes fell on an ad for a 1994 Maestro Clubman. This car seemed perfect – exactly what I was looking for. The price was within budget and the 1.3 engine would be easy to use and fix, and most importantly – cheap to insure!
One week and £400.00 later, I was the new owner of “Aggie” – my first car. It would be best to describe her as “well used”. Her short 9 years on the road have certainly taken their toll as the collection of Fungi and other living organisms attached to the interior suggested. The missing bits of interior trim and far from perfect paintwork doesn’t bother me, however.
So what made the Maestro so appealing?
It seemed to be the perfect car for me to learn in. The mechanicals are robust enough to handle the harsh driving of a learner and the views form the huge glass area can’t be matched by any other car. Plus, I finally have a car produced by the company that has been the focus of my interest for so long.
Hopefully, myself and Aggie will have many years together and in the few months I have owned her; she has proven to be a very reliable, solid car that just needs a bit of TLC. Looking back, maybe I did pay a little too much for the car she is, but then again, they say love is blind
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.