By Julian Mounter Motoring Correspondent
A completely revised and greatly improved Austin Maxi is announced by British Leyland today. Quieter, with a smoother and more positive gear change and modernized interior layout it is offered with a choice of 1500c.c. or 1750c.c. engines. The Maxi was heavily criticized after its launch in April last year.
After a road test at the beginning of last summer I wrote: “It is a car that with one or two substantial improvements would probably become a considerable success, but which in present form is often tedious.” These changes have been made and having given the new cars a brief test at Silverstone and in the lanes near by I feel thev are good value, well designed and well put together. Introducing the revised models. Mr. George Turnbull. group managing director of Austin-Morris said vesterday.
“We would be foolish not to concede that the original Maxi needed more refinement and a more positive gear selection mechanism. It is in these areas that we have concentrated our research and development…”
The new 1750c.c. power unit is developed from the 1500c.c. E series engine. Of the former gearchange I said: “It feels like stirring treacle with a long thin cane”.
Now rod- operated, instead of cable, it is a vast improvement: not wholly positive but completely acceptable. The seats, they were good on the old Maxi,are better and have a perforated finish. In summary, I said of the previous Maxi: “The consumer is obviously prepared to put up with the disadvantages because the advantages outweigh them. Get rid of those few disadvantages and… The missing words I now feel are: you have an excellent family motor car.”
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.