Andrew Davis, a former assembly worker at Cowley, sent us this fascinating image of one of those workaday hacks that never escape the factory. This one, a pick-up conversion of the Maestro, lived a long and absolutely fascinating life.
Here’s a brief snapshot…
Andrew recalls the history of the pick-up shown in the photograph above: ‘This is a picture from 1996 of our pick-up outside the workshop in Cowley. From memory, five pick-ups were built in Longbridge, not at the home of the LM10 in Cowley. At least one of the pick-ups was in use at Longbridge, one was blown up on TV by Jeremy Beadle and another was in use by a tyre firm in Abingdon for a number of years.
‘They didn’t have any additions to the chassis rails, a heavy gauge bulkhead behind the cab and angle iron along the inside edges of the tub. Ours had a habit of cracking where the panel was cut at 90 degrees between the cab and tub – we used to weld it up every so often.
‘We had it as a works vehicle from 1995-2000, keeping it going using some of the Bulgarian CKD parts. After this picture was taken we added a box section system to fit a ladder rack and mobile work vice. We also towed a train of trailers loaded with kit to the various installation works that we did around the factory.
‘At one stage it was taken away, repainted and photographed to tempt the Chinese into buying the tooling. When Rover split from BMW, Longbridge insisted on having it back and we didn’t envy the person who came to collect it – as it was so noisy, we thoughtfully gave him some ear defenders to wear!’