Auction Watch : Austin Montego Vanden Plas EFI

With less than 300 examples left on UK roads, the Austin Montego is fast becoming a rare 1980s classic with an interesting backstory – so being able to grab a nice example is something of an opportunity these days.

It’s 1986, and the Austin Montego is halfway towards being developed into the car it always should have been. The early quality woes are being intensively worked on, while the model range is being extended to incorporate more appealing and rep-friendly versions.

However, it’s far from perfect at this – and indeed any – point, with the Ford Sierra and Vauxhall Cavalier Mk2 comfortably out-selling Austin Rover’s finest on the UK market Top 10. Today, though, the Montego is picking up a committed following and so, when a nice example comes up for sale, it attracts plenty of interest from enthusiasts. And that’s why we’ve picked up on this one.

If you’re looking for one, this one’s not far off Peak Montego. It’s a Vanden Plas powered by the fuel-injected 2.0-litre O-Series engine from the MG Maestro delivering a healthy 115bhp for a handy sub-10 second 0-60mph time. It would be quicker, but this one’s an auto – and, as such, loses a little performance in favour of convenience. That’s a shame, because a well-sorted PG1 is a delightful thing to use.

This one has just 44,000 miles on the clock, and certainly looks the part in the sale imagery, with a very tidy interior especially. The dashboard is described as being, ‘good with no cracks or marks and the carpets, door cards and headlining are in a similarly good condition.’

The bodywork is described as straight, and again it looks very good in the photography, so would definitely warrant a closer look before bidding. There’s a lack of supporting paperwork, with the car having spent a good chunk of its life in Northern Ireland (it went there in 1994) before heading back to the mainland recently to end up with its current owner.

So, it’s definitely an interesting example of a car that’s become very rare, very quickly – and well worth bidding on before the auction comes to an end. To find out more, check out the link below.

Keith Adams


  1. Only drove one of those EFI Montegos, also a VDP with leather but a manual box. C-plate if I remember correctly, but with the rusty rear arches most of them seemed to get. Was reasonably quick, refined and comfortable. Hope this one finds a good home.

  2. Nice looking car but red! It does not really help the car in VP trim. If it was announced MG then yes. My mates Dad had one as a Taxi back in the late 80s, loverly ride but by 91 had rusted away and had been replaced by the bkanx but bombproof Bluebird. If I had the space I would be interested as it is an accessible modern classic.

  3. I was given a lovely BR Green estate VP as a company car, the perceived build quality and seats were much nicer than Ford Sierra and in estate form it had good ride and practically, after 2 years I bought it and gave it to my Father who had owned Mercedes, he ran it for ten years and said it was best car he had owned.

    • There was a girl at university in 1990 whose mother drove her to the halls of residence in Coventry in a very nice G reg Montego 2.0 SL estate in BRG. The family must have been big Austin Rover fans as her father had a Rover 827 and the daughter appeared in a D reg Metro City later in the year. I believe they wee from Cheshire and the old man owned barges on a canal and a property business,

  4. Nice looking car but would look better in a metallic finish. When this example was new it was about the same time ARG relaunched the Montego and promoted the 1.6L saloon with 2 tone paint and white wheelcovers. They also introduced the 2.0Si which replaced the MG Monty – I think?

    • I think the MG and the 2.0Si were sold alongside each other – as were the Metro GTa and the MG Metro

  5. Love my old MG Montego. It was white and the wheel trims were long lost so looked a bit police car’ish at the time 😉
    Working in the Rover EMS department so changed the ignition tune over to the one used for the MG Maestro challenge (I think, its a while ago !)

  6. Remembering driving a colleagues at work metallic blue vp in about 1990…..had the leather seats and drove really well…..really nice car I thought at the time… I ended up buying a red mg in 1995 and a b r g one in 2001…..loved them and still have fond memories. Reliable,fast and comfortable car…..rare beast now

  7. Don’t foget the poor man Vanden Plas…. the Mayfair. From what I remember it was nice comfortable and quiet car. I borrowed one once as a courtesy car from C.D Bramhall in Lancaster when my Metro was having new wings under corrosion warranty.

  8. Just read an advert in 2011 Classic Car Mart for a blue/turquoise Montego VDP “believed to be the only one in existence”. Er, no – caveat emptor!

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