News : Maestro & Montego Club kicks off 2016 with expansion plans and a joy ride


The Maestro and Montego Owners Club (MMOC) held recently held its AGM at MINI Plant Oxford which resulted in a new committee being elected with Tanya Field stepping up to the position of Chairperson and Mike Humble taking on responsibility for the Club’s social media activity. The Club has somewhat struggled with social media recently and Mike has already got to work setting up a Twitter feed and is now managing the club’s Facebook Page. Plans are also in the pipeline for a brand new YouTube channel.

The M&MOC is also deep in planning for an all-new website and are looking to expand the membership regardless of whether new members own a Maestro or Montego or not. Social media representative, Mike Humble, said: ‘Both Maestro and Montego are now viewed upon as cool retro cars despite them having a tainted reputation when in production. Some owners are now third-generation fans of these cars and it’s here where we want to expand our Club. There are exciting times ahead this year for the M&MOC – just in time, as these great old cars become true icons of ‘1980s British motoring.’

Some of the Club members pass the tower block famously depicted in the BBC and ITN news coverage of the Blackbird Leys riots which took place 25 years ago this year
Some of the Club members pass the tower block famously depicted in the BBC and ITN
news coverage of the Blackbird Leys riots which took place 25 years ago this year.

After the AGM, there was a road trip to Blackbird Leys, a council estate a stone’s throw from the factory. Blackbird Leys became infamous in the late 1980s and early ‘90s for stolen car displays and even made it on to the national news. MG Maestros were a particular favourite with the joy riders and there was a red MG Maestro which was featured heavily as part of the news reports.

M&MOC members didn’t recreate any of the scenes from that era, but many of the residents really enjoyed seeing the cars again and even stopped by to chat and admire the mini convoy. Blackbird Leys is home to many former and current Cowley workers who built Maestros, Montegos and, of course, still build the present MINI.

Mike Humble


  1. Im fairly sure the Red Meastro mentioned was stolen from the village where I lived. At least according to my dad, at the time, but that was 25 years ago!

    Can remember it like yesterday, the reports on Central News South!

  2. Good luck to the MMOC. I had an MG Montego Turbo for a couple of years from new. It was a great car. Later we had a second hand Austin Montego GSi Estate which I bought for my wife and ended up using myself, an excellent family holdall.

  3. The Blackbird Leys riot reminds me of another riot closer to me in North Shields in 1991 that was linked to joyriders, in this case two joyriders who stole a Renault 19 Turbo( remember them?), refused to stop for the police and crashed it at 119 mph on the A19. Some people on the Meadowell estate might have considered Dale Gibson and Colin Atkins heroes and the victims of police brutality, as some rumour went round that the police had forced them off the road and killed them, but in reality they were low lives and involved in ram raiding and car theft. Also the riot caused millions of pounds worth of damage to the estate, destroyed a vital community centre and local shops, and even now if you say you are from Meadowell, people from better of parts of Shields think criminal or unemployable.

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