Blog : Return of the prodigal son

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Thanks, Craig, for your touching words the other day. More than that, though, thanks for keeping my seat at the helm of AROnline warm. On a personal level, 2014 and ’15 have been extremely busy, but also incredibly rewarding – so coming back to AROnline, the site I created to get onto ‘the Internet’ the proof-read a book I never released, really is the icing on the cake.

During the past, 12 months, I’ve learned how to run a weekly newspaper – in the form of Classic Car Weekly – manage a brilliant team, get to the heart of the classic car scene and learn to believe in myself. While I’ve been growing in the world of print, I’ve been keeping a fatherly eye on developments at AROnline and have enjoyed following Craig’s travails buying a string of successively hopeless heaps. Yep, he fits in.

However, it was hard keeping my hands off – and, after much agonising, I’ve decided to come back. Of course, all of my contributions to AROnline will be in my own time, as the day job at Bauer must come first, but those of you who know me, will also understand that it was always so – pretty much all of the site was written ‘off the clock’ and for fun. Why? Because it’s a labour of love.

What makes this website so absolutely special, though, is that I’m far from being alone in that respect. Greats like Mike Humble, Alexander Boucke, Brian Gunn, Ian Nicholls, Clive Goldthorp and Declan Berridge (as well as many, many more) did all of their amazing work on the site on a purely voluntary basis, and it’s a credit to each and every one of them.

So, what’s going to change in the coming weeks and months? Very little, I hope. I’ll polish up and refresh the historic side of the site, find new stories and recollections to add, and make sure that we’re still accurate in matters of product and marketing development throughout the years. Mike Humble will be given a free hand to entertain and educate, too.

I’ll dust off my book of CSS programming, too, so if there are functional or design issues of the site you’d like me to develop, please feel free to leave a comment below, discuss it on Facebook, or email me on I’m looking forward to hearing from you on matters of ‘the eternal soap opera’.


Keith Adams


  1. Welcome back, Keith!

    A thread has been started over on MacD celebrating your return and in turn contains many helpful* suggestions for you and the future of AROnline.

    It would be great to have you back over there too.

    Best of luck back at the helm. It hasn’t been the same without you.

  2. Sadly, I never re-registered over there when the forum moved, so I won’t see the helpful suggestions. Feel free to post the best ones in the comments here…

  3. Good to see you back Keith… Craig has done a good job and so have all the other contributers. Will continue with my daily visits to aronline! Hope you can do some features on other British marques from the 60’s 70’s too.

  4. Welcome back (and thanks to Craig for keeping the seat warm!).

    Can we please have more on what’s going on at SAIC? MG and Roewe seem to be struggling with sales volumes (eg the Maxus vans only sold 21,000 in a year) despite the new Roewe 360, etc, and there’s a lot of speculation around as to why, eg bureaucratic/ unenterprising management in China, so it would be good to see all these threads pulled together and put in the perspective of Longbridge, etc.

    As for a new British-made car to use, what about an early Primera, Bluebird, Corolla or Avensis? Or even a Swindon built Accord to compare against a 600 – there can’t be many of those left… Or one of the Nanjing TF’s…

    • Hi,

      Fair post and don’t want to come across as too negative, but why are you interested and what is there to say? It is a low budget cluster-feck.

      It is all finished now. MG Rover are gone, totally gone. Some Chinese bandits have bought some things and are now producing low rate cars here and there.

      The UK production bases as we know it are gone. Part of the BMW production network or JLR, etc. In the case of Longbridge, go and have a look and see. It is decimated. There may be some corner where someone can open a few boxes, but in terms of an industrial power base, it is finished.

      It is exceptionally sad, but Jaguar, Land Rover, MINI and other brands have faired better. Not that I am at all happy with how they are but compared to MG and Rover, they have not had the total humiliation which of the last 10 years.

  5. Michael to entertain? I’m looking forward to his singing and dancing routine, followed by his BL special tools juggling act! 😀

    welcome back to the hot seat Keith!

      • Some dance suggestions:

        1) the McPherson Strut
        2) the O-series tappet setting Jig
        3) the Scammell Routeman Eightsome Wheel
        4) the Hydrolastic Pogo
        5) or maybe just some Brake Dancing?

        That’s quite enough weirdness for one day.

        Welcome back Keith, and thankyou Craig for your sevices in the interregnum.

  6. Welcome back, Keith.
    I thought Craig did a great job of looking after the site, but AROnline with 100% reduced Keith just seemed…Odd…

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