Words and photography: Alexander Boucke
At times it happens to all of us: something bulky needs to be carried, typically after a visit to your local Swedish furniture store. In our case, a friend of the family had a surplus musical instrument – a small organ, a harmonium to be precise – which he wanted to get rid of.
We just had to organise a way to shift it and it would be ours. And surely many of us know, that at times this is easier said than done… Thanks to having access to a fleet of BMC>MGR’s finest with a fifth door, this would be easily done, wouldn’t it?
Here is the object of desire – you wouldn’t think that it looks particularly large… However, after receiving the dimensions through the ‘phone some things were clear very quickly: at nearly 44ins in width and being quite a bit taller this would be a challenge.
The Maestro was immediately out of the game, as were the Rover 827 Vitesse and the 416 Tourer while the Montego Estate might have worked had it not been for those huge wheel arches protruding into the loading area.
Now, enter the Maxi: thanks to the Hydragas bits all being hidden under the absolutely flat floor it just offered the right width and, with the low sill, loading would be a doddle, too.
On arrival, the organ looked so huge next to the Maxi – if I had not done my homework, I would have had some doubts about the plan but, of course, it fitted snugly into the boot. One wonders how many of today’s 4 metre long hatchbacks would have managed the same.
The loading capacities of the Maxi have often helped me out when bulky stuff needed moving – be it all the contents of a dismantled ADO16 in one go (couldn’t get reverse or fifth gear anymore with two Vanden Plas 1300 front seats sitting on the passenger seat), an Austin 3 Litre engine block (well, that was a bit on the heavy side) or a dining table complete with four chairs…
The Maxi may not be the most beautiful car of all time, but it certainly is an excellent choice to live with.