Project update

Just a brief update on the progress of E225CMV. Regular readers may recall that an indicator lens had left us on the M42 en route home, and as such the indicator unit needed replacement. My old mate Doug, who had been in the car with me when the lens left us, parted with his last nearside indicator unit on Thursday night for my car, and whilst I was at his place I decided to get his opinion on what I thought was a very low idle speed - the automatic choke is meant to maintain an idle of between Read more [...]

The hunt is over

Regular readers of From The Captain's Chair will know that I've been hunting for a Maestro or Montego now for a while. As the editor of Monstro, the M+MOC club mag, it wasn't really right that I lacked an example of the last wholly British mass-production saloon. Plus, the aged family Peugeot appeared to be doing it's best to kill me, with it's wonky brakes, knocking steering, and general feeling of being about to expire. I was looking for a Montego in preference to its hatchback brother - Read more [...]

Austin Montego 1.6HL

Monte-No-Bad Despite the fact that it was in the nicest spec, the first Montego 1.6 I drove didn't make as good an impression as I had wished. To quote my original review, the steering was heavy, the gearbox didn't leave me overjoyed, and it just did not feel as good as I'd hoped. I've driven a few 1.6 Maestros since, and they were enough to convince me I'd been wrong. The heavy steering must just have been a defect on that - accident damaged - Mayfair, and the gearbox seemed far more pleasant Read more [...]

Austin Montego 2.0HL

An MG on weed... "An MG on weed!" That's how the carburettor engined 2.0 Montego was sold to me as a concept, and it's a surprisingly accurate description. Known to me via the Maestro and Montego Owners' Club, Ed Davey owns a 2.0HL in very good condition - indeed, it's as new. Knowing it was the only mechanical spec I hadn't yet sampled he asked if I wanted a spin in E225CMV to complete the set, as it were. As a Maestro and Montego fan, I was unlikely to pass up that opportunity, especially Read more [...]

Austin Maestro Vanden Plas

Smooth operator... If you're not likely to put your foot down often, a Vanden Plas is probably the best Maestro in the real world. You get lovely wood cappings, leather trim if you go for a later one, or a digidash if your favoured variants are pre-84. Power steering was a later option, and automatic transmission was available for those who like myself prefer the lazy life. Some readers may question my logic in reviewing this car in addition to the MG1600 and 1.6 Mayfair, but trust me on Read more [...]