Saturday, 6 October 2007

Picture of the week – Austin Maestro

I know what you’re thinking, how can anyone get excited about an Austin Maestro? Well, Maestros have all but disappeared from British roads; the last ones made by Rover were assembled in 1994 but the Y-prefix on the registration plate of this one means it was registered between March and September 2001.

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The date of registration was the first thing I noticed but consider what the letter means. The first Maestros were produced before August 1983 and had Y-suffix registrations. That puts the Maestro in the small group of cars that have had the same letter as both a suffix and prefix.

How did the Maestro come back to Britain? After UK production ceased the entire production line was exported, there was an unsuccessful attempt to sell the tooling to the Bulgarians and eventually production moved to China. Some cars from Bulgaria ended up back in the UK and a company in Ledbury, imported Chinese Maestros and converted them to right-hand drive. This car has a Hereford & Worcestershire registration which, along with the date of registration, suggests that it is a Chinese car.

1 comment:

Sam Skelton said...

Just one correction, John. Ledbury cars were the unmade Bulgarian kits, not Chinese cars. My friend Steve Worsley is M+MOC Post Cowley registrar and has a website devoted to them.