The Austin Maestro / Montego Story

  • Published on: 28 July 2019
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    The Maestro was the car that killed Austin Rover. Poised on a knife-edge in the early 80’s between survival and disaster, this car, and its booted Montego sister, caused its death. Not right away – plenty of Government subsidies and deals with Honda and BMW gave the company another 20 years, but this was the critical moment when it all went wrong. When the company lost its ability to chart its own destiny. So why were these cars such poor-sellers, and why did a company that made the critically successful Metro, get it all wrong with its follow-up?
  • Runtime : 18:48
  • austin maestro austin montego rover montego rover maestro


  • Big Car
    Big Car   1 months ago

    Errata: Roy Axe came from Chrysler, not Ford.

  • DumbSkippy
    DumbSkippy   1 days ago

    I really enjoy your videos. Thank you so much for sharing this rich history.

  • Johnny Trott
    Johnny Trott   4 days ago

    It seems cars from that era had much better visibility from inside than the cars of today.

  • Gavin Adams
    Gavin Adams   1 weeks ago

    I loved the Montego considering in my opinion was ahead of its time. Fuel economy was probably the best at 33 mpg from the 1.6 petrol boot space was enormous and I always dreamed and still do of getting a Vanden Plas with the digital dash, which most cars now have. For me bring back the Montego.

  • rolf050
    rolf050   1 weeks ago

    Why did British car industry lost the battle? Because they didn’t have the German innovative engineering and design, they were far more inefficient than German factories. British management was weak. British workers were striking more than they were working. That’s why Britain lost Rover, Jaguar and all other British brands. Even Rolls Royce and Bentley are German owned. In the eighties and nineties the rest of Europe said “Made in England, made by idiots”.

  • dannyboyspain1
    dannyboyspain1   1 weeks ago

    Addictive viewing beyond belief. All i'm watching are your videos lol. Do you do a Sierra video?

  • Johnathan Doe
    Johnathan Doe   1 weeks ago

    ‘Sales started strong then declined’, probably because they came with rot as standard. How the hell do you take £2.8 billion and turn it into... that.

  • 77MrAH
    77MrAH   1 weeks ago

    The Monstreo 🤣

  • Fiveo waf
    Fiveo waf   2 weeks ago

    The econometer was wonderful in the 1.3, you'd be in 3rd and it would tell you to change to 4th, but didn't have enough power to pull it so then would tell you to change back to 3rd.

  • Fiveo waf
    Fiveo waf   2 weeks ago

    I worked for a company in the early 80's that had these as company cars. They were appallingly badly made, unreliable and in 1300 form still used the old A series engine. My part of the company hd some MKIV Ford Cortinas they were so much better than the Montego even though they were long in the tooth and soon to be replaced by the Sierra. One of the Maestros had a big gap around the front door and was found to have one side of the car 1" longer than the other. It didn't help that they looked horrible too.

  • John freeman
    John freeman   2 weeks ago

    What about the triumph acclaim .the best triumph and most reliable because it was honda

  •   2 weeks ago

    Back in 1995 I had a B reg (1985) Vauxhall Cavalier GLS, and considered trading it in for an E reg MG Montego Turbo. So I went for a test drive. Everything rattled in the Montego, it was awful. I got back into my Cavalier and knew I was in the better car, so stuck with it until 1998. (The car I then bought, I still drive! 1994 Toyota Celica.)

  • Rogue Sheep
    Rogue Sheep   2 weeks ago

    My brother had the 2 of these models and they were great fun

  • Dai Kil
    Dai Kil   2 weeks ago

    My first car I bought in 1992 was a fire engine red with grey mirrors and bumpers G plate (1990) Montego 1.6 L. The S series engine pulled well but it wasnt a pretty car and I got teased about being an old git when I was only 21 years of age. To hell with everyone though. I washed and waxed it every week right up until I crashed into a bridge and wrote it off following a rally in Mid Wales by getting to the next spectator spots as quick as possible.

  • Uncle Joe Stalin
    Uncle Joe Stalin   3 weeks ago

    Over 100k views after 4 weeks! Definitely go with the monetisation plan we all discussed on Patreon. It would be great if you could get some coin for your work BC.

  • Megadriver
    Megadriver   3 weeks ago

    I'm Bulgarian, aged 26 and an ex of mine had a Maestro. I rode in it a few times and drove it once. And I have to say, it's on the same page as a Lada... Terrible to drive, uncomfortable, low quality and my exes one had a problem with the compression. So to start it after it had been sitting for a few hours you needed about a minute.Is it safe to say that the government should never dictate the production of cars? Cause that's how I feel it.Weird to think that the W140 S-class was manufactured in the 90s as the Montego was... You could do a video on the W140 S-class, a car I love and believe to be one of the most high tech and over engineered cars ever made. That thing had TV, soft closing doors and a radar guided cruise control in 1997. My 2005 C-class doesn't have that! And my 2007 E-class doesn't have soft closing doors, as those only came with the S-class.

  • Richard Benjamin
    Richard Benjamin   3 weeks ago

    In many ways it was ahead of it's time - it was quite tall and loads of glass when lots of cars were going jelly mould and low - but I still enjoyed its handling. Then in the 21st century everything went tall and 'mpv' and then 4WD looks.

  • Stormin' Normie
    Stormin' Normie   3 weeks ago

    My dad had a montego with the vw gearbox. It wasn't bad (except the computer & gearbox) it felt more light & airy than his bigger Carlton & much better than his awful Orion. It still suffered from BL- itis though. Worst car he ever had by miles however; yep, the Allegro. What a wobbly, unreliable p.o.s that was.

  • Simon Chaddock
    Simon Chaddock   4 weeks ago

    My wife and I owned three Montego Estates. A 1.6 & 2.0 petrol and a 2.0 turbo diesel. All did a superb job ferrying the family and dogs around. They were simple enough for me to do the great majority of maintenance including changing the timing belt on the 1.6! Ride and handling were quite acceptable and the cabin space made long journeys comfortable even with a mountain of luggage.Just to complete the picture our second car at the time was a Meastro! A 1.3 and a 2.0 non turbo diesel. In the smaller Maestro body the non turbo Perkins Prima was a gem. First compression starting every time and sufficient torque that you could get under way and even change into 2nd still at tick over! If you didn't mind the lack of "street cred" they were seriously capable cars.

  • Andy Peek
    Andy Peek   1 months ago

    I was unfortunate enough to have had both those cars as company vehicles, back in the last century. They were both designed in collaboration with Mothercare, Better known as, The car with the built in rattle. They were, and still remain as a piece of bad British engineering. Long may they rust.

  • ferkemall
    ferkemall   1 months ago

    Leyland managment could find their arse with a mirror on a sunny day one look at what the europeans were driving would have shown that they could sell abroard in numbers that mattered in those days of strike ridden Britain and job insecurity they were on a looser from the start != someone who lived through it all !

  • Nigel Harrison
    Nigel Harrison   1 months ago

    Great informative video thank you. I recall my father getting a Montego 1.6L company car in red when the model was first released. Incredible the number of kids giving thumbs up or shouting out nice car mister - due to the futuristic looks. Car was very unreliable though. Thankfully he moved to a Ford Sierra which was awesome to drive whilst I was learning to drive!

  • John Mitchell
    John Mitchell   1 months ago

    So hate is a strong word. There are lots of cars I dislike, but these cars? Yeah I genuinly hate them. If I got into an argument with someome about how fantastic British cars are, with the other person saying they are rubbish, and that person mentioned the Austin Maestro as an example of how/why British cars are so bad, I would not have a comeback to counter that.

  • AC MC
    AC MC   1 months ago

    the montego looked cool i remember as a kid, maestro looks good in the sports version

  • Daniel Williams
    Daniel Williams   1 months ago

    The Montego 4x4 was developed by Rover Special Products and eventually became the Land Rover Freelander.

  • Edward Talbot
    Edward Talbot   1 months ago

    When I was 8 years old, I wanted my Dad to buy an Austin Maestro because of the digital dashboard which looked like it was off Knight Rider!

  • kenzohkw
    kenzohkw   1 months ago

    I remember my dad's Montego back in 1985. It was a hideous beige colour and it defied gravity by leaking water up through the floor whenever it was driven in heavy rain, which in Glasgow was quite often lol no garage could fix it and he eventually chopped it in for a Vauxhall Belmont which didn't leak 😁

  • Matt G
    Matt G   1 months ago

    Both models were a absolute disaster. Poor build quality & engineering. Which is a shame because the Montego was actually a nice looking car and the M.G & Vanden Plas spec we’re truly beautiful looking.

  • incognito96
    incognito96   1 months ago

    They made a turbo k series engine in the metro which was rapid , but never bought it out as they didn't want a boy racer tag. So ford had the xr2, 3,4 which sold to boy racers. That killed rover just playing catch up.

  • Alan
    Alan   1 months ago

    Great 😃

  • Rish ap Wiliam
    Rish ap Wiliam   1 months ago

    I remember going to see a friend and when I left got into my maestro and drove off. I turned the radio on and realised the tape playing was not my music - it was someone else's car who hard parked next to mine - the key not only opened the door but started the car! I parked up again and got in my car and drove off!

  • dudleyblokerave
    dudleyblokerave   1 months ago

    Maestro was the only car that made my brother carsick every time he rode in it.