You have recently begun to say nice things about what must surely be one of Europe’s most underrated cars. It has a 1,750-c.c., s.o.h.c. engine, five forward gears, all-round independent suspension, servo disc brakes, reclining seats and that very valuable fifth door. Surprisingly, it is British. I have owned one for the last 10 months and completed 20,000 miles without anything at all dropping off—it is the Austin Maxi.
This car gets thrashed on business and overloaded with children, bricks, cement, etc. on pleasure. Yet it will cruise very happily in the eighties on motorways, thanks to the fifth gear or can be driven like a Mini round towns, enabling one to play “silly B’s” in great safety. Its most impressive performance to date was Dortmund to Weybridge via hovercraft, a journey of 460 miles in 12 hours gross, door to door. Deduct one hour for lunch and two hours for the waiting and crossing of the Channel and you end with nine hours nett—not too bad. This was done without any feeling of discomfort, the seating can be arranged to suit my frame (6 ft.) very well and whilst it is no dragster, it bumbles along very well.
At other times it can be packed with 4/5 adults on the seats and three children in the “boot” (take the shelf out first!) or will carry up to 10 ft. loads with all doors shut.
This is the first BLMC car I have had and I will certainly have another—why, oh why can’t they concentrate on such a good layout and stop trying to compete with Ford in the “non-technical tank” field?
Weybridge. J. E. Webb-Jenkins.