What would you buy & why?

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GHT
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Re: What would you buy & why

#971 Post by GHT » Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:57 am

JPB wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:23 am
Note that Dad's car by that time was a Datsun Stanza, a decent car in its own way, and certainly very comfortable and roomy, but Dad would always scrounge a drive in my Maxi when the folks used to come and visit me during my time spent working in the south and he always got out of the car with a broad grin on his face!
Mum passed in May 2016, Dad in October 2018, they were ok I guess but damn, I miss that Maxi! :o :scared:
When it comes to vision in car design then few can compare to Sir Alec Issigonis. His design for the Mini is legendary, but it is perhaps less well known that he was also responsible for the Maxi, which, through no fault of his, became a joke rather than an icon. As was the case with the Marina and Allegro all produced around the same time, the Maxi was mangled by short-sighted executives determined to ruin what could have been a good idea and instead use it to help send British Leyland into freefall.
Thanks to Issigonis, the Maxi broke new ground in terms of its hatchback design, five-speed gearbox and front-wheel drive chassis. Thanks to the management it was unreliable, slow and uncomfortable due to short cuts taken in its production.
The five-speed gearbox may have been innovative in terms of numbers, but because it was controlled by cables, it was about as quick-shifting as a Scotsman on the M8 this week. Cost-cutting also meant it was given doors from the old 1800 “Landcrab” which looked ridiculous.
Within a few months sales started to dip disastrously with supplies also hindered by a series of stoppages at Cowley’s Pressed Steel Fisher.
Bosses quickly had a rethink and slapped a pile of sound-deadening material on the car along with gearchange rods and, to top it all, a “wood effect” dashboard.
But even that didn’t convince the car-buying public, and the Maxi under-performed in the sales charts as much as it did on the road.

Originally it had been intended that 6,000 a week would be produced. The reality was about 400.
People just didn’t get the Maxi which was only available as a five-door hatch, with nothing else like it on the road apart from the Renault 16 which had far more quirkiness and Gallic charm about it.
One selling point was the folding rear seat which could turn into a bed. But this was only seen as useful for nodding off by the side of the road after an inevitable breakdown. The Maxi’s design was ahead of its time in terms of space and practicality — it was smaller than the modern-day Fiesta. But sadly it was all too much a product of its time thanks to managerial ineptitude, cost-cutting and industrial strife.

There's 401 Austin Maxi's left on Britain's roads today, thank **** for that. There's not enough room on the internet to list the problems that I had with mine. And that, like your father's, was a 1978 on a T plate.
Maxi.jpg
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Paul240480
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Re: What would you buy & why?

#972 Post by Paul240480 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:55 am

Never had a Maxi in the family really. Dad had one from work for a few weeks. It was 'on test', he worked for an oil additives company. Shortly after he got one of these:
https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1036279
This I did like and with its six cylinder it was quite nippy!
It suffered in the cold tho', Dad got Mum to make a 'cosy' to fit over the engine whilst it was parked up on winter nights for some reason I forget :lol: .
He sold it when the clutch bearing began to sing, only had about 28k on the clock. VRA 758K it was.
He chopped it in for a Chrysler 2.0ltr :shock:

Yep, I could quite go for a Six 8-)

suffolkpete
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Re: What would you buy & why?

#973 Post by suffolkpete » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:28 am

Paul240480 wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:55 am

He chopped it in for a Chrysler 2.0ltr :shock:

Yep, I could quite go for a Six 8-)
I've owned a couple of six cylinder "wedges" and loved the six-cylinder engine. The clutch change was a very easy job which you could do without removing the engine or gearbox, unlike the four pot counterparts, a very feeble reason for selling the car. I also had a much abused Maxi, I was the fifth owner in three years but apart from an insatiable thirst for oil it gave very little trouble. I think the early cars gave it a bad reputation from which it never recovered, I'd be filling it up with petrol and a stranger would come over and the conversation would go something like "My brother-in-law's sister's hairdresser's boyfriend had one and it's had three gearboxes in six months" They would step back in amazement when I said I'd had it for three years and nothing has gone wrong with it. I don't know what GHT does with cars, or he used a very incompetent dealership :lol:
1974 Rover 2200 SC
1982 Matra Murena 1.6

rich.
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Re: What would you buy & why?

#974 Post by rich. » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:55 pm

suffolkpete wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:28 am

I don't know what GHT does with cars..
would you buy a used car from this man :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :scared:

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JPB
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Re: What would you buy & why?

#975 Post by JPB » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:09 pm

rich. wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:55 pm
suffolkpete wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:28 am

I don't know what GHT does with cars..
would you buy a used car from this man :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :scared:
Yes. He has an honest face. :|
John, If it's old & badly broken, chances are I've owned it. :|

rich.
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Re: What would you buy & why?

#976 Post by rich. » Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:07 pm

JPB wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:09 pm
rich. wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:55 pm
suffolkpete wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:28 am

I don't know what GHT does with cars..
would you buy a used car from this man :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :scared:
Yes. He has an honest face. :|
and he is related to the krays :lol: :scared:

GHT
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Re: What would you buy & why?

#977 Post by GHT » Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:07 pm

suffolkpete wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:28 am
I don't know what GHT does with cars, or he used a very incompetent dealership :lol:
Pete, you've caught Rich's problem, there's nothing wrong with the car, or B/L in general, perish the thought, no, it's me, the customer, abusing the car. I mean, I had the temerity to turn the ignition key and start the engine. It was me, or probably my witchy wife, that hexed the the chain drive cam, it snapped at six weeks old sending chain links throughout the engine. That hydragas suspension, I looked up the meaning of hydra: a minute freshwater coelenterate with a stalk-like tubular body and a ring of tentacles around the mouth. That's about right. My Maxi will always be remembered for its gutless engine, tied to a gear change that was one of the worst ever offered. A great daffodil of a lever that had 50 positions – 49 of them neutral. You could get up enough speed to use fifth gear, down a steep hill with a strong tail wind. There's no point going on about the constantly leaking clutch seal or any of the other regular faults, for goodness sake, I was on first name terms with the dealer.

Back in those days there was countless jokes about Communist Bloc countries, Fiat 124 clones, but at least those things kept going. So you would have thought that the Yugoslavia built Maxis would have faired better. The inflation rate compare means that the pound in 1978 is worth just 20 pence today, making the Maxi's price an equivalent to about £23,000 today. I got £400 pounds for it, (about £2,000 today,) after just six years. If only I had bought a MK1 Golf.

Oops, I nearly forgot. It was said that the unions blamed the management and visa versa, but who would you blame for an unforgettable stink. The missus kept looking suspiciously at me, "not me," I protested. Even the workshop foreman at the dealership could smell it, then, one day, when the heater fan gave up, they stripped all the ducting out and found a rotting sandwich. I doubt that the Yugoslavs would have done that, they were so poor that they couldn't afford to waste food.

suffolkpete
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Re: What would you buy & why?

#978 Post by suffolkpete » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:13 pm

GHT wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:07 pm
suffolkpete wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:28 am
I don't know what GHT does with cars, or he used a very incompetent dealership :lol:
Pete, you've caught Rich's problem, there's nothing wrong with the car, or B/L in general, perish the thought, no, it's me, the customer, abusing the car. I mean, I had the temerity to turn the ignition key and start the engine.
No, I just struggle to understand why other people have so much trouble with cars that have given me reliable service. Maybe it's because I drive them sympathetically, maintain them properly and keep them away from the chimps at the local dealership.
1974 Rover 2200 SC
1982 Matra Murena 1.6

GHT
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Re: What would you buy & why?

#979 Post by GHT » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:39 pm

suffolkpete wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:13 pm
I just struggle to understand why other people have so much trouble with cars that have given me reliable service.
My wife's Scirocco never missed a beat, she had it for 30 years, admittedly it became impractical for an everyday car and after ten years I bought her a Golf. The Scirocco eventually had to go to make space for the MG, the Golf is still going strong after 21 years of daily use.
Had the Maxi been reliable would British Leyland have still gone down the chute? And it wasn't just the Maxi. During the seventies I bought her a new Mini in 1972, an Aggro in '76 and the Maxi in '78. Like everyone else back then, buying British was done with a misplaced sense of loyalty.
As for not looking after the car, well you may be right about the grease monkeys, it's true that I haven't got my hands dirty on a car for over forty years, but I've never neglected servicing or repairs, and every car that we've had has lived in a heated garage. I dare say there are those who have issues with VW, but we have never had a problem with them, other than they are just about the most boring piece of Tutonic engineering there is.

rich.
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Re: What would you buy & why?

#980 Post by rich. » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:13 pm

I seem to have touched a raw nerve :oops:

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