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Horrible Memories

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I drove past an Austin Maestro parked by the side of the road this evening. Side-on & at a slight angle, too, so you could take in the full vista of its awfulness - like this one:

maestro-hle.jpg

I haven't seen one of those for about 15-20 years. I really thought/hoped they were all dead. I had completely forgotten just how incredibly horrid they looked. It brought up* an old suppressed memory of me & my two sisters synchronised vomiting in the back of it vomisurtoi2.gif as our Dad coaxed it towards our holiday destination hoping it wouldn't break down again. On the occasions when it actually started, that is.

Is that actually the worst car the UK has ever produced, or has my memory deleted other more awful examples out of mercy?

*yes, that was deliberate.

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I remember my mum having to have a Fiat Ritmo once. Her second husband had a Volvo Dealership and she had to give her Volvo car back if they sold it. She was given the Ritmo as it was the only thing left. It was so crap, we named it the 'Shitmo'. She had it for 6 days and refused to drive it! [ATTACH]48222[/ATTACH]

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The 'Ital'.

A facelifted Marina, which itself was largely Minor oily bits.

So it was a vaguely modern shell on 1940s running gear. Truly awful.

Morris_Ital_Estate_1980_Herschel_Road.jpg

Best feature has to be the radio which the driver couldn't see, as it was facing the passenger.

81_ItalHLS_interior.jpg

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I don't think you can declare the Maestro as our worst car, simply because it had a saving grace in the form of the MG Maestro Turbo, which was genuinely fast, and handled reasonably well, and in an odd way, strangely attractive too.

I had a Montego Turbo that killed itself, that was faster than anything any of my mates had at the time, which included GTi's, GTE's, etc etc, had a bleed valve put on and it was just hilariously fast, until it killed itself of course!

There are so many automotive horrors that have spawned from our factories i'm not sure it's possible to narrow it down to one?

Tspark picked a good one with the Ital, i'd also suggest the Allegro, just when everyone else was making hatchbacks, British Leyland thought they knew better and released a car that should have been a hatchback, but wasn't, even worse they nailed a fancy grille on, glued some 'wood' to the dash, doubled the price and called it the 'Vanden Plas'.

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Now, I'd have gone with the Austin Ambassador (Y-reg)... but they were actually very comfortable cruisers and nowhere near as bad as the reputation.

But I have to post a picture anyway.

austin-ambassador-03.jpg

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A friend of the family had a Princess, it was like wafting down the road on a magic carpet, very comfy, didn't start very often though, and something fell off on every journey, they also found a screwdriver inside the door when trying to sort a rattle. :rolleyes:

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Apart from the Ritmo (Strada) is this the BL bashing thread.

Does anyone remember the Good the Bad and the Ugly reviews at the back of CAR magazine in the 70s and 80s.

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Does anyone remember the Good the Bad and the Ugly reviews at the back of CAR magazine in the 70s and 80s.

I remember those reviews. They always had the Ferrari 412i in 'the Bad'. The feckers.

My uncle had a Morris Marina (or 2). My dad always laughed at it and called it a 'peasants car'. :roflmao:

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I tried to kill my mums Maestro shortly after I started driving, I was impressing (:roflmao:) a lady (now Mrs H) so took her to a nice pub for a meal one evening, having had the smell of burning clutch all the way I proceeded to reverse it straight into a brick stanchion on a wall. Apparently the bumpers were made out of metal as it left a very nice square dent in the centre of the bumper. I didn't tell my mum about this and she wondered where the dent had come from, I finally confessed about 15 years later. At the point I also told her about hitting a curb at speed in her new Renault Megane on a very snowy night, in that case thankfully only the hub cap flew off, a couple of cable ties later and it was almost as good as new....

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Living up to my (previous! :eek: ) user title, I have two tales to tell of Maestros.

When I was learning to drive, my dad had a base model Maestro 1.3. That car was better than the equivalent Escort in every way - bigger, more comfortable and quicker. The 1.3 base was almost certainly the best Maestro model to have - there was precious little to go wrong, the engine was the age old and utterly reliable 1275cc, and it actually felt reasonably well put together. I did my best to kill it once I'd passed my test, but it stood up to my punishment remarkably well - and did 112mph coming down the big hill on the M62!

Perhaps harking back to those memories of my early driving days, in my early 20s I bought a Maestro 1.6HLS. That was the worst pile of sh!t I've ever owned. It actually felt slower than the 1.3 and barely went a week without breaking down. Distributor, alternator, ecu - you name it, it went.

Oh, and a third - brief - Maestro experience. When I had my Mk1 Impreza Turbo I took it to a run what you brung day at Santa Pod. On my quickest 1/4 mile run (14.5 secs I think) I got wasted by a modified MG Maestro Turbo that did the 1/4 in something like 11 secs dead. Unfortunately, it seems he'd been running a little high on boost, turbo over heated and torched the car. I didn't laugh. Honest. :P

Worst car sold in the UK? The Morris Ital has to be up there, but the worst car I've ever driven, by a country mile, was a Talbot Horizon. Utterly f*cking dreadful.

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Forgot to add - I have to agree with Tipex on the MG Maestro bit. They were a potent beast at the time. My friend's dad had a new one and we both worked up at Whipsnade Zoo. Our parents would share the lifts. I loved getting a lift in it. It was fast, especially in his dad's hands! Always redlining it up the country roads and throwing it about. Held the road very well from what I can recall.

The managers of the railway where we worked had a 1.0 Metro at the time and this Maestro would burn them up or catch them up and hare past them all the time. (think of JC in the Yugo, and May/Hammond in their respective beasts powering past on the runway). She would then berate my mate for his dad's driving, saying how he will kill them or force them to crash. Always got us laughing. :grin:

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My mate had an MG Maestro. When the computer said Inst Cons (Instant Consumption) it always looked like Insert Coins which seems more apt.

Whilst doing my degree one guy had an Ital. Yuck!!!!! Much better when we had the Mini or TR7. The TR7 was a giggle especially as it was normally used as a three seater.

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My brother had an Ital and actually thought it was not that bad. Yes it was fugly but he never had a single problem with it. He even managed to drive it through our brick wall in our front garden and it barely had a scratch on it. I do remember him getting hit by a Renault with me in the back and when we got out the renault (think it was a 19) was looking very dodgy indeed. The back of the ital was a little dented but still all good to drive. It was basically a tank that he never had any issues with. The only thing i did not like about it was the valour interior :eek:

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Went with a mate to pick up his newly purchased Fiat Uno Turbo many years ago, I had to drive his Renault 18 Turbo back, now that was an awful car, especially as it only had 3rd gear due to the linkage popping off all the time, however, it was significantly faster than the Uno even with only 3rd gear, he was gutted when we got back.

It was very tail happy too, as we found out when we took the two paving slabs out of the boot that the previous owner had left in!

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I can forgive the Maestro, it had some features that made it interesting, the concave features in the door panels, the talking dash, the performance of the Turbo. Yes, it was badly made, but compared to it's modern day equivalent (the Pug 308 spring to mind) it is interesting and unusual. It was way better than the Escort of the same era. I also have strange fuzzy feelings about the Montego Turbo ...

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the talking dash

Oh - of the famous TG moment, when wots-is-name took it out on a Spanish mountain road on the press launch day and went over the edge, rolling it several times on the way down? After finally coming to a halt with no intact body panels or glass remaining, upside-down and with most of the interior detached and dangling around him, what was left of the dashboard faltered into life to say:

"Oil level... low"

interesting and unusual

I'll agree, if that's a euphemism for "pig-ugly".

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My brother had a Renault 25 company car that used to talk too, it had a faulty door sensor so would constantly tell him "your left rear door is a jar" cue the hilarity of replying to it every time, no it's not, it's a door.

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My brother had a Renault 25 company car that used to talk too, it had a faulty door sensor so would constantly tell him "your left rear door is a jar" cue the hilarity of replying to it every time, no it's not, it's a door.

Yep, both of my Ren 25's spoke to me.

Nothing wrong only when the brake pads needed chaning. So good honest advice! +++

Fantastic cars!

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I fee sorry for the youth of today. They'll never know the true awfulness we had from the far east or behind the iron curtain,

Dacia Denem and original Duster

FSO of any description

Yugos - especially the 45, 55 and 65.

Fiat inspired Seats - Malaga and Marbella in particular

Hyundai Stella

Daewoo Espero and Nexia

Lada Riva and Samara

I'm sure there are more - but kids of today will never experience a properly shite car.

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They'll also never be able to fix a simple issue. The electronics in modern cars ensures home DIY stuff is much less of a possibility!

They'll never know what to try if the car doesn't start.

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kids of today will never experience a properly shite car.

280px-Peugeot_206_front_20090416.jpg

?

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My sister in law once called me up at work and the conversation went like this:

Her: "Stoo I need some advice on buying a car"

I immediately responded "Ok, don't buy a Peugeot"

Her: "I'm sat opposite the sales man negotiating a price on a 308".

Me: "Oh"

You'd have thought having just had her 206 blow up on her she might have learnt her lesson but apparently not.

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My sister in law once called me up at work and the conversation went like this:

Her: "Stoo I need some advice on buying a car"

I immediately responded "Ok, don't buy a Peugeot"

Her: "I'm sat opposite the sales man negotiating a price on a 308".

Me: "Oh. Right. Here's what I want you to do. Maintain eye contact with the salesman. Don't make any sudden movements that may alarm him. Slowly stand up and back away from his desk, keeping eye contact all the time. Keep backing away until you reach the door of the building. Still keeping eye contact, slowly reach behind you and open the door. Now... turn around and run like billy fĂșck."

ftfy :coffee:

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280px-Peugeot_206_front_20090416.jpg

?

Lol.

What we need to do, is buy our children sh1t cars while we still can and stockpile them for their 17th birthday.

I'm off out to buy 3 CityRovers.

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I'm off out to buy 3 CityRovers.

Oh dear God. If there's an award for the sh!ttest car produced in the last twenty years, that wins hands down. Absolutely fĂșcking dreadful in every possible respect. It wasn't even particularly cheap.

We saw it at an NEC motorshow when it was launched. The salesman on the stand eventually cracked and agreed wholeheartedly that it was the worst pile of crap he'd ever set eyes on. We were trying to find the bonnet latch and accidentally snapped half the grille off. :P

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