1976 Rover - Austin Maxi 1.8 Litre petrol from UK and Ireland
Great concept - deserved to do better
The front brake calipers seized regularly. They were sliding calipers -there was only one hydraulic piston which pushed one brake pad on, and the reaction caused the whole caliper to slide in a groove and bring the other brake pad on to the disc - the groves were forever getting rusty and dirty, the caliper would stick, and one pad would have to do all the work, and consequently wore out fast. I got to be quite expert at stripping the front brake assembly.
I am sure there were other problems, I cannot remember them from so long ago, but there were no major engine/gearbox/auxilary component failures.
This was an unrecognised great design for a car, but it suffered from all the troubles of British Leyland in the 1970's, and poor attention to detail - like the front brakes.
The concept was brilliant. A big version of the Mini, with a 1.75 litre cross engine driving the front wheels. Lots and lots of space inside, good luggage carrier, and a heavy, solid car.
The adhesion on the road was good, but they had a reputation as a poor drivers car due to an upright seating position in relation to the steering wheel and a vague gearshift. I never found any problem with the gearshift - it was a long shift stick coming out the floor, but it worked fine.
Ours had a front end accident with a wall - nobody got hurt, but it was time to part company with it. I think older ones had rust problems - lots of curved panels and rust traps underneath.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 27th February, 2003
My dad had a Maxi 1750 as our family transport in the early 80's and I remember it being lively, comfortable, spacious and actually very reliable. The 5-speed box was also a relative rarity then, let alone when the car was built in 1975.
One amusing thing I recall though was helping my dad change the engine oil once and hearing a loud "plop" as soon as the drain plug was removed. Looking into the oil container, we found a ball bearing the size of a garden pea which had dropped out of the engine with the old engine oil. Twenty years on, my dad still has it in his garage as a souvenir.
To this day we have no idea where it came from or how long it had been rattling around in the sump, but the engine didn't seem to be any the worse for wear, and still ran as well as ever afterwards. What a car!