1989 AUSTIN MAESTRO
No one could every say that my Maestro doesn’t move in varied circles, and visit different places. In the past month or so it has done everything from appearing on BBC Radio 2 to causing consternation at the local tip (sorry, civic amenity recycling facility).
Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine Show carried a special report on the joys of 1980s cars, engaging our good friends at Practical Classics magazine to present the case for the defence.
Needless to say the Maestro was summoned to CCW HQ, along with a Metro (sorry, Rover 100), Sam Skelton’s Austin Montego and various other delights from the decade to assist with sound effects.
Listeners across the land were treated to the sounds of doors closing, engines revving and horns blowing – a blend so tuneful that I’m sure it was repeated on Friday Night is Music Night.
A rather different assignment for the car was an expedition to the local citizen’s refuse facility/public recycling amenity/council dump loaded with non-working electrical goods, mysterious pieces of metal, a collapsed spice rack and various other things that even I saw fit for disposal. The Maestro is so perfect for these expeditions that I brought a camera along to capture its brilliance.
Scarcely had I pressed the shutter when an officious gentleman in a hi-viz jacket dashed out from behind a pile of dead cookers like a rabid ferret and demanded to know why I was taking photographs. I’ve always believed that you should remain polite in these situations, so I told him that it was because the Maestro was an old car that my friends said should be on the tip. ‘Oh,’ he replied, disappointed, returning to his lair of had-it Hotpoints and zonked-out Zanussis.
I was a little wracked with guilt on Drive-it Day, because I decided against taking the Maestro to Brooklands, where I had been sent to cover a special gathering. Because the piece had to be written that evening – and I didn’t fancy yet another four-hour session of admiring the back end of someone’s Lexus during a massive traffic jam on the M25 – I decided to take the train.
However, I left the Maestro in the station car park with a prominent description of its joys. Who knows, I might have convinced someone!
Maestro meets Montego and Rover 100 before airing on Radio 2.