Austin Maxi 1750 auto

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - THIS WEEK -

EN­GINE 1748cc/4-cyl/OHC POWER [email protected] TORQUE 97lb [email protected] MAX­I­MUM SPEED 93mph 0-60MPH 15sec FUEL CON­SUMP­TION 25-33mpg TRANS­MIS­SION RWD, three-speed auto MoT Jan 2019 ODOME­TER 62,049 miles WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

Wow, this is def­i­nitely a Maxi ex­pe­ri­ence. You bask on com­fort­able, black fab­ric seats with the car’s orange paint­work al­most seem­ing to ra­di­ate in from the out­side. The en­gine runs beau­ti­fully and the au­to­matic gears shift up and down just how Bri­tish Ley­land in­tended – the en­gine isn’t scream­ing while the gear­box pon­ders whether it might just be about time to change up or not. It’s all rather civilised, to be hon­est. Han­dling feels like a big Mini, and there’s ex­cel­lent vis­i­bil­ity and ef­fec­tive brakes. Here is a car that’s set up ex­actly as it should be.


The car has been Ziebart rust­proofed from new, a process that has ob­vi­ously done its job in this case. There is not even a spot of rust to dis­turb the orange paint­work. Prob­ing un­der­neath the car re­veals ab­so­lutely no signs of cor­ro­sion. The sills and all the other pan­els look orig­i­nal, as does the paint­work. There are no signs of over­spray or even sig­nif­i­cant dam­age from stonechips. The chrome, light lenses and glass are all in ex­cel­lent or­der and the tyres look new.


Ev­ery­thing ap­pears to have sur­vived the pass­ing of nigh-on 40 years ex­tremely well. The black seats are un­marked and free from sag­ging. The head­lin­ing and door­trims are pris­tine and, even more sur­pris­ingly, so is the car­pet. The wooden dash­board hasn’t splin­tered and shows no real signs of wear, and all the in­stru­ments are work­ing. All the toggle switches work, too though the black ones have slightly dis­coloured through age. If this dis­tresses you, just switch on the beau­ti­fully-pre­served pe­riod ra­dio. One thing of note is that the au­to­matic gear­box lever has been ex­tended us­ing some brass nuts. Paint­ing these black would im­prove the cabin.


The en­gine is in hon­est con­di­tion and there is even a lit­tle bit of dirt on the ra­di­a­tor and hoses, while the man­i­fold has some sur­face rust. How­ever there isn’t a spot of oil or an­tifreeze where it shouldn’t be. All the wiring looks to be in good con­di­tion. We could find noth­ing out of place with the en­gine, sus­pen­sion or gear­box. Some ser­vice his­tory comes with the car, which helps to con­firm its au­then­tic­ity.


What a sur­vivor, and what a colour. This pris­tine and ex­tremely orange Austin Maxi has to be some­one’s dream car. It’s easy to for­get that orange Maxis were once an ev­ery­day sight. This car is in great or­der at ev­ery level, and we found it dif­fi­cult to find any­thing worth crit­i­cis­ing. The ven­dor has re­sisted sell­ing the car but has now fallen for the charms of an MG Y-Type. Bet he’ll miss this car, though. Nick Larkin

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