Austin Maxi 1750 auto
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.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
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.
UNDER THE BONNET
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.
THE CCW VIEW
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