Gypsy Creams

The Austin Maxi

Weekend / 30th January 1974

A brave attempt to challenge the dominance of the Range Rover, but the Maxi was only likely to suit country pursuits that were on-road.

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Mark Thompson on 20 July 2012 @ 4pm

Seat belts and number plates extra!!!??

Tanya Jones on 22 July 2012 @ 10am

You can understand seat belts being extra at this point, but number plates? Odd…

Martin Fenton on 27 July 2012 @ 1pm

It makes me wonder when it became obligatory for front seat belts to be provided as standard. Can’t find anything on the internet, although I believe it’s still the case that owners of classic cars without seat belts are still not obliged to fit them. How that affects the insurance is anybody’s guess, but I suppose if you can afford to insure an on-road classic car in the first place it’s unlikely to be an issue for you!

We had a Maxi when I was a kid. It had slightly roughly-textured vinyl seats which got incredibly hot in summer. You’ve not lived until you’ve lost a layer of skin from peeling yourself off the seat of a Maxi in summer (one of the many reasons why I haven’t worn shorts since the 1980s.)

I’m surprised to be the first to point out that the “vicious bastard” that Basil Fawlty whipped with a branch was also a Maxi.

Tanya Jones on 29 July 2012 @ 4pm

Ah, yes, it was a Maxi! I presume those vinyl seats were cheap, because they certainly sound nasty…

Philip on 30 July 2012 @ 3pm

Actually, the Maxi predated the Range Rover by a year – and they were both made by British Leyland. The Maxi was brilliant, but deadly dull and (of course) prone to certain reliability problems.

Basil Fawlty thrashed the Maxi’s smaller and older sibling, the Austin/Morris 1100.

Sorry, that was all a bit pedantic, wasn’t it?

Tanya Jones on 6 August 2012 @ 9pm

No shame in pedantry here! Although the Maxi may have predated the Range Rover, my point was more about the marketing than the intentions of British Leyland on the Maxi’s release. You’re dead right about the reliability issues with Austin cars; my dad inherited his father’s Maestro, which proved a disaster. My father was quite bitter about having to sell our beloved Cortina, but couldn’t feel that he could turn down the offer.

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