On this day in auto history – March 1st

Mon 1st Mar 2021

It was on this day in 1983 that British Leyland launched the family hatchback which they hoped would transform the fortunes of the beleaguered company - the Austin Maestro!

The five-door car - incorporating many novel features for its class - was advertised under a strap-line of “Miracle Maestro - Driving is Believing” but never quite caught fire with the public.

Though the Maestro was Britain's sixth best-selling car of 1983 and 1984 it soon acquired a reputation for engine unreliability and sales went into a terminal decline during the late 1980’s, hastening the demise of British Leyland in the process.

The Maestro, by now in the hands of the Rover Group, soldiered on until UK production finally ended in 1994.