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  2005 - A look back


You're possibly wondering what sort of things we can look back on, comment on, and tie in with the humble ADO16. 2005 has certainly been an action packed year.

In April the press announced that MG-Rover was in dire need. On the 7th April production was suspended and the press were quick to jump on the story. The following morning it was announced that PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) had been called in. It was now even more clear things were over and the company had collapsed. It still seems strange to think that the company had been close to going under several times in the past has finally (he says) gone.

How does this relate to the ADO16 community? Well, a large number of the ADO16s still about would have rolled out from the very production lines where today's (yesterdays) Rover's were still exiting. I always thought that if Longbridge remained in the hands of Rover it was "safe" to assume that the grounds and instantly recognisable offices would remain intact. A monument to the people who had worked hard in previous years to secure the future. Deep down, you almost felt that there was something wrong. It's very well looking back and saying, "if only", what's done is done.

Each day something new would come out about what had gone wrong from the inside. You can't help but compare Rover to the likes of Eastenders and Coronation Street. While Eastenders focussed on who'd killed Den Watts, and who was going down for the offence. Coronation Street was probably off on a tangent looking at which member of the cast was going to build a space ship. Rovers storylines were just more interesting and more captivating, made all the better with regular reports available on-line from websites such as Austin-Rover.

The day it was announced Rover had gone into administration.

2005 should have been a special year for the Austin marque, celebrating 100 years. Due to the news that was coming from Longbridge it was off then it was on again. Things never run smoothly. The event was really well attended even though some of the club stands were out miles away from the action, and the field wasn't half as full as expected.

It wasn't all bad news though... BMW announced that it would be looking to make a "sister" car for the Mini, a product which has done remarkably well since being embraced by BMW and put onto the market as a product in it's own name. So what better choice for BMW than to apply to the same technique to the 11/1300 range. Plans are a foot to release an up to date version of the classic. Does that mean ADO16 could become the icon car for 2006/7 or is this just a dream that won't make it any further than a boardroom discussion. Call me sceptical but I very much doubt we'll see the BMW 1100 hitting the streets anytime soon.

The Mini Traveller to be launched in 2006/7 will the ADO16 be revived to make a "hot" seller?

A review of 2005 wouldn't be complete without reviewing some of the progress made "behind the scenes".

I want to share a few of's achievements. 2005 was a big year for, the mailing list was just about to convert across to the forums, and the site was "tided" up a little. The forums were a big project, but one that has allowed owners across the world to communicate with ease. It's not easy turning your hand to something when you have little knowledge. After a bumpy start things were soon up and running. has received minor "tidying" because I wanted to give the site a magazine feel. I understand you are unable physically turn pages, but hopefully the new facilities and functions available to you will make your visit more enjoyable.

I have been lucky enough to get involved with a few magazine articles, granted it was towards the end of the year but both of which will hopefully get the ADO 16 recognised as a true classic! The first article was to do with young people as classic car owners. The second was a buying guide with our 1300GT was used for the studio photography.

MXC makes a starring(!) role in the Practical Classics buying guide. got a sister site specialising in the Austin miniMetro. It seemed a natural progression since I own another slice of British Motoring history.

Thank you for visiting in 2005, and I look forward to seeing you again in 2006.


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