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An MoT'd Montego


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#1 OFFLINE   Austin-Rover

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 09:26 PM

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Allow me to introduce you to the Chocolate Lime; I've owned this Montego for five years, and not seen fit to cover its story on here until now ...just as I'm getting it ready to flog!

 

It's a 1.6HL (so pretty plush) and was off the road from 1991 to 2013 which did it a lot of favours. It did nearly all its 80,000 miles between 1986 and 1991 when it was put away with an unknown engine fault. Now, the man who bought it in 1991 was a serial tinkerer. The car was parked in his workshop at the back of his house with industrial lathes and other equipment, vintage motorcycles and vintage electronics. Who can say if the Montego was already broken when he bought it, with perhaps a view to fixing it. Either way, it never happened and it spent the next two decades collecting dents, scratches and dust.

 

I get involved in 2013 when the owner's house is being cleared following his death. The workshop was lovely and dry, so the Montego rolled out with minimal fuss. It's moved to my house in May 2013, with the first job to empty it of crap and give it a clean.

 

First time outside since 1991;

 

41450043050_0fb96ca0e3_c.jpgby Richard Gelder, on Flickr

 

 

It's home and ready for a clean;

 

43259088481_8bcbd23564_c.jpgby Richard Gelder, on Flickr

 

43210308542_35fcc112f8_c.jpgby Richard Gelder, on Flickr

 

43210310512_843ece3060_c.jpgby Richard Gelder, on Flickr

 

Now, Opaline Green Maestros and Montegos suffer from a fault in the paint whereby they get little 'worms' in the paint finish (think worm casts on the beach, but very small) which generally ruins the paint finish close up. This one is no different, but with the added bonus of a couple of dents in panels, untreated stone chips here and there, and by far the best part; someone had attacked the stone chips on the leading edge of the bonnet with a brillo pad! That's the bad part - the paintwork is knackered. The good part? Waxoyled everywhere from new, which means amazingly rust free seams and showroom fresh underneath. Result!

43210303952_2c126077c4_c.jpgby Richard Gelder, on Flickr

 

42540977244_79b171e1c3_c.jpgby Richard Gelder, on Flickr

 

42540975584_cbb9c2781d_c.jpgby Richard Gelder, on Flickr

 

Maestros and Montegos fitted with the chocolate brown interior trim by these days have plastics that crumble to the touch and turn to dust in the slightest breeze. The brown trim doesn't stand up to long-term sun exposure at all. Replacements are hard to find and the only real option is to repaint grey trim, with varying results. The interior in this car is perhaps its best feature, having spent over twenty years away from the sun it is almost perfect. I've never seen one this good in the fifteen years I've been messing with these cars. Cleaning the dust out of it was perhaps the most satisfying job, ever!

 

29389527838_70d679b6b9_c.jpgby Richard Gelder, on Flickr

 

29389529188_21dd8b6654_c.jpgby Richard Gelder, on Flickr

 

Next job; get it running. I was told it had been taken off the road with a fault, but the true reason was lost in the mists of time. The original engine was seized solid, and would respond to nothing to free it off. A friend had a Unipart Silver Seal reconditioned S-Series engine which he offered, at which point it became pointless to continue to try and revive the original engine, with its unknown problems. Engine swapping coincided with the building of a new garage, which made moving the engine crane around a major pain. Still, a couple of weekends work and it was up and running!

 

43259109521_6d30ff9da7_c.jpgby Richard Gelder, on Flickr

 

Old and new side by side;

 

43259106341_669fba7bb1_c.jpgby Richard Gelder, on Flickr

 

It's in!

 

43259110711_5605f6c363_c.jpgby Richard Gelder, on Flickr

 

An MoT follwed and it was on the road (just) in time for the show at Tatton Park in August 2013. It went straight through its next two MoTs in '14 and '15 but has been sat in storage since 2016 as (usual story) other things have come along and got my attention.

 

42355532375_b30bf8e067_c.jpgby Richard Gelder, on Flickr

 

42355531475_7cdf1242cd_c.jpgby Richard Gelder, on Flickr

 

The next instalment will cover this year's efforts...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#2 OFFLINE   Matty

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 09:34 PM

Following. Superb looking thing

#3 OFFLINE   tommytwo

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 09:44 PM

Great story, great pictures, great looking car. Just what I like to see on here.


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#4 ONLINE   MarvinsMom

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 09:49 PM

i do like a monty or a maestro.

 

a few years ago we had an opaline maestro vp. it was a lovely old thing, save for a leaky sunroof.

 

though as it leaked worse on the n/s (where kerry usually sat) and i oftern would wear a hat it didn't bother me.

 

we bought it off a member of the maestro and montego club, but it didn't run to well and was a sod to start. once it was going it was ok, but it was a pain to start up. at somepoint it had had the stepper motor taken off the carb and a "manual" choke cable added that even when pulled out wouldn't fully open the choke. we put the stepper motor off of a spare carb on, and it went much better. 

 

we also had an instance of OMGHGF which i thought would kill the poor old thing. once apart and after been pressure tested we found that the head had a crack in it between no 2 and 3 pots, but the club came to our aid and we were able to get a good second hand cylinder head for very little.

 

we sold the car on, after a winter sat on the drive under a cover i could see that the body was suffering, and it really deserved much better care than we could give it. a couple in glasgow bought it, we drove it straight up to them with no problems. and it was one of the few cars that i sold on for what i paid for it, so it wasn't too big a loss over all, with th ehead work included.

 

we called it Vincent Price (cos it was a VP) i wonder if its still around?

DSCN0236.JPG

DSCN0242.JPG

DSCN0238.JPG

EDIT - mot check says its last test expired in april 2017, so no, it seems its no longer a car, which is sad.....


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#5 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 09:55 PM

Amazing. I've always loved Montegos. Any chance of it being at Festival of the Unexceptional?

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#6 OFFLINE   JoeyEunos

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 10:02 PM

Yup, following this too.

My old man used to drive a Montego Clubman, many happy memories of trundling around in the back of it as a yoof.

#7 OFFLINE   Austin-Rover

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 10:17 PM

Fast forward to 2018...

A ballooning fleet and a lot of thought about what I'd like to keep, what is duplicated(ish), and what I'd never sell, the Montego didn't make the final cut, so this summer's project it getting it ready to sell. The first job was to bring it home. It's been sat since 2016 at my parents place thirty miles away which required a phone call to my friendly recovery driver and something for the Montego to swap places with...

 

43210421412_6fcc3ab4fa_c.jpgby Richard Gelder, on Flickr

 

Will it start? No! The fuel pump from 2013 is already kaput. Cheap crappy mechanical fuel pumps wind me up no end these days. I thought I'd found a good one for it, being quite weighty and looking very much like an OE one. The one I've put on it now was a cheapie from eBay and looks like I'll be lucky to get six months out of it. I must get another to keep in the boot...

 

Here's the dead one;

 

43210385092_54971d3d7b_c.jpgby Richard Gelder, on Flickr

 

...and the featherweight new one...

 

42355592405_570b093124_c.jpgby Richard Gelder, on Flickr

 

Now it runs again, I can manoeuvre it in to the garage. Since it first went back on the road, it's been pretty obvious that the springs and shocks are completely knackered. It's like driving a bouncy castle, or watching a big green jelly drive down the road. I think it finally deserves a new set all round. These are brand new and complete already assembled, so no buggering about mating springs to the shocks. It's simply plug and play. There's fresh Waxoyl going in, too. Also a strip down of the brakes whilst each corner is in bits.

 

43259286851_feae537b50_c.jpgby Richard Gelder, on Flickr

 

41450305920_c34b1bff51_c.jpgby Richard Gelder, on Flickr

 

This job is about 2/3 the way though at the moment. I'm also in the process of pulling the dash board out as the coolant pipes that come through the bulkhead for the heater have rotted through and soaked the passenger foot well!

 

 


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#8 OFFLINE   Dick Longbridge

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 10:18 PM

What a gem. Amazing save, back story and lime/chocolateyness.
When you do come to sell it, I really hope the new guardian stores it equally well to keep it properly preserved. Brilliant work.

EDIT - mot check says its last test expired in april 2017, so no, it seems its no longer a car, which is sad.....

I wouldn't panic. It's currently SpORNDED.
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#9 OFFLINE   Austin-Rover

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 10:20 PM

 

 

...a few years ago we had an opaline maestro vp. it was a lovely old thing, save for a leaky sunroof...

 

Yes, I know of the people this car went to. They also had a Montego 1.3 in red, which was equally as nice. They used to be regulars on the Club forum, but they tailed off (much like the forum) and so I don't know much more. Neither the VP Maestro or their Montego 1.3 have been seen since, so I hope they are simply laid up somewhere. Both cars were too good to scrap.


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#10 OFFLINE   Austin-Rover

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 10:21 PM

Amazing. I've always loved Montegos. Any chance of it being at Festival of the Unexceptional?

 

Sadly not, work is about to come to a grinding halt with a couple of other shows to attend with other cars and a holiday to fit in too.



#11 OFFLINE   wuvvum

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 10:33 PM

Heh, I never knew Montegos had that criss-cross structure behind the grille.  Every day's a school day.


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#12 OFFLINE   robinmasters

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 10:42 PM

Wow. Barn find generally means anything that's been off the road for a while, but that interior is amazing. AR/Rover club members must actually be jizzing themselves inside out over that.

Tell us more about the Maestro!
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#13 OFFLINE   Lord Sterling

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 10:50 PM

Kin 'ell, that one amazing looking Montego, I love the back story, I love Montegos aswell, a neighbour of mine back in Telford had one and washed it almost everyday. This, is truly what Autoshite is about. Love for the unloved.
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#14 OFFLINE   Bren

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 10:52 PM

My dad hsd a couple of these. While build quality was not kn a par with a sierra or cavalier, they were just as good to drive.

#15 OFFLINE   Austin-Rover

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 11:23 PM

Heh, I never knew Montegos had that criss-cross structure behind the grille.  Every day's a school day.

 

Well, you'll like this as well...That criss-cross panel is a right flimsy thing when not attached to the car. It's job is to create the longer and slightly pointier Montego nose. The Montego's headlamps attach to that panel and then that panel bolts on to where the Maestros headlamps would otherwise attach. Remove bumpers, bonnet, wings (and that criss-cross panel on the Montego) and you are presented with the same front end and engine bay.


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#16 OFFLINE   warren t claim

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 12:41 AM

Love the 13" base spec wheels.


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Posted 08 July 2018 - 08:31 AM

I love how "we" (Autoshiters, that is) put so much time and effort (and no doubt expense) to a car that was ordinary when new, denigrated almost instantly and even now isn't exactly a gold-plated investment.  I had a 1991 Montego 1.6LX and thought it was brilliant.

 

Excellent project, well done!


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#18 OFFLINE   HillmanImp

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 08:34 AM

Heh, I never knew Montegos had that criss-cross structure behind the grille.  Every day's a school day.


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#19 OFFLINE   lesapandre

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 09:06 AM

I love how "we" (Autoshiters, that is) put so much time and effort (and no doubt expense) to a car that was ordinary when new, denigrated almost instantly and even now isn't exactly a gold-plated investment.  I had a 1991 Montego 1.6LX and thought it was brilliant.

 

Excellent project, well done!

We had one in the company car pool. Everybody loved it - it was quick and eady to drive. Always got used.


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#20 OFFLINE   Isaac Hunt

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 09:17 AM

Having had several Montygoes back in the day, this looks to be a fine example and identical spec to my first.

A Coventry Car by the looks of it, who etched the windows back in the day as I knew someone who provided such a service ?

#21 OFFLINE   mark1986

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 09:49 AM

Spot on with the thread title, sweet indeed !


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#22 OFFLINE   Andy F

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 09:57 AM

Fantastic! Always loved a montego. My dad had 3 over about 15 years and I learnt to drive in it. One grandfather had a newer montego than ours and the other had an older maestro whilst mum drove around in a selection of metros. I guess that explains why I keep looking for them in ebay.

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#23 ONLINE   ProgRocker

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 10:06 AM

Fabulous Montego! Sterling job. :)


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#24 OFFLINE   Skizzer

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 10:17 AM

That’s really very, very nice. First Montego I ever saw was an Opaline Green 1.6HL, on the tiny forecourt at Vince McCarry’s little Austin Rover dealership in Skewen. I like Montegos.
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Posted 08 July 2018 - 10:19 AM

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#26 OFFLINE   omegod

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 11:53 AM

My first car was a silver 89 1.6 LX, quite strong in a crash from what I recall ..twice 


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#27 OFFLINE   The Reverend Bluejeans

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 08:34 PM

I used to service an MG 2.0i in that colour with the grey herringbone trim and receding rear arches - around 1990 ish. It went like  train as well, sweet to drive with the much better Honda box.


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#28 OFFLINE   Nyphur

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 08:43 PM

Filth


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#29 ONLINE   beko1987

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 08:52 PM

Do like these, never seen one in person until Andy rocked up in one at shitefest. Had the pleasure of following him as we glf back to Barrhead on the way back, it looks so purposeful on the road!
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#30 OFFLINE   Nibblet

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 08:55 PM

Velour- hnnnggg!

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