Jump to content

Maestro, please.

Recommended Posts

My Parents had an F plate Maestro, I remember picking it up with them in 1989 from Charles Clarke in Wolverhampton,  they part exchanged an Ital estate and drove away in a brand new motor!  Within 5 years or so the rear arches had rotted and needed replacement, they also enjoyed multiple FTPs normally related to the fuel pump. Soldiered on until it was 12 and I weighed it in. It was basically a crap car, but I'd love another just for old times sake. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the earliest cars of my mothers that I remember was an F-plate Maestro, it was beige, can't remember the reg - it would have been a low-spec model for sure. I vaguely remember driving to Nottingham for it, I think we traded in her old FSO Polonez. This would've been the late 90s some time. Had it for a couple of years and then sold it second hand when my dad started getting company cars and mum inherited his Primera, around 00/01.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice indeed. The Maestro was in Buckingham, which is an hour's drive up the A413 from where I live. It was up for pocket money and I saw the ad within minutes of it being posted, well before anyone responded. I thought about buying it but I have no affection for Maestros and it's too late to start a relationship now, hence I kept my hands in my pockets. 

Any chance of you posting more about your S124 please? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, loserone said:

That ZX estate looks great.  


The garage looks pretty damned good too.  What's the room above it, is it habitable? I'd love to put an office room above a garage in our garden, but the chance of getting planning is less than zero.

The ZX TD Avantage estate is a fully working car in use. We have had it for 9 years. 

The room above the garage is a guest bedroom, unfortunately it restricts height in the garage so we can't have a lift.

I have my study on the ground floor, but in the crook between the original house and the garage so I have a restricted view of the cars on the drive. However this week the Maestro has been in prime spot outside my window for me to ogle at.

IMG_20201208_135451 broad.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites


Maestro has landed.  Initial impression is that it's actually better than anticipated and while it does have some of the usual Maestro foibles (see headlining, or you will tomorrow) it wears its copious miles remarkably well.  @worldofceri very professional and unloaded and parked it up for me in no time, also demonstrating the Maestro starts up and runs just fine, a bit of fettling will see improvement there no doubt.  Can't take it out tonight, and even if I could I'm not sure I'd want to since freezing fog isn't my favourite weather.  Did a quick run through of the various controls and everything seems to work just fine, as you'd expect of a car that's just been MoT'd really.

I love it's miserable little face, looks right at home with the Princess.  Weather makes it look like I've gone a bit mental with the fog machine but that's the best my camera can do tonight.



I did wipe the steering wheel and other controls down before fiddling with stuff, Covid precaution stylee, and nothing came off on the cloth.  Kinda weird buying a car with a clean steering wheel.

Link to post
Share on other sites


I have a very big, very soft, spot for Maestros. My brother - in the days before he was a millionaire - ran a Green clubman with much charm and myriad faults. I drove it once in 2000 and couldn’t believe how much people slagged them off. It was better than my Metro in every conceivable way! 

The fact you’ve been able to buy this at y2k prices is testament to what a great place this is. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Had time to have a proper look at this today and I'm pleasantly surprised.  There's something off with the tuning, probably just carb settings, and the rear suspension is a bit hard (probably shocks) but other than that it's actually pretty good.  Gearchange isn't woeful, it's probably the long selector rod I can see in the engine bay that's bent that's causing the issue, replacement rods are already on my watchlist and that looks a really easy job to do.  I've missed having an A series, they really are a great little engine.  I'll be releasing a proper video and updates later but the long and short of it is that it's actually a pretty good example of a Maestro, the mileage really isn't an issue, you could shave 100k off and it would still be believable.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, vulgalour said:

it's probably the long selector rod I can see in the engine bay that's bent that's causing the issue

The long selector rod isn't supposed to be straight. Besides, you'd pop the sockets off the ball with such ham-fisted use long before you'd bend the metal rod.

A quick check to make; the end of the 'long' linkage is attached to a ball which itself is at the top of a vertical riser - the other end of which holds the rod from the base of the gear stick. The holder for this rod is a collar welded on to the vertical riser piece, I have seen a couple of these welds fail and the vertical plate no longer sits vertical, and ultimately you lose the ability to change gear.

Also; check you still have the correct clips and rubber spacer holding the clutch cable to the arm on the front of the gearbox.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, thanks for the info on the selector rods, etc. When the video is all processed and uploaded later tonight (too late to go back and edit it now really) past me will reinforce the incorrect assumption on the rod but at least I have something to look at more properly when I start trying to fix things.

Link to post
Share on other sites

To recap then, @Six-cylinder had this thing up for sale over in the for sale section (obviously) and I got @worldofceri to deliver it because of my stupid working hours, it's not that Six Cylinder is that far away, Buckinghamshire is very doable from here, I just couldn't get a chunk of time free at a time that would be at all practical for collection.  Both shiters highly recommended, the whole transaction was entirely trouble free and exactly the way it should be.  Here's the Maestro on Ceri's swanky tilting triple axle trailer.


Unfortunately for Ceri, the night of delivery was a murky one of freezing fog and while our driveway is easy to unload onto, I'd completely forgotten how awkward the estate is to navigate in the dark if you've never been here before, it's all curving streets and similar looking little houses and road signs that you see just as you drive past them.  Not a problem for Ceri, who fired up the Maestro and parked it up in the new spot before heading off for a well earned evening's rest no doubt!  Then I had to sit on my hands for the evening because I literally couldn't do anything about the car until today due to a lack of light.  It's been a busy day at work but I finished almost on time for once, and got an early (for me) start.  Probably the excitement, you know how it is.

A video is coming, which will go into more depth, but our internet is still cable rather than fibre so the upload takes a little while.  Fibre upgrade is coming, it's just not here yet, apparently.  Anyway, my first look at it in the daylight was actually a pleasant surprise.  Maestros that survive now do tend to be pretty solid and the two I've had in the past - one borrowed from @skattrd years ago that first sold me on the idea of Maestros, which I then followed up with a Ledbury which was reliable but dog slow -  had meant they were always in mind as a good reliable old hack, which is what I was after.  I'm not the sort to abuse a car, as you all know, I'm more the sort to spend too much time and attention on them and then sell them at a loss because I never learn.

For the £395 paid, I was not expecting much, I'll be honest.  That's not a complaint, or a slight on six-cylinder, it's just facts.  You pay less than £500 for a car and it's going to have problems, that's a given.  The problems the car does have, that I've found so far, are all ones I was made aware of or were expected for something of this age, price range, and mileage.  What I didn't expect is how little rust I could find.  The rear arches are no worse than other Maestros I've seen with half the mileage, the front valance and rear valance are both in great condition, the bottom of the doors have some rust staining but are generally pretty solid, and the tailgate is one of the cleanest I've encountered on a Maestro in terms of rust, of which there doesn't seem to be any.  There's a tiny bit of lacquer peel on the roof (which is normal for red BL stuff of this era), and a couple of very minor dents on the body as is to be expected.  The boot is letting a very small amount of water in somewhere, I suspect the rear light cluster seals, but is otherwise pretty much pristine complete with toolkit, a funnel, and two spare belts.  I don't think there's usually a board under the carpet in Maestros, I'm pretty sure it was always just a piece of carpet.  Struts are in good shape too.


  It has had a bump at the back, looks like it's been reversed into something, and there's signs of a couple of bits of welding inside the boot behind the bumper which might be from an attempt to straighten the panel out.  The bumper is pushed in a bit more on the driver's side than the passenger side so I'll pop that off (it's only two bolts, from memory) and see if I can improve that a bit more.  The bumper doesn't foul the tailgate or cause any problems, particularly, I'd just like it to sit a bit nicer than it does (so much for it being An Car, I'm already getting finicky).  Those rivets aren't normal either, though rear bumper corners do seem to be fairly plentiful still, as they were when I had the Ledbury.



The engine bay is fine.  It's quite clean and tidy, the battery isn't some ancient old lump and it genuinely looks like things have been taken good care of in here.  There's a minimal oil weep from the rocker cover which is normal for an A series, and some tin foil under the carburettor which I think is some sort of home-made heat shield.  The only odd thing is the car is VERY loud at idle when cold, at first I thought it was the exhaust or manifold blowing but I can't find any evidence of that, it's more like induction noise so I wonder if there's no air filter, I haven't looked.  The tuning is off too, I feel like it's idling too low and running too rich.  Since it's an SU carb that'll be easy to sort out, parts are plentiful and it's something I know my way around.  Honestly though, the noise the engine itself makes isn't that bad, a little tappety when cold which you expect from high mileage old mills like this, but otherwise it pulls well and seems quite content to do its thing.  It is hilarious that the air box completely hides the engine and there's so much space in the engine bay I can't see anything being difficult to work on.



Up at the front, I think it's had a replacement wing, the paint is crazed a bit on the leading edge and I think the coach bolt through the bumper cap is to make up for the plastic locater block being damaged or missing.  When the new bumper corner I ordered arrives, I'll investigate further on this.  For now, not an issue.


The fabric of the headlining is gone.  You can still buy the foam backed headlining to redo this, it's a fairly easy job.  The old board is in reasonable shape and has been painted white, this is fairly standard practice and I don't mind it for now, though I will recover this because it's something I enjoy doing and it's a cheap job to do.  The sunvisors have also lost the cloth fabric and instead seem to have sandpaper glued on which is... fine... just a bit odd.




I was delighted to see the original head unit is still in place.  I don't know if it works or not yet, I'm just happy it's still there.


The blanking plugs for the driver's side grab handle are missing, and one of the end caps for the passenger side handle is missing.  This is very normal, they're usually fairly easy to get hold of and cheap.


There was some treasure in the ashtray too.  I don't know what the yellow thing is, it doesn't come apart.  Hypodermic needle tip was a bit of an odd thing to find in there, the screws, safety pins, bulbs, and pound coin less so.  Car has now cost £394.


The one thing I couldn't resist doing today was taking the seat covers off and I was astonished at what I found underneath.  Every single Maestro I've ever seen has worn out side bolsters on the driver's seat, without exception, and some have worn through fabric.  This car, this 180,000 mile winter beater of distinction, has the most perfect seats imaginable.  They're not even dirty, you can still see the very subtle paler grey pattern in the fabric.  The carpets, likewise (my camera ate the photo, but they're in the video) are pristine.



This car has been loved in its life, that's very obvious.  The only bits of it that are damaged or worn are bits that just wear out because they weren't made the great to begin with.  There's no layers of bodges to wade through, no questionable modifications and I reckon, with just a little TLC, this car will turn into a very nice example.  I am quite frankly amazed at how good it is and I know, without a doubt, I'm going to end up getting attached to it, which wasn't the plan.

Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, vulgalour said:

This car has been loved in its life, that's very obvious.

The chap who had it before us passed away and his family was disposing of the car. He had owned it from new and kept it garaged all its life. Other than its brief sojourn at ours, it is essentially the 'one owner car'.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Content

    • By Crispian_J_Hotson
      Now in my mucky hands is this S Type Mondeo Lincoln. It's not like a Mondeo Lincoln  though, just uses some of the bits as it's from a time when jaguar was experiencing some 'technical' issues. 
      It has managed to hang onto the feel of a premium car but for the use of cost saving interior plastics made from the same gear that land Rover used in the discovery 2 of the same era, I know, I have one of those too! That has some BMW switches in it though.
      This jaag was cheap. Why did I buy it? All I wanted really was a small convertible for the summer to smoke around in, this is the polar opposite. 
      The price was good but these cars are without their expensive issues. I liked the body. It's virtually rust free, a freak of nature and it had a set of premium tyres on it which suggested it's had some money chucked at it.
      That's all I wanted really from it. The bolt on stuff and mechanicals are fairly easy to sort out, plus I can upgrade as I feel fit.
      Today I've been bonding with this machine. It's got to beat the 3 series I have as a good daily or it's out. It's going to be a tall order, the 318 is bionic!
      I have many miles to do in the next few months, I need a motorway cruiser auto. The odd jaunt for a few hundred miles is the 318's and my clutch legs limit!
      Now, this car has been owned previously by a few members on here, the work it requires is because it is a cheap car and 20 years old and has a jaguar badge on it. There are a few issues with it.
      As said, it has to be put into immediate service. I've owned it 2 days and it's already done over 300 miles, and will do all that again tomorrow! So let's get started!
      After about 100 miles yesterday, I reversed it for the first time in my ownership and when braking the noise was alarming! Had a look and the outer rear brake pad was metal on the disc. I only had another 60 miles to go!
      A phone call on the move saw a set in stock back home to be picked up. Sweet.
      That was yesterday, I've got a day now to change the rear pads and sort out the dropped headlamps with a couple of screws... A couple of hours it'll be Sorted... He says...
      WIND BACK CALIPERS! Yes, they are. My special tool? Sorry? What? No tool?
      Well, I cobbled together a bar and a pair of molies but Christ, that was messing about! I wanted to secure the caliper to the mounting to hold it still but the sliders internal thread was cross threaded on both sliders, so I had to tap them out first. It worked but not without a fight. Then my neighbour came over to have a nose at the new aquisition... Him: Morning, how you getting on"?, Me: "Shit, you haven't got a brake caliper tool have you"? Him: "Yeah, I'll go get it". 

      Sticky slider syndrome ^

      Fully padded up ^
      I took a look around under there, it's nearly all shot. Most ball joints are exposed to the elements so all need replacing but not before a decent jet wash.


      There's little play in the joints so all that goes on the list of parts and graft! Wheels on, I loosened and torqued all the wheel nuts around the car and done the Tyre pressures, we were running soft all round.
      Next was the front lights. A screw mod can be done but I took the back off the units and they were, well toast. Nothing much holding the inner lenses still at all. There was only one thing for it...

      I had readied myself for this. I got hold of a replacement lamp mounting kit with all parts made from nylon. This involved dissecting the lamp which was tough! The mounts that came out, or what was left of them were weaker than Jacobs crackers and just crumbled. To get the bumper off, the plastic under tray bolts were all seized so I had to grind them off. More knackered parts were seen. The auto box cooler has shed most of it's cooling fins, the radiator is sweating and the power steering is hemorrhaging fluid on full lock. There's also a coolant leak at the thermostat housing and there's a high pitch whine at 1000 RPM which turns out to be the alternator. More for the list.
      Still, back to the lights. I need to be able to see tonight so I took a level off the tourings lights and marked on to a wheely bin, these are pretty spot on. Then I can use the bin for the Jaags lights and I won't be far off 

      Going back together nicely it was a good time to run some tcut over the faded lenses. They need a more intense compound and a machine but will do for now.

      Looks smart yo!
      Then it got dark...

      I then drove 120 miles in it and drove it like it was stolen. It had it, all of it! Slight brake judder at 90 and I couldn't get the alignment done as I had no time (see above pics)
      So now we have to price up priorities like the knackered joints on the rear and a full service, two Goodyears and investigate the power steering leak which, I'll hazard a guess at the rack seals are fubard. 
      So in summary, I got a bargain barge that has it's fair share of issues, the interior quality is a bit shocking in places but when the hammer is down, none of this matters! It fits in, it can be a proper giffer cruiser with radio two on at 30mph but it'll turn into a bruiser with some oldskool hardcore at a tonne. It's come to a good home.
    • By cobblers
      Train tickets booked from a train station 30 miles away to save £9 on the recommendation of the Mrs
      Mrs booked and primed ready to drop me off at said train station.

      Mobile tool kit primed and ready, missing almost every vital component due to EU regulations about leccy tape and screwdrivers on trains (I left them all at my mums house yesterday).
      If I do break down, I should have something to listen to while I work out whether I'm with the AA or RAC or none of the above.

      Not pictured: pile of cash
    • By philibusmo
      After a year of very little vehicular tinkering, mostly due to lack of time and monies, I am just as broke but back fettling festering fucking heaps.
      If you've been here long enough to remember 'bump for a real thread', why the best Peugeot 405s have 20p stuck in the handbrake or the significance behind D701 SWL then you may remember me from such hits as welding up a chronically rotten Lancia Y10
      or pouring LHM all over the local area in an incontinent XM
      Between then and now I have been mostly quiet on here but have still been working on multiple cars in New Zealand which mostly made the scrap in the UK look showroom fresh, there's some good stories in that lot that I'll try and type up for your unenjoyment frm time to time if I'm running out of actual new content again.
      But onto the latest tat faffing:
      In 2009 an 83 Ford Fiesta with no MOT and a fair bit of rot around the edges turned up on the driveway of my great aunty. It was a bit grotty around the edges and the old lady who owned it had given up driving so it was just sat there waiting to be taken away an cubed. Being 17 and desperate for wheels, I spotted it and persuaded my Dad that we could take it on and fix it up, which we did and got it through an MOT.
      A year went by where the holes in the wings got filled with expanding builders foam and filler, the steels were replaced with RS 4 spokes from a SuperSport and the chunky bumpers were swapped out with earlier chrome ones. While it was slowly being improved I knew it needed more substantial work and over the year I got hold of a genuine pair of front wings and a pattern front panel, then in March 2011 I taugt myself how to weld, on the few holes in the boot floor before moving to tackling the very sad inner front wings and front panel. After a respray, I hurriedly chucked it all back together in 2 days and drove it to Glasgow for the annual Mk1 Fiesta meet at Loch Lomand.
      Its looked really rather snazzy

      That was 9 years ago now though. For a couple of years I tried to buy other cars to use through winter and keep it nice, but a combination of the Fiesta being amazingly good in snow and the general unreliability of my winter beaters meant that this got used in all weathers. Then I left for four years and it was left at the back of my parents drive. Time has not been kind, rust has been bubbling through on the seams on the front and rear panels, on the wings and the scuttle for some time. On coming back, I used it for a few months through last spring and from a distance it looked grand, but up close you could see it had been a bit neglected. I ended up getting a Ford Puma and the Fiesta sat languishing at the back of the drive again for a good 6 months or so while I tried to find the time to fix it, then lock down occurred!
      I started on the back, no photos of what it looked like before I started but it really wasn't pretty. Holes on either side of the boot floor, a big old hole on the passenger side of the rear panel and a very scruffy edge to the drivers side where it meets the rear quarter. After scrubbing back all the rust, trating the surface rust and welding in new metal, it looked like this after a first smear of filler.
      With a bit more work and some paint, it now looks like this. I've run out of paint and am struggling to get hold of any decent Ford 'Ocean Blue' at the moment but I'll get some more layers on as soon as I can.

      The corners of the boot floor have also had a tickle with the MIG:

      The seam behind the boot latch, under the boot seal had also rotted out, so that's also been ground out and new metal let in. I haven't got too prissy with the filler and how this edge looks, seeing as it will be hidden.

      On the original restoration I did have the good idea to make the wings bolt on as they were originally held on with spot welds and I wanted to be able to get behind them to clean out and rust proof behind. Obviously these good intentions never came to anything and they've not moved until I pulled them off about 2 weeks ago. The passenger side needed a bit of complicated work close to the leading edge of the door. leading into the inner arch and floor pan. No before pictures but it looks alright all welded up and covered in seam sealer, red oxide and Hammerite. I've got some proper Dinitrol stone chip stuff on the way which I'll spray around under here to try and protect it a bit better than it was before.

      The drivers side is probably a bit worse, a hole in an awkward spot at the bottom behind the wheel , a hole below the scuttle drain and a big old load of rust all around a box section that runs across the back of the inner wheel arch.

      Today I managed to weld up the majority of this mess There is no longer a big hole in the floor and the bit below the scuttle drain is solid. Just the outer edge down next to the door and the outside rectangle on the box section to fix up. Probably an afternoons work if you exclude waiting for paint to dry. I need to make a decision on if I try and find the spot welds for the front panel and take it off to de-rust it properly. It looks a bit nasty on the front edge, but behind, my cheap seam sealer and hammerite has cracked, letting water into the joints between the panel and the inner wings and cross member. I don't really want to take it off as it's going to be a bastard to line all the panels up again but it might be for the best in the long run unless there is some fantastic (probably Bilt Hamber) product that can creep into the joints and fuck up the rust.

      There's also this spot under the windscreen on the scuttle panel which I'm dreading, if only because the screen will need to come out which will almost certainly mean it will break and then it will start raining.

      I'll make some decision on this tomorrow. I've got some time on my hands because tomorrow the Fiesta will have to wait because it's chod collection time!
      To be continued.
    • By Peter C
      Woke up this morning, had a little time before I had to leave the house for work, had a quick look at what’s new for sale on Retro Rides and saw an ad for a W124 200E manual, located 15 miles from home. I had no intention of buying a car today but I had to have it! I called the seller and arranged a viewing.
      2 x rusty front wings (TADTS)
      1 x rusty rear arch
      Needs a polish
      Tracking is out because new track rod end was fitted for MoT
      Engine has oil leak/s
      Good points:
      It’s a W124 200E!
      5 speed manual transmission
      New clutch
      Brand new MoT
      Superb MoT history
      4 x as new Continental tyres
      Last owner for 15 years, her husband before that for 4 years
      Very tidy MB-Tex interior
      Drives well
      All electrics work
      The dealer kindly delivered the car to my house but I managed a pez station shot on route:

      Remove front wings, cut away rust and apply plenty of wob.
      In-situ similar repair for rear arch
      Clean and polish
      Service engine
      Adjust tracking
      Leave patina and enjoy the car as it is
      I will update this thread once progress is made.









      Hopefully these two will become good friends.

    • By Shirley Knott
      Greetings all.
      After lurking here for a short while, frankly liking what I see and enjoying the various shite, the site has well and truly struck a chord with me. I'm a serial buyer of ropey sub £1k vehicles, don't have to but genuinely enjoy it.
      I feel like I might (Just might) have found my 'spiritual' home here
      I've been posting across the web on owner specific forums (Usually using either my JoeyEunos or RandomPrecion handles) for a while now, but from here-on-in I will pull my threads together and merge them here into one ghastly topic.
      My current steeds...
      Lupo 1.7 SDI
      SAM_5560 by
      and the work/story so far...http://forums.clublupo.co.uk/index.php?/topic/102863-joeyeunoss-sdi-beater/
      Golf Mk4 SDI
      SAM_5531 by
      and the thread.... http://uk-mkivs.net/topic/597074-project-slow/
      Early (1989) Mk1 Eunos (This one was recently sold)
      SAM_4656 by
      the thread...http://www.mx5nutz.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=213274
      Other shite I've owned and moved on in the last year include this ropey Passat...
      SAM_6011 by
      and this legendary £300 Fiesta Finesse...
      Festa by
      Cars I'd like to own/actively looking for in the forthcoming weeks/months/years...
      Rover 75 (Dizzler)
      Peugeot 405 (XUD)
      Mk1 Octavia (Estate/dizzler, pre pd or SDI)
      Honda CRV (Gen1)
      Volvo 240/850
  • Create New...