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BLOG MY RIDE: Rally MG Maestro 1600 - Car B

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  • BLOG MY RIDE: Rally MG Maestro 1600 - Car B

    We've got 3 of these identical cars (believed to originate from Goodwood Rally School) and if anyone knows anything about their history we would be very interested!

    The cars were standing for yonks and so needed a proper good clean up, overhaul etc. Remarkably, they appear to be quite solid with little rust -possibly because it had been heavily painted in its Green/White rally school livery which made it last a lot better then the factory paint job.

    The cars are ideal for Trackdays, Barkston Sprints, Autocross, practising rally-driving skills etc. and if anyone is interested in joining us and sharing driving of it then do get in touch.

    [N.B. Car would need a lot of new stuff to get an MSA logbook e.g. seats, harnesses, plumbed in extinguisher, window film and possibly a homologated cage]


    Formerly of Goodwood rally school
    Engine: R Series 1.6 litre (approx 103 Bhp)
    Produced approx March 83 Jun 84

    MG Maestro 1600 111 mph 9.6s 0-60 mph 29.5 mpg

    Professionally manufactured Roll Cage: Nick Stafford could not find any markings at all on the Maestro roll cage. There is nothing in the usual places, so have no idea what spec the cage is.

    Stripped out interior
    Seam welded
    Tyres: Forest rally (well used)
    Bucket seats
    Hand held fire extinguisher
    Battery Cut Off handle
    Hydraulic Handbrake
    Co-drivers foot rest

    I found the following info on rally MG Maestros, BTW:
    NO: Not more than a couple of hundred quid
    MAYBE: Maestros will never be as popular as other marques e.g. classic Fords, Minis etc.
    YES: It has an MG badge and they are v rare so will appreciate as it hits 35+
    Last edited by Austin-Rover; 24th April 2013, 18:49. Reason: Thread title changed at request of OP

  • #2
    Nick's been beavering away on the car and it's now had an external respray.
    It's being exhibited at this event tomorrow:

    Ormskirk Motorfest 28 Aug 11

    It's 90% finished and we're hoping to enter it into a Rally Sprint in Essex on 11 Sep 11 or the final round of the year on 2 Oct 11.

    Photos of one of them here:!214
    BTW, the 2 photos of the car in plain white show it post respray (i.e. as it is now). The green/white livery shows it as it was when it was with Goodwood Rally School.

    Anyone think there is any danger of the 1600 MG Maestro gaining any significant classic value in future years, BTW?

    Also, is there anyone who has past or present experience doing motorsport with the Maestro?
    Last edited by John C; 27th August 2011, 21:23.


    • #3
      Due to a booking error by the Ormskirk show's organiser it didn't get to be on display unfortunately. However, I now have the car down in Essex and its first outing was a few days later here:

      The car was probably the most surprising machine I've ever driven. It didn't sound at all like I expected -much more throaty/raunchy. It's exhaust has a really awesome snarl.

      Its rev counter isn't working but it appears to have little power below about 4000rpm. However, when above this rpm it takes off like a scalded cat! The power was pretty awesome. It's peaky/cammy, but goes like a rocket when in the power band -great fun to drive; it feels like a PROPER rally car.

      On the penultimate stage it started to lose power and then cut out, often being a pain to restart. Finally it wouldnt start at all so we winched it onto the trailer and took it down to this place:

      I got this report back from them 2 days later:

      The MG is running again. We completely drained all the fuel, the lines and the carburettors. We found much sediment in the fuel which had blocked the jets. The fuel was contaminated as well. We actually removed the tank to drain it and we power washed it because it was very muddy. We cleaned the carbs with air and in the wash tank. It would be a good idea to source an overhaul kit for the carbs as the gaskets are looking fatigued (there may be slight air leaks). We removed all the plugs and noticed a weak spark on all plugs. The car needs service (oil and filter change) otherwise it seems to run OK now.

      The Meastro is awaiting the carb overhaul kits and an inline fuel filter. We tried a purge pump but we could not get the last bit of dirty fuel out of the tank. It would make sense to completely fill the tank to dilute the dirty fuel. All the books have now arrived - thanks

      Thanks to Class Racing for rebuilding the carbs. They are worth several hundred pounds (even secondhand) and I'm told that they invariable need cleaning out/rebuilding when you buy them (unless they are brand new and they will then cost 1000 for both twin choke carbs)!
      Does anyone know where I can get an overhaul kit for the carbs?
      Also, the talking dash is dead -anyone know any typical problems why it should be playing up?
      Last edited by John C; 11th January 2016, 09:14.


      • #4
        Webber carbs need to be sealed correctly as the MG1600 did have a habit of setting fire to itself from fuel leaks from the carbs!

        Not sure where to buy a kit from but webber's are pretty popular so there will be aftermarket and OE suppliers still available I'm sure.

        You may find the power band alters a lot when the carbs are cleaned out and set up properly as I think there is a seperate high and low speed jetting.

        What is the fault with the dash exactly. Does non of it work, or does some of it, or does it constantly moan about something or other.

        Connection issues on the dash plug are common and usually a few connections and disconnections can clean up the connections no end. - The Tickford Maestro Turbo Register - The Rover 200/400 (R8) Owners Club - My Rover Diesel Site


        • #5


          • #6
            They almost certainly are works cars - they might have done the Rally Sprint, driven by the likes of Nigel Mansell, Tony Pond, Warwick, Blomquist etc, see the film on this forum somewhere else. They then get sold/given away to rally schools, the Goodwood Rally School would have got these from the Austin Rover Competitions Dept (which had moved from Abingdon to Cowley) and turned them into school cars.

            Either that - or they got a deal out of the marketing dept, John Dalton (who lives in Coventry) was the main man pushing the Maestro within the marketing dept. , and also did a lot of events in them, he might throw some light on this. They are interesting cars and worth saving.

            There was a reference to a car for sale on the MGM website some time back, presume this is where this has come from.


            • #7
              Excellent info -thanks guys!

              Here's some info on the '83 Rally Sprint:

              If anyone has any contact details for John Dalton (or even his user name on one of the Maestro forums), I'd be very grateful


              • #8
                Any more info on the works masetros I.e vehicle reg or chassis numbers as i have a mg1600 rally car that has surpossed to of competed in a lot of rallys including the rac rally and would like to verify the info etc


                • #9
                  Here are some photos of the car:

                  Green/White = original livery -presumably as used at the rallyschool

                  It's now resprayed diamond white (as seen in a couple of pics)


                  • #10
                    PROPER BO SI has just replied to a thread you have subscribed to entitled - MG Maestro 1600 blog - in the New Members blog forum of MGOC Race Championship Bulletin Board.

                    This thread is located at:

                    Here is the message that has just been posted:

                    You can find them [carb rebuild kits] on ebay for about 20 per carb from Italy. They are Weber DCNF 40 carbs and they are used on some old Ferrari's.

                    Hope that helps

                    P.S. I raced a Maestro with the R series engine for a few years in the MGOC. Check the brass gear that drives the distributor as excess wear will stop the ignition advance running smoothly.



                    • #11
                      I've also posted this thread, FYI:

                      Contacts needed for researching history of works Maestro motorsport
                      Last edited by John C; 14th October 2011, 18:17.


                      • #12
                        Made some progress; I've found the cars' former home -it was Mithril Racing
               at Goodwood circuit.

                        Even better, Mr Chris Taylor (the boss) proferred that the cars were originally from the Austin Rover Rally Sprint ('83) before they bought them, confirming some excellent, accurate intelligence from several people (including Phillip Young and Nick Stafford -thanks Gents!) who suspected as much.

                        Has anyone got any info/program or photos from the Austin Rover Rally Sprints that used MG Maestros? I believe that it was only the 1983 event.

                        I can only find the following on the '83 event:

                        BBC Rally Sprint 1983 - Race
                        [a thrilling MG Maestro 1600 race at Donington for celeb competition drivers inc. Mansell, Blomqvist, John Watson, Tony Pond, Derek Warwick etc. Part of the “Austin Rover Rally Sprint”])

                        This thread gives info on the '84 event (but this used Montegos):
                        Last edited by John C; 13th October 2011, 15:02. Reason: more detail


                        • #13
                          We missed a Rally Sprint today because the car wouldn't start last night (despite Butho beavering away all afternoon getting a trailer for it, plumbing in a fuel filter to avoid more sediment, and finding fresh fuel for the tank), which was a great disappointment, but "that's motorsport".

                          I later spoke to Nick Stafford who thinks it might be that the sediment caused the mechanical fuel filter to pack up, so we're going to put an electric one in now.

                          I got this update today:

                          Hi John,

                          I have had a good look at the MGs fuel line upgrade and below is a ball park (but pretty accurate quote) to get the job done.

                          The most suitable pump would be the Blue Top Facet in line pump. This can handle 35 gallons per hour which should be enough. This pump does not need a very expensive pressure regualtor so is cost effective. The second consideration is fitting the solid state pumos that are small enough need to be fitted near the tank but below the tank! The Blue Top can be fitted anywhere so under bonnet is possible

                          The other items needed are:

                          length of fuel line
                          In line disposable filter (from Facet)
                          fuel tap
                          90 degree union
                          2 X carb overhaul kits

                          Cost of parts will be 200 + VAT

                          If you are happy with that we can get the parts ordered and make a start



                          Last edited by John C; 2nd October 2011, 21:02.


                          • #14

                            Hi Graham,

                            Thanks v much for scoping this out.

                            Before we go for the pukka Blue Top pump, can I just see what you think of the following (which might be cheaper), please?

                            [the lower pressure of the 2 pumps is quoted as WFP502 Electric Fuel Pump runs at 0.17 - 0.31 BAR (2.5-4.5 PSI), flows at 90 to 130 litres per hour and is extremely quiet and reliable in operation. This pump is suitable for all single, twin and triple Weber installations without the need for an additional fuel pressure regulator]

                            Another one to consider might be this (which is very cheap):
                            Facet Solid State Replacement Fuel Pump 4.5 - 7 PSI

                            FYI, I spoke to Nick Stafford (who gave you a ring on Thurs night) late last night and he advised that a cheap Facet fuel pump of 4-6 psi should be adequate for this car. I've also found that the 90 degree unions etc. are available on ebay (search for FACET FUEL PUMP), if that's any help.

                            BTW, I noticed that this place doesn't appear to list any Carb service kit for the WEber 40DCNF carbs:
                            -have you found anywhere else that can supply the kits?

                            John Clayton


                            • #15
                              Hi John,

                              Its your call! The small solid state pumps may have to be fitted insdie the car to get them close to the tank, pumps generally find it easier to push than pull, a good pump has the adb=vantage that it can be fitted anywhere the weaker pumps will need to be fitted inside the car. You might need to check technical regs as not all organisers would like a pump inside the car icase of fire. You don,t want to be squirted with fuel in an accident. Fitting the pump upstream means that the fuel line through car is not pressurised.

                              I hope this helps explain the cost differnces - do you want us to source the components? The carb kits are quite readily available from a number of suppliers all are genuine Weber parts.

                              Let me know what you think