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A26 PTA - oldest montego

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  • A26 PTA - oldest montego

    Hi everyone. I thought I should create a forum post about A26 PTA although many of you will of seen it on the Facebook group.

    Many of you will know me for my other MM stuff - LVL618Y the early rattan beige 1.6L maestro and A122TOO the brown montego which has held the title of only remaining A plate known and certainly the earliest known with a chassis number of 2477... until now.

    Although A122 TOO hasnít had many outings since 2015 I still have it, and only a few weeks ago at the restoration show was I chatting to Tanya about perhaps bringing out of storage to celebrate Montego 35 at this years NEC show. However, as life tends to do, a curve ball was well and truly thrown into the ring a few weeks ago.

    Some of you spotted the Targa Red A plate on eBay, and indeed when it was heading north up the M6, having been spotted and posted on another group. This car first came into my radar in September 2015 when it cropped up on Gumtree. It was the wrong timing for me to really take much interest and indeed by the time I messaged about it it had sold. I never did establish much info about it other than it had been off the road for decades and its overall condition was unknown. I was expecting it to crop up at the time, either in the club or by a loose classic car world connection but nothing. The car disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. I always had a distant curiosity if it was one day going to appear looking sparking, and often wondered about its chassis number. Was A122TOO still the oldest one out there??

    When it found its way on to eBay three weeks ago I didnít even need to message the seller for the chassis number as he posted a pic of the original V5. And there it was. Chassis number 1878. A whole 599 cars earlier than A122.

    At that point I had little choice but to buy it, so putting in a maximum bid that would of bought me some decent long haul flights I waited. And waited. Finally the auction closed and I had it. I kept very quiet (for me) as the last thing I wanted was another project - so in honesty I was planning to squirrel it away and forget about it. A122 could remain the only A plate and oldest on the road.

    The car was 5 hours away in South Wales and a 500 mile round trip from me I needed like a hole in the head. The seller suggested he could deliver as he had a car to pick up in Yorkshire (turns out he was en route to collect a metro with 7000 miles on the clock when he left me) so a deal on delivery was struck. The car arrived with me in Blackpool a few weeks ago.

    I have never been less excited about getting a new toy. Perhaps because I didnít really want it, or maybe the thought of another load of effort and money on a car that probably will stand me at more than itís worth when done wasnít lighting my fire. However something strange happened as it burst into life on the trailer and reversed at some speed down the ramps with the previous owner at the helm narrowly missing next doors lamp post. I actually quite liked it.

    The seller explained he liked BL stuff and bought it from the original owners son in 2015. He was planning to restore it but in failing health he decided to move it on. It has sat under a sheet outdoors since 2015. In a rush to get off we settled up and he was on his way.

    I had a good look around it and was pleasantly surprised. The floor looks solid. Itís had some small plates at the back of the sills but thatís all I can find. Boot floor is great as are door bottoms, bonnet, boot and all the other places they seem to go. A122 was pretty molested by the time I got to it... it had had an awful respray, lots of VP bits added, a dodgy blue dash sprayed brown, aftermarket stereo and sunroof - all rectified now as far as I can. This one however was totally untouched.

    Original tool kit, complete in polystyrene. The straps to lift the spare wheel out. It retained dealer plates, rear window sticker, super cover card, dealer keyring and blue keys. In the glove box was the book pack, full service history to 97 at the supplying dealer, every tax disc 84-97 in dealer holder and the original issue V5 still in its original owners name.

    Suddenly I realised that Iím going to be restoring this one after all. It has all of the little finishing touches that A122 lacks, and its in a far more jolly colour lol

    It has the same early quirks as A122 like the rear parcel shelf with no seat belt provision but weirdly it has the standard L spec radio cassette but with the 4 speaker system that was usually found in HL and above with the digital stereo option.

    It does start and runs but very lumpy. The exhaust is shot so it sounds like a Harley too. I am going to get it running properly over the coming weeks and put it in for itís MOT. I have no capacity to start and finish the restoration this year but if I can get it on the road then I will try and get it to as many events as possible in this the 35th year.

    I have joked that the clock is now ticking to montego 40th so by my reckoning itís exactly 60 months until the third A plate with a lesser chassis number is due to surface and I can go through it all again

    So happy birthday year Austin Montego - 35 years young!!

  • #2
    I really like the early models of maestro ,montego , I don't remember that many A reg montegos or early Vanden plas montegos .
    But there glad there one or too still about, we had a early maestro hls on a Y plate with vinyl head liner, exposed Jacking point and those small spindle wiper fittings plus other small differences .
    Also prefer the early maestro dashboard , but thought early model base maestro was to basic. But would like one now!