Spotted: Maxi rally car
A surprising number of PHers carry a fondness for old BL cars - this rally Maxi could unite us all in that!
Owner Robin Shackleton, a fertiliser salesman and classic rally fan from Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, bought it two years ago to use in historic road rallies. “I’d been looking for genuine works cars, but most of them are very expensive,” he says.
It wasn’t quite a works BMC car, but a privateer entry sponsored by Marshalls of Cambridge (a dealer group that still exists today) and kitted out with works parts. So it’s got fibreglass doors, fibreglass bonnet, Perspex side windows, auxiliary Koni shocks to help out the standard hydrolastic suspension and a welded up tailgate.
He’s made sure it looks exactly like it did when the all-girl team left London in 1970, including all the period stickers. Trouble is, this attention to detail has got him trouble with the MSA who won’t let stickered up cars enter historic road rally series. “They did suggest covering the stickers with magnets, but I said, how I am supposed to do that? The doors are fibreglass!” he says in exasperation.
He won’t stage rally it and, what it being built for endurance rather than speed, it wouldn’t really be competitive. So it’s up for sale at £29,995. Interest so far has been slow and Robin says there’s room to manoeuvre on that.
Of four Maxis that took part it in the rally, only one other survives. That was driven by Prince Michael of Kent and now sits in the marvellous Heritage Centre Museum at Gaydon. The winning Escort driven by Finn Hannu Mikkola is still owned by Ford and is part of the firm’s heritage fleet in Dagenham.