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ISSUE 307: While I was writing the final part of my history of Austin, which you can read on page 24, I couldn't help notice that there were a few reminders of the tail-end of the marque's existence right on my desk. As you'd expect there are a few model cars around my computer monitor (including the Austin-Healey 3000 that Jon Burgess picked out for me in last year's Secret Santa; I wonder what I'll get this year?). Among them are three Corgi models from the early 'Eighties - two Austin Metros and an MG Maestro. The Metro models formed part of the huge publicity campaign for the car that was going to save British Leyland and restore the UK's national pride in the car markets of Europe. The smaller model, a blue 1/64 scale, sits in a box emblazoned with the Union Flag and the famous slogan "A British Car To Beat The World". The larger red Metro is a 1/36 depiction of the range-topping 1.3HLS, complete with opening doors and boot lid and folding front seats. The Maestro is the yellow 1/36 with the working head- and tail-lamps, operated by squeezing it down on its front or rear wheels, making it look like the suspension has collapsed.

Jack Grover
Deputy editor