Metro

Launched amid a barrage of patriotic fervour, the Austin Metro was for two brief years, Britain’s most fashionable car – it proved a continued success for the company, too, racking up over two million sales (of Rovers, too) during its 17-year production run. Here’s its story.

The cars : Austin/MG Metro development history

The cars : Austin/MG Metro development history

Launched amid a barrage of patriotic fervour, the Metro was for two brief years, Britain’s most fashionable car – it proved a continued success for the company, too, racking up more than two million sales during its 17-year production run. Sadly, its success alone was never going to be enough to stop BL falling further behind […]

History : When Alex Moulton tried to advise Spen King

History : When Alex Moulton tried to advise Spen King

Keith Adams This wonderful vignette of a fertile, tumultuous and ultimately forlorn piece of British Leyland history has come to me directly from the archive of Dr Alex Moulton. In 1975, development of the ADO88 was well underway, with Spen King and Charles Griffin leading the programme. But for Dr Alex Moulton, King was on […]

History : MG Metro 6R4 Group B

History : MG Metro 6R4 Group B

The MG Metro 6R4 was Austin-Rover’s entry into Group B, the controversial rallying category that gave us a series of spectacular cars before being banned at the end of 1986. What made the MG rather special was its bespoke 3.0-litre V6, the only non-turbo’d car in its category, and its scintillating performance. Sadly, the Metro […]

By January 30, 2014 27 Comments Read More →
News : Alex Moulton’s R6 development Metro sold

News : Alex Moulton’s R6 development Metro sold

Keith Adams The car that was instrumental in the development of the Rover Metro/100 has been sold by Bonhams for £1035 at its final auction of the year. The 1981 Austin Metro 1.3S was owned from new by Moulton Developments and, like so many of the good Doctor’s cars, was highly modified from original specification. […]

By December 15, 2013 20 Comments Read More →
Modified Metros : Crayford Metro Politan

Modified Metros : Crayford Metro Politan

It seems that few – if any – of these Crayford convertibles actually reached customers before the company decided to concentrate on its Fiesta conversions. And it had a Dr Who connection back in 1982… Open up and say ahh… In January 1981, Motor magazine reported that Crayford was planning to build a prototype convertible […]

By November 24, 2013 10 Comments Read More →
Buying guide : Austin/MG Metro

Buying guide : Austin/MG Metro

Fancy a Metro? Here’s Dale Turley’s guide to what to look out for… Years produced: 1980-1990 Body style: 3 and 5 door ‘Supermini’ hatchback, 3 door hatchback ‘van’ Engine options: 998cc and 1275cc A+ Series, 1275cc A+ Series (turbocharged) Transmission options: Four-speed manual and four-speed automatic, front wheel drive Brief overview The Austin Metro is […]

By February 25, 2013 43 Comments Read More →
Auction Watch : Frazer-Tickford Metro

Auction Watch : Frazer-Tickford Metro

Keith Adams Appearing on eBay like a bolt from the blue, this little red bundle of joy looks like one of the most desirable Metro-shaped packages you’re going to find for sale this year. The Frazer-Tickford Metro is one of that whole raft of modified Metros that went on sale in the months following the […]

By October 23, 2012 23 Comments Read More →
Tested : MG Metro Turbo vs 205GTI vs XR2

Tested : MG Metro Turbo vs 205GTI vs XR2

Warm hatch wonders With fewer than 50 MG Metro Turbos left on the road in the UK, it’s time to celebrate one of the most fun sporting hatchbacks the 1980s – by comparing it with the big selling Ford Fiesta XR2 and cultish Peugeot 205GTI. And as Keith Adams reckons, what was best then, might […]

By October 12, 2012 55 Comments Read More →
Blog : Joy is Metro shaped

Blog : Joy is Metro shaped

Keith Adams Or, pleasures that are best served simple… While my Rover SD1 was in for its MoT at AJF Engineering, owner Adrian Fell gave me the keys to his recently discovered 1985 Austin Metro City X. As archetypal one-owner cars go, this is as good as it gets. With 40,000 miles on the clock […]

Video : MG Metro 6R4

Video : MG Metro 6R4

Keith Adams It’s funny how more than 25-years on from its short but sweet career in front-line rallying, the MG Metro 6R4 is still venerated by anyone who’s been near one. With explosive acceleration, a V6 soundtrack and truly unmistakable Group B looks, how could anyone be unmoved? Sadly, Group B was cut short for […]

Metro Ranger

During the Metro’s honeymoon period of the early 1980s, Austin-Rover’s designers toyed with the idea of a number of exciting variations on a theme. Here’s one that perhaps you weren’t expecting to see… Pick-and-mix Metro (Picture: Roy Axe) YOU can’t blame Austin-Rover for trying – the Metro was a hot little number during the early […]

By September 27, 2011 13 Comments Read More →

TXC Tracer

This Metro-based, mid-engined roadster brought the concept behind the MGF to fruition some ten years earlier… IF you think the Tracer has a familiar look to it, there could be several reasons for that. First of all, William Towns clearly drew inspriation from his rather more exotic 1980 creation for Aston Martin, the Bulldog, with […]

By September 25, 2011 0 Comments Read More →

Engines : A-Series

The A-series engine did service in a variety of cars for almost 50 years, during which time it was available in a bewildering variety of capacities and states of tune. A hard act to follow The A-Series engine was certainly a case of the ‘British Curate’s egg’ – good in places. In fact, that is […]

Modified Metros : Wood & Pickett Metros

Another name from the Mini’s heyday – Wood and Pickett returned in 1981, offering some lavish Metro conversions, including the Ogle-styled Laser Metro… Wood and Pickett Laser Metro The Laser Metro was certainly treated as a bespoke car for discerning customers: price ranged from £11,000 to £17,000 and extras included Recaro seats, air conditioning and […]

Modified Metros : Frazer-Tickford

Modified Metros : Frazer-Tickford

Frazer established itself as a new car company in 1981, offering this fabulous-looking Tickford Metro. The Tickford name was owned by Aston Martin, whose engineers and stylists designed this car. The scope of the conversion echoed that of the later Tickford Capri… Frazer Tickford Metro The Northamptonshire based company teamed up with Tickford Coachbuilding to […]

Modified Metros : Turbo Technics

Turbo Technics cashed in on the popularity of the aftermarket turbo conversion throughout the 1980s; as the years passed, it conversions became increasingly wild. Thankfully, this Metro was reasonably mild… Turbo Technics Metro TT Like Janspeed, the Lincolnshire based tuning firm produced the Metro TT as a tuning kit for anyone who had already bought […]

Modified Metros : Metro Monaco (nee Cooper)

Unbelievably, this Metro was not offered as a ‘factory backed’ conversion, even though it came with a blue chip pedigree. John Cooper Garages offered this car (later renamed the Metro Monaco for legal reasons) as a conversion on customers’ own cars… Metro-Cooper That most illustrious of names associated with the Mini during the 1960s made […]

Modified Metros : Janspeed Turbo

Janspeed had been around for years, offering a range of tuning parts for cars as diverse as the Ford Fiesta and the Rover 3500. The Janspeed Metro was offered as an off-the-shelf conversion, which paved the way for the 1983 MG Metro Turbo. Janspeed Metro Turbo Jan O’Dor’s tuning firm produced this car as an […]

Gallery : MG Metro

The Metro was the first Austin Rover car to be subjected to the MG treatment. Arguably, it was the most successful recipient of the octagon treatment, perhaps because the early versions were rather similar to the Mini-Cooper in spirit… MG Metro 1300 MG Metro Turbo Identifiable from its more humble normally aspirated brother by its […]

Concept and prototypes : PSC1

In 1986, we were treated to a pedestrian-friendly Metro – somewhat ahead of its time, we feel… Snub-nosed Metro THE Pedestrian Safety Car One (PSC1) had a re-designed nose, compliant in order to deform on impact with pedestrians. At speeds upto 25mph the polyurethane front bumper, which measured eight inches high and six inches deep, […]

Concepts and prototypes : Metro saloon

Concepts and prototypes : Metro saloon

Although it seems inconceivable now, in the late 1970s, when the mini Metro was being developed, it was being groomed to replace the original Issigonis-designed Mini, a car that remained in production until 2000. For all those die-hard Mini owners how didn’t believe they needed a hatchback, BL developed a saloon version of the Metro. […]