Austin/MG Metro (LC8)
Billed as the ‘British car to beat the world’ when it was launched amid a barrage of flag-waving patriotism in October 1980, the Metro initially sold like hot cakes, and seemed like the light at the end of a very long tunnel for BL’s embattled dealers.
In fact, it was more like a grown-up Mini than a brave new start, but the older car’s charm added to the Metro’s homespun appeal. Survival rate is low due to rust, apathy and its suitability as an engine donor for Minis, and values are still laughably low for all but the most mint examples.
Not the best small car of its era, but certainly one of the most intriguing.
Reviews, blogs and news stories
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 […]
On 26 April 1977, British Leyland was still finding its way under government control, having been bailed out the previous year. The priority was to get the Mini’s replacement into production. To do that, it needed to deliver the Ryder Report, and hope that Callaghan’s Labour government would foot the bill. Here’s how The Times reported the story.
This William Towns-styled Metro-based, mid-engined roadster brought the concept behind the MGF to fruition some 10 years earlier… Looks pretty racy, too. Tracer fire… 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 […]
With the number of BMC>MGR cars on our roads diminishing rapidly, we take stock of the successive companies’ 10 most popular cars during the post-war years. Some of these numbers are going to shock you, simply because the cars are so rare on the road now. In fact, even the latest car on this list is now proving to be a rather unusual spot.
ADO74 – the first attempt by British Leyland at replacing the Mini never saw the light of day. It was one project, but had many faces: a wide variety of styling exercises were produced before the programme was cancelled in 1973, as British Leyland could not raise the £130m needed to produce it.
The main problem with Hydragas is that, over time, the sealed units would lose gas and become less effective. Alexander Boucke describes the steps involved in getting your Hydragas suspended car back into rude health Update: More than 11 years after the initial work, the first units that were fitted to a Maxi in autumn […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. […]
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 […]