eBay Find of the Week : Blueprints to make your own Metro

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Craig Cheetham

blueprints1

A collection of rare engineering blueprints for all generations of the Austin-Rover Metro, plus its stillborn Indonesian spin-off and a proposed Zagato-styled saloon variant of the Rover 100, have appeared for sale on eBay.

There's enough technical information in the auction lot to build your own Metro tooling and production line
There’s enough technical information in the auction lot to build your own Metro tooling and production line

The collection, which is being offered for sale by a classic car specialist in Birmingham, allegedly contains enough information to start up a full Metro production line, including blueprints of all components, body-in-white tooling, factory production line layouts, plus all the programming code to operate the robots.

Plus, a full set of factory layout plans
Plus, a full set of factory layout plans

A fascinating, if somewhat curious, find – all we need now is some ridiculously wealthy philanthropist to buy the lot and start building Metros for us again… I have a fairly big back garden if needs be.

Zagato-styled Rover 100 saloon is a curious offering - I can't help but think it looks like a Mk4 Astra
Zagato-styled Rover 100 saloon is a curious offering – I can’t help but think it looks like a Mk4 Astra

Does anybody know the story behind this lot?

Yes, I can probably squeeze it in the garden shed. Anyone fancy making some  Metros?
Yes, I can probably squeeze it in the garden shed. Anyone fancy making some Metros?

Craig Cheetham

A serial impulsive car purchaser, Craig has had his name on over 200 V5s over the past 20 years. 10 per cent of those have been either 800s or Austin Allegros, with between 10 and 20 cars usually owned at any one time. Started out as a local newspaper journalist then worked for car mags including Auto Express, Classic Car Weekly and Land Rover Owner. Worked inside the car industry for a decade as an employee of General Motors, now works for a news distribution agency. Home based, which is dangerously convenient for further irrational heap purchases. Lover of all makes of car since childhood, with a particular leaning towards Austin-Rover... Father of three boys, so hoping to spread the car love. Other passions include rugby union, travelling and eating out.

15 Comments

    • I can see a bit of HH-R but as Craig says there’s quite a big feel of mk4 Astra too, especially round the front.

  1. It’s amazing that someone was able to collect all that stuff!!! All the documentation that is being sold is priceless, and is unbelievable that it could be saved from the trash can!
    I think it should be offered to a museum that could preserve it in a proper way.

  2. Obviously “liberated” from Longbridge… quite possibly just prior to the recent demolition of the Design Block in South Works – allegedly it was still full of drawings/paperwork dating back donkeys years.

    It would be nice to know if any other design paperwork was salvaged.

  3. Just because you are buying the blueprint, it does not entitle you to use the designs in manufacturing. The designs and intellectual property will have been already sold and are in use by other companies.

    This is similar to buying a piece of handwritten music or a song, and expecting that you will suddenly own it and can receive royalty payments!

  4. Great that someone chose to preserve this and not put it into the skip(s) that were no doubt provided.

    Looks like there is also a blueprint there for the Vauxhall Omega?!!

    As for the Metro blueprints, should we put them all into a time machine and send them back to:
    a) 1977, addressed to Michael Edwardes.
    b) 1973, addressed to Lord Stokes
    c) 1958, addressed to Alec Issigonis

    Answers on a postcard, to …

  5. This is a reply i got when asking about the IP rights of the paperwork, in essence, they do NOT have any rights that will go with the cars, thusly they are not permitted to advertise the lot as being able to reproduce the bodyshells…

    Hi, if the winning bidder did want to use this information to build body shells or parts of body shells on an industrial scale that would be upto them. But Nanjing did not buy this. The only things the Chinese were interested in were the vehicles that were in production at that time that had no Japanese content or influence. We feel that this lot based on the 551 watchers and the questions we have been asked will go to collectors/enthusiasts. However if you do represent a manufacturer and can confirm your position and what you would like to offer to end the auction early we will be happy to deal with that manufacturer.

    They state that it would be UP TO THEM, but there sales clearly states that you could build the bodyshells, not, you have the legal right to do so.

  6. This is a reply i got when asking about the IP rights of the paperwork, in essence, they do NOT have any rights that will go with the cars, thusly they are not permitted to advertise the lot as being able to reproduce the bodyshells…

    “Hi, if the winning bidder did want to use this information to build body shells or parts of body shells on an industrial scale that would be upto them. But Nanjing did not buy this. The only things the Chinese were interested in were the vehicles that were in production at that time that had no Japanese content or influence. We feel that this lot based on the 551 watchers and the questions we have been asked will go to collectors/enthusiasts. However if you do represent a manufacturer and can confirm your position and what you would like to offer to end the auction early we will be happy to deal with that manufacturer.”

    They state that it would be UP TO THEM, but there sales clearly states that you could build the bodyshells, not, you have the legal right to do so.

    • Lol I must have read that advert about 30 times daydreaming that i could buy it and get relatives to store it for me. But you have missed the point Jagman, they can advertise it as whatever they want to as long as it is what they say it is. Everything is stated in the advert “you are bidding on £275 million worth of UK motoring history OR potentially a whole new car if you wanted to manufacture?”
      “2 million Metros sold, below is all of the plans to make 2 million more if necessary. The info below will produce around 150,000 bodyshells per annum.”

      You can build whatever panel or section you wanted without issue but Im not sure you understand the concept of IPR?

      If I have a box of Lego available to me and I have a set of Lego instructions i can build any part or assembly in those instructions. I might not be able to assemble the whole thing but who cares? do you seriously think that someone is going to make new metros? (nice as it would be)

      This is the historical Uk auto find of the decade and it just looks like you are rubbishing it to drive up traffic to your blog. If you want it buy it if not stop deriding it.

      How about putting on your generic blog “here is a chance to save a bit of UK motoring history?

  7. Very interesting indeed!

    A saloon 100? Hadn’t the popularity of the ‘booted hatch’ started to decline by the time the Metro became a Rover 100?

  8. I really hope this does not go abroad…. I think whoever buys this has quite a responsibility to preserve it and make sure it is in place for generations .

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