eBay Find(s) of the Week : Your chance to rescue a death-row Metro (or 200)…

Craig Cheetham

A classic-friendly breaker in Norfolk has got four ailing Metros in varying states of disrepair, that are being offered for sale complete before being broken for spares.

Metro GSi looks worth rescuing
Metro GSi looks worth rescuing

The four Metros are an L-Plate 1.4 GSi with 55,000 miles on the clock, an M-reg ‘Nightfire’ special edition with a six-figure mileage but seemingly solid bodywork, an M-reg ‘Rio’ with 44k on the clock and trademark flaky arches and an N-reg Rover 111 with 71k.

Nightfire looks down at heel, but solid
Nightfire looks down at heel, but solid

According to the DVLA Enquiry Service, the red 1.4 GSi was last taxed as recently as April 2014. The Rover 111 was taxed until August 2012, the Nightfire has been unused since March 2013 and the Rio since January 2014.

Rio displays usual flaky wheearch tendencies
Rio displays usual flaky wheearch tendencies

All are priced at little more than scrap value, ranging from £195 to £295, meaning that, if nothing else, they would make good spares donors – though of the three the GSi and Rover 111 look like reasonably viable projects beneath the visible grime.

Beneath the grime, this looks salvageable...
Beneath the grime, this looks salvageable…

All are at Barretts Car and Commercial in Beccles, Norfolk. The breaker can be contacted on 01502 677464.

This clearly needs a new hood and repairs to one wheelarch, but as the seller says, it's worth rescuing at £295...
This clearly needs a new hood and repairs to one wheelarch, but as the seller says, it’s worth rescuing at £295…

Also at the site are a couple of interesting Rover R8s: an early Polynesian Turquoise Cabriolet with a scabby wheelarch and ragged hood for £295 and a seemingly very clean 214 SEi in Nightfire Red, with some ‘interesting’ accessory adornments. The SEi is MoT’d and in running order, and looks like a pretty good buy at £495 – particularly if you like chrome…

Aside from the chrome-effect arches and easily removable 'bovver' lights, this looks like quite a sound car for less than £500...
Aside from the chrome-effect arches and easily removable ‘bovver’ lights, this looks like quite a sound car for less than £500…


Craig Cheetham


  1. Heaven!

    The R8 Cabriolet is very close to one I recently saw locally (complete with new hood)
    What mileage is on the SEi? These were very appealing.

    The Rover Metro was a great car (before the outdated shell and poor crash resistance killed it)

  2. Chrome wheel arch attachments used to be popular on old second hand Mercedes to hide the rust. (GM did something similar with the 1993 Corsa only using plastic).

    They do look tacky, but I would worry that behind them would be frillier than Mrs Bucket’s doilies.

    Spotlights – given that the grille is part of the bonnet, how are they kept on? MINI style integrated on to the bonnet? They’re a dying fad, a popular mod in the 80s. I remember my dad stumped at how to add them to a mk2 Astra with the integrated bumper grille!

  3. I’ve heard of 1970s-80s BMWs being fitted with chrome strips on the whee arches to hide the rust.

    • Ironically I’ve heard that they actually trap dirt, salt and moisture, creating a perfect rust trap.

      Has anyone came up with a wheel arch trim that is bodycoloured, and has holes for moisture to escape?

      Or has rustproofing improved so much in the past 10-20 years (except, strangely, Merc) that this isn’t needed?

  4. Ford Ka’s seem to have poor rustproofing, & I saw an 02 reg car (can’t remember what it was) while driving with a chunk of the front wheel arch missing.

    My 2001 Toyota Yaris is still solid in the bodywork department.

  5. The Ford Ka rusts like a 1970s Fiat matched only by the ancient Ford pushrod engine for a throwback to the era. The floorpan rots away at the seam for the rear arch

  6. Where don’t Ford Ka’s rot!

    I was lucky to find a very low mileage and always garaged example which had no rot and took the precaution of wax injecting every nook and cranny, stone chipping the outer sills/wheel arches and fully undersealing it. I still give it an annual grot inspection and tidy it up if necessary.

  7. In the early 80’s chrome wheel arch mouldings were popular on new Japanese cars like Datsuns and Toyota’s (after market fit by dealers). I had them added to my Datsun Cherry coupe and never had problems with corrosion.

    They were self adhesive chrome plastic trims… not like the bright metal trims as fitted to 70’s Fords etc.

  8. I remember the Turquoise Cabriolet well. Used to belong to the landlord of a local pub near me and wasn’t used that much. Well worth saving if you have the money.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.