News : Brace of rare Metros at Anglia Car Auctions

Craig Cheetham

13,000-miles from new Snapdragon Metro - what's not to like?
13,000-miles from new Snapdragon Metro – what’s not to like?

A pair of extremely rare Metros are to go under the hammer in a month’s time, in the first of 2015’s Anglia Car Auctions classic sales.

The Metros, both of which come from the same private collection, are to be offered at the ACA sale on Saturday, January 31, 2015 – and, although neither has an MoT, they both appear to be well worth preserving.

It looks good from the other side, too...
It looks good from the other side, too…

The oldest, and probably rarest, is the 1981 Metro S finished in Snapdragon Yellow, with curiously contrasting green seat trim. On the downside, the car hasn’t been MoT’d since 2012, and is also registered on V-CAR as a Category C Insurance write off, recorded in 2005. The minor damage visible to the rear bumper could have been enough to have deemed it an unviable repair a decade ago, when Metro values were much lower, so provided the rest of it checks out okay, this could turn out to be a cracking buy, and an extremely rare car.

Kink in rear bumper and missing mudflap could be  evidence of a previous minor bump - enough to render it a Cat C write-off?
Kink in rear bumper and missing mudflap could be evidence of a previous minor bump – enough to render it a Category C write-off

Incidentally, if the eventual winner turns out to be an AROnline reader, then please drop me a line (, as among the pile of BL-related tat in my lock up, I think I might just have a pair of NOS Metro-branded mudflaps that match the one that’s gone AWOL…

Green seats? Yep...
Green seats? Well, they’re certainly of their era…


snapdragin metro seats

On the plus side, the car is reported to have covered just 13,000-miles from new, and looking at the condition of the bodywork, under-bonnet and interior, that seems perfectly believable.

It's a long time since the Editor has seen an A-Series this clean...
It’s a long time since the Editor has seen an A-Series this clean…

The newer of the two Metros is also a real rarity – a 1985 C-plated MG in red, with 33,000 recorded miles.

I'm slowly falling in love with this car, truth be told...
I’m slowly falling in love with this car, truth be told…

It reportedly comes with the original bill of sale and stacks of history, and while it, too, is without an MoT, the ticket only expired in November 2014, so it shouldn’t take a huge amount of effort to get it through another one.

Original side decals and period accessory mudflaps add to MG's appeal
Original side decals and period accessory mudflaps add to MG’s appeal


Nothing quite epitomises the Eighties as much as the interior of an Austin-Rover with MG badges and red setabelts...
Nothing quite epitomises the Eighties as much as the interior of an Austin-Rover with MG badges and red seatbelts…

Both of the Metros are being offered without reserve, and form part of an 18-car collection that also includes a number of rare and encouragingly ordinary Fords that are bound to attract plenty of attention on the day.

It ain't BL-ARG, but how about this Sierra for a piece of fine Eighties nostalgia?
It ain’t BL-ARG, but how about this Sierra for a piece of fine Eighties nostalgia?

Other vehicles that will appeal to AROnline fans include a Sandglow Morris Marina 1.3, the usual mattering of MGs and Jaguars, and a Leyland Olympian open-top bus, if you have the space…

A full sale preview will appear on AROnline closer to the time, but for now you can preview the current ACA catalogue here.

Craig Cheetham


  1. The MG is a Mark 2…. but I think the wheels are off a Mark 1. Also the bootlid & spiler doesn’t look right for a Mk2 – I’m sure the Mark 2’s had a colour coded spoiler and no black on the horizontal bodywork under the rear window.

    Actually thinking about it, the very early Mark 2’s (which this is) may have had those wheels and black spoiler.

    • I can confirm those wheels and rear spoiler are correct for that age of MG Metro 1300, although the black vinyl strip below the rear window is not. The colour-coded rear spoiler and introduction of wheel trims first started in 1986 on the ‘All-White’ editions only. The body-coloured rear spoiler was then extended to other body colours at a later date which, without referring to my “Today’s Cars” brochures, was possibly in 1987.

      The Mark 2 Austin/MG Metro with its new dashboard fascia and new bonnet with a lower leading edge was unveiled in October 1984 at the British Motor Show and went on sale immediately.

      Hope this helps!

          • Actually I’m more confused now, as although I always thought what I said above was correct, I’ve just realised the photo I linked to shows a Y, and the one above is a W reg – So anyone?

          • Mk1 Metros used both styles of headlights. At UK launch, the miniMETRO range as it was called then consisted of 998cc Base, L,
            (fitted with the smaller/cheaper Allegro headlights) 998cc HLE and 1275cc S and HLS, which were fitted with the fancier flush headlights.

            Another nugget, all these early cars came fitted with the same style steel wheels, but the then range-topping HLS alone had chrome rings added. The Mk.1 MG was the first Metro fitted with factory-fit alloys and these were also used on earlier Mk.2 as in the above red car.

            My mate had a similar 1985 black one when it was about 5 years old – quick enough in it’s day but fragile in his abusive hands.
            His did have key-operated central locking which I was quite jealous of – until he admitted it did’nt cover the boot, so was rather pointless on a 2 door car…

  2. I had a E reg 1.6 Sierra. E571LYP. Long since gone to the scrapper in the sky. Dreadful car – totally gutless, noisy, and needed constant tuning. Had a lot of fun in it though.

    • I had a 1991 1.8 LX Sierra at 10 – 11 years old. Real bangernomics motoring. It would crack (an indicated) 120 mph and its wet road handling on remoulds was FUN!

  3. I forgot to say, I love the green accents in the Metro S interior. It takes me back to the mid 1980s and reminds me of the colour of the screen font for the Amstrad computer – 8256?

    I hope both find good caring homes and that we will get to see them at Pride of Longbridge.

  4. My parents had a B-reg MG Metro in cream with those wheels. They stick in my mind because they were forever going flat.

    Ours had a fibreglass front spoiler, but we removed it as it was forever getting caught on stuff. No idea if that was a factory/dealer option, or something someone added at a later date.

  5. Lovely – especially the yellow 1.3S! I do hope they are preserved, but there will be strong bidding competition from Mini enthusiasts wanting to break them for their oily bits and weight the rest in, a fate which most of their contemporaries have already suffered.

    • Fingers crossed then that there are some members from the lively (ad very enthusiastic!) Metro Owners Club reading this.

  6. I have a soft sport for Metros, mostly because my Mum had a base spec clove brown one from 1984 to 1994.

  7. The 1981 Metro S in Snapdragon with Green trim is the same colour combination as used for the S in the 1980 Metro launch brochure.

  8. I hope the yellow car goes to a good home, I drove a Metro city for 10 years, scrapped at 15 years of age, there were so many Metros in the breakers yards towards the end, I had the entire interior from one of the top spec cars for £40, I think it was a Vanden Plas Metro the seats were so much more comfortable in the high spec cars.

    Fond memories of the Metro, had the usual faults but it just kept going on a shoestring budget, often wish I had a K series with interconnected Alex Moulton suspension

    • I agree , but that will upset the Mini afficianadoes, far more room inside, hatchback, easier to work upon in the engine bay, same fuel efficiency and perky roadholding.

      If only Honda had invented the Metro!

      • It’s a shame Alec Issigonis didn’t come up with something like the Metro in the late 1960s rather than the X9.

        • I think it’s the X9, (with suitable tweaking from the marketing boys) that should have been put into production instead.

          Would having been market leading at it’s likely 1972/3 launch, a rather better option for both hapless punters and BL themselves having to wait for years for the not-quite-as-clever and more expensive to build Metro to arrive….

  9. Love them both! The yellow ‘S’ really takes me back – I can just picture it in my first brochure.
    In MG guise, I think the earlier front end looked better. Somehow, the MK II MG Metro looked ‘softer’ than the original when viewed from the front.
    I can still remember my first viewing of a black MG Metro 1300 – aged 14 years I thought it was absolutely ‘cool’ !!

    • Can relate to that – I was a similar age when someone in our road bought a very early and very cool red MG Metro which I gawped at for at least 10 minutes noting the many differences.
      I was bowled-over by the much more attractive interior with it’s herringbone seats, leather wheel, red carpet/stripes on the binnacle and very exotic red seatbelts,(far too daring/continental for Auntie Leyland surely?)
      – although the idea of a red pinstripe around the grille was obviously
      nicked from the Golf GTI.

      Was just about aware enough at that age to realize it would mean the death
      of my then favourite Metro, the 1275 ‘S’ in ‘Applejack’ with those same matching green seats as the ‘Snapdragon’ car above – which I thought a little sad, as it was still quite a fresh/new car back then.

  10. Funnily enough I saw an early immaculate W reg Metro last week in Cheltenham, turning into the GCHQ car park. It struck me that I haven’t seen any other early once ubiquitous Metros on the road for quite some time now.

  11. I nearly bought a red W reg 1.3 S Metro when I passed my test back in 1985.Money wouldn’t stretch to the Metro,so settled for a 1971 J reg Austin 1300 GT instead!!

    • I was still only 18 when I had the chance to buy a bargain very early HLS for the hefty sum of £1250, (about £500 less than market value back then) from an old boy who had it from new, always garaged/serviced and just 12,000 miles driven.
      Even grim base Metros were just a modern fantasy then, well out of my £800 max spend for a car at that tender age.

      Only downsides was it was beige coloured, (so uncool…) and had a large bubbling corrosion patch on the front spoiler – and I thought I was about to lose my job, (I didn’t as it turned out) so sadly had to pass it by.

      Oh the fun I could have had turning that car into a hot little sleeper as time went on/funds would have allowed, (sigh)

  12. I had a 1.3S in Denim? blue (light blue), as my first car. Absolutely loved it to bits! Wish I had kept it as it was in really super condition. I always thought that the little 1275 A series was well suited and had lots of usable torque. Would love another 1.3S one day.

  13. The 1.3 S was the original hot Metro and a very underrated car as the MG took all the glory when it came out. Also with some wild eighties colour schemes it seemed to look the part.

  14. I spoke to Rob George at Anglia Car Auctions yesterday, and apparently the Metros, as well as the other cars from the same collection, are all being taken for MoT before the sale. They’ll then either be sold with January 2016 MoTs, or be offered with the fail sheets so prospective buyers can see what they need. I think that’s a cracking idea.

  15. Our family had two Metros. The first was my Dads which was (I think) an 86 1.0L, which he used to potter about to work in, and my 1993 1.1S in Pearlescent Caribbean blue, which I bough new. My Rover Metro was a fantastic little car, which went after about 7 years when the first of my (three) children meant we needed more space. I have missed it since the day I sold it, and have always wished I had kept hold of it.

  16. The wheels are not the ones I had on my Mk1, (RCU 92Y) which just so happened to be the worst car I ever owned. When it worked it was a super car but it just never did! After 3 engines, wings and new trailing arms I ended up putting a new front subframe and engine from a standard metro in it. After six weeks back on the road it was nicked, never to be seen again. However I loved the metallic blue colour and the red seatbelts!

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