eBay Find of the Week : When is a Metro not a Metro?

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Craig Cheetham

They've rebodied it, you fool.... (yes, I know it's not technically a Metro if it's a Rover 100)
They’ve rebodied it, you fool…. (yes, I know it’s not technically a Metro if it’s a Rover 100)

ANSWER: When it’s a Metruck…

While I’d never be 100 per cent convinced of the structural integrity of such a thing, this interesting homemade venture appealed to me for one reason and one reason alone – if I squint a bit, I actually think it’s quite pretty…

Whilst I ready myself for cries of ‘Nurse, the screens’, let’s consider for a moment if this had ever made it into production. Sure, there was a Metro van, which sold in moderately small numbers, but a Metro pick-up?

metruck4

Sure, it makes for quite a cute ute, but in terms of practicality, the tiny load bay hardly offers acres of practicality, while by the seller’s own admission there are areas of the Metruck that ‘need finishing’.

And quite how driveable it would be with a 1.8 K-Series turbo under the bonnet, I’ve no idea – but I’d certainly be loading the tray bed with bags of sand to even-out the weight distribution… I fear some serious lift-off oversteer could be on hand.

Even so, an intriguing prospect, and am I alone in thinking it’s actually not half-bad to look at?

metruck3

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

  1. The Metro dev story shows a one off pickup

    and the Ranger

    This thing reminds me a bit of the Proton pickup that was sold and moderately popular with farmers and surfers.

    Always liked this colour of 100, did they offer it on the 75? Would be stunning. Would be a nightmare to colour match on the rear filler.

    One thing about this though, they could’ve used a cabrio style tailgate to allow access to the load bay without lifting over. Though I realise it is more of a lifestyle/fun project car than a workhorse.

  2. I think there was a bversion called the Metro Camion, unsure as to if itt was based on the A+ or the K series cars.

    My brother had a MetroVan, used for courier service, was very cheap to run compared to other vans he used and reliable, The Toyota iQ is another choice by some London courier firms, being exempt ( or was) from the London Congestion charge, a useful saving of £2000 a year in the capital

  3. Not so much of a Metruck, more a Metrup?
    Looks actually not bad, a spiritual successor to the Morris Minor and Mini pickups which by no means large were very popular in their day and fulfilled the needs of many a small business / public utility company.
    With a rearwindow that would make an ideal and very chuckable autotest car!

  4. When I worked for Austin Rover beginning of 86 the company ran a Maestro Pick Up of which I think was a one off and not an in house conversion.

  5. Mmm… it’s not bad looking by any means. Would be interesting to see it finished and with some rugged pick-up style trim. The cabrio style ‘tailgate’ mentioned above would be a good idea.

    Could be a handy vehicle for someone.

  6. Derek
    I think a batch of 5 Maestro pickups were made, the team I was in at the time ran a G registered pickup from 94 – 2000 at Cowley. It had come down from Longbridge for us to use. We used and abused it, made a frame to carry pipework and conduit etc, also a mobile vice and pipe clamp. We kept it running using parts from the failed Bulgarian project KD kits. At one stage it even got a repaint to show the Chinese! The great thing was three of us regularly travelled around the site in it, a person sat in the middle across the seats looking after the gear changes. We were known as the “three Amigo’s”
    When we split from Rover a finance chap at Longbridge claimed it belonged to them. One of the Longbridge associates had the misfortune to drive it back up the M40, we gave him some ear plugs as it was so noisy!
    One of the pick ups ended up on a Jeremy Beadle program getting blown up. After that a tyre garage in Abingdon bought it, was in regular use for sometime. I saw another at Longbridge on the only occasion I ever went there. Theirs had a canvas cover over a high top frame.

  7. Looks a little disproportionate to me. Needs at least a 4″ roof chop and to hell with the structural integrity!

  8. I actually quite like that, shame it was never really developed, it would have been a perfect small pick up for the small business, but hey, if every versions of ever car were made there would have been thousands… LOL

  9. Needs a flared hoop at the rear of the cab like the Marina pickup, this would add rigidity and character.

    Actually, the load space area is not much smaller than my Defender 90?

  10. hi i am planning to build a pick up with my R100 also kingfisher blue i also plan to lengthen it by about 500 mm, i have recently cut a R100 in half to make a trailer and i think a pick up would compliment it well

  11. Except, bizarrely, the bakkies still built/sold in South Africa. Being RHD there’s got to be a grey import opportunity…

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