The converters : Frazer-Tickford Metro

Frazer established itself as a new car company in 1981, offering this fabulous-looking Tickford Metro, which was first shown at that year’s London Motorfair.

The Tickford name was owned by Aston Martin, whose engineers and stylists designed this car. The scope of the conversion echoed that of the later Tickford Capri…

Frazer Tickford Metro

The Northamptonshire-based company, Frazer, teamed up with Tickford Coachbuilding to build this most bespoke version of the Metro. It would end up going head-to-head with the equally exclusive Wood & Pickett Laser Metro.

The specification featured a full leather interior including the dashboard and door trims, deep pile Wilton carpeting throughout, Uher stereo system with a graphic equaliser, a full bodykit, four Marchal fog lights, enamel name badges, tinted glass, sunroof, teledial alloy wheels with Pirelli P7 tyres and electric windows and mirrors.

The engine was tuned with a Weber twin-choke carburettor, a hotter camshaft and bigger valves with a gas-flowed cylinder head and gave out 80bhp. Twenty six cars were built, three of which are believed to be left-hand drive.

The result was a success: the car was refined, yet fun to drive and it also managed to look a million dollars. In a way, it almost did: on the road price was listed at £11,600, which may not sound like mega-bucks now, but in 1982, that kind of money would have also bought you a Reliant Scimitar GTE or Ford Granada 2.8i.

Autocar magazine drove the car at its launch in 1981, and came away impressed, despite the Frazer-Tickford’s high list price. On the handling, the magazine stated, ‘After exiting the first roundabout, it dawned that I was nowhere near the limit of adhesion; the Tickford turned in beautifully and moved around the curve as if it were on rails – a worn cliché that really does apply.’

‘All this adhesion and yet the ride was comfortable, soaking up all but the most violent high-frequency bumps, when the tyres’ lack of compliance dictated small jolts. Add that ride to the immense driveability of the engine and it represented an entirely civilised performance package.’

All we know is that anyone who owns one today is very lucky indeed.

Pictures: Peter Melville, Richard David Nener and Robin Siggs

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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  1. A modern day equivalent is the Aston Martin Cygnet. A bit like over developing a house situated in un-desirable area

  2. I wonder how many survive? I know that Tickford Capris command big money now , I wonder how much these are worth?

  3. Tickford also produced a luxury – for the time – shooting brake on the early Land Rover chassis. It was expensive, and thus sold only in small numbers.

  4. Talking of rarities – we were at Brooklands Tuesday for the fabulous Classic Car day. Amongst all the lovely stuff – though I’m not sure about the V8 Mini and Allegro – there were two MGB booted Coupes with very pretty bodywork – reminiscent at the rear of the DB6 / Renault Alpine cam tail.
    I thought I knew most of such things but I’ve obviously missed these – there were two of them – one with flared in headlights and one not. Just so pretty! Happy to learn what they were……..

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