Modified Metros : Metro Monaco (nee Cooper)

Unbelievably, this Metro was not offered as a ‘factory backed’ conversion, even though it came with a blue chip pedigree.

John Cooper Garages offered this car (later renamed the Metro Monaco for legal reasons) as a conversion on customers’ own cars…


That most illustrious of names associated with the Mini during the 1960s made a welcome return in 1981 when John Cooper introduced his own Metro Cooper, as sold through his own ARG dealerships. Unlike the Janspeed and Turbo Technics performance Metros, the Cooper Metro relied on the adoption of a twin carburettor set-up, a wilder cam profile and freer flowing exhaust system.

It was a formula that had proven to work wonders on the Mini, and it had the same results on the Metro. The Metro Cooper may have not been as quick as the turbocharged alternatives (0-60mph was timed at 11.0secs by Motor magazine), but it certainly acted as an accurate preview to the 1982 MG Metro 1300, right down to its Wolfrace Sonic wheels.

However, it was renamed the Monaco for legal reasons, with the ‘Cooper’ branded car being re-stickered up as a Monaco. Clearly ARG didn’t want this car spoiling the upcoming MG Metro’s launch.

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


  1. Owned a monaco for years .Great fun, stood out in the crowd. Mine had all round skirts and spoilers. and raced it round Brands Hatch.

  2. i remember, when working as a parts apprentice for phillips & sons in buckingham, seeing brochures & promo pictures for the metro cooper. seem to remember austin morris thinking of rallying one only to be replaced by the mighty maxi powered metro rally car

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