Picture gallery : Austin Metro

A selection of Metro photos which appeared in BL’s and Austin Rover’s sales brochures and press photos.

Action shot of a 1981 Metro 1.3S in Primula Yellow.

Launch photo for the Metro 1.3S.

Lower-end models, like this 1.0L, made do with recessed headlamps.

1981 Metro 1.3 Automatic: not an option, but a model in its own right.

The Metro Vanden Plas, as introduced in 1982. This was effectively a belated repalcement for the Allegro-based Vanden Plas 1500.

A 1.0HLE dating from the summer of 1985, featuring the newly-introduced revised front-end styling and metric ‘TD’ wheels.

Keith Adams


  1. I really, really miss my Mk 1 Austin Metro City 1.0L. The British Leyland gearbox whine, the squeaky suspension, even the stiff clutch pedal. It was a nightmare sometimes but I wish I still had it as a second car.

  2. No other car in he world has had so many changers to the design during its life.Early models had an incredible short life on some components.Every version made were a delight to drive and had that special quality thats hard to discribe.The lovely doors(three door),that windscreen and far away dash.My favorites are 1984 mg tubo with that sexy boost gauge,1980 1300hls,and the rover metro carb cat 1100’s’.

  3. I have only been in a Metro once, and that was a then-brand new 1985 model which was a rental car. Bouncy ride and awful refinement were my memories and that was then, that wretched gearbox whine which was from a 1950s-technology powertrain. Remember being in a contemporary Fiesta from the same period and it was in a totally different league (given it was nowhere near the state of the art supermini at the time either!)

    • The lack of refinement included “body boom”, driving at around 40 to 50 mph the cabin was noisy, but increase speed to 60 mph pushed the car beyond the boom zone and the noise dropped away, now for the hand-wringing, I drove mine for 10 years with no regrets, taking the 15 years old car with over 100,000 miles on the clock to the scrapyard was just as bad as the trip to the Vet for the family dog to be put to sleep

  4. As a young bobby in Derbyshire in 1981, I was horrified when our Mk II Escorts were ‘retired’ and we were given bog-standard 1.0 3-door Metros to replace them. I’m 6’2″, my mate was 6′ 5″, we looked ridiculous hauling ourselves out of such a small car, and even more ridiculous when attempting to load a prisoner into the back. The switch for the blue light was in the boot! Our bosses didn’t want us ‘driving like idiots’ to incidents, so we were only supposed to use blues once we’d arrived. No recliners either, so it was difficult to get comfy. Grumbles aside, the handling was a revelation compared to the Escorts….but we really should have had something bigger!

  5. I also will give a 1988 Metro a second life in Belgium.
    It is in excellent condition and only has 58.000 Kilometers.
    I’ll convert it to an electric car as a prototype for the electric components. Click on the blog and follow if you like.
    It is in dutch but on the youtube movies I’ll be speaking in English.

  6. Nice selection of Metro pics. I remember the yellow ones with side stripes (very 80s). I didn’t realise the 1.0 L had recessed headlamps

  7. My Mum’s clove brown Metro A156MBA had the recessed headlights, which I believe were off the shelf units with plastic bezels to fit the apertures.

    • The recessed headlights were fitted to the low-end cars, (mine) a headlight with a plastic bezel to plug the gap, the headlamp bulbs were low end too, only 35 Watts on main beam, “glow worm in a tin can”, it never occurred to me that a visit to a breakers yard to buy headlights from a up market Metro was possible

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