Can it really be 40 years ago when the new baby from Austin-Morris was born at Longbridge? Even though I hate to remind people who remember it well and make them feel even older than they are, it really was that long ago. Launched in October 1980, the Austin Metro went on to sell in big numbers and remained on sale, in one guise or another, until the late 1990s. The car’s full story – from birth to death – has never really been fully told in print… until now.
Automotive journalist, PR and former AROnline Editor Craig Cheetham invites you to hop in, buckle up and go for a little drive along memory lane as he sets the scene and tells the tale in a new title called Austin and Rover Metro – The Full Story. From the original prototype which, was destined to be the replacement for the Austin Mini way back in 1975, to the final Rover re-brand into the 100 Series, Craig dispels some of the Metro myths and guides you through the model’s 18-year production timeline.
The book looks at all the models including many of the independently-customised or tuned vehicles. The author even devotes a couple of pages to the various Corgi toys that were on sale for those who were still a few years off getting their driving licences at the time of launch. The stonking MG Metro 6R4 Group B rally cars come under scrutiny along with some tastefully done pages purely devoted to Austin Rover’s Motorsport activities.
From A- to K-Series, Cooper to Kensington, Craig’s vast knowledge of the Metro and 100 Series shines through as you paw your way through the 96 pages. There are plenty of archive images in both black and white and glorious colour and a brief buying guide is slotted in too just for good measure. Overall, it’s an enjoyable little book that avoids going too overboard with technical twaddle.
For avid fans of the Metro or just those who are curious and keen to lean more about Britain’s last homespun supermini, it’s a well-recommended read for £14.95 – produced by Amberley Publishing, it’s on sale now.
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