Austin Metro City brochure 1982


by Mark Nobes, chief editor

Video clips in the playlist

1. Metro police car

2. Rare and unusual Metros

3. 1980s British TV advert

4. The sound of an MG Metro 6R4 rally car

5. Racing 6R4's vs. Opel Kadett

6. Driving an Austin Metro

7. Metro 6R4 video review by

The metro in the TV advert clip looks just like the model I owned in the late 80's - same colour, too. Unfortunately,  I had to replace the gearbox at just 20,000 miles! I have to admit that my next car, a Citroen AX, was much more reliable and economical, although the interior looked a little cheap and plasticky.

The Metro was the car that saved British Leyland from going bankrupt. Many of its cars were severely dated, and this new "supermini" proved to be popular with the British public.

Austin Metro Advert - A British Car to Beat the World
The car was launched in 1980 as the Austin Mini Metro and a sporty MG Metro was launched in 1982. Built at the Longbridge plant in Birmingham for 18 years, the Austin name was dropped in 1987 and the Metro name was then dropped and re-badged as a Rover in 1990.

The metro was the most popular small car in Britain in the early 80s, and this was helped by the fact that it was economical, spacious (for its size) and handled the road well. I much preferred the design of the Metro to rival models such as the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo, although Fiesta took the No.1 spot in 1984 as the UK's best-selling mini car.

Interestingly, the early 80s TV ad narrator talked of the Metro's ability to "send the foreigners back to where they came from" relating to its rivals such as the french Renault 5, Japanese Datsun Cherry and the German VW Polo. There is no way on earth that such an ad would be aired today, of course, and it shows just how much times have changed in today's PC world.

Austin Metro Auto 1983
A 1983 British Leyland Austin Metro Auto by DeFacto (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons


1980 Austin Metro 1.0 L interior
Interior of a 1980 Austin Metro 1.0 L by Peter Barclay (originally posted to Flickr as Austin 48) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The interior of this early Metro model is very typical of the style and standard brown colour used in the late 70s and early 80s. It looks nothing like the interior of my Metro City X which was a later model from around 1986.

Interior of a 1982 MG Metro by dave_7 (originally posted to Flickr as 1982 MG Metro) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This MG featured a more sporty look with a different steering wheel (with red MG logo) and grey trim with red edging.

Autocar Magazine August 1981 ft. Austin Metro, CB Radios and Car Telephones

Autocar Magazine in August 1981 featuring a Metro and articles on CB radios and car telephones. I never had either in my car, as by the time I started driving in 1987 CB radios had pretty much lost their popularity and I certainly wasn't well-off enough to afford a car telephone. However, I did have an Audioline CB radio at home in the early part of the 80s which my parents bought me for Christmas - great fun!

Mini Metro as panel van ca 1992
By Charles01 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Yes, there was a panel van version of the Metro, too. This is a City 310.

Austin Metro Vanden Plas (Automatic)



Austin Metro Vanden Plas (Automatic) Rearview
Reading, Berkshire - UK
1985 Austin Metro 6R4
1992 Austin Metro_Police Car_Coventry Transport Museum_Hales Street_Coventry_Oct15


Red MG Metro Turbo 1989

Photo of a 1989 MG Metro Turbo at Bristol Car Show, The Downs, Bristol, England. Taken by Adrian Pingstone

MG Metro 6R4 rally cars
MG Metro 6R4 rally car

Photo Credit: Kaptain Kobold via Compfight cc
This metro was converted to accommodate a wheelchair.
Austin Morris Mini Metro Owner's Handbook

Owner's Handbook

Princess Diana's car - a 1980 Austin Metro
G628CJT 1989 1275cc Austin Rover Metro GS Auto
G628CJT 1989 1275cc Austin Rover Metro GS Auto
Metro 6R4
Mighty Metro Group B 6r4
1985 MG Metro 64
MG Metro 6R4 002

Here is a beautiful clear photo of an MG Metro 6R4 which was used at the Spirit of Rally 2005. 

Metro 6R4 FDMC Dimanche Sprint Rushmoor Arena Sunday 11th April 2010 IMG_6475
1989 Austin Metro 1.3 L
'86 Austin Rover Metro 6R4 - Race Retro 2011
1994 Rover Metro 1.4 SD
Rover 111 i Extra

1995/96 Rover 111 i Extra. 

By Sean Smith (originally posted to Flickr as Rover 111i Extra) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons


Ballsbridge, Co Dublin - Ireland