It’s the Metro’s 40th Anniversary


This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Metro launch, and an online exhibition has been created by the British Motor Museum to celebrate a car that divided opinion. 
In the spirit of celebrating the ordinary as being extraordinary, we have reached out to our customer Phil, to walk us down the memory lane of his Austin Rover Metro. Here is his story: 

"This Austin Rover Metro 1.3L Clubman automatic (registration G584 AAC) was first registered new on 9th November 1989 by a Mrs Jessica Olive Arnold, who purchased the car from Quicks Parkside, Warwick Road, Coventry for £7350 (or approx £19,000 in 2020 values). The car remained with Mrs Arnold for 15 years".



"The car then passed to a Mr Ronald Taylor, who kept it for 6 years. The car was then registered to Thomas McFadden of Allesley, Coventry who kept it for 6 weeks before it passed to Mr George Matthews. Mr Matthews (who lived only around the corner from Mr McFadden) kept the car for 24 days before it was purchased by a Mrs Priscilla Veronica Hambleton of Swindon who kept it for 4 months. It was then purchased by classic car enthusiast (and fellow Metro Owners Club member) Jason Barnes of Salisbury, Wiltshire on the 15th November 2011 with only 12,700 original miles where it remained until 2020. It seems Mrs Hambleton only sold the car after only 4 months as she didn’t get along with the manual choke!"



"The car came in to the ownership of Phil Grant of West Bromwich (a mere 15 miles from the original production line at Longbridge) on 12th April 2020 being acquired from KGF classic cars in Peterborough with only 21,320 miles covered in it’s 30 years. The rear valance has been professionally resprayed (before my ownership) as it seems there was a small parking dent together with the corners of the front valance. Since coming in to my ownership I’ve had refurbished hydragas suspension units fitted by Ian and Dawn Kennedy of Hydragas and Hydrolastic Services of Telford and routine preservation work completed by Darryn Coleman of DC Customs Classic Car Restoration of Netherton, Dudley".



"Today the Metro will continue to lead a very pampered life with only occasional use for pleasure and classic car meets. Affectionately named Jessica after the name of her first registered owner, Jess will continue to have her mineral oil and filter changed every 1000 miles or every year depending which comes first. All routine servicing will be completed by Summit Garage of Dudley with their knowledge of the A series engine.  She will continue to avoid the rain where ever possible (like she has previously done during her life) and remain garaged when resting. This is why Jess remains in outstanding unrestored condition".



"Jess comes with extensive history including most tax discs - her very first tax disc is displayed on her windscreen in the original tax disc holder, together with all the original hand books and service schedule including a comprehensive collection of receipts for nearly everything that Jess has required during her life. The photo of Jess above is parked next to a 1987 Metro Mayfair (with has covered in the region of 10,000 miles) and owned by friend and fellow Metro Owners Club member Mr Ian Macaulay of Pattingham, South Staffordshire".



"Jess at a classic car gathering during her ownership with Jason Barnes".



"Her first ever tax disc when purchased new in 1989 sits proudly on display in the windscreen".



"The interior remains in a factory fresh time warp condition".



"The view of the Metro Mk2 instrument binnacle when driving".



"The time proven Austin A series engine. First used in 1949 and used in many different Austin cars during the 20th century. The A series powered both Mk1 and Mk2 Metros up to the year 1990. The engine bay of Jess shows no evidence of rust or corrosion".



"One of various areas - the fuel filler intake - where rust and corrosion can occur on a Metro.  Jess shows perfect health in this area. Being a 1989 model Jess received the revised unleaded A series engine.  Towards the end of the Mk2 production the fuel filler was raised higher than either Mk1s or most Mk2s. This is commonly seen as a way to distinguish the change from leaded to unleaded fuel. An anecdotal reason often given for the change in position was a tooling change at the Longbridge assembly line in preparation of the Mk3 Rover Metro produced the following year. Other stories include the change was an attempt to reduce corrosion to the area. Whatever the truth is I have yet to uncover with 100% certainty!".



"In 1987 the Austin name was dropped although the Austin designed Metro Mk2 continued in production until 1990 when it was replaced by the Rover branded Metro Mk3. The last of the Mk2s were only badged as “Metro” but the V5 states Jess as a Rover Metro. You may notice the shape of the Metro badge during this period resembles the shape of a Rover badge - but no Rover branding was ever included or displayed on Mk2s".



"One of the 4 original hydragas displacer units after removal from Jess. The units were all original which means the nitrogen gas had depleted when she was a mere 15 years old. This leads to a firm harsh ride as only the fluid part of the hydragas units are providing suspension and this can sometimes lead to further damage else where if action is not taken to restore nitrogen to the displacers".



"A new-old-refurbished hydragas displacer about to be fitted to Jess on 20th June 2020 to return Jess to a ride like factory new".



"At my first show - the BMC/BL and Mini and Metro 40th anniversary  show at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon on 6th September 2020 Jess won 1 of 5 special “stand out” awards from the Museum out of the 100s of cars present".



"Jess at the British Motor Museum on 6th September 2020".



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