Austin Metro (1980 – 1991) Review

Austin Metro (1980 – 1991) At A Glance


+Cheap and fun, familiar mechanical package

-Rust, weird driving position

Billed as the 'British car to beat the world' when it was launched amid a barrage of flag-waving patriotism in October 1980, the Metro initially sold like hot cakes, and seemed like the light at the end of a very long tunnel
for BL's embattled dealers.

In fact, it was more like a grown-up Mini than a brave new start, but the older car's charm added to the Metro's homespun appeal. Survival rate is low due to rust, apathy and its suitability as an engine donor for Minis, and values are still laughably low for all but the mintest examples.

Not the best small car of its era, but certainly one of the most intriguing.

Ask Honest John

How will an engine upgrade affect my car at the MoT?

"I want to fit my 1991 Mini Mayfair with a 1275cc carburettor engine from a 1980's Austin Metro. It was originally manufactured with a 998cc engine. From late 1991 on, Rover only fitted 1275cc engines (carburettor at first and later injection). How will this change in engine size affect a MOT test ?"
The current advice for historic vehicles exempt MoT status, states that you do not need to get an MoT if no ‘substantial changes’ have been made to the vehicle in the past 30 years. For example replacing the chassis, body, axles or engine to change the way the vehicle works. A ‘substantial change’ is something that means the technical characteristics of the main components have changed. When it comes to the engine, alternative cubic capacities of the same basic engine and alternative original equipment engines do not count as a substantial change.
Answered by Keith Moody
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