RE: MG Metro Turbos are back!

RE: MG Metro Turbos are back!

Wednesday 20th July 2016

MG Metro Turbos are back!

There were five ever made and three of them are at Silverstone next weekend



The BTCC MG Metro Turbo story is another tale of British motorsport endeavour and spirit with little reward. The 6R4 is the racing Metro we all know of, with the circuit car limited to just a few outings in 1983 and 1984. Now though, thanks largely to the efforts of Patrick Watts, three of the BTCC-spec cars will be seen on track again.

Way back when...
Way back when...
The Turbo project began in the early 80s, the first car built by Austin Rover at Cowley and the other four put together by Roger Dowson Engineering. The latter was tasked with managing the race campaign too, with Tony Pond driving at Brands Hatch in April 1983 for the car's first race. Where it retired. Apparently it proved 'impressively fast but incredibly frail with a mixture of gearbox, overheating and tyre problems all too often undermining promising performances.'

By the end of that season three cars were entered for the Silverstone finale, with Martin Brundle and Patrick Watts also driving. All three cars retired with tyre trouble. At the same corner. On the same lap... After a couple more encouraging shows in 1984, Austin Rover ended the project 'following a row with the authorities over the legality'.

But now they're back! The Metros will once again take on the big boys at Silverstone in the Historic Touring Car Challenge race at the Silverstone Classic. With Nick Swift (of Swiftune Engineering, the guys who make those bonkers fast Minis you see at Goodwood) working his magic on the A Series engine with more power (now around 220hp, from 190) and improved reliability, they promise to be more competitive than ever. Hopefully the tyres are sorted as well.

This promises to be quite a race
This promises to be quite a race
There will be two Computervision liveried cars racing at Silverstone, plus one painted in the Massa Real colours. That car will be driven by Till Betchtolseimer, with the other cars the responsibility of Watts and Swift plus Malcolm Harrison and Paul Taft. Should be quite a race against Capris, SD1, Alfa GTVs and the like.

The story doesn't stop there either. Having tracked down three of the Metros, Watts is now determined to find the other two. Apparently one is in the US and another over here so, if you have any info, there's a man who wants to know!

Donington video here. It's not the best vid, but it does feature a heroic save at 2:25.

Author
Discussion

Mr2Mike

Original Poster:

19,918 posts

189 months

Wednesday 20th July 2016
quotequote all
220bhp from an A-series is just amazing. I'm surprised that it's nothing short of a grenade, especially the gearbox.

I hope this gets televised, I'd love to see it.

rossub

1,830 posts

124 months

Wednesday 20th July 2016
quotequote all
Its great that stuff like this happens. Surprised they're still alive after all this time smile

Richair

1,010 posts

131 months

Wednesday 20th July 2016
quotequote all
It's great that so much interesting 80's stuff is now finding it's way out of the woodwork and into classic/historic events. These should be very entertaining to watch!!

J4CKO

25,314 posts

134 months

Wednesday 20th July 2016
quotequote all
6R4 has been on a diet then !

Dave Hedgehog

10,005 posts

138 months

Wednesday 20th July 2016
quotequote all
J4CKO said:
6R4 has been on a diet then !
a fun car over shadowed by its psychotic big brother biggrin


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sim16v

1,996 posts

135 months

Wednesday 20th July 2016
quotequote all
Always loved the look of these!

Riverside Red

674 posts

69 months

Wednesday 20th July 2016
quotequote all
Hope they're more reliable than my old 1983 Metro Turbo, it had two full gearbox rebuilds in the first three years and that was in the age before 3 year warranties.

RR

mickyveloce

1,035 posts

170 months

Wednesday 20th July 2016
quotequote all
Another former owner here too. Bought as my first car for my first job, purely on the basis of red seat belts and an LED boost gauge.

Kept for six hectic and memorable weeks, during which time plenty went wrong, and I spun it.

Mine was the second series version (over head boost gauge) and it was, in every measurable way, absolutely rubbish.

PS, I'd love another go in one!

coppice

4,782 posts

78 months

Wednesday 20th July 2016
quotequote all
Saw Watts' car at Donington and wuill see it next week too. Flametastic ...But I wish he'd also resurrect his giant slaying Uno Turbo prod saloon too, which I saw him annihilating the entire grid at a very wet Donington in the late 80s/early 90s.

Mr Bishi Chancer

370 posts

95 months

Wednesday 20th July 2016
quotequote all
Mr2Mike said:
220bhp from an A-series is just amazing. I'm surprised that it's nothing short of a grenade, especially the gearbox.

I hope this gets televised, I'd love to see it.
There were a couple of 190 ish BHP Minis around in the mid/late '90s IIRC. They were bonkers fast and 1 of them (turquoisey colour) even gave some RS Fords some stick down at a Middlesex RSOC meeting I attended in about 1996. A straight cut Jack Knight (are they still around) gearbox was needed for anything over 120 BHP. They were not cheap. I remember them being around £1200 when you could buy a nice Metro Turbo for about half that!

I had a 1983 (A reg) Zircon Blue Mk1 as my first car in 1994. I loved it. Was totally reliable and would give my mate's Uno Turbos and Pug 205s a run for their money. If only I could find one now... frown

RyanOPlasty

539 posts

142 months

Wednesday 20th July 2016
quotequote all
I sympahise with the poor gearbox.

rallycross

9,208 posts

171 months

Wednesday 20th July 2016
quotequote all
coppice said:
Saw Watts' car at Donington and wuill see it next week too. Flametastic ...But I wish he'd also resurrect his giant slaying Uno Turbo prod saloon too, which I saw him annihilating the entire grid at a very wet Donington in the late 80s/early 90s.
I remember that race with his Uno turbo winning outright!

mickyveloce

1,035 posts

170 months

Wednesday 20th July 2016
quotequote all


I had a 1983 (A reg) Zircon Blue Mk1 as my first car in 1994. I loved it. Was totally reliable and would give my mate's Uno Turbos and Pug 205s a run for their money. If only I could find one now... frown

[/quote]

No it wouldn't , unless they were spectacularly incompetent drivers. I've had all of these pass through my hands, and the poor old MG was a generation behind. The Uno had the engine, the 205 the chassis, the Metro the red seat belts.

s m

16,734 posts

137 months

Wednesday 20th July 2016
quotequote all
Loved the brakes and the digital boost gauge was a source of wonder when you steered a 2-litre Escort

thurleigh5

51 posts

98 months

Wednesday 20th July 2016
quotequote all
What price nowadays, gov? Not on ebay yet, I'd guess.

Lukeski1986

1 posts

27 months

Wednesday 20th July 2016
quotequote all
What would you say if I told you I know where the other Metro is...?
And no, I'm not fishing for attention. I genuinely know who owns the elusive Metro!
😊

FWDRacer

3,532 posts

158 months

Thursday 21st July 2016
quotequote all
Nic Swift's company make one of the best race A-series gearboxes available wink

Swiftune won't be in this to come second. Let the giant slaying commence, rest of the grid need to pray for a dry day.

mnx42

199 posts

97 months

Thursday 21st July 2016
quotequote all
I had a Mk1 of these and in every way it was total ste except for the boost lights and red seat belts!

Mr Bishi Chancer

370 posts

95 months

Thursday 21st July 2016
quotequote all
mickyveloce said:
I had a 1983 (A reg) Zircon Blue Mk1 as my first car in 1994. I loved it. Was totally reliable and would give my mate's Uno Turbos and Pug 205s a run for their money. If only I could find one now... frown

No it wouldn't , unless they were spectacularly incompetent drivers. I've had all of these pass through my hands, and the poor old MG was a generation behind. The Uno had the engine, the 205 the chassis, the Metro the red seat belts.
You must have had a bad example.






Edited by Mr Bishi Chancer on Thursday 21st July 10:32

Artey

757 posts

40 months

Thursday 21st July 2016
quotequote all
Lukeski1986 said:
What would you say if I told you I know where the other Metro is...?
And no, I'm not fishing for attention. I genuinely know who owns the elusive Metro!
??
I thought we had an agreement that you won't tell anyone. And you call yourself a friend?