Group B Metro 6R4 Rally Machine With Just Seven Miles On The Clock Heads To Auction!
With almost any rally enthusiast, as well as a vast proportion of motorsport enthusiasts, the Group B rallying era is still today spoken of in reverential tones. Group B was a set of regulations for the world rally championship in place from 1982, wherein monstrous machines were wrestled on the stages. Sadly, after a series of accidents, the era ended at the conclusion of 1986, replaced by something more sedate. But, as noted, its legend still very much lives on.
As you’d expect too, this rallying era produced some remarkable cars, one of which was the V6, four-wheel drive Metro 6R4. Silverstone Auctions will be auctioning a virtually brand new Group B Metro 6R4 at its sale at this year’s Silverstone Classic, which takes place on July 26 to 28. Yes you read that “brand new” part right, as this car has but seven miles on the odometer, has never raced nor rallied, is unregistered and is still coated in its factory wax. It’s therefore likely the closest you’ll ever get to owning a virtually new and unregistered car of this type, and is number 189 of only 200 made.
As for how this unlikely story came about, this Metro was originally bought by an enthusiast, not thought to have been a competitor, direct from the Austin Rover on December 5 1986. The car was transported to his home in Oxfordshire, in the UK, where rather than compete with it he kept it tucked away for many years in its delivery state. Then, 10 years later, he offered the Metro to be exhibited at the Donington Museum, and it therefore spent the next seven years on display there, before it was sold in 2002 to the current vendor.
The current vendor has cared for the car over the last 17 years and he is now offering the car for sale, still presented in its original state with the bolt-on panels, such as the wings, still remaining in their original unpainted GRP state. The sale includes the assembly manual, all the purchase correspondence, photographs and letters from the original owner to the Donington Museum. This Metro 6R4 could even be prepared for rallies or rallycross, yet with its incredible story and minimal miles, this could be the only one in the world in this condition and its future value may have considerable potential to grow.
Austin Rover’s humble Metro may also strike as an unlikely presence in rip-snorting Group B, but it did show promise and speed, as you might expect given the car was developed by Williams Grand Prix Engineering with the legendary Patrick Head at the project’s forefront. With its mid-mounted, 3.0-liter V6 it was fast, indeed in the RAC Rally (as Rally GB was then called) in 1985—its international debut—it bagged a close third place finish in the hands of Tony Pond and co-driver Rob Arthur. It struggled subsequently to replicate the result as the car often didn’t make the end of rallies due to various teething troubles, and the end of Group B meant it didn’t have time to sort these. But its promise was clear. Silverstone Auctions is still accepting cars for it Silverstone Classic auction, and the auction lots can be previewed on July 25 from 13.30 to 18.30 and on July 26 from 09.00 to 18.00, all UK time.
Images courtesy of Silverstone Auctions