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Old 21 Apr 2007, 09:53 (Ref:1896861)   #1
MG Rover Sport
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MG Rover Sport should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Group A MG Metro Turbos - Where are they now?

I loved watching these little pocket-rockets in the early 1980's Trimoco British Saloon Car Championship outings. Driven by the likes of Tony Pond, Patrick Watts, Robin Brundle, Tim Harvey, Armin Hanhe, etc they often hassled and beat far more powerful machinery.

Does anybody have solid information as to where they all are now?
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Old 21 Apr 2007, 10:28 (Ref:1896872)   #2
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One was featured in Retro Cars a couple of years ago, and then turned up for sale on a well-known auction site but I don't think it sold. I'll see if I can find the issue and let you know who's it was and some of the history.
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Old 21 Apr 2007, 11:42 (Ref:1896904)   #3
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big andy should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridbig andy should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
my metro was built from one of the works shellshttp://www.ianhardy.net/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=27261 dont no which one it was or who drove it
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Old 21 Apr 2007, 13:56 (Ref:1896979)   #4
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Don't know how recent this is, although the car was either sold or withdrawn from sale....


http://www.classiccarsforsale.co.uk/...php?carno=2532
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Old 21 Apr 2007, 16:06 (Ref:1897048)   #5
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I think that's the one I as thinking of. Retro Cars May '04, the article has a lot of the same facts as that advert.

One of 3 cars prepared for the '84 season, Computervision car, prepped by Roger Dowson, number 35 driven by Brundle and Harvey. Was an exhibit at the Heritage Centre until '03 when it was bought by Dave and James Bradley. In the article Dave thanks Roger Dowson, so it's possible he knows the current whereabouts of this one - he recommissioned it.

I think it came up for sale about a year after the feature.
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Old 21 Apr 2007, 17:17 (Ref:1897092)   #6
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004 was definitely the car on display at Gaydon, which was subsequently sold at auction to the Bradleys. If I rememeber right, that father bought it for his teenage son, and the article in Retro Cars made quite a big point of the fact that the teenager owned it.

I contacted Roger Dowson in the 1983 or 84 when the cars were still competing. He kindly gave me all the chassis details of each car, and what they were used for. I'll try and find the list as it makes quite interesting reading. If I remember right there were 7 cars completed, although there could possibly have been some spare shells made.

Steve Soper used a privateer one, entered by Roger Dowson in the first round of the 1985 or 1986 BTCC at Silverstone. In wet conditions I think he qualified on the front row of the grid, possibly even on pole! I'm sure the outing ended early when a screw in the carb worked loose.

Armin Hahne also used one in several rounds of the German series in 1984.
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Old 23 Apr 2007, 09:42 (Ref:1898307)   #7
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Good thread!! Good to have your contributions 'MG Rover Sport.'

I guess as we're talking about the Group A cars we'll leave the earlier Grp 1 Austin Metro's aside shall we?

From memory the first MG Metro was pedalled by Patrick Watts and in the 1983 BTCC.

The Dowson Turbos came out later in the year sponsored by Daily Express/Esso and pedalled by Tony Pond and Robin Brundle with Watts continuing in the normally aspirated car?

In 1984 There were the 2 Computervision Turbos for Watts and Brundle and a 3rd Klaxon backed car for Paul Taft. It was such a shame that ARG withdrew from the series in both Class A with the Vitesses and Class B wth these fabulous little cars.

They were still being developed overall but there were some great scraps with the Alfas and Graham Goode's Nissan!

There was also as you say one or 2 German cars entered in the German series, one for Hahne, but I don't know the identity of the second driver?

How the next couple of seasons in Britain would have been so different had they carried on!! Continually developing Rovers against the oncoming Turbo onslaught in Class A and the Metros against the Nissan, Alfa and probably Escort Turbos in Class B...

I remember reading the Metros were trickly cars to get to run properly so that's probably a reason why we never really saw one run competitively in privateer hands? Although it was nice to see that Soper outing at the beginning of '85 (purpose still not yet sure about??) and Colin Pearcey wheeling his ex Computervision car out a couple of season later.
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Old 23 Apr 2007, 10:56 (Ref:1898355)   #8
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I've seen one in Australia on occasion, don't know it's history unfortunately...
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Old 24 Apr 2007, 09:16 (Ref:1899107)   #9
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Thanks 'chunterer' for the kind words!

We are indeed talking about the Group A cars - I think we can leave all the Group 1 cars for another thread if that's OK?

I have just found an advert from November 1991 which features Colin Pearcy advertising an MG Metro Turbo (006) For Sale (along with his ex-Bastos Vitesse). Colin used the MG during the 1987 British Touring Car Championship. I have also found the same car advertised by Gerry Marshall in April 1994.

Patrick Watts and Tony Pond were the two 'main' team drivers during 1983 - Watts debuted a non-turbo'd MG Metro 1300 (002) at Thruxton on 4 April, and used that car in that specification for the next 4 rounds of the series, before it was upgraded to turbo specification from the 16 July meeting at Silverstone.

Pond joined the series one round later than Watts, at the 10 April meeting at Brands Hatch - but his car (001) was in turbo specification right from his debut. He used that car for the next 3 rounds of the series, but had a new chassis (003) from the 16 July meeting at Silverstone onwards.

003 was also used at the 1983 Silverstone Tourist Trophy meeting on 11 September in the hands of Pond / Watts - a European Touring Car Championship round.

For the final round of the BTCC series at Silverstone on 2 October, the two main drivers were joined by Martin Brundle in a third car (001). If I remember right, the Rover Vitesse was in stiff competition for the overall title with Andy Rouse's Alfa GTV6. As the latter was in the same class as the Metros, Austin Rover were trying to deprive the Italian marque of points in an attempt to support their title aspirations with the Rover.

Two new chassis were built for the 1984 BTCC season - 006 for Patrick Watts and 005 for Robin Brundle. They contested the first two rounds of the series and then were joined by Paul Taft's privateer entry (002) from the 1 April meeting at Silverstone. All three cars competed in the series for a further 4 rounds until the team withdrew in support of the Rover Vitesse's exclusion from the 1983 series.

003 was used in the 1984 Donington 500 ETC race on 29 April in the hands of Watts / Brundle, but a 2-car entry returned to the ETC for the 1984 Silverstone Tourist Trophy meeting on 8 / 9 September, with 006 being driven by Watts / Rob Hall and 003 by Brundle / Tim Harvey.

007 was used twice by Armin Hahne in the 1984 German Saloon Car Championship at Hockenheim on 5 August and Zolder on 19 August.

For some reason I cannot find any reference to 004 at the moment?

I trust the above is of interest, although it doesn't really explain where any of the cars are nowadays.

Last edited by MG Rover Sport; 24 Apr 2007 at 09:18.
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Old 24 Apr 2007, 09:25 (Ref:1899110)   #10
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Excellent work and a most welcome little thread!

I'd hazard a guess that one of the Cars was damaged beyond repair at the 1984 infamous TT Dead Car Park at Woodcote in the rain? That would've been either 005 or 006 judging by what you say. It was 3rd or 4th car 'in' after Duez' Vitesse smote the barriers hard and one of the Drury GTV6's and possibly got clattered by either Whizzo in one of Sytners 635's or the TWR XJS?! OUCH!!

I think we can add your list to the Chassis Archive shortly
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Old 24 Apr 2007, 09:34 (Ref:1899116)   #11
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Agree, Chunty; I suggest moving the whole thread there as is.
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Old 24 Apr 2007, 09:41 (Ref:1899121)   #12
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Ok JT, T'is done!!

And here's the link folks: http://tentenths.com/forum/showthread.php?t=96007

Footnote, any additional info in the Archive should be restricted to specific info about the chassis and specific history of them ideally.

We can continue to discuss the cars in general and the period they competed in in this thread.

Keep up the good work folks!

Chunterer.

Last edited by chunterer; 24 Apr 2007 at 18:30.
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Old 24 Apr 2007, 10:13 (Ref:1899152)   #13
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MG Rover Sport should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Thanks chaps.

I remember the Woodcote Chicane incident well 'chunterer', as I was actually sat in the grandstand overlooking it!

This is what Motoring News had to say after the incident...

'The rift of life has ceased to be... scene at Woodcote last Sunday, after a violent deluge had turned the braking area at Silverstone's notorious chicane into something more akin to a swimming pool than a racetrack. First to go amongst this little bunch was Marc Duez (Rover), who was lucky to be missed by the spinning VW Golf as he scrambled clear. Next, Barry Williams lost control of Frank Sytner's new BMW, and then piled into the sleepers, and then the Rover, catching fire briefly while Williams jumped out... just in time to be missed by Chuck Nicholson's errant Jaguar. Terry Drury's Alfa GTV6 and Rob Hall's MG Metro Turbo also fell foulf of the dire conditions, making this one very expensive parking lot. Happily, none of the drivers was badly hurt. Whilst all this was going on, incidentally, another dozen or so cars contrived to spin in the area, most being fortunate not to do any damage.'

There is a photo with the report which I'll scan in and post on here later. Not too sure how badly damaged the Metro was though as there is an Alfa one side and a Jaguar the other!
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Old 24 Apr 2007, 10:48 (Ref:1899176)   #14
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Originally Posted by MG Rover Sport

For some reason I cannot find any reference to 004 at the moment?

I trust the above is of interest...
Oh yes, it's definitely of interest- it's brillliant to have the complete rundown in one go (wish the Rovers were so easy, but I suppose the Metros were always going to be easier to document, as there were just 7 chassis with relatively short careers) As you said, the tricky bit is 'where are they now?'

I'm intrigued by you not having any reference to 004. The ex-Gaydon car in the advert is listed as being the ex- Robin Brundle 1984 car, which from your list ought to be 006. By any chance could Brundle have used both 004 and 006 that season, or has 004 somehow acquired an inaccurate race history since it left the team to become a museum exhibit....?
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Old 24 Apr 2007, 13:57 (Ref:1899303)   #15
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simon drabble should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridsimon drabble should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridsimon drabble should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
I believe a good friend of mine, James Shead, started in these before progressing ultimately to Group C in a Spice which he shared at Le Mans with Ray Bellm
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