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Buy this tremendous MG Metro 6R4 Group B car
Rally-special will be auctioned early next year
Group B cars are just awesome, aren’t they? Given the chance, we’d totally have one (or two, or six…) in our fantasy garage. We might even be tempted by this one – a 1985 MG Metro 6R4.
So it’s not an Audi Quattro, Peugeot 205 T16 or Ford RS200 – but it is a genuine, Group B rally car from the WRC’s heyday. And a reasonably successful one at that.
Group B began in 1982, with regulations allowing for the most extreme rally cars ever. Austin Rover wanted in, but thought developing a Group B car was beyond its means. But at the time it was a sponsor of the Williams F1 team, so it called upon them to lend a hand. As you would.
It was decided the Metro would use a 400bhp naturally-aspirated V6, rather than a highly-strung turbocharged four- or five-cylinder. The engine, which years later was turbocharged and used in Jaguar’s Group C race cars and the XJ220, was mounted midship and powered all four wheels. The bodywork was glassfibre, and rich with wings and cooling ducts.
The 6R4 had some success in 1984 and ’85, but struggled with reliability. Before the problems could be sorted, Group B was canned altogether after a series of fatal accidents, meaning we never really saw the Metro’s full potential.
220 6R4s were built, in line with rallying’s homologation rules. 200 were road-legal ‘Clubman’ spec cars, giving around 250bhp, and 20 were built to full Group B spec. This Clubman, number 111, was bought new by Williams’ own marketing department in 1988. They sold it in 2005, and it passed through a few more owners before ending up with the vendor in 2015.
It’s only done 175 miles, so it’s virtually mint. But it still underwent a full recommissioning in 2016/17 – sitting idle for decades isn’t good for a car, especially one like this – so now it’s good to go. Silverstone Auctions expects it to fetch between £180,000 and £200,000 when it crosses the block in January. Tempted?