MG Metro 6R4 at Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed auction

MG Metro 6R4 at Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed auction

Ex Ian Donaldson, Martin Prew and John McKerrell 6R4 up for grabs at Goodwood. Yes it has been re-shelled - but its an old rally car and there is no dispute on identity. Melodic and expensive to rebuild motor just had a fresh 100k euros rebuild - cool colour scheme - estimate 150k-200k gbp no reserve looks pretty sensible.....for the best sounding 4wd rally car of all time...

Bonhams description below:

1986 MG Metro 6R4 Gr.B Rally Car
Chassis no. 102 / SAXXFXND01AD530771
- nown history in rallies from 1986 to 2009
- Subject to a recent and extensive engine rebuild
- Eligible in many historic rally events

Even back in the 1980s, Austin-Rover's Metro must have seemed an unlikely candidate for World Rally Championship honours. But although the MG-badged Metro 6R4 - like its Group B rivals from Lancia and Peugeot - bore a passing resemblance to the road car whose name it bore, beneath the skin it was an entirely different animal. Gone was the puny A-Series engine/front-wheel-drive package, replaced by a 3.0-litre, 90-degree V6 sited behind the front seats and driving all four wheels. Twin-cam cylinder heads, modelled on those of Cosworth's Formula 1 DFV V8 engine, enabled the V64V unit to develop 250bhp in 'Clubman' trim, with up to 410bhp being available in full works tune.

Designed by Patrick Head of Williams Grand Prix Engineering, the mid-engined chassis, needless to say, owed almost nothing to that of the standard Metro. In the course of development a host of aerodynamic and other appendages were grafted onto the basic Metro bodyshell, resulting in an end product that looked... well, 'purposeful' was about the kindest description.

Group B regulations required a minimum build of 200 cars, the first of which was completed in mid-1985 and the last in November of that year. When Group B was axed by the FIA, Austin-Rover disposed of the reputedly 120-or-so cars left unsold, warning purchasers that the Metro 6R4 was 'not intended for domestic, casual, business or other motoring on the public highway...'

Sadly, the works Computervision-sponsored 6R4's debut performance, when Tony Pond drove one to 3rd place in the '85 RAC Rally behind a brace of Lancia Delta S4s, would prove to be its most successful. However, after the works team's withdrawal from World Championship rallying, the 6R4 found its true métier - Rallycross - a sport it would continue to excel at well into the 1990s.

This MG Metro 6R4 3.0L, known by chassis number 102, was registered for the first time in 1985, under registration number C744 ENW. Acquired by the British racing driver Ian Donaldson, it was quickly entered into the Clarenbridge Crystal Galway Rally in February 1986, with Donaldson at the wheel and Taylor Richard as co-driver. Straight away, the Metro took 3rd place overall! Then registered B391 LPC, the Metro was taken by this duo to several rallies during the 1986 season, such as the famous Ypres 24 Hours Rally, where the car finished in 9th place overall. In 1987, B391 LPC was sold to John McKerrell who entered it for the 1987 season, lending the wheel, at the Carfax Stages, to Martin Prew who took the 6R4 to an overall victory. It remained in John McKerrell's hands, and after 18 rallies at its wheel it was acquired by John Markwood. Now registered JAZ 9708, the Metro took part in 10 rallies between May 2004 and June 2009, with its last known competitive event being the Rally of the Midlands. After its retirement from motorsports, the 6R4 was used in show events, in particular at the Top Gear Festival Barbados in 2014, where the car shared the track with, among others, a Mercedes F1 driven by Sir Lewis Hamilton. Following its sporting career, consisting of 34 races, 1 win, 6 podium finishes and 15 stage wins, the 6R4 underwent a major overhaul. The shell was thus replaced and the car is now registered C286 0PL. The partitions and tubular parts of the original chassis were preserved. Not long after this work, the car was sold in Europe, in around 2016, before being decked out, during a stay in Belgium, in the famous Belga colours of the car entered by Marc Duez in the Ypres 24 Hours Rally in 1986.

Its current owner bought it in 2020 and undertook a major overhaul of the engine at Garage Andreas in France. The engine block was fully dismantled, all parts showing wear and tear were rectified or replaced, while the engine capacity, which had been reduced to 2.5L when the last mechanical overhaul took place, was returned to 3L by changing the crankshaft. At the same time, the gearbox and running gear were fully reconditioned. In total, over €100,000 was spent on the car's mechanical restoration.

Today, still bearing the Belga colours but returned to International or Group B specifications (3L, 410 bhp), the Metro has been very little used since its mechanical overhaul and is therefore ready to use.

This Metro 6R4 will be sold to its future owner with various photos from its time as well as of the recent work completed, copies of invoices related to the work, copies of its log book, a copy of its V5 - C286 OPL, as well as a full expert report dated September 2023.

Please note that this vehicle is from outside the UK. Our customs agents, CARS UK, will manage all post sale customs administration. A fee of £350+VAT will be charged on the buyer's invoice to administer both import or export customs movements. If the buyer also chooses to ship with CARS UK, this will be quoted separately. If this vehicle is to remain in the UK, it will be subject to Import VAT at the reduced rate of 5% on the hammer price. This vehicle will not be available for immediate collection after the sale and will only be released on completion of customs clearance formalities. If you have any questions regarding customs clearance, please contact the Bonhams Motorcar Department.

Click here for Bonhams MG Metro 6R4 rallycar auction details

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