Possibly the best existing Austin Metro City 310 Van with just 16,971 miles.
All steel unitary construction, anti-burst locks, grey rolled steel bumpers, zinc primed body, hydragas suspension, integral front spoiler, locking fuel filler, twin black door mirrors, rear wash/wipe, laminated windscreen, twin sun visors with docket pockets, high lift tailgate, heated rear window, brake pad warning indicator, trip recorder. Van features; Full steel loadspace bulkhead with welded mesh upper section, steel loadfloor extension, load space side panel protection, loadspace lamp, 310kg payload. Factory options; Vinyl seat facings.
This virtually extinct Metro City 310 Van is preserved to an incredible standard and the often misused term ‘time warp’ is absolutely merited. The factory applied White Diamond paintwork (code NMN) is amazing and only very faint imperfections can be seen by those looking very closely. Worthy of mention are a tiny ding to the driver’s door and one to the offside rear arch. The underside is free from heavy application of underseal to allow inspection of the vehicles structural integrity. All trim sections are pristine and the 310 boot lid badge remains fitted along with supplying dealer number plates, tax disc holder and rear screen sticker. The rear load area is unbelievably clean for an unrestored example and the boot floor hatch conceals the spare wheel along with the original jack, wheel brace and tyre lever all still in the Styrofoam moulding! With just two devoted keepers from new, this has to be the luckiest Metro van ever made!
Wonderfully sparse yet functional, this really is everything you need and nothing else! The seats are trimmed in factory optional Flint Vinyl (code LCG) with matching door cards and vinyl floor coverings. It is hard to justify describing the cabin space as anything other than perfect with absolutely no wear to the seats or flooring. The fascia, headlining and switchgear are all flawless, and what little equipment there is operates exactly as it should. The exceptionally low mileage is displayed in the steering wheel and gearknob retaining all texture and definition. Even the period ‘new car’ smell can be detected! Guaranteed to stir up fond nostalgia, it is impossible to sit in the driver’s seat and not smile.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
The legendary and time proven A-plus engine of 1275cc displacement needs no introduction with robust simple mechanics and excellent parts availability. Producing a spirited 62bhp and 72 lb/ft of torque, this spritely Metro can hold its own in modern traffic and is tremendous fun with Mini like road manners. The spotlessly clean engine bay displays factory plates and stickers, and stampings to the factory panels are clearly visible. The four speed all synchromesh gearbox delivers light and exact changes with the feel of a very low mileage example.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The standard steel wheels in superb order remain with the car and are shod in the factory supplied and commercial vehicle specific Michelin TDXE 160/65 R315 tyres. Whilst excellent tread remains, renewal prior to regular use because of their age would be a wise safety consideration. The dual circuit hydraulic brake system with circuit failure monitor pull the car up quickly and safely.
A well-known example within the Metro Owners Club and the subject of a main feature in the August 2015 edition of Classic Van and Pick-up magazine, this Metro Van is very special. Supplied new by Austin Rover Main Dealers, Lex Rover of Cheltenham, this 1989/1990 model year example was kept at the dealership until being registered on 6th July 1992. The first owner, an elderly gentleman Mr Harry Chadwick, purchased the van having driven commercial vehicles throughout his working life and preferring them to cars. Mr Chadwick kept the van, always dry stored, for over 20 years at which point the second and only other keeper Mr Simeon Akister purchased it to remind him of his student days driving one whilst working for a hotel in the Lake District.
The history file is simply amazing with the original Lex Rover plastic wallet containing all original handbooks, guides and point of sale literature, even down to the salesman’s business cards and the welcome letters from Rover. A large collection of invoices and old MOT certificates provide just an insight to just how well cared for this van is. The most recent stamped service entry in 2015 with less than 150 miles covered since, this vehicle is ready to show and enjoy. Exceptionally rare in any condition, this wonderful Metro 310 Van is unrepeatable in such preserved state and represents a delightful slice of motoring history along with legends such as the Morris Mini Van and Morris Pick-up.
MOT July 2017, HPI Clear.
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